Friday, February 15, 2008

The Road to the......

Today is guest day on the blog. I have been busy and I have not put the question out to a couple of people I would like to hear from, and no one offered via email, so dang it, we are stuck with me.

Anyone noticing the buzz that thoroughbred Pyro is generating for the Kentucky Derby? Jeremy Plonk has an article on ESPN about it, the chat boards have a Derby 2008 chat flowing, and generally the racing world is stoked for the first Saturday in May. Every track that holds a prep event is of course part of the act, as well, providing cross promotion.

My question is: How can we do that in harness racing?

The first big stakes race for three year olds is the North America Cup at Mohawk. What prep races can be promoted for that race? Since we think outside (sometimes way outside) the box here, what about something like this.

The Burlington Stakes is now run on May 10th and 17th, let's say. Divisions and a final. It is an open event for 3YO's, and the winner earns a birth in the Cup final. He gets to bypass the eliminations.

The Berry's Creek winner, if scheduled close to May, also gets a birth in the North America Cup Final, perhaps.

Pie in the sky I guess, and logistics have to be worked out. But why not do something to create a "Road to the Cup", like the "Road to the Derby"?

Another thing I would like to see is that the North America Cup winner gets an auto-birth to the Meadowlands Pace Final. It is a long road with our Classic races, as all have elims and Finals. This takes a few races out of the loop for winners. It makes sure our stars are in finals and that has to be a good thing.

In our post Breeders Crown 2010 below we touch on this subject with the creation of a Breeders Crown Showdown, for a big purse, where our Classic winners are invited. The Breeders Cup Classic in thoroughbreds makes sure that their stars are in that race. We have to make sure our stars make it to Finals.

Anyway, a little bit to ponder I guess, on this Friday.

Next week, let's hope we get a guest poster with something on his/her mind so you don't have to listen to me ramble on about these things :)

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