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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cup Thoughts

With the 26th annual Breeders' Cup (yes, Kenny Mayne I have the apostrophe in the right spot) now less than two weeks away, I have some thoughts that have been banging around the noggin all weekend. But instead of making an ill-advised rant about things I know not of, I asked a friend who is connected to the Breeders' Cup about a few things that have been on my mind.

My first thought (or question) relates to a post I wrote last week regarding calling the BC a "world championship." I went to the official website and it touts the weekend as "showcasing Thoroughbred racing at the highest level of international competition." What that means is, we basically fund it, we hold it on our territory, but you're invited if you want to come and supplement, go for it. I asked my comrade if the Committee would ever considering moving the event outside of North America, to England, France, Australia, or Japan, for example? The retort was basically that the event is supported by American breeders and bettors, so don't make any travel plans soon to jump across the pond. Fair enough answer for me, although they probably would be better off being called the North American Championships, in my humble opinion.

Next, I have been reading several posts that predict that this is the last time we'll see the Breeders' Cup on synthetics and how horrible of a mistake it was to hold it two years in a row at Santa Anita. While, I don't disagree with the two year thing, I don't think the Committee would out and out skunk tracks with synthetic surfaces. The main response here from the representative was that track surface is just one factor in many in determining a location. "It's more about the venue, market and financial deal that can be arranged" my source confirmed. Del Mar and Santa Anita are two of the warmer weather spots that can host an event that occurs in late October or early November. (See freezing CD '06, rain-soaked MTH '07 for examples). I'm with Richard Eng on this one, it would be wise not to bar the event at such places as Keeneland, Woodbine, Arlington or Del Mar. They are all capable of handling the logistics and have the capacity required. Synthetic surfaces are currently in play, so we just have to deal with it.

I am intrigued by the Tweeters' Cup planned for BC Friday and had wondered if the BC was funding this event and the photo shoot held on Friday with six LA techies/twitterers promoting the TC event (not your normal group at the track by any stretch of the imagination). But, these folks are "influential tweeters" in the LA gossip universe and you have to give the BC credit for pulling out all of the stops using the social networking craze to boost attendance any way they can. When the only cost to the event is the photographer, I'd say it was a good investment in tech-happy LaLa land and they now have several influential gossip bloggers touting the big event (well played, BC). I may even stop by to see what it's all about.

It seems to me that Zenyatta running in the Classic should be a no-brainer. It would lock up her category by avoiding a date with Music Note or Careless Jewel in the Ladies' Classic, even if she does finish up the track in the big event. Regardless, she's THE story for this year's Cup, and I am super excited to see her in action live.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Equispace wrote:
they probably would be better off being called the North American Championships, in my humble opinion.


Oh don't be so humble.
That's what it is and nothing is stopping the Europeans from creating their own European + Far East championship event across the pond.

To be fair, NO horse flying in from Europe should be considered for an Eclipse off just one winning race on Breeders Cup day. The Eclipse traditionally are American awards for American throughbreds.
Let's keep it that way please!

AV Flox said...

I think it's exciting to see horse racing get into the web like this. As technology gains prominence across the board, it follows that more industries would get involved. I've been on Twitter for over two years and until now, most of my information in the space came via @JoeDrape, so it's refreshing to see more people getting in the Cloud.

I hope you do drop by the Tweeters' Cup tech meet-up event if you're at the BC. It would be be delightful to get more of your perspective.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

BC Pres and CEO Greg Avioli had plenty of kind words re Woodbine following his International day visit intonating that the BC could be back at WO by 2012ish.

That would mean a return to synthetic...but also the best turf course on the continent! (Slight bias.)

Nice work by your Bills yesterday. I can't figure this team out at all!


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