Although Lahaleeb earned a guaranteed spot in the Filly and Mare Turf through her E.P. Taylor victory, Channon expressed skepticism about the Breeders' Cup Win and You're In program, noting the prohibitive fees for horses not nominated to the Cup.
"In that sense," he said, "Win and You're In is a bit misleading."The excerpt above was taken from the Daily Racing Form and I think Mick Channon has just voiced the sentiment of many people in racing.
Right from the very beginning people questioned the purpose and effectiveness of the "Win and You're In" program. It just didn't make sense. Then there was the issue they had with snubbing the major NYRA races. We were told to give it some time and let it play out but let's look at how it's playing out so far this year.
There were 60 "Win and You're In" qualifying races this year that were won by 58 different horses. Swift Temper and Magical Fantasy were the only horses to win two qualifying races. Here is a list of all the Win And You're In race winners and their likely involvement on Breeders' Cup Day.
So from 58 horses we have just 26 that are likely to run in the race they qualified for.
Tell me, from a marketing perspective, how does Win And You're In really help the Breeders' Cup increase exposure or how does it help fans follow the major contenders for each race?
The Classic division is likely the worst of all. Rip Van Winkle, Gio Ponti, Mastercraftsman and Zenyatta if she comes will have all opted out of the other races they qualified for in order to contest the Classic while only two "WAYI" qualifiers for the Classic will be there.
Win And You're In does not make it easier for fans to follow the buildup to the big day. Nor does it really grant guaranteed entry because supplemental fees have to be paid for some entrants. The races they've chosen are also pretty illogical.
I can certainly think of many more arguments in favor of scrapping the program than I can for keeping it.