My 2 centsMay 9 2008 at 11:29 AM
|Sloppy (Login sloppyj)|
I have stayed out of the Eight Belles debate because I wanted to give it a couple of days to settle a bit. I have no problems with the way this horse was handled or with her connections. This was a great opportunity for a high class filly to tackle an uninspiring group of three year olds in the Kentucky Derby. And the gal ran a magnificent race.
If we are to go as far as a publi9c outcry if a filly enters a major stakes race against males then why not go all the way. A letter to Bill Mott on the audacity of running Z Humor, or to Barclay Tagg on Big Truck. Those two were obviously overmatched. Let's crucify Stutts for running a horse that had a fever less than a week before the race.
How many horses are never the same after the Kentucky Derby? More than race at top levels of competition after the first Saturday in May. Look at old Derby charts and you'd be amazed at how many horses finish 16th in the Derby and then never race again, or race only one or two more times.
I think part of the problem comes from limiting the number of starters to 20. I understand the reasoning behind it back 20 some odd years ago when 24 horses entered the Derby. But the fact of the matter is, before that they hardly ever had 20 starters in the gate. Owners/trainers knew if their horses belonged. Nowadays, if your in the top 20 it's almost an obligation to enter the starting gate. Look at Salute the Sarge this year. How could those connection even be contemplating whether to enter the week before the Derby?
This year's Derby really should have been contested by 10-14 horses. The rest had no business in the starting gate. If that was the case, would we still feel Eight Belles should have been protected?
Re: My 2 cents
|May 9 2008, 7:12 PM |
I tend to agree that 2 of every 3 in the Derby don't really belong or are not even fit to race 10 furlongs. However, for those owners with large egos and deep pocketbooks, it's the social event of the year for them.
In the good ol' days, races like the Marlboro Cup, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Hollywood Gold Cup, Whitney Handicap, etc were just as important as the Triple Crown races, but that is just not the case anymore, as the Marlboro Cup doesn't even exist.
Since the Derby is the single largest event on the racing calendar when ALL eyes are watching, owners, trainers, and jockeys are treated as celebrities and it is the major goal to be seen on this one day and to be able to provide 6 boxes for family and friends.
If there were other events on the racing calendar that were near the popularity of the Derby, then it would perhaps encourage owners to save their unfit horses for those events rather than force their stock into one race in which they are no longer prepared for.
One could argue that the Travers doesn't carry the prestige that it once did, as it is merely a prep now for the Breeders Cup Classic.