Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

26 October 2008

Breeders Cup 2008 Debrief

Seemed like many people hated this years Breeders Cup. From the two day format, to the female races on Friday, to the surface and the European dominated results many people had a variety of reasons to base their gripes. The heat did not cause havoc like I thought it would and it was a improvement of bog/monsoon at Monmouth or icebox Belmont. What about Trevor Denman? Denman was the comeback of the year. After two years of calling the wrong names and missing moves I thought he was a toast and a clear has been. This year he did a 180 and prepped like a student studying for the SAT. He was prepared and ready. Trevor called 14 great races over the two days. This Breeders Cup was a rousing success and I enjoyed both days.

The day format is okay and I am glad the Friday races were a quick 5 race sequence. These races were over in two hours or so and did not drag on forever. The choice to move the female races to Friday was a sharp choice. It gave the day a theme in line with other classic race weekends and gave these races a stand alone stature of their own. The worst suggestion I read this week was to move all of the new BC races to Friday. A day of ungraded races with no tenure would provide zero interest in the Friday races and doom them to failure. Ladies day provided a theme and provided proper Balance two the two days. The idea was a winner.

For years Americans have bred cheap speed horses and run them over speed favoring bullrings. This is the valid argument for synthetics. The culmination of the cheap speed breeding was the GI win of Sinister Minister in the Bluegrass a few years ago. This short sighted breeding of horses have resulted in short horses that can not go a distance of ground and break down. This is where the synthetic factor kicks in. This is why the Europeans finished one-two in the classic. The bright side of synthetic surfaces is that it promotes breeding stouter horses that can run far. The days of cheap speed, precocious breakdown candidates and numbered. I thought the races were formful and all horses returned safe and sound.

Most of my buddies at Belmont and in the OTB's and simulcast joints did not share my feelings on the 2008 Breeders Cup. They did not care for the results and the surface. Politically correct people assumed an "I'm so offended posture" in reaction to Ladies Day. Horseplayers and horse racing fans are notoriously reluctant to embrace change. However with time I feel these changes will resonate and will ultimately lead to the expansion of the Breeders Cup.


Superfecta said...

The problem isn't Ladies' Day itself -- it's burying it on a Friday. Real ladies have jobs. It's why I don't watch the Oaks either. If they want to embrace modernity (and I'm all for that), they should recognize that fans worth going after (i.e. those who are more likely to have disposable income) don't take days off to watch sports.

Valerie Grash said...

Ah, but real women don't have jobs. They stay home, eating bon-bons all day, cleaning house and having supper on the table for dear hubby--the real man and breadwinner, whom the world entirely revolves around...

As dear deluded Dickie Dutrow says, he can't learn a thing from a woman trainer, so why should we expect the powers that be in the BC do any better?

Yes, I'm being half-assed serious :)