Last week I watched a movie called "RUFFIAN". It was about the match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure in 1975. The movie delves into the history of these two horses.
There is also a lot of emphasis on male vs. female. The sport of horse racing was also going through a rough time, people were losing interest. In an attempt to revive racing, a reporter pushed for this match race.
Ruffian was a natural racer, but she also had had hairline fractures in her rear legs. Her trainer was reluctant to have this race, but eventually gave in. And the rest is history.
People again became interested in racing and there was a huge turnout for this race. It was a time of competition between men and women, so it seemed natural to pit a male horse against a female horse to see who was better.
To paraphrase the words of the movie "KING KONG", it was greed that killed Ruffian.