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11 June 2010

Six years and running without the Breeder's Cup




From drf.com

http://drf.com/news/article/113767.html

The 2011 Breeder's cup will be at Churchill Downs, this marks the second time there will be back to back years of the same host track.

This is an idea I have had for a while, NYRA should go head to head with the Breeder's Cup. New York Racing Association should have done this when Santa Anita had back to back hosting duties, the connections of the dirt runners would have jumped into rich dirt stakes racing even if it was run on the same days as the Breeder's Cup. Last year was the final running of the Ladies Handicap and the Stuyvesant Handicap was postponed due to a lack of entries, if those races had million dollar purses they would have attracted extremely classy fields no matter what it was running against.

I hope that the slot machines get installed as soon as possible just so this type of idea was feasible. The Breeder's Cup has far too many races on tap now with two juvenile turf races, a dirt (synthetic) mile race, and a turf sprint. The dirt mile is a race that waters down the classic and sprint simultaneously by taking out of the pool for both those races and there is no real lead up to the juvenile turfs, it is just the hangover from the dirt juvenile division. Also a turf sprint championship race is the NY racing secretary's dream come to fruition, look forward to six turf sprints on one card at Saratoga folks! The two day gender division does nothing for the sport, it kept Zenyatta from running in front of a larger national audience on a Saturday afternoon in 2008. It also displaced three of the stalwarts of the Breeder's Cup card to the friday card (Distaff, Juvenile Fillies, Filly & Mare Turf).

The Breeder's Cup has become a beast that cannot be fed, the Jockey Club Gold Cup has turned from a 1 1/2 miles premiere championship event to a prep race. Before the dirt mile the Cigar Mile was a race that on average featured a full field with a mix of distance runners and sprint runners in the same field. Since 2007 the Cigar Mile in two out of three years has had short fields due to the fact that there is an extra race a month earlier that connections of horses with a preference for the mile distance can wait for. The Remsen and Demoiselle, two juvenile races after the Breeder's Cup usually feature small fields due to the fact that anyone who ran last month in the Breeder's Cup has called it a year.

The point to this rant being that the Breeder's Cup racing program has become unwieldly and takes away from other points of interest in the racing schedule. The only way to correct this is for a racetrack, any racetrack to run a a large purse card near or on the Breeder's Cup day to set up some competition and reform what the Breeder's Cup has done to the surrounding schedule of championship racing.

2 comments:

G. Calabrese said...

2011 was to be Belmont's year. It is a shame that the intense corruption in New York cost the racing industry yet again.

Steve Munday said...

Greg,
You make great sense as always. The Breeders' Cup really has destroyed Belmont's fall "Championship Meet." It's really sad given the rich history of those races. Jockey Club Gold Cup day is still my favorite day in horse racing, but each year it gets a little weaker.

Also, I'm pretty sure the BC has failed in their mission to grow the sport of horse racing. In other words, the BC is creating any new fans.

As you stated, until NYRA gets slots revenue flowing it will be hard to do anything. In the meantime, keep fighting the good fight!