Some Post-Breeders' Cup 2011 Ramblings

Some post-Breeders' Cup ramblings: 

There were more than several tweets noting handicapping exhaustion and inability to keep track of horses given 15 Breeders’ Cup races this year. … So have we finally maxed out on the number of races? Hint: Yes.

My reaction when the new Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint was announced earlier this year wasn’t positive, but after looking at the situation I figured a 2-year-old race worth a half-million dollars at six furlongs would at least get 16 pre-entries since it was designed to appease  nominators and owners. … Nine-horse field equals major disappointment; not a great betting race.

Kentucky racing remains at a competitive disadvantage purse-wise but not breeding-wise; 11 of the 15 Cup winners this year were bred in the Bluegrass. … And it’s quite funny Turfway Park, often called one of the Kentucky circuit’s “weak links,” has now produced a Breeders’ Cup winner in each of the last three years, as well as a Kentucky Derby winner this year. … For the record, Ireland had two, and California and Florida each had one Cup winner this year.

Debate is good, and this year’s Cup results already have triggered plenty of that. You know it’s wide-open when people mention a starter allowance horse that has won 19 straight races as a candidate for Horse of the Year—even if it is tongue-in-check. … Or is it?

What’s the over/under on undefeated 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia getting votes for Horse of the Year?

Dr. Kendall Hansen, owner of Juvenile winner Hansen, has been called a character. So after winning the Juvenile, he got down on his hands and knees and kissed the ground in the winner’s circle. Crazy, yes, but we need more of this kind of thing to liven things up. … This is supposed to be fun, right?

I’ve never covered a major non-racing sporting event so I can’t make comparisons, but I would guess the media has access to food for more than two hours. Not sure what happened this year but it seems Breeders’ Cup dropped the ball, especially considering many media members work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Cup days. … If anyone needs tips on how to do it right, contact the Preakness organizers.

Handicapping races and betting horses is without a doubt the best gambling game around. There are so many angles to consider. … How many of you noticed that in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, trainer Todd Pletcher ran two horses—but John Velazquez rode Stephanie’s Kitten for Wayne Catalano. … He must have a good agent.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear touted Churchill Downs as the best venue for the Breeders’ Cup. … The mayor of Los Angeles said he would like the event in Southern California every year. … The New York Racing Association believes Belmont Park shouldn’t be left out of the mix. … It’s looking more and more like a three-track rotation to me.

Churchill takes a lot of heat for different things, but taking weather out of the equation, if I had a vote on best Cup venue facilties-wise. …

After the Saturday races Shandler and I stopped at a Cracker Barrel outside of town. The waitress asked us if we were at the Breeders’ Cup and why, and when paying the bill, two employees starting talking about Court Vision and other horses they liked. … It’s a small-market city, but I’ve got to say there may be no other place that embraces horse racing—and the gambling aspect of it—like Louisville.

I made it through yet another major racing event at Churchill without getting hit in the chest with a loaded beer bottle thrown by a drunk in the Papa John’s Stadium parking lot after the races. … I’m not making that up.

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