Ridiculous Predictions for the New Year

Here are 10 off-the-wall predictions for 2011. The way things go in horse racing, there’s probably a chance one or two of them will come to fruition. …

The Triple Crown television situation will remain in disarray, with each race shown on a different network. The Belmont Stakes will be shown on a cable network with few viewers—and Thoroughbred racing will have its first Triple Crown winner since 1978.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will create a system for the public to vote online for divisional championships and Horse of the Year. The results won’t determine the actual winners, but won’t they be interesting?

Lexington, Ky., will have at least one seven-day-a-week sports bar and restaurant off-track betting facility worthy of the “horse capital of the world.” Degenerates will be able to watch and wager on Mountaineer racing on Monday nights for the first time ever in the Bluegrass.

The winner of the now-graded $1 million Charles Town Classic will win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Maryland racing interests will have a plan for the future in place before requests for 2012 racing dates are due to the Maryland Racing Commission.

California will revert to its previous pari-mutuel takeout rates.

The Kentucky horse industry will say “enough is enough” and racetracks will install outlaw Instant Racing machines after the state General Assembly fails to act—again.

The Kentucky Cup championship will return to Turfway Park funded by a share of millions of dollars in racing-related money that has been accruing for several years but hasn’t been spent, and may never be spent, on equine drug testing and research.

Video lottery terminals will begin operating at Aqueduct—on time.

Hialeah Park will attempt to offer some Thoroughbred racing as part of its license, and horsemen will fight the plan.

Happy New Year! … Could it be more ridiculous than the last one?

63 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Jason Shandler

The fact that Lexington does not have any OTBs outside of Keeneland is laughable. How is this even possible?

30 Dec 2010 11:35 AM
kev

1) Enough is Enough, raising the takeouts should bring in a lot of new fans. 2) If NJ's governor Chris Christie runs for President, racing's days are numbered.

30 Dec 2010 11:56 AM
charlie

The day Maryland has its act together before the racing days are due......there will be a major freeze in hell! I wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year!

30 Dec 2010 12:07 PM
aspradling

I agree with Jason, BHG will come up with something is my prediction.

30 Dec 2010 12:09 PM
Slew

What I want to know is what does the NTRA hope to gain from their online poll.  I mean, honestly...in order to vote, you must give up all your personal information and release the names of all of your friends on FB???  Sorry, just too intrusive for me...especially when it doesn't even count.  Really?  Do I look that stupid???  OK-skip that last question.

And Tom...your predictions...do I giggle now or later?  Aren't they postdictions?  Hey...I predict NYC will get 20 inches of snow, and not be able to handle it because they laid all their workers off to cut the budget. (The same $$ they're probably spending in unemployment benefits.)

30 Dec 2010 4:21 PM
Rachel

I love the Belmont on a cable channel and the first TC...LOL!!

30 Dec 2010 4:28 PM
jldecker

I hope your first prediction comes true, Tom. If ever there were a time for a network overhaul on the Triple Crown, hot off the heels of the Zenyatta media blitz would be it.

30 Dec 2010 4:46 PM
Richie D

And who might that Triple Crown winner be????

30 Dec 2010 5:16 PM
uclinden

Question --- are we to assume ( bad choice of a word ) that this future Triple Crown winner will have won the Charles Town Classic, and then went on to win the Breeders Cup Classic all in one year ??? Any predictions if you think that same horse might also win HOY honors too???

30 Dec 2010 5:27 PM
coup verville

Todd Pletcher, in his quest to prove Quality Road is the ultimate distance horse, brings QR out of retirement to run in the BC Marathon. Claiming that QR looked tired in the Classic this year, he uses the Donn as a prep race and then decides to train him up to the BC. 3 furlong breezes every 10 to 14 days should keep him nice and fresh for the big day!!!

30 Dec 2010 7:21 PM
Coldfacts

California will produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner thus breaking break its 38-year drought  

30 Dec 2010 7:34 PM
JerseyTom

I don't know how it's possible Jason considering its legal. There is a law allowing it.

30 Dec 2010 7:42 PM
John

And Delaware Park will bring back Sunday racing so parents can bring their children to a fun day at the track. Possible future racing fans.

This track does have fun things for the kids to do. Slides, moon bounce, monkey bars, etc.

30 Dec 2010 7:43 PM
JerseyTom

No Charles Town Classic/Triple Crown winner in same year. Not happening. ... and to clarify because I don't mean to offend: The reason a CT Classic/BC Classic double seems a big stretch is because if tradition holds, many owners will bypass the $1 million grade III to run in a $250,000 grade I. And please don't ask me why that is. I'd run for the million even if the race is around three turns.

30 Dec 2010 7:47 PM
Happy Hoof

LOL....just what have you been smoking Tom? @ Slew...too funny too!

30 Dec 2010 7:53 PM
Rocky Road Farm

Here is what happens to Hialeah in 2011: First they get SLOTS!!!!....Then they will come up with purses like Monmouth had in the summer.....Then the winner of the $1,000.000 Flamingo wins the DERBY!!!!!!

30 Dec 2010 7:55 PM
The_Knight_Sky racing blog

To all paid entrants:

Yuengling bottle giveway on Haskell Day 2011.  ;-)

30 Dec 2010 8:36 PM
JerseyTom

Yuengling bottle giveaway!!! Love it.

30 Dec 2010 9:03 PM
Barry

Fining Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez the amount of the winner's purse they would have won if Life at Ten would have finished 1st in the Ladies' Classic. Also some major suspensions would be nice. Many people lost a lot of money on their bad decisions to run that horse.

30 Dec 2010 9:25 PM
anniedixie65

I definately agree with the first one. I can feel that there is going to be a Triple Crown winner, I have who I like already, one can't help but pick, but who knows....

30 Dec 2010 10:19 PM
Christine

I have a ridiculous prediction: Chicago politics will be flushed down the toilet, racing in Illinois will soon become better, and (oh please, oh please!) they take that horrible polytrack out of Arlington!

30 Dec 2010 10:28 PM
Jen

Hey, CA produced KY Derby winner Giacomo dude...that was only 5 yrs ago, not to mention Pioneer of the Nile 2nd in Derby, Rags to Riches's KYOaks & Belmont, Lookin at Lucky's Preakness, Colonel John's Travers and the Queen herself, Zenyatta.  CA is just fine...

31 Dec 2010 2:54 AM
Pboo

KY racing finds Life At Ten was drugged and trainer has been ruled off for life. LAT returns to racing under Zenyatta's trainer and wins the BC Classic.

31 Dec 2010 8:44 AM
Fran Loszynski

I don't think the prediction that we have a Triple Crown Winner is so far fetched! There are some great racehorses waiting in the wings. Great trainers training and great jockeys riding. It is going to be a Triple Crown year and we all know who I'm betting on. An Afleet Alex colt or filly.

AWESOME !!!

31 Dec 2010 8:45 AM
Brian Zipse

Thoroughbreds at Hialeah ... Ridiculously Excellent!!!

31 Dec 2010 9:01 AM
Slew

Jen: Those horses you mentioned trained in Calif., but none were born there.  They were all Ky.-bred.   Now...for a champion born in California...how did you skip Lava Man?  or even Bold Chieftain?  Those horses are more Californian than your governor.

31 Dec 2010 9:03 AM
Mr. Racing

>> Hey, CA produced KY Derby winner Giacomo dude <<

Please don't remind us!

Thanks in advance!!

31 Dec 2010 9:34 AM
Rachel

Mr. Racing, you mean you would turn down owning him? I wouldn't turn down any horse that earned me 2 1/2 Million and won the KD...in fact, I dream of owning a horse like that!

31 Dec 2010 12:22 PM
MikeM

Indian casino opens at the former site of Roosevelt Raceway. NYRA has no choice but to cut purses.

31 Dec 2010 12:31 PM
JerseyTom

You guys are coming up with some really good ones. ...

31 Dec 2010 2:12 PM
quarterhossgal

Yes....fans will vote for Horse of the Year.  Love that!

31 Dec 2010 2:44 PM
BAILEY

uncle mo will be the next triple crown winner!!!!!

31 Dec 2010 4:39 PM
sean

this has nothing to do with the topic, but can someone inform me how Dubai racing supports itself if there is no betting at all. i cant even imagine that, with all that is happening out in california with their new takeout. And is this unique to Dubai or Saudi Arabia as well?

31 Dec 2010 6:23 PM
Convene

How about this one: it will be illegal to breed any sound horse younger than 6 so that horses can go back to building a good collection of fans - who just might stay fans of the game once they've really gotten into it. Hey it'll work. Look at the fans Zenyatta made by being out there so long! Isn't that why we all still revere the memory of horses like Citation and John Henry and Round Table and so on? Sure, they were super-good - but they were out there long enough to steal our hearts away! (And they didn't have raceday meds back then either!)

31 Dec 2010 7:23 PM
Miss Woodford

A Triple Crown winner cannot also win the CT Classic in the same year because the CT Classic is for 4 & Up :)

My prediction is that the steeplechase races at Saratoga are removed because bettors go bloo bloo bloo at trying to handicap them. They already trashed the Lonesome Glory this year and the chases at Keeneland and Churchill a couple years back.

31 Dec 2010 7:28 PM
Cal Bred Owner

Prediction for 2011: Tom LaMarra will be the next talking head for TVG or HRTV.

31 Dec 2010 10:17 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

* CHRB orders GG Fields, Del Mar, and Hollywood Park to get dirt tracks exactly like Santa Anita ASAP if not sooner.

* Kentucky Racing Board orders that all tracks have dollar slot machines paying out real silver dollars minted prior to 1930.

* The Breeder's Cup orders no more over watering to appease European cry babies.

* Churchill Downs returns money to all of those who bet on Life At Ten who have ADW accounts, since it can be proven. They promise to give the money back to all of those who bet cash and still have their stub or to those that swear on a stack of Bibles that they made the bet. Limit 2 per household and $500 cap.

* NY Horse Racing Board orders all OTBs to reopen and serve free beers for all of 2011 to all customers that bet at least $2.

* Louisiana Horse Racing Board orders that all horses that knock other horses around as if they were Rocky Marciano actually be disqualified.

* Calvin Borel loses the Derby after being blocked on the rail by a Budweiser Clydesdale entered for that purpose. He qualified by winning the one million Bud Invitational as the only horse entered. Don't ask how it became a graded stakes. Nobody is talking.

01 Jan 2011 12:07 AM
Bellwether

THE KEY$TONE STATE I$ BARE N DOWN ON THE BLUEGRA$$ BABY!!!...OTHER$ WILL FOLLOW THEIR LEAD...BU$T N THAT GRIP...R.I.P...ty...

01 Jan 2011 5:08 AM
Bellwether

ALL...READY PUT N THE MOE JOE ON "THE MO MAN"...STEWARTS RITE N A NOVEL ON "LIFE AT TEN" DEAL...BUT "THE TA$TE" WON'T GOE AWAY...THANK GOODNE$$???...CAN'T KILL "THE GAME"!!!...ty...

01 Jan 2011 5:30 AM
Stewart

Franch Stronach admits he is wrong and sells all racing properties to responsible owners who turn around the tracks.  Everyone celebrates over a round of Frank's Energy Drink.

01 Jan 2011 5:53 AM
UCLinden

Rachel ( 31Dec2010 )--- never give up on a dream.

01 Jan 2011 7:04 AM
Barry C.

Wow!  I don't know.  Anything is possible.  Let's say we do have a Triple Crown winner.  I project it will be a filly!  Colonial Downs will make a bid to host a future Breeders' Cup!  Thoroughbreds returning to Hialeah...FAB!  Life At Ten will return to racing better than ever, and win HOY!  I'm giggling!

01 Jan 2011 9:46 AM
thebigdog

kudos to the Del Park racing on Sunday idea. Certainly the best paddock and picnic area of ANY track. They are missiing the boat here, but then again, do they REALLY care about racing at all ??

01 Jan 2011 10:27 AM
gailg

How's this for ridiculous--Now that Zenyatta is retired, Rachel Alexandra will come out of retirement and win HOY 2011. ;)

01 Jan 2011 12:01 PM
PomDeTerre

1. "Todd Pletcher, in his quest to prove Quality Road is the ultimate distance horse, brings QR out of retirement to run in the BC Marathon" only after he and JV each serve a 2-month suspension for running Life At Ten in the Ladies' Classic

2. RE-renaming the "Ladies' Classic' the Distaff.

3. New York State refusing to bail out and resurrect the downstate OTB system and reinstating the purses that were in place before OTB defaulted on its broadcast payments.

4. Jess Jackson buys a $5000 claimer.

01 Jan 2011 1:06 PM
mz

I will decode Bellwether.  (I think I got close once in 2010.)

Horses will run in races (instead of playing duck and cover, leading to reams and reams of blogger comments about who would've done what to who in what race whenever).

And Dr. D, you are way too ridiculous about the Clydesdale.  Let's get serious.  Churchill will make a rule that if Calvin wants to run in the 2011 Derby, he REALLY has to run.  No horse.  He will, however, get a 100-pound weight allowance.  

P.S.  How you all doin' with our snow, guys?  Up here (Toronto), we're snickering at your wussy attempts to shovel.  

01 Jan 2011 2:13 PM
Rachel4Ever

Shall we watch racing begin (continue?) its slow fall to its knees, like a racehorse caught between two competitors when a hole closes too quickly?  Will we have another lucky, average-talent Kentucky Derby winner because of the ridiculously huge fields (possibly)? Where will the Preakness be? Will the rest of the Cali tracks re-convert to dirt? Well, as Santa Anita continues to succeed! Will we crack down on drugs? Perhaps, when I am an old woman reflecting on my young years. If racing still exists in 2051...Perhaps this is not a good time to read the magnificent book 'Kelso, the Horse of Gold', because it makes the recent times even sorrier.

01 Jan 2011 4:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

MZ

  The Racing Commission has ordered Calvin and Javier Castellano to enter a 3-legged potato sack race together before either will be allowed to ride In the Derby or BC again. So Calvin has to pass that hurdle first. How many martinis did you drink last night? Or did you stick to your resolution of the previous year?

01 Jan 2011 7:04 PM
Robin from Maryland

Hopefully, Maryland racing will get its act together before we lose the Preakness.  A TC winner would be nice, and CB will win another KD with a blindfold and hopping backwards!!!  Seriously Happy, Healthy New Year to all!

01 Jan 2011 10:26 PM
Ike

Pboo, I dont know if Todd Pletcher would be stupid enough to make the same mistake twice. Especially at BC day and in KY.

01 Jan 2011 11:04 PM
Gallopracerfan

1. Zenyatta will be bred to Tiznow or A.P Indy.

2. Royal Delta will have an impact on the Triple Crown.

3. Sea The Stars' weanlings will sell for more than $250,000 each

4. Azeri and Ghostzapper's 3yo ( Take Control) will also have a huge impact on the Triple Crown.

5. Flat racehorses will not be allowed to retire until they are at least 4yo (unless injured), and steeplechase horses will not be allowed to retire until at least 9yo (unless injured).

02 Jan 2011 8:01 AM
UCLinden

I think we all left out a prediction ----

the time span between the Triple Crown races will be changed !!!

02 Jan 2011 8:29 AM
Rachel

I totally agree with re-renaming the "Ladies' Classic" to the much classier "Distaff"

OK, my predictions for New England TB Racing:

1. Rockingham Racetrack has a Thoroughbred meet and begins the return to its former glory...

2. The Mass Cap is actually run.

3. The TC winner is a claimer from the Suffolk 3-year-old ranks!

02 Jan 2011 10:23 AM
Carlos in Cali

The Tampa Bay Downs track announcer finally pronounces a horse's name correctly.

The Jockey Club will not allow any more horses named Karakourum's-something, Warren's-something, and Kitten's-something.

FOB will be disbanded on account of the FBI labeling them an active terrorist group.

02 Jan 2011 12:24 PM
Rachel

Ok, one serious prediction:

Sidney's Candy learns to rate & gets grade 1s on all 3 surfaces to become the second horse to accomplish the feat and the first to do it in one year...

02 Jan 2011 12:30 PM
Mary

Dr. Drunkinbum, you are so very funny. Potato sack race LOL LOL.

02 Jan 2011 10:20 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tom and Jason will put some pizzazz into their video show- Tom and Jason and The Other Guy Show. They're going to spruce it up with some lively guests, some bold predictions, and even pick some winners. It will be a whole new format with new outfits, a renewed confidence, with some humerous antics, and giveaways with some really good prizes. A new car!!!!!  A brand new kitchen!!!! A trip to Keeneland for bar hopping with Tom and Jason, and another guy!!!!

03 Jan 2011 12:51 AM
Slew

AP Indy just got very upset...he says he sired Take Control, not Ghostzapper, and he really liked Azeri. (They are now pen pals, but he doesn't understand Japanese.) Dr D: I think Tom, Jason, and another guy should wear jockey silks for their show for that extra pizazz.  

03 Jan 2011 9:15 AM
Rachel

Carlos in Cali, those were really good!!

Slew, that was good...

03 Jan 2011 10:54 AM
CHoffman

Del Mar gets jealous of Santa Anita's oh so wonderful dirt track and the eastern trainers it attracts and tells the California racing authorities it will install its own dirt track.

The armpit called Hollywood Park is bought by someone with a real interest in racing and attracting people who actually have money.  (OK....that's really wishful thinking.  More likely Hollywood Park is sold to provide space for a Walmart.  No one in racing misses it.)

04 Jan 2011 12:29 AM
cls

In the first prediction, there are two parts and both parts can NOT come true. If there is going to be a Triple Crown winner, the Belmont will definitely have lots of viewers.

04 Jan 2011 6:44 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Tom

   Now you're talkin'. Good way to add a little pizzazz to the show with the $20 bet, and accountability. Eat some Pirate's Booty and then kick some.

06 Jan 2011 5:43 PM
Smith

Dr Drunkinbum, can we bet on the Clydesdales?

07 Mar 2011 2:28 PM

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