American Pharoah, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, wins the Triple...

American Pharoah, ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, wins the Triple Crown at the 147th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Belmont Park in Elmont. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Every day horses suffer catastrophic injuries while racing and must be euthanized ["Breakdown in fourth race," News, June 7]. Helwan's death made a headline or two only because he died the day of the Belmont Stakes. The rest of the industry's victims perish out of sight, out of mind. Their broken bodies don't make the news.

Thoroughbreds are accidents waiting to happen: Their legs are too long and fragile, they're forced to run while still young and growing, and injuries are often masked with drugs. A report issued by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals documented that at least 942 horses died at U.S. racetracks last year, 32 of them at Belmont, according to records kept by the New York State Office of Information Technology Services.

People who care more about horses than fancy hats and mint juleps must steer clear of the Triple Crown races if they don't want to contribute to the staggering death toll.

John DiLeonardo, Malverne

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, which opposes the use of animals for entertainment purposes.