Huh. Isn't that interesting.
The three horses who would have had the most points this year were also the top three finishers this year. (Sort of--I'll Have Another was tied for third with Gemologist and Daddy Long Legs, with 110 points each.)
[Daddy Long Legs finished dead last; Gemologist 15th]
As for the commentary from Steve Crist (DRF Chairman, et al) he makes several good points: Kentucky Derby qualifying plan a good start, but needs adjustments
A lot of it works, but there are new glaring problems with serious ramifications. The biggest is the devaluing of the most important races for 2-year-olds. Winning the Grade 1, $2 million Breeder’s Cup Juvenile used to guarantee a Derby berth, but now gets a horse only 10 points, the same as victory in the Grade 3 Withers on the Aqueduct winter track, the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate, or the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn. Churchill estimates it will take about 40 points to qualify for the Derby.
It gets worse. Winning the race that usually crowns the champion 2-year-old is now worth one-fifth as much as the Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds or the Tampa Bay Derby. This is utterly preposterous, and if Churchill makes no other change to this plan, it should immediately recast the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile as a 50-point race and consider raising 2-year-old fixtures such as the Champagne and Norfolk to 20-point status.
Regarding the biggest error of all - the Illinois Derby being omitted - Crist says the Illinois Derby deserves to be either a 50-point race or at the very least a 20-point “wild card” event.Quote:
Kevin Flannery, Churchill’s president, said Thursday that track management – which made all its decision in-house and without consulting other tracks or organizations such as the Breeders’ Cup – was open to tinkering with the plan. Here’s hoping he meant that. The new plan is a good start and fixed some problems, but contains several serious mistakes.
=I'll Have Another: 110
=Daddy Long Legs: 110
My point was only that it was curious that Bodemeister, Dullahan and I'll Have Another were at the top of that list and also the top three Derby finishers. One could have made a pretty penny doing a trifecta box with Bodemeister, Dullahan and the three 110 point horses, even considering the dollars lost on the Gemologist and Daddy Long Legs bet.
I'm pretty surprised at the relative lack of outcry about the changes, but I suppose I could be looking in the wrong places. Such a load of BS. One of the more charming aspects of The Derby in recent years (at least for me) has been the everyman, feel good tales. Imperialism, Smooth Air, Musket Man, Mine That Bird... we lose all that with this system. Never mind the blatant power play, never mind the despicable manipulation of the route to the gate & disregard for the horses welfare. With all of the talk that's one on over the years RE changes to the Derby, I can't seem to recall this nonsense being a part of the discussion. Damned if I can see how this is going to draw new fans to the sport, but I'm not having a whit of trouble seeing how it will help drive old ones away.
I am a real outsider, a racing fan whose only contact is through forums like this and occasional fun trips to watch horsey stuff, like a day at the races or a visit to a beautifully staged auction like Barrett's. My horses give me an additional interest because of the fun of tracing their pedigrees and following their close relatives (like my favorite, Richard's Kid!).
From my outsider's point of view, the racing professionals have weird ideas about how to attract new fans. I read some article about management at Hollywood Park or Santa Anita (can't remember which) admiring the good job that Del Mar has done attracting bigger audiences with various techniques such as fewer racing days. There was no mention, and I think, no awareness, of the fact that several episodes of "Real Housewives of Orange County" included trips to Del Mar, with beautiful surroundings, fabulous clothes, gorgeous hats, and private boxes with waiters bringing great mixed drinks.
Does that make you sneer? I'm sure many do. The idea of appealing to the most despised demographic in America, the Middle Aged Woman, is like advertising to Martians. Del Mar figured it out. Do you all really think that 20-year-old college boys love horses? Who do you think decides where to go for a fun outing on the weekend, the husband, or the wife? Who has money?
Texarkana has it Totally Right. No one cares about racing anymore, but everyone has pets, and when the potential new racing fan sees a horse break down or asks the TOTALLY LOGICAL question about why a racehorse who has won beaucoup dollars is not given a retirement, and there is no good answer, he/she is turned off. And when you have a Kentucky Derby Party and Eight Belles breaks down so dramatically, and everyone leaves in tears, it does no good for the sport. Racing needs to clean up its act and promote a better image. And don't start with the "it happens; horses break down, bla bla", instead, look at Hong Kong's stats and say, "How can we achieve those low breakdown rates?"
When I watch TVG I feel like an outsider looking in. It's like a guys day -- all men announcers, with a focus so much on the betting and details of betting that the sport is obscured. It has a seamy feeling of creepy guys sitting at their computers compulsively gambling. (which is another thing Del Mar did right with, for example, its Battle of the Sexes, with the beautiful Chantal Sutherland against the charming and charismatic Mike Smith). Now if that is what appeals to their demographic, fine, and yes they are about betting, not racing, but if you want to bring in new people to be fans of Horse Racing, not just gambling, you need to do something different.
Like Texarkana says, if you raced horses a few years, people could develop an interest and an attachment, like in baseball or basketball where fans follow a particular player. Zenyatta would never have been the star if she hadn't been raced so long. People had a chance to form an attachment and her handlers promoted her. Why are they the only ones who do that?
I'm ranting now... time to stop.
It's the people that are churning hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars through the parimutuel windows on a daily basis that are bankrolling the game. It costs next to nothing to get into most US racetracks, so the average 'Middle Aged Woman" would have to spend hundreds of dollars in food and drinks while at the track to make an equivalent contribution.
Case in point. Here is next Thursday's card at Hollywood Park... http://www.drf.com/race-entries/BHP/USA/2012-06-21/D
There are $279,000 worth of purses being handed out on a average Thursday afternoon. How many non-betting 'Middle Aged Women' would it take pay for those purses, and how much would they have to spend per capita? And keep in mind that that is just to cover the purses, not the plant overhead and maintenance that it takes to just keep the place running. Nor does it take into account the big stakes purses that horses are running for on weekends. That's just a Thursday afternoon, every Thursday afternoon. Do you think you could get thousands of Middle Aged Women to go to the track, even on Thursday afternoons, and each spend hundreds of dollars?
Now, you see why TVG is geared towards bettors? In fact the bettors are the ones who are subsidizing racing for the 'fans'.
For better or worse, US racing has hitched it's wagon to a pari-mutuel funded system of financing itself, and under that system the bettor (the actual customer) is the one you will be (and should be) catered to.
HRTV is more female friendly IMHO with their on-air talent, and shows focused on the horse-owning-loving lifestyle as well as tradition non racing horse sports. Whereas TVG is firmly hitched to UK punting giants Betfair and they aren't inclined to invest money with a segment of the population that won't produce a solid return.
All of this gets away from the OP at hand. The Paulick Report has gotten rather bitter over the whole change with the Derby eligibility system. Honestly if CD quickly changed the omitting of Hawthorne and the Illinois Derby it would go a long way in quelling the firestorm. From there they can selectively add back in a few races in and maybe bump the BCJV's allowed points to more realistic impact.
Additionally I think they ought to allow the transfer of filly-only races (those used for the Kentucky Oaks qualification) whereby if a filly garners a total which puts her in the top quartile of the colt's total - meaning she utterly dominated the ranks like Rachel Alexandra - then its transfers. This would be determined only the week prior to the Derby/Oaks entry. Make sense?
This means a truly super filly would have that wild-card option to get in.
As for the feel good stories being somehow unlikely and those long-shot praying for a win (and it paying off) I cannot say that under the new system that's instantly gone. Funny Cide still would've gotten in, for example, and as Linny said knowing the new rules in 2013 owners/trainers will plot their courses accordingly to either make it happen or not.
I was going to say, I like TVG because they avoid the fluffy-bunny, pwetty pwetty ponies stuff (and do things like run races from Australia at night when nothing else is on TV. When you're an insomniac, late-night programming is important.) But when I (thirtysomething female) go to the track, I bet. I would probably bet on-line if it were legal in my state. Whereas I never liked HRTV as the commentary (what there was) seemed boring and personality-free, and I don't really need/want the extraneous horse programming (for that there's always RFDTV's infomercials.) I wouldn't OBJECT to non-PM-"bookie-style" wagering, but gambling's a huge part of racing. When I was ten, yeah, I probably could have stayed all day just to watch the horses run in a circle, but I can't imagine spending the whole day just sitting there drinking.
I'll wait and see on the 'new system.' And I'm not sure bewailing how it "devalues" the BC Juvenile is the right tack to take...of all the Juveniles run, how many winners went on to win the Derby?
So if a filly wants to race in the derby she has to race with only the boys in the prep? That is awful.... So some great fillies would have been left out.... What a shame now who is sexist?
Regret - won Hopeful Stakes, and Saratoga Special as 2yo. (didn't prep as a 3yo, won Derby on first start of season)
Genuine Risk - 3rd Wood Memorial
Winning Colors - 1st Santa Anita Derby
Just because a lot of fillies have not won others did run.. Lets be hypothetical... Since Rachel Alexandra only ran against fillies should she have not been allowed to try the derby? I know she did not but this is hypothetical. Honestly, if Jesse Jackson had bought hre before the Oaks who knows what he would have done. Her entire campaign up until then was all against her own sex...
What was wrong with the old way.. Some long shots do pretty well... How about Mine That Bird?
Dear Hawthorne Park, we thought about it again and nope you're still not in the club. /s/ Churchill Downs
TB Times 8-30-12 "Churchill rejects appeal to add Illinois Derby to qualifying races"
I'm reminded of a song by Denis Leary from back in 1993 (uncensored).Quote:
"We flew down there for a meeting and it was suggested that moving the date would be of significance," Hawthorne President Tim Carey told the Chicago Tribune. "We were willing to move (from early April) to March to be part of it, and we got back to them. About three days later we got a letter from [Churchill President Kevin Flannery] saying 'No, we can't do it.' "
Businesses like to destroy their competitors. It's the nature of the beast. Competition tends to the creation of monopolies. Been proved time after time.
The whole point of race meets with different tracks running at different times was to avoid competition.
Federal regulation would be far preferable to one track owning the biggest race being able to determine what its competitors have to do.
From the DRF story:
It has been widely speculated that the exclusion of the Illinois Derby was intended as a blow to Hawthorne, which last year defended its spring meeting rather than allowing Arlington Park — owned by CDI — to open in May and to use revenue from several months of dark time simulcasts to bolster purses.
"Everybody knows the Illinois Derby belongs, and everybody knows the rest of the story," two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer and Hall of Fame member Carl Nafzger told the Chicago Tribune.
I have no issue with competition but this isn;t competition. It's CD (which owns what is arguably the biggest race in the game) deciding that another track's "prep" for the big race doesn't count toward eligibility.
TB racing has not historically used qualifiers. Horses have not had to win X in order to race in Y. Connections usually have had the ability to prepare where they choose for bigger events. The oversubscription to the Derby in the last 2 decades forced CD to find a way to limit the field size. Graded earnings made sense. Now they have decided to effectively use the KY Derby as a tool to put another track (Hawthorne) out of business.
Egads the just released official 2013 Kentucky Derby 139th logo couldn't look any more woefully inadequate.