Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

11 August 2011

No surprise here

Santa Anita is getting the 2012 Breeders’ Cup, Mike Repole and Steven Crist are upset about this. As Crist points out, this will be the third time in five years that southern California track has hosted the event. What he failed to pointed out is the ten year gap that Santa Anita did not host the event from 1993 to 2003 and in a ten year span from 1995 to 2005 Belmont Park played host three times. What comes around goes around.

It seems as though Breeders’ Cup officials have been leery of having the two-day race card at an East Coast racetrack since the weekend deluge that befell Monmouth Park in 2007 and the tragic breakdown of George Washington that occurred in the Classic. Weather on the Atlantic side of the country in the fall has been hit or miss at it’s best, it is chilly and dry or chilly and raining. The West Coast is attractive to the owners because of the warm weather and lack of rain in the area during that time of the year. It is the same reason that owners will probably continue to choose sending horse down to Gulfstream over Aqueduct even after the purses are increased with the slot machines opening soon. Kentucky is the other default choice because the breeders can show off their breeding stock around the same time there is an auction at Keeneland.

The New York Racing Association released its fall and winter stakes schedule on Wednesday. The most noticeable of the changes to the schedule is the Nashua and Tempted stakes being moved to Belmont in early October. The pair of juvenile stakes races are now at the sprint distance of six furlongs so it can be used as prep races for the newly created Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. Once again NYRA has to bend its schedule to the will of the Breeders’ Cup, last year the Kelso Stakes was moved to the dirt at the mile distance as a prep race for the Dirt Mile. This took away from the Jockey Club Gold Cup, which Tizway competed in the year before and probably would have entered in again along with Regal Ransom and Mythical Power. Instead of a six horse Jockey Club Gold Cup, it would have been a nine-horse field at the minimum.

The New York Racing Association used to have one of, if not the best stakes schedule out of all the North American racetrack circuits. The Breeders’ Cup has taken away from NYRA and other racetracks in the name of the prep for the big payday. Not only that, but they also have specialized every division by bumping the event to two days and 15 races, when it used to be seven races in one day. The Breeders’ Cup has become an unwieldy beast that feasts off of other racetracks for their product.


Anonymous said...

And YOU fail to point out that Hollywood Park hosted it during that 10-year-gap from '93 to '03and that there were five-year gaps between Belmont hosting it in 1995, 2000 and 2005 -- very very different from SA getting it three times in five years.

Joseph Burns said...

I knew I missed something, pretty sure that Hollywood won't host another. Rough neighborhood around that track.

Belmont hosted in 2001, they were close to changing the location that year after the events of September 11th.