By Gene Kershner, EquiSpace
as the anticipation builds (are you
holding your breath?) for the Breeders'
Committee to release their rotation plan for the next few Cups (or maybe more), I am putting out
there my dream rotation and in-depth reasons why. There is much debate on whether pre-setting
the lineup makes sense or not. My dream plan rotates a synthetic track in
every three to four years, rotates the larger venues more frequently, and adds
a "boutique" or smaller track every four years or so.
Of course 2010 is set in stone at Churchill
Downs, so we'll start the dream rotation with 2011.
2011 - Belmont Park. It'll have been six years since the Big Sandy
hosted. I remember it well being in
Hilton Head on a golf trip in '05 with a few horseballs who skipped the back
nine for the start of the Cup (whatever
happened to Stevie Wonderboy, by the
2012 - Del Mar. One of the "boutique" rotations,
and also notching a synthetic track on the rotation. Warm weather, great
facility, Southern California knows how to promote it....if they could pull
this off it would be tremendous.
2013 - Churchill Downs. Why not? The facility is ginormous; they can
pack 'em in and maybe the first ones under the lights? Plus it'll be the big 5-0 for me and a cool
2014 - Aqueduct Racetrack. OK, stop laughing, it should take about 5
years to get the renovations done and since they'll have selected the winning
bidder for the VLT's in 2012, it should be good to go in 2014. Hey, I guy can dream, no? (Sidenote: Parking issues aside, they did host the event
back in 1985)
2015 - Keeneland. Let's give a brother a chance. Questions on the capacity and parking could
be solved via temporary/infield seating and a shuttle service? It's a great facility and deserves to hold
the Cup someday. Boutique/synthetic
rotation: check and check.
2016 - Hialeah Park. Holy smokes would that be great or what? Let it Ride, baby.
2017 - Belmont Park. The six year rule would kick in and bring it
back to New York, New York (start
spreadin' the news).
2018 - Woodbine. Synthetic rotation and I'm only 90 minutes
away in Buffalo, which is why it had to make the rotation. May have to bring in some large space heaters.
Backup plan: Santa Anita. 24 years is a long waiting period for our
2019 - Gulfstream Park. Nice Florida weather, although the hot
weather may alienate the Euros. Would
need to add some additional seating on the stretch drive to do the trick. 20 year anniversary of the last GP Cup.
2020 - Santa Anita. Surreal setting where we can't go longer than
10 years without a return visit. Great
sightlines (20/20 get it?)
I know there are some notable tracks missing here (Arlington, Old Hilltop and Monmouth to name a few), but that's my
ten year plan with some serious speculation regarding a couple of the