Tuesday, December 4, 2012

In the Element


We've cringed a little bit here on the blog of late when Steve Crist writes about NYRA, and particularly management or the takeout snafu. It just doesn't read right, nor feel right; to me anyway.

In the muddy world of horse racing where everyone seems to be competing with someone else for PP's, Adw's, advertising or whatever, maybe we shouldn't read his shot at Churchill yesterday without a grain of salt, either:
  • That is a sharp contrast to Churchill Downs’s new Kentucky Derby qualifying system, which threw the graded stakes system out the window in favor of a corporate-driven marketing plan to boost the importance of races at tracks owned by Churchill while punishing its rivals. The idea that winning the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby is literally 10 times more important than winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is utterly preposterous to anyone not employed by Churchill
But that just feels right. It's like he's perfectly in his element talking about something he's passionate about.  And it is probably "preposterous" that the LA Derby is 10X as important as the Juvy to anyone, passionate or not. It will be interesting to see if some changes are made.

I took some time and watched the discussion linked here, by the former Cabinet ministers regarding the OMAFRA plan for horse racing in Ontario. One thing that cannot be discounted, is these ministers are in their element too.  They described what a government, drowning in red ink, needs from racing, and what they think racing needs in this new paradigm, and new debt-ridden world. They also discuss, succinctly and clearly, what a government considers good public policy and bad, and what it considers a subsidy. Disagree if you'd like, which not surprisingly the commenters on the piece do, but discount it at your peril.

Very few times does a horse have everything - lightening speed, an amazing won-loss record, a racehorse of a generation, and when he or she retires, a huge career at stud. Somebeachsomewhere is in his element in the breeding shed, just like he was on the racetrack. He sires such precocious speed (I am pretty sure if there was a million dollar race in May for two year olds, all the starters would be his), and such fine staying power, that he has captured the hearts and minds of breeders everywhere. Hanover has turned away at least 40 mares this year; some of them likely pretty good ones.

Have a nice day everyone.

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