Monday, December 3, 2012

Ontario Sires Stakes in 2013 - Just Fine For Smaller Stables?

No one knows what the Ontario Sires Stakes will look like in 2013 in the Province. But that hasn't stopped some from saying the sky will fall. I tend to disagree.

In 2013, there will likely be a change to the model, and certainly it will have less money, but when you add a few potential salient points of discussion, it might not be too bad at all. If you purchased a nice son or daughter of Badlands Hanover, for example, at firesale prices (up to 30% or 40% off), your ROI just might be okay.

My opinion:
  • The OSS "Gold Finals" will be smaller, or phased out to a more equitable plan. The Gold Finals are nothing more than a paycheck to a colt or filly who stands out. If you owned a nice 3YO pacer this past year, your gold final was at maximum a $60,000 purse instead of a $120,000 one, with Michaels Power. With divisions, you can dodge a horse or horses like that. With golds the OSS was top heavy.
  • The funding, off the back of a napkin, will not be like zero. It appears the OSS will have near what Pennsylvania has for sires stakes. 
  • Ontario sired or owned horses will take preference in overnights. There will be opportunities to race for okay money to pay the bills.
  • Super horses, with the lack of stakes in Canada, will likely be plying their trade south of the border. Why would they race in a $20,000 sires stakes event every three or four weeks when they can go into a $35,000 3YO open each week at Yonkers, or a stakes race at the Meadowlands?
  • I can't see Woodbine running many huge Open stakes next year. As part of a restructure, they may have to go back to working some races for Ontario breds instead. It'll look more like 1985.
A "decent" OSS horse in 2012 might have raced for $350,000 in purses between golds and grassroots. Next year maybe they'll have an opportunity to race for $175,000, but the chance of getting a slice of that money will improve for them.

In the new reality, and the industry seeming to wish what happened last year didn't, it's hard to have a discussion about what changes are in store. The industry will be smaller, yes. But it won't implode. The OSS is one area where I think smaller stables can make some money.


1 comment:

Christine said...

A really good point, changes can create new opportunities for others.