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?