I am in two minds about it. While i know there still exist some somewhat cruel practices, the horses are incredibly well cared for overall. The trainers know these days that it's in their best interest to look after these animals and are usually very concerned for their welfare. Any sign of being overworked and they spell them for an apprpriate period of time.
I don't like whips, because they frighten horses. Race day is stressful for them, but it is only a small part of their lives really - its mostly training and getting pampered.