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.