Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Win And You're In

The Breeders Cup is launching their new qualifying initiative stateside this weekend. In my personal opinion this is a non event. It's not a great idea to begin with and the BC powers that be have taken a poorly conceived idea and made it even worse with a nonsensical practical application.

Why did we need this in the first place. What good horses are left out of the BC each year because they can't get in? The only other justification for this is to try to get main contenders all prepping in the same races. But lets be realistic, a horse who wins a G-1 that isnt on this list will still be in the BC if they want to be so they havent increased the incentive to compete in those specific preps. In all likelihood Street Sense will not compete in ANY of the BC Challenge races. Will that make a difference? Nope, none at all.

I do not understand the process by which they selected the races 25 for inclusion. You would think they'd have G-1's and other prestigious races, maybe even some overseas races to encourage European participation. The BC brass obviously agreed that overseas races are a good idea so they chose one. That's right just one, and does anyone care to guess which race they chose? You might have thought the Arc de Triomphe, The King George, The Irish Champion or even the Juddmonte International but none of those were included. Instead they chose the Champions Mile which is run at Sha Tin (Hong Kong) at the end of APRIL. Take a guess at how many Champions Mile starters have ever made it to the Breeders Cup?

Furthermore the races they selected stateside make no sense either. There is not one race for the Juvenile Fillies, Sprint Females or the Juvenile Turf division. The horse who wins the Goodwood gets an automatic birth but a horse could sweep the Travers and Woodward and get nothing. And someone please tell me why the G-3 Phoenix sprint on polytrack is important enough to get a horse into the BC sprint?

I think the television personalities will give this challenge some lip service but in general it will go unnoticed and most likely it will not have any impact at all on the horses who enter the BC because most any horse who wins one of those races would never have been denied entry from the old system and horses who ignore these races this year will still get in if their good enough by virtue of the points standings or the selection committee.

This system caters to the Seek Gold's and Wagon Limit's of the world and we don't need a system that does that. It's a bad idea to try and restrict race entry this way and nonsensical incompetence made the idea worse in reality than it is in concept.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree wholeheartedly with the assessment of the Breeder's Cup Challenge concept except KC said it better // i was thinking how the concept could be applied to the run up to the Kentucky Derby // a colt could win the Fountain of Youth and then hide and duck the rest of the spring even more than they do now // speaking of the Derby was reading Mitchell's column ( "Any tiny blemish scares off buyers")in Sunday's DRF/ he was pointing out the process whereby Unbridled Belle sold for only $4000 as a yearling while she has has made over $700000 lifetime / she sold cheaply, apparently because of some physical imperfection // it reminded me of a 'scratch and dent' sale where you can buy a perfectly good refrigerator, stove, TV, or washing machine at a reduced cost because perhaps it was scratched or got a ding while being shipped or some similar event // my favorite scratch and dent colt is CURLIN // i believe he sold for only $57000 // it has been estimated he could have gotten #350000 had it not been for a small calcium deposit in one of his front legs // if Curlin can reach his potential this year he might go off as one of the best purchases ever // thanks/ chicago gerry