Sunday, February 22, 2009

2008 In Review

Pt. 3
The Greeders Cup

This has been covered to death in traditional media outlets but it is one of the biggest stories of the year.

The back story is of course the Breeders Cup tried to eliminate its stake supplements across the country because they were taking a bath with their investments like the rest of the nation and to keep the bloated championship cards intact.

To keep this short and sweet the Breeders Cup is a crock of you know what.

When the organization started the breakdown was simple. 50% of their nomination fees would supplement stake races across the country the entire year, giving regional breeders the incentive to participate. The other 50% of course was to fund the year in championship races.

This was perfectly sell able because the chances of having a horse run in the Breeders Cup is slim (youd be better of playing the lottery and investing in scratch off tickets) but the chance of having a horse good enough to run in a supplemented stake is reasonable.

Look at the modern breeders cup though. 20% of the nomination fees go to stakes supplements. Why? Because they've created a championship card so bloated that the fact that there isnt a restricted race for 2yo gelded donkeys is surprising. Look at those championship cards. There are 72 races and about 43 of them are gender restricted 2yo races.

Theyve ruined the spirit of the day in the name of making money for themselves, with money provided by the breeders they are supposed to represent!

But lets looks at what they've done to the championship card...

1. They've created 2 additional dirt races for 3yo's and up, thinning out the Classic. Well Armed and Mast Track didn't run in the Classic because they thought they had a softer sport in the Mile. Wow, the ducking a dodging so prevalent in racing throughout the year will now be common place in the Greeders Cup.

2. Filly and Mare Sprint. Really? Same as above in regards to thinning out the actual Sprint.

3. 2yo Turf races. The overwhelming amount of them are merely allowance winners. Sounds like a championship caliber event. Again, one or two fringe Juvenile runners will opt to run here against Optional Claimer winners rather than enter the big dance.

4. Ladies day. Lets relegate the best females in the sport to a day when nobody can watch. I mean, Personal Ensign, Azeri and Zenyatta have no place on the main card. Those 2yo turf claimers need exposure!

5. 2 days. Sounds great in theory. Too bad the public is not going to take a day off work to watch. The ratings for these Friday cards are at the same level as the International Badminton Championships. The next Personal Ensign will be watched by the 17 people who called in sick from work.

We could go on and one but its like a bad record skipping frankly.

Hopefully the breeders can initiate major change in the Breeders Cup, even if it means eliminating the entire thing in the short term. Its a great idea gone horribly wrong.

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