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Horse Racing

The Neigh-t The Lights Went Out

A horse track that's all dark except from the reflection from the scoreboard

Horse racing, a sport where the government pays massive sums of money to have horses killed, is at it again! The current source of horse remorse came Tuesday at Grants Pass Downs, a track in Oregon. The final race of the Grants Pass fall event was scheduled for fillies and mares three years and older. It lasted about 10 seconds before the lights went out.

“The lights just went off,” track announcer Jason Beem said. “I’ve got no clue what’s going on and hopefully everybody is staying safe out there, because we can’t see a thing.”

Yikes! The horses continued around the track, but when they came down the home stretch two of them were missing jockeys. Per the track, all the horses are OK. Those two jockeys that fell off, however, were hospitalized. Patrick Henry Jr. and Alex Anaya were released Wednesday. The race was ruled a no contest. Beem called it an “absolutely terrifying situation.”

Also terrifying: What if this were to happen again? Grants Pass Downs has not said what caused it, and perhaps were not sure. The track told KDRV-TV they “did not think the issue stemmed from a power outage.” The scoreboard remained illuminated, as did other electrical systems at the track.

Like last week’s incident at the Breeders Cup, gamblers kind of got screwed here. Those with multi-race tickets going into the final event were declared winners, per Thoroughbred Daily News, which diluted the betting pool:

Race 11 on Nov. 9 at the small southern Oregon oval carried outsized implications for bettors. It was the culminating race in a jackpot Pick 5 that had carried over with $51,211 in the pool, and the bet was expected to attract several hundred thousand additional dollars in new wagers. When the race ended up being declared a “no contest,” that bet was calculated as an “all” payout for the final leg, substantially reducing the pari-mutuel winnings.

This is gambling for you: Even when everyone’s a winner, somehow everyone ends up a loser too.

Drew Magary’s The Night The Lights Went Out is available now anywhere books are sold.