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A two-day Breeders' Cup?
11/12/03... Last week Mark Simon of Thoroughbred Times wrote an opinion piece suggesting that the Breeders' Cup slate of races become a 2-day, Friday/Saturday event. Steven Crist wrote a similar column in the Daily Racing Form this past weekend.
Mr Simon suggested that, "After 20 years, [the Breeders' Cup] needs a facelift." He went on, "How, then, can the Breeders’ Cup reinvigorate itself to attract more media coverage, fan interest, and handle? The suggestion here is to make it a two-day festival... Hosting the event over two days would make it a unique event, and the festival structure would offer a number of advantages." He continued, "Holding the event on two days would increase handle, allow bettors a chance to adjust their selections based on results from the previous day, provide tremendous race coverage in the Saturday newspapers from the Friday races (thus spurring interest in the second day of Breeders’ Cups), and allow time for some reflection on what has transpired. A two-day event also would have a strong appeal to those thousands of people who travel long distances to attend."
Racing fans across the internet have chimed in with their own opinions about a two-day Breeders' Cup...
- Leave the Saturday exactly as it is. On Friday, card races for the missing divisions with the purse at half of the big BC races: Turf Sprint; Filly Sprint; 2yo Sprint; 2yo Filly Sprint; Mile on Dirt for Older; Steeplechase...maybe, but who really cares.
- If you were going to split it, why a Friday and not a Sunday?
- Sunday was thought to be bad because it would conflict with NFL football.
- How about every so often have one or two turf races in England or France? They could be the first BC races of the day at 11:00 AM and 11:45 AM Eastern time.
- Can't do that, that would make them appear too much like real World Championships.
- Oh, yeah. Sorry I forgot that "world" really means North America when it comes to the Breeders Cup.
- The idea of expanding to more than 8 races certainly has a lot of merit... However, much of the rest of the suggestion seems to be a way that BC Ltd. can extract even more money from racing fans. The second day, presumably a Friday so as to not compete with the NFL on Sunday, would be at the sky-high BC admission prices, and reserved seats would follow suit... By stretching the 8 races onto 2 days and adding non-championship races to each day, the entire experience might be diminished for fans, even while it is made more expensive.
- ...that's another day of hotel fares, another day of missed work...
- Since plenty of people are at work on a Friday afternoon I have to wonder how the Friday handle would help the overall total.
- First off, how many people can afford one day at the BC, never mind two. Extra hotel rooms, meals, and outrageous ticket prices. Also, who's going to televise it on a Friday?
- After paying $150 per seat for two days, $10 to park and $4.75 for a coke etc, who has the extra money to 'increase' the handle?
- I work the windows at the Triple Crown and Breeder's Cup races, and I notice that we are extremely busy on the day before those races, especially for the Ky Oaks. Somebody must be going.
- What makes BC Day so special and unique is the quality of the WHOLE card, and I think to tamper with something that is already a huge success would bring dreadful results.
- I'm for it! But then I want to see a best-of-3 Super Bowl and a World Series double elimination tournament too!
- These tracks seem to barely hold it together for one day. Santa Anita had tons of nice volunteers who were unflaggingly pleasant and didn't know their ear from their elbow. I had to laugh. A big event, charging outrageous prices, and they get a bunch of nice senior citizens to stand around in exchange for free shirts; many of these seemed they had never been to the track before, and had no idea where anything was... Two days, what a laugh. Fix the event and get these owners to actually run their horses in the race before worrying about making it a two day event.
And here's what Derby Listers had to say:
- I like the idea of a Turf Sprint and a dirt mile too... But since they already pad the card with other races, just add those two high quality races to the one big day.
- Great idea for racing journalists who attend on the expense account; horrible idea for Joe Fan.
- European writers like the idea of a championship day that builds up to one very big race at the end... Race planners in Europe have seized on the idea which is why we get 6 grade 1's on Arc day, Champions Day at Newmaket etc. These innovations would never have come about without the introduction of the BC.
- This is just dilution... Goofy races get thrown in... But unless Eclipse Awards are going to be given for each of these divisions, what's the point?
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