I like most of the shows on HBO…always have. I’ve subscribed to HBO since they used to call it Home Box Office. Back in “75” a friend invited me over to watch HBO broadcast the “Thriller in Manila” with Smokin’ Joe and Muhammed Ali.
I believe I subscribed in the early 80s when they had “Fraggle Rock” and other family type programs on. The first 10 years of HBO were pretty weak and they had ownership problems. When they finally became part of Time Warner they had the capital to invest in quality programming.
I still have a box full of VHS tapes of “Dream On” and “Tales from the Crypt”. I admit I recently watched re-runs of one of my very favorites, the “Larry Sanders Show” and I still loved it. The Sanders show put HBO on the map in the “90s.”
In 1997, the show “OZ” was aired…another show ahead of its time. Then in “99, the great Sopranos series started. In six years the Sopranos received 111 Emmy nominations and won “Best TV Drama” twice. In 2002, the “Wire” started and ran successfully for five seasons. Sex and the City, Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Boardwalk Empire, Entourage and Game of Thrones have all been great widely-watched presentations I have enjoyed.
It looks like their luck ran out with “LUCK”. It started last December and I recorded the series. What could go wrong with star like Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, Jill Hennessy and Michael Gambon created by the great David Milch and directed by Michael Mann? It turns out, everything. The show was slow-paced with weird long dialogue that was hard to understand. I stuck with it long enough to begin to find something to like and then BAM, it was cancelled.
The reason: 3 horses had died at Santa Anita racetrack while making the series. I felt bad for the horses and their owners and started reading whatever I could find to understand what happened to these poor animals.
What I discovered is brutal. No more Horse Racing for me. I don’t want to see a horse die. Dying horses is as common place as basketball players blowing out a knee and footballers getting concussions.
At California horse tracks last year, 186 horses died in racing and training accidents. Another 79 horses died at the track from various other causes…mostly intestinal and respiratory problems. I found out that certain types of fractures can’t be treated because the horse would be required to lie down for a period of time. If a horse lies down for too long a period they risk respiratory illness. Euthanasia is the only humane option.
Aqueduct, in New York, is undergoing an investigation this month because 20 horses have died since the first of December, 2011.
The one bit of good news is the Kentucky tracks have found that switching from the common dirt or grass track to a synthetic surface has resulted in a 37% reduction in horse fatalities. Santa Anita spent $11million and switched to synthetic turf 3 years ago, but had a horrible drainage and maintenance problems, so they switched back to dirt last year.
Maybe I’m not the only one who doesn’t want anything to do with horse racing. Statistics show that Horse Racing is losing popularity to all other forms of gambling and the number of races and race horses is declining.
I think that’s a good thing.
And remember what one horse said to the other horse, “The pace is familiar but I can’t remember the mane.”