The problem, then and now, is bigger than any one race…
The Kentucky Derby and the Slow Death of Horse Racing – Andrew Cohen – Entertainment – The Atlantic
This dark and stormy Derby week, there is no other way to put it. These are dismal days for horse racing in North America. We once said, in the grandstands and along the backstretches, that all horse racing needed to reassert itself onto the American sporting scene was a Triple Crown winner. But the last 3-year-old colt to accomplish that task was Affirmed in 1978. And that means that a third of a century, an entire generation, has come and gone without such a champion. In the meantime, chaos. The great gaming monopoly that once was horse racing has devolved into a rudderless mess.