Breeders' Cup goes back-to-back at Santa Anita

Breeders' Cup announced it will hold its two-day championship event at Santa Anita Park in 2013, for the second year in a row.

Nothing against Santa Anita, but as a fan, I liked the Breeders' Cup a lot more when it rotated its venue every year.

The rotation that went California-New York-Kentucky-Random Track was perfect. Every fourth year we got to see the Breeders' Cup at a mid-level track such as Arlington Park, Monmouth, Lone Star, etc...and there was balance between the East Coast, Midwest, and the West Coast. As a fan, to me it felt like we all owned a piece of the championship day. 

I realize there are monetary and logistical reasons Breeders' Cup is going away from the rotation, but I do think it takes a little something away from the spirit of the event.

Remaining at Santa Anita grants a huge competitive advantage to the West Coast-based horses and their connections in 2012 and '13.


We analyzed the FourStarDave Handicap (G2) today on That Handicapping Show. Despite a Saratoga turf that often carries horses with forward energy profiles, I could not resist Data Link, who is a standout on may favorite angle on the turf: late pace.

Twice, Data Link has turned in 22-1 final quarters (on 12-4-11 winning a NW3 at GP, and when winning the Makers Mark [G1] at Keeneland on 4-13-12). His fifth-place finish in the Turf Classic on Derby Day was a complete toss. He never got enough room to use his acceleration. This four-year-old War Front colt has really come into his own the last eight months.

The result of the FourStarDave could be the deciding factor in which Breeders' Cup race trainer Charles Lopresti points Wise Dan to. Dirt Mile? Classic? Turf Mile?


I am travelling to Chicago for the Arlington Million next week, and Blood-Horse is going to host a chat on Friday, August 17 at noon, for us to share handicapping angles. More details to follow.

Time to start handicapping this weekend's races.


Leave a Comment:

Kitten's Kitten

I was disappointed to see that the Breeders' cup is once again back to back at Santa Anita. While it's a beautiful track (thank you for going back to dirt!), I'd have loved and adored to see it at Arlington or Belmont.

I loved your third paragraph. It summed things up for me perfectly! To me, the Breeders' Cup is horse racing's Superbowl and much like the Superbowl the venue changed yearly. What would a Superbowl be if it was held at one of two stadiums, back to back, year after year? Boooooring!

Looking forward to the day the Breeders' Cup is anywhere but SA or Churchill!

09 Aug 2012 9:09 PM

I completely disagree with your so called fairness to rotate the BC. Gulfstream has been eliminated because it only holds what 20k people after the remodel. Hey Lonestar was a great idea, they had to add grandstands to the backstretch because the place cant support a crowd. Good horses only run @ AP 3 weekends a year and everyone ragged SA for being synthetic, last time I checked, the maintrack @ AP is polytrack. Also, it is real balmy in Arlington Heights in November. Monmouth was a great idea, what, it rained 5 straight days, what a joke! Really Woodbine again, polytrack and yielding to soft turf. Hey lets decide a championship on that. If you support that scenario then don't use SA synthetic surface as an excuse for Curlin getting his head handed to him by Raven's Pass. I have been to the Kentucky Derby the last 5 years and talk about an overrated venue for the common race fan. Their paddock is huge, are you kidding me. Sit on the finish line for 500 bucks in a non-padded chair. I know this because I have sat on the finish line for the Derby. There is a lot to do in Louisville in November. Anyone for a Louisville Cardinal college game, Wow the excitement! Oh yeah, really, you run half the races under lights because that is done all year. You talk about the west coast horse having an advantage, CD is argueably the biggest horse-for-course track in the country. So only one circut has an advantage. You use the example of the Super Bowl, well go look it up and see the last time they played a Super Bowl game outdooors in a cold climate, they don't because they want people to enjoy themselves. Geez, what a concept. New York for the Super Bowl will be the first time and guess who will have the advantage? Oh, also, hope it doesnt' snow. Then again, they can always close the roof. Oh yeah there isn't one. For whatever excuse you can use for people sending their horse away from the west coast to prepare for the big day, well it goes both ways. SA can hold a field of 14 in any race. Until you can gaurentee a even racetrack for the championship day, then what else is there? The day it rains on BC day @ Santa Anita would be the first. SA HAS IT ALL FOR THE FAN. Sorry Mr. Baldwin pick the best spot back in 1934. You should embrace it. Don't you want to go visit Mickey Mouse?

09 Aug 2012 11:27 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Arlington or Woodbine!.  I am truly turned off of the Breeders Cup.. It lost that aura around their ONE day of racing.  Now it is watered down over two days, at the same tracks year in and year out.  Bring it back up north!!.  Arlington, or Woodbine!.  Go POLY BABY it will bring MORE international horses.  

09 Aug 2012 11:38 PM

Completely agree that what started out as America's Day at the Races, something which was intended to rotate around so fans in most regions of the country could get a chance at some point to attend has been greatly lessened in the last few years by only being held at two tracks.

No offense to those who live in Cali or Kentucky, but what about the rest of us - who do not live in either place and have a hard time getting time off of work to travel to either?

10 Aug 2012 12:10 AM

I got dizzy reading Exbourne's comments, and literally had to figure out when to breath when reading his post.  He did make some good points (and I'm assuming he knows what he's talking about the tracks.)

I've only been to SA once, it's a nice track but it's too crowded for me and honestly, it's very hard to find betting machines that are convenient since I like being outside and there's really not that many TVs inside.  I wouldn't mind if it's held at CD a lot but Belmont and LoneStar are probably two that I would like to see the BCC at again.

10 Aug 2012 1:31 AM

Pete : what races are you handicapping this weekend ?

10 Aug 2012 1:40 AM
Mary Zinke

JayJay, I love to read comments like Exbourne's--hilarious, but based in fact. I'm selfishly glad about Santa Anita hosting the BC races for this year and 2013, as it's not that long of a drive. After that it's Belmont or Monmouth's turn.  To start off this weekend's picks, Saratoga Special: 4,6,3. Dominguez to take Southern Honor to the front and not look back. Well, maybe a peek. GL

10 Aug 2012 2:09 AM

i agree with Camelot in the St.Leger go poly for the international horses its called world championship for a reason so go poly

10 Aug 2012 6:42 AM

the reason few europeans come to the breeders cup is they don't consider beating a bunch of drugged up american horses much of an accomplishment.

10 Aug 2012 8:30 AM
lunar spook

i would like to see it run in ireland or england every few years, they have some of the best fans and horses anywhere! i love to watch the coolmore stud horses run,i just would hope enough american horses would make the trip !

10 Aug 2012 10:01 AM
Pedigree Ann

Lunar spook - In the 80s and 90s, the BC and EBF (European Breeders' Fund) had a cozy relationship whereby EBF nominated horses could run in the BC while BC nominated horse could fun in EBF races over there. Lot of US-breds were being sold to Europe in those days.

It was a great deal for the Euros, as EBF fees were lower than BC fees. But then the BC decided to end the agreement, because EBF horses were taking much more out of the BC funds than US-bred horses were winning in EBF races, mostly maiden and condition races. The overseas participants have since dried up significantly; Coolmore horses, Dermot Weld, a few others come, but the numbers have dropped because fewer are eligible without supplemental fees.

Holding the races overseas would be cost prohibitive for most US owners who aren't named Phipps, Stronach or Strawbridge, so it would be the rich people's BC. Also, the only non-turf tracks in Ire/GB are Poly/FibreSand/etc., no dirt, and most are right-handed. And have you ever BEEN there in November? Cold, wet, low clouds, turf bottomless; I went to the 'chases at Huntington in November - felt like I would freeze solid. Having the BC in Ireland or GB is a nonstarter.

10 Aug 2012 10:52 AM
Pete Denk


I handicapped the Arlington and Saratoga cards for Saturday. That Saratoga card is NOT pretty!

Arlington's card is ok. The weekend before (and after) the Million usually feature weaker cards.

Million Day is very special. I highly recommend a trip to the Arlington Million to any of you who have not been there.

10 Aug 2012 10:54 AM
Pete Denk


That was a fairly entertaining rant! Please give us paragraph breaks in the future. Welcome to the blog.

10 Aug 2012 11:06 AM
lunar spook


10 Aug 2012 11:08 AM
Pete Denk


No doubt the drug rules have become an issue between Europe and America, as have surfaces.

10 Aug 2012 11:10 AM
Slew Dee-va

I will be the first to admit I was disappointed that the Breeder's Cup will be held at Santa Anita again in 2013. Not because of the travel or the amenities or even the track, but simply because I want to see as many tracks as possible AND go to the BC every year. Going to the same track over and over defeats the purpose for me.

That being said...Am I the only person that read the article that stated Santa Anita, Churchill Downs & Monmouth are the ONLY tracks that applied for 2013?  The BC committee cannot award the event to a track that doesn't want it. (I don't know why it wasn't given to Monmouth)  Instead of complaining about which track gets awarded the event, perhaps we should ask our favorite tracks to actually apply for it.

Just my two cents worth...

10 Aug 2012 12:57 PM

It is very sad to say, but it doesn't really matter where the Breeders Cup is anymore... most European horses are not going to come.

Not only does the Breeders Cup lose out on attracting European horses due to the Arc in early October, but now the Breeders Cup is also losing out on attracting more top European horses since the creation of the British Championship Series and British Champions Day held in mid/late October (this year it is on the 20th).  So the top Euros can target the prestigious Arc with a purse of almost $5 million in early October and/or the Champions Stakes with a purse of over $2 million in mid/late October.  I wouldn't consider taking my horse to the Breeders Cup turf with a purse of $3 million either, when there are comparable targets in your own backyard.

Racing in America needs a turf race with a huge purse at a track with a mild climate and a nice turf course, and the race should be held on a date that does not conflict with any of the top races on the European racing calendar. I wish the Arlington Million was held over labor day weekend like it used to be and had a purse of $5 million.

Anyway, the racing on the undercard at Saratoga tomorrow is dismal at best.  This looks much like last Saturday... full of maiden races and n1X/n2L conditions.

The Whitney saved the day last Saturday and lets hope the Fourstardave does the same.

The Fourstardave looks like a very closely matched race and I can't quite figure out how it is going to unfold. I am going to take a stab on #8 Upgrade as this horse seems to have improved slightly since being taken over by Nihei. If Upgrade can improve just a little more, I think he can run with anyone in this race going a mile on the turf. The horse has tactical speed and a closing kick, and that can be a great advantage in a closely matched mile turf race.

If for some reason Get Stormy gets away with a moderate pace on or near the lead, he could be very tough over one of his favorite surfaces. Get Stormy ran a very good second in the Baruch comming off the Monmouth last year. However, I assume Yield Bogey will show more pace again as he is stretching back out and will pressure Get Stormy, and Wise Dan could also be in the early mix.

I most definately respect Data Link, but for some reason I think a mile might be a little short for him tomorrow.  He will be running late and may fill out the trifecta.

I think Right One will show much improved form and Corporate Jungle could run a big race, as I am not going to hold his last effort against him.

I guess I can't bet them all and expect to make a decent profit, so to take a stand, I will put Upgrade on top, with Get Stormy and Right One in second, with those two and Data Link, Wise Dan, and Corporate Corporate Jungle to round out the tri.

Good luck to all!

10 Aug 2012 2:44 PM
Pete Denk

Big Bux-

I like the odds on Right One.

Trip is very important on Saratoga turf. I am a little concerned about Solis on Data Link, but he has ridden him many times and should know the horse by now.

BTW, good call on Fort Larned last week.

10 Aug 2012 4:34 PM

Although I live on the west coast and Santa Anita is an attractive venue - it's close and the weather is great even in November, it's a shame that the Breeders' Cup officials don't move the BCUP to eastern tracks with more cut to their turf.  BCUP officials should realize besides the beauty and dirt at SA, the grass is not to  European horses' liking, and for many US turf horses as well. Belmont Park with its great grass, and Arlington, Churchill make for a more attractive venue to EU horses that run better on grass with a little more cut than the CA grass of SA.  If SA is to hold the BCUP in 2012 and 2013, maybe they can be convinced to plant better grass and keep it to a more realistic surface than their 'pool-table.'

10 Aug 2012 4:48 PM
Criminal Type

Like Shanghai Bobby in the Special. Kuaui Kate in the Adirondack.

10 Aug 2012 8:25 PM
Criminal Type

Like Shanghai Bobby in the Special. Kuaui Kate in the Adirondack.

10 Aug 2012 8:25 PM
Matthew W

I live out  here so I'm all for the Cup at The Great Race Place! Besides, where else can I get to see Chuck Norris's wig slipping off in 100 degree weather, like I saw in 2003!

10 Aug 2012 9:58 PM
Matthew W

Wha? Euros have dominated in recent years at Santa Anita BCups!

10 Aug 2012 9:59 PM
Matthew W

1st time starter, tonight at Los Al, last race (9th), the outside horse, Matabari, #7, 6-1 morning line...dam was a runner, a beautiful grey, and I notice this two year old filly is also grey...I threw somethin' on her nose, her dam made me a pretty penny!

10 Aug 2012 10:17 PM
Matthew W

2003, (last time I went), I remember Islington and High Chapparal dominating! Goldikova won big recently, as did Midday and the Euro horse also won the 1 1/2 race, so, EdK, it seems your logic is lacking! Euros have dominated over the Santa Anita Pool Table Turf Course!

10 Aug 2012 10:29 PM

Pete : You're right, Saratoga is tough but makes for a better betting.

Late .50 P4 Saratoga :  $8.00

08th : Seminole County / Burned Bridges

09th : Bomber Boy / Same Old Wish

10th : Major Gain

11th : Data Link / Right One / Upgrade and Corporate Jungle

Good luck to all playing tomorrow!

11 Aug 2012 1:28 AM
Mary Zinke

Fourstardave: Get Stormy, Data Link, Wise Dan, Corporate Jungle. 3,1,2,7.

La Jolla: Only 4 runners, so the fav, My Best Brother, to hang on again, although now I see he has sprint breeding; Blingo to close. 5,1. Not happy about this race.

11 Aug 2012 4:18 AM
Pete Denk


I also like Seminole County in SAR Race 8. That MCL he is coming out of was an above par race for the class level (full of class droppers).

A couple of my plays today got washed off the turf. Saratoga Races 1,2,4,7 are off the turf.

11 Aug 2012 11:02 AM
Pete Denk

Re: Santa Anita turf

A horse has to like a firm turf, but what Euro is going to ship to America if they need soft or worse to act?

Santa Anita has one of the best turf courses in America. Love the unique downhill course.

SA is a great venue for the Breeders' Cup. I just don't like keeping it anywhere two years in a row.

11 Aug 2012 11:09 AM
Mary Zinke

Sassy Image to close in the Gardenia. Mile work for a mile race by Joyful Victory. Juanita ran with the best, and I like the Salix free sprinter, Salty Strike. 11,3,2,1

11 Aug 2012 11:33 AM
Pete Denk

Mary, they just scratched Juanita, according to tweet from DRF's Marty McGee.

11 Aug 2012 11:47 AM
Pete Denk

If any of you bought the Saturday Locksmith analysis ($5), please drop me a note at peterdenk (AT) I will hook u up with a free edition in future.

We lost four horses to the track conditions at Saratoga (still 11 plays intact at SAR, AP and DMR). I turn my analysis in on Friday morning...

11 Aug 2012 11:58 AM
Mary Zinke

Thanks, Pete. Oh no, now I'll be tempted to give Absinthe Minded a chance. Okay, let's see what Calvin can do with her, one of my top broodmare picks. 11,3,1,5.

11 Aug 2012 12:02 PM

My bets for today:

Saratoga Late Pick 4

8) 12, 13, 14

9) 2, 4

10) 15, 16

11) 3, 7

Delmar Race 3) 8 WPS

9) Really like the 9.  

11 Aug 2012 1:11 PM
Mary Zinke

Good distance for Zomby, Kevin. I'm not sure that he likes DM, but GL.

11 Aug 2012 1:55 PM

Late .50 P4 Del Mar :  $10.00

07th : 1-4

08th : 1

09th : 11

10th : 10,9,11,5,8

Late .50 P4 Arlington :  $10.00

08th : 2

09th : 2,4,8,6

10th : 12

11th : 7-11

11 Aug 2012 2:01 PM
El Kabong

Amazed to see all the concern for Turf. What about the concern for a Sloppy Dirt Course? I for one do not like to see the Breeders Cup run where the Slop dictates so much of who runs that day. Terrible when all that wonderful talent has to run on a soupy course.

When they do return to run out east, maybe they should consider running the second or third week of October. It seems to make a big difference in weather and that was the original timing of the BC. With the move to November, it's going to be difficult to get the conditions if they don't consider the timing. Besides, I don't like it when the BC and Melbourne Cup are run so close together.

11 Aug 2012 4:22 PM
Pete Denk

With Data Link out, I am on Guys Reward in the 4stardave.

11 Aug 2012 6:36 PM
Pete Denk

Surf Rider also interesting at 13-1.

11 Aug 2012 6:38 PM
Matthew W

My last three first time starters have won impressively! Yesterday ay Del Mar I had Mechaya,she only paid $5 but she was the most impressive maiden winner of the meet so far!I love the angle of taking a horse out of dual first-time-winners!Last night at Los Al I hammered the first timer Matabari, (I also gave her out!), and she crept up from her opening odds of 6-1, to a fat 11-1, and she won by 1 1/2 lengths, which, at 300 yards, equates to a seven length thoroughbred win! Today at Del Mar I loved Midnight Ballet in the first, and if you haven't seen the race--do so! She must've made up twenty lengths, and she made up seven in the last 1/16! 8-1, and I hammered her, as well! Now if I can get my other big play home today I will be really stylin! Race 10, Del Mar: I boxed the fave, #9 Run On Residuals (5-2), with # 10 Sparkle Joel (15-1), and I played Sparkle Joel win/show! just had to bite on those big odds....

11 Aug 2012 8:51 PM

Slew Dee-va,

You pointed out that only three tracks had bid on the Breeder's Cup.

As my husband owns a business (though nothing racing related) I can point out the following can often be true in business dealings:

* preparing and presenting bids can be expensive in both time and money (and the more money is involved generally the more time and money a company has to pump into its bid and presentation)

* businesses often put out unofficial feelers to see if they have any chance at all in landing a bid before expending the time and money in preparing one

* if a company gets unofficial feedback that they will not be truly considered, they will usually not bother sinking its time and resources into preparing the bid

So - just because only three tracks put in official bids for the Breeder's Cup, it does not necessarily mean that only three tracks were interested in hosting it.

There might have been other interested tracks who were unofficially discouraged from bidding.

11 Aug 2012 9:23 PM
Matthew W

Am playing several at Los Al tonight! Race 4: #5 Fishie (4-1)....race 5: #2 Hidden Dash (7-2)....race 6 #4 Secretly Famous ((5-2).....race 7: #9 Mane Event (6-1)....race 8 I like two: #2 Checkspeed (20-1) and #8 Perrys Affair (9-5)....last but not least is my play of the night! race 9: #5 I'll Be a Dasher (8-1) and you can take that to the bank!

11 Aug 2012 9:26 PM
Matthew W

I think the N Y Bred,In Harms Way, has a big shot in the Saratoga Special tom...'think he will sit back off the pace battle and come a runnin--'think he's a horse of quality! At Del Mar, I fancy a couple of fillies tom: race 6: #7 Special Charm, (8-1), and race 9, # 12 Miss Oops (9-2)....

12 Aug 2012 1:26 AM
Criminal Type

This is totally off topic, but, Did anyone happen to see My Miss Aurelia's race on Wednesday ? And if you did, did you notice she did not change leads in the lane? Her rider tried to get her to change leads twice. One attempt was very noticable since she bobbed and weaved, the other not so noticable. She may have finally switched over to her right lead right before the wire, but with the other horse inside her, I couldnt tell for sure.  Im wondering if this is because she is still feeling her shin's. Anyway, I thought it was significant that she didn't want to run on her right lead. Also noticed Midnight Lute is having a good showing on the track this weekend with his babies, also The Green Monkey has had 2 second place finishers...go figure.

It looks like the weather will cooperate and Saratoga will be dry today. That being said I think the two favorites will win the 2 yr old stakes races today..The race I found more interesting was the 8th race an allowance on the turf going a mile and a sixteenth over the inner turf course which will be pretty deep after the rain yesterday. I personally like And Why Not in here for Michael Matz. She gets Rosario this time and I think she has a good shot. She's a nicely bred Street Cry filly who was 3rd at Del Mar last out. Don't know why but I have a feeling that Thisizsparta (never count out Jerkins at the Spa) and Bourbonstreetgirl will be heard from in this one as well. Glamour and Glory looks go off as the favorite, however if it comes off the turf, your MTO entries of Scampering and Draw It, may have the advantage.

12 Aug 2012 7:23 AM
Pedigree Ann

Mary Z., I hope you boxed the Tri! Good picking.

Why can't the BC be run at Hollywood Park, its very first venue, if the powers that be want it on the West Coast? Or at Aqueduct instead of Belmont if it finally ends up in New York again? Both have held it without incident in the past. And the weather at Churchill or in NY can be quite pleasant in late October/early November; I went last year and until the sun set and it got a bit cool, one couldn't have wanted a nicer day. (I have photos to prove that it was a sunny day, despite what reports may have said.)

Monmouth has the problem of no 7f chute - why run two sprints at 6f? (Indeed, why run two sprints at all; the best girls did fine without their own race. And, why have two juvenile turf races? There are barely enough 2yos who are established as quality stakes horses on the turf to fill one race. But I digress.)

The BC's problems are many and varied, most of their own making. The bad financial deal for the racetracks by the BC hogging revenue has reduced the number of tracks wanting to host. The introduction of 'consolation events' - the Dirt Mile and the Ladies' Sprint - watered down the fields for the main races. The turf sprint has no reason to be, since 'turf sprinters' in this country is not a division of any particular strength. Desperately trying to increase Euro participation with the turf juvie events, which come after most Euro juveniles have settled into their winter metabolism. Bad ideas piled on top of one another.

Hint to the management: claiming that your event is the "World's Championship" when it is clear that it is nothing of the sort just makes you look ridiculous. Wishing doesn't make it so.

12 Aug 2012 10:17 AM

Saying that the choice of location for the Breeders Cup involves a "bidding" process is just plain inaccurate.  It's more like an application for hosting privileges (and, I might add, an application for getting fleeced).  True, there's a certain amount of prestige accrued to the hosting facility, but the only actual revenues collected by the host are those related to concessions.  The Breeders Cup even pockets the parking fees!  The Breeders Cup does pay the operating expenses for the two days, and there is certainly a "rental fee" that they pay simply for the use of the plant, but that's about it.

Concerning returning the BC to Hollywood Park, that's never going to happen, and it's not just because the future of BHP is in such limbo right now.  All one has to do is remember that NOT ONE American dirt-prepped and dirt-campaigned horse even hit the board in any main-track BC race when it was held two years in a row on Santa Anita's Pro-ride!  Any suggestion that they might return to a synthetic surface ANYWHERE would produce a domestic outcry and yes, even boycott, that would be heard to the far corners of the country!  Del Mar seems to think that the only thing they need to do to get the BC is to widen their turf course.  Believe me, that's the least of their worries!  Previous hosts Arlington and Woodbine have also been self-eliminated from consideration as well.

I agree to a certain extent about the overloading of the Breeders Cup program.  The Turf Sprint is totally useless as far as I'm concerned, and the addition of a Juvenile Sprint is not only dumb, but in just it's first year, it had a huge impact on the outcome of the real BC Juvenile, imo.  If Secret Circle had been in the Juvenile itself, I think it's unlikely that Hansen would have won that race.  It's pure speculation, of course, but needs to be considered.

While I love the Filly & Mare Sprint as a stand-alone race because of the extremely high class level it has carried since its inaugural, it's still too bad that we won't have the opportunity to see some of these classy girls take on the boys anymore.

I think a turf race for 2yos is a good idea, but it should be just one for open-gender.  Adding a 2yo filly turf race was totally counter-productive.  I'm fine with the Dirt Mile (as long as it's on dirt and run at a mile) and the Marathon.  I actually enjoy them both.

I do believe that, because of the return to a dirt surface, the climate, and the size of the market, the Breeders Cup will end up making Santa Anita its permanent home eventually.  Not exactly in line with John Gaines's vision, but I do see it happening.

12 Aug 2012 12:05 PM
Mary Zinke

Pedigree Ann, No, unfortunately, I changed some of my picks due to the scratches and I didn't hit the super.

(Last) chance for Nereid today in the Mabee. I like her and City.  4,6,3 are my top picks.

I hope Street Sense's daughter, Vitameta, runs well against the favorite, Kauai Katie in the Adirondack, and I like Southern Honor's chances better with the scratch of Shanghai Bobby.  

12 Aug 2012 3:08 PM
Criminal Type

Damn, Shanghai Bobby out. I like Southern Honor in this case.

12 Aug 2012 3:20 PM

My only bet of the Day, #5 at Del Mar in the 2d.  

12 Aug 2012 4:46 PM
Blind Luck

Ok, Santa Anita does have a dirt track now, PLUS, beautiful weather. Enough Said.

13 Aug 2012 8:19 AM
Rachel NH

Actually, I've got to the point this year that I just hope I can get to see it on television...only HRTV and NBC Sports Network will televise the first 14 Breeders’ Cup races...

Up here where I live, Comcast doesn't even offer HRTV.

13 Aug 2012 12:38 PM

Best BC venue, period. It is borderline ridiculous to blast the choice of Santa Anita for the 2013 BC. I live in Kentucky and have been to 16 straight Cups. The best venue by far is Santa Anita. No weather issues to worry about the first weekend of November like Arlington, Belmont, Monmouth, and usually Churchill. At Santa Anita, your general admission ticket gets you right close and on the apron unlike any other host track. There are plenty of hotels that don't break the bank. You don't need to take a train to the track. And add that the nightlife and food options are second to none, I say that SA should be the permanent home or at least a part of a three track rotation. SoCal does it right and the othe other venues pale in comparison. Stay home and bet it at your home track, isn't it all about the card-quality anyway? Can't wait until November 2012 and 2013. Gods choice BC, it was a no-brainer.

13 Aug 2012 1:19 PM
Old Old Cat

Next year I will have my first homebred racehorse in competition as a two year old filly.  Her mother was a stakes grass horse and I am looking forward to qualifying for one of the BC events at Monmouth Park (or somewhere else close by).  Two years ago when I paid my BC nomination fee it was with the idea of hopefully competing.  If all the events are on the west coast, I threw my money away.  Speaking for many breeders/owners, it's not fair to collect money for an event years in advance, then change the rules to exclude all but the very very wealthy.

13 Aug 2012 7:32 PM

Congrats Old Old Cat, and good luck with your first homebred.  Hopefully you'll come back and share your experience specially if you and your horse makes it to the big races.

Alpha looks to be a lock for the Travers but I'm guessing he'll be a heavy heavy favorite.  I'm excited at a possible rematch with Gemologist now that Paynter is out.  At least something to make it exciting.

Who else is left ??  Where's creative cause, el padrino ??

14 Aug 2012 2:16 AM
Pete Denk

No published workouts for Creative Cause or El Padrino...

15 Aug 2012 11:17 AM
Lammtarra's Arc

Exbourne - Not everyone was against SA Poly track...if they were  it was because it was laid by a bunch of amateurs, just like when they relaid the dirt.  Poly IS the best way to assure that more International horses come over to run in the Breeders Cup "WORLD" Championship. All you people compalining about Artificial surfaces should take a long look in the mirror and get through your thick heads that only the BC Classic has any significance for you all, and your dirt racing.  The rest of the dirt races are pointless to anyone else who is not American.  Saying that Your whole rant above is really quite amusing, Just like the Title Breeders Cup WORLD Championships...

15 Aug 2012 4:02 PM
Age of Reason

Midnight Lute,

Well said! Now you know why the British racing press seemingly had more respect for Zenyatta than many of our own writers. Well, that and the fact that one of their champions (Twice Over) was left for dead by Z and Gio Ponti in the stretch of the Classic. I would personally love to see Del Mar host a Breeders Cup, at least once. Although polytrack is supposedly death to the traditionally speedy types, the rather short (for a major track) homestretch at Del Mar might help negate that.

15 Aug 2012 11:07 PM

I really don't have a preference whether a horse runs on artificial or dirt.  Poly became a popular topic (here at bloodhorse) because of Zenyatta, it was the main excuse for people who didn't want to recognize how great she was (and still is).  

I've seen people post that dirt is the only surface, and I think that's true for the great horses of the past.  Horses of our generation are no longer durable so I think the debate about synthetic vs dirt is really a moot point.  It doesn't matter where they run, they just get injured early and quite often.  I've said before, I'll be happy if these 3 yr olds run against overmatched horses all the time if it means they'll run past their 4 yr old season.

Pete : Thanks for the info on CC and EP.  Are you doing THS for the Arlington Million ?  Nice to see some imports in the race, I'm leaning towards spencer/o'brien's horse and I'll probably go all Inn.

16 Aug 2012 1:41 AM
Age of Reason


Thanks to Pete Denk we readers of are finally able to have intelligent discussions about a certain horse (whose name starts with Z and rhymes with Mondatta--catch my drift?) without being shouted down by She-Lost-Get-Over-It yellow journalism. There was a certain former troll on these forums who loved to refer to Zenyatta as "the state restricted poly champion". As if a horse's greatness is somehow defined by the surface or region where they happened to run most often. Heck, by that same rule I guess Zarkava was a French-restricted grass champion!

As far as synthetics go, I think Pletcher got it right when he stated back in '07, "In a perfect world we would train on polytrack and run on dirt". And yes, the lower incidence of career-ending injuries on synthetics has a significant fringe benefit to racing by keeping its stars around for longer periods of time. Does anyone honestly think that Zenyatta would have still been around at 6 had she raced on the East Coast? Would Richard's Kid be setting two track records at age 7 in the East? I don't think so.

16 Aug 2012 1:34 PM

Age Of Reason : Yeah, isn't it refreshing ?  And yes, thanks to Pete's blog, we can say her name without having to start a war.

16 Aug 2012 11:11 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

Age of reason- I agree with you about Zenyatta, BUT BUT BUT....your comment makes no sense!  How can a horse like Zarkava Be France restricted?...that is like saying and American horse is USA restricted.....Also Zarkava won the worlds biggest race :)

17 Aug 2012 4:09 PM
tom mallios

in an industry that is not only assumed for underhanded things.rather than deflect those opinions,they welcome them by opening up another can of worms.this back to back decision reeks of kick backs.kickbacks,not to the industry but to the clowns or the stooges making these decisions(take your pick).i am a new yorker.the ideal place to have the BC is churchill downs.they have a track that can accomodate any distance.their spacious seating and dining area are ideal.unfortunately for them,they probably did not play the under the table game.the clowns running this industry have destroyed it.they hide behind the racinos,they say purses are going up.wake up and smell the coffee you mental midgets.this is a gambling game is not a spectator or made for tv sport.adjust your marketing to attract serious players,not the weekend phonies who root for horses that

one time,then go into hybernation til the next big event comes up

tom m

21 Aug 2012 10:22 AM

The Breeder's Cup has completely lost their way. The vision of the BC creators was fairly on the mark.

They wanted a true focused national championship to show off their sport. They planned to rotate venues around the country and have the event shown on network broadcast television. The goal was to bring the general public in to racing beyond the Triple Crown and to create a national championship for the sport. It worked and within a few years the Breeder's Cup became the Super Bowl of racing.

Unfortunately current management has strayed so far from the creators vision that one wonders about the warped perspective of the Breeder's Cup decision makers.

First and foremost the diluted event produces more handle but is no longer special and does not reflect a championship event. Too many races produces weaker fields and makes the event far less special.

Secondly the TV broadcast hops around from channel to channel from day to day and you need a routing map just to watch the telecast. It was far better on one broadcast network on one day. No one from the general public can follow the Breeder's Cup or understands the format of the races.

Third the live event is so overpriced that it makes it impossible for most people to attend. The second Breeder's Cup at Aqueduct in 1985 cost $1.50 per seat throughout the whole facility. The service charges alone for tickets are now ten times that amount. In 2010 I spent a thousand dollars for a pair of tickets to the event. That is more than three hundred times what a pair of tickets cost me in 1985.

Lastly the choice of sites by the committee makes no sense. Churchill Downs does a terrible job, The track seats are grossly overpriced. The sight lines are terrible and the customer service there is non-existent. The decent seats go to Breeder's only and the public is supposed to lap up the leftovers at absurd prices and like it.

Santa Anita is much better than Churchill but no place should have the event more than once in a four year period. From 2008 to 2013. Santa Anita will host four Breeder's Cups with Churchill hosting the other two.

I've attended the Breeder's Cup at Monmouth, Lonestar, Woodbine, Gulfstream, Belmont, Aqueduct and Hollywood Park (I didn't make it to Arlington Park). Each venue brought something different to the table. Some were better than others, but they all were special and unique and all in many ways were better than Churchill Downs.

Competition always produces better results than monopolies. Variety is the spice of life and the national racing scene needs to be involved in the venue rotation if the Breeder's Cup is ever to become a National event again.

21 Aug 2012 11:14 AM

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