Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

03 February 2008

Leave the historic stakes races alone

Wouldn't it be nice if they never changed the names of Stakes races? So many Stakes with long histories have been changed in the last few years. The Paumonok history posted on Brooklyn Backstretch was fascinating and honored a people that lived on long Island long ago. Yet a race like this could be changed to the Silver Train next year to honor a recent Grade I winner.

NYRA has a great database of race winners/Jockeys/history posted on their website. Many races trace their roots to the 1870's in New York and it would be a disrespect to those that toiled on the backstretch before us to change the name of races. We learned a few years ago that racing in the United States traced its roots back to the Hempstead Plains in 1665 yet the Hempstead Handicap was removed from the schedule in favor of the Phipps Handicap. While Phipps was a great man I do not think he should be honored at the expense of History.

Racing fans are a unique lot that are notoriously not fond of progression in a time where people are obsessed about today, themselves and nothing much else. While the promise of a new day and a new race card is something that inspires us it is now all we live for. Each new crop of horses holds the promise of the future and the possibility of a new freak, but perhaps most of all we cherish the past and the long storied history of racing.

Just in the last few years the following race names were changed, there are many more that perhaps a commenter could note;

Hempstead Handicap - Ogden Phipps Handicap

Sir Barton Stakes- Barbaro Stakes

Floral Park Stakes - Unknown???

Best Turn- Jimmy Winkfield

Riva Ridge- Woody Stephens

Californian - The Lava Man

Lost races-

Lawrence Realization

Bowling Green

The Flash

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