That's Why They've Been Loathe to Pitch a Derby Horse

The Preakness viewership numbers are in, and a surprise to probably no one, they were down by a lot

"Saturday’s race segment of the Preakness Stakes earned a 3.4 rating and 5.41 million viewers on NBC, down 29% in ratings and 31% in viewership from last year (4.8, 7.90M) and down 26% and 28% respectively from 2017 (4.6, 7.54M)."

We've heard quite a bit the last few weeks about, "letting the horses decide" versus "a foul is a foul is a foul" when it comes to big races like the Kentucky Derby.

Let's see what the latter choice involved --

  • $1.86 million in purse money changed hands
  • Syndication, stud value was changed because a "kind of Derby winner" isn't a Derby winner
  • Tens of millions were flipped around in the betting pools
  • The Preakness Stakes viewership was killed, and it's not small potatoes because that number could be used as leverage for future television rights negotiations, potentially costing the business a lot of money
This was decided by three people in the judges stand. 

This is probably why we see the Ferdinand's or Better Talk Now's or Goldikova's of the world get left up after murdering other horses - as maddening as that may be - while a "foul is a foul" at other tracks, for lesser races. 

The butterfly effect of a Derby pitch is not the same as your average Wednesday at Delta Downs.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone. 

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