Report: Talks Over Potential Breeders’ Cup Changes To Resume This Week

by | 03.14.2018 | 1:02pm
Inaugurated in 1984, the Breeders' Cup has undergone several changes over the years and now consists of 13 races over two days with $28 million in purse money and awards

The Breeders' Cup board of directors is set to meet Thursday in Lexington, Ky., to talk about a proposal to change the event's schedule, the Daily Racing Form reports.

DRF says the plan being supported by several board members “would move four races, including the Classic and the two dirt races for juveniles, to a card in December, perhaps four or five weeks after another 11 Breeders' Cup races are held on the first Saturday in November…”

The proposals also include the idea of adding a race restricted to 3-year-olds to a 10-race card on the first Saturday in November. The aforementioned races that would move to December would be held at Gulfstream Park, under the same plan.

Read more at DRF

  • snowchrome

    Moving the Classic to December and to Gulfstream Park? Are they making a deal to possibly do away the Pegasus World Cup? I only say that because of the close proximity between the two races on the calendar. Interesting ideas, but I still like the Breeders Cup as it stands right now.

    • Billy Johnston

      So do most – which means they’ll mess with it. Seems at times like the horses aren’t the only ones on DRUGS!

    • Up the track Jack

      The Pegasus is dead. They can’t find enough fools (owners) to separate from there money.

  • David Worley

    So I read the DRF article and think that making two distinct events might be, quite possibly, the dumbest idea I have ever heard related to horse racing. I mean, truly, ridiculously, dumb. In attempting to understand the rationale for “why” (for those in support) it seems to boil down to wanting a “three year old prep race for the classic.” Folks, the Travers stakes IS the 3-YO prep race; or if you want something a little less demanding the Pennsylvania Derby could is already a prep.

    If this is the decision-making ability of the board of the BC, I am worried because the question is one that needs not be asked. This is not “innovation.”

    • Ida Lee

      Exactly …. next thing you know we’ll be hearing that the KY Derby is being moved to the first Thursday in July ….. love the Triple Crown races ….love the Breeders Cup races …just the way they are ….why change it ???? especially such a drastic change ….

      • affirmed

        Well it’s all for us all to SEE’ to me I see this as another way to continue make money with all these changes, and because racing fans love horse racing, they probably (promoters and racetrack) would want to have a breeders cup every month if you ask me! ..and also have a kentucky Derby every month also, they are greedy is what I am incensing..look at Aqueduct.? They knowingly know that grass racing ends say by December each year, yet wise guys presented putting a grass track on the inner track to nyra, and Nyra bought in, paid those wise guys for the construction,but they only race there october when they return from Belmont, and 1/2 of December, them in April 28 Days, then no more until next october? So less than three months? For what? But the wise guys got the construction money, laughing at Nyra, this one beat the great bank robbery only that Nyra know the robbers.

        • Ida Lee

          Being from NYC, I know what you’re talking about….I mean….NY’s OTB went bankrupt ….really? a betting enterprise went bankrupt ??? You could go by any OTB parlor at any time during their operating hours and the place was packed …. how do you lose money and have to close ?? well one way was to tax the winnings right out of existence….P.S. when I was in High School, my girlfriend and I would play hooky and take the train to Yonkers to see Harness Racing and Aqueduct….once at the Big A, we bet all our lunch and train money and ended up begging for change to take the train back home….have never bet on a horse again ….oh did I mention?? we were wearing our Catholic School uniforms ….

  • Beau Geste

    When you are as proficient at shooting yourself in the foot as horse racing is, you’d better have an awful lot of feet. This is a proposal without basis. Of all the horse racing matters which need to be dealt with, this one doesn’t even exist.

    • Billy Johnston

      Absolutely – just whimsical nonsense!

  • eric

    And I thought there couldn’t be a worse idea than separating the Classic but now they want tiny Gulfstream Park to host it? Good luck finding a more ill-suited venue for a big live racing event. That might help boost TV ratings, though, since most Gulfstream patrons are forced to watch those races on television due to the track’s lack of seating and terrible site lines for the live product.

    • Billy Johnston

      Well said – and undeniable about the sight lines – unless your in the 2/3 empty Ten Palms Restaurant (except on major rip off days – Florida Derby / Pegasus)

  • Bryan Langlois

    I would absolutely LOVE to see a panel discussion on this at Equestricon this year…where all the Board members are up there…and then have to answer to the PUBLIC and FANS WHY they somehow think this is or was a good idea if they decide to change it.
    So…yes…lets move some of the biggest races, including the Classic, to a venue that basically shuts out the average fan from being able to attend and enjoy the day and the top class horses unless they pay at least (what I am going to estimate) to be at 200 dollar or so general admission ticket. I can also see it now. Post time for the Classic will be 1PM…and they will enter the gate around 5 or so.

    • Peter Scarnati

      And what makes you think these Board members could give one rip about the fans? They’re in it solely for horsemen. A race late in the season as a prep for straight three year olds? That alone should tell you they are only there to serve the interests of the horsemen, be they breeders, owners or trainers. Fans are of no consequence and NOT EVEN an afterthought with these folks.
      Until, of course, when they count up the funding for their event the fans provide through the takeout.

      • Bryan Langlois

        Yeah…I know they wouldn’t care…but for me at least they could have the decency to come out from behind closed doors and face the music publicly about it. But…then again…as I have been saying for a while now….what do we know?? We are “Just the Fans”

      • bonniemcdo

        I am a fan and a small owner. Breeders Cup races are ones I watch but they have eaten into what was once a nice Belmont Fall meet. I think years ago someone suggested a day of special races at Belmont the same day as the Breeders Cup but with horses that are very good but did not go to the Breeders cup. You can watch live races at Belmont and watch Breeders Cup races on the big screen or at one of the tables in the restaurant.

    • Barrmorr

      Gulfstream Park is the worst run racetrack in the country. Belinda Stronach continually talks about making the customer experience better. If that includes everyone but horse players she has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. I have commented numerous times about the joke that are the listed post times at Gulfstream. You can count on average at least 10-15 minutes past the post time for every race (the Fountain Of Youth was actually 22 minutes late). They bragged about the handle setting a record on Fountain Of Youth Day but it should have considering there were 14 races. The Stronach Group gets a free pass because they concocted a gimmicky race (The Pegasus) but in my opinion they are doing much more damage to the sport than good and now they are trying to buy the Breeders Cup. There is a reason that Gulfstream hasn’t hosted the event for quite a while.

  • Bryan Langlois

    Just read the article in DRF as well…and here is what jumped out at me. Some directors who are against it might be scared to really give a no vote because they are afraid of angering Bobby Flay??? SERIOUSLY???!!! They are afraid of doing what is right for this sport because a Celebrity Chef might get his panties bunched up over not getting his way??? What is he going to do to them…served them an undercooked steak in retaliation???

    • Peter Scarnati

      Yep. My thought exactly.

    • Inkboy95

      Bobby Flay burns his steaks.

    • Elle D

      I went to DRF to read the article. What jumped out at me was “the handle and television ratings for the Breeders’ Cup event should be growing at much higher rates”. There you go. Diluting the product is not the solution.

    • Getta Lyfe

      Nobody care about the fans less than Bobby Flay. All he does is bring high end and high cost ideas to cater to his wealthy friends and owners. He has no concern for the average fan. He is a man who forgot where he came from!

      • Bryan Langlois

        I wonder how much he cares about lower end and every day racing as well. At what I think was the first NYRA restructuring Board meeting he made a comment (and I am paraphrasing here as I don’t have time to go back and watch it just this moment) that he really only wanted to see allowance type racing in NY because that is what should be featured. The lower end claiming races and such such not be allowed to be run. Rick Violette quickly shot that notion down and kind of put him in his place by using an analogy that not everyone wants to dine at one of Flay’s Restaurants and sometimes find eating at a diner or even fast food just fine for them. It just goes to further show the divide between the elite and the common man in racing.

    • Rob Yetman

      This has little Bradley Weisbord written all over it. He was the one at that goofball convention last Summer saying racing’s greatest priority was attracting celebrity owners. The proliferation of 3yo only racing deep into the Fall has canabilized once great races like the Woodward, Spinster, Beldame, and Jockey Club Gold Cup. It’s why so many of these “prep races” are six horse affairs with 2/5 favorites. In Europe three year olds meet their elders as early as late June, and there is only one Group I for 3yo’s after July and that’s the 1 3/4+ St Leger.

  • turnbackthealarmpgh

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever read.

    • Thomas Ondra

      I agree.

  • Richard C

    The separation of the BC into two distinct events over a period of several weeks is the epitome of marketing stupidity on many levels. Which means the official announcement is coming very soon.

  • Genellen

    Every time I read about some idea to change the BC, it makes me dislike it more. People other than fans and participants never cared about the BC, regardless of where it’s run, or how many races there are, or the time of the year.

    In some ways, it reminds me of something like the Oscars technical awards show, where you go “what film was that?” or “is that guy still around?” or “who the heck was that”? Not to take away from their achievements, but it just doesn’t resonate with the average person whose interest they are trying to attract.

    I agree with all the comments here.

  • Billy Johnston

    Has a Turkey Vulture ever been known to leave a dying corpse before anticipating eating all the meat off the bones?
    Sheer greed! Creativity is a wonderful function to spurn success, but messing with proven events can and most likely drive fans away.
    Perhaps turning the insiders energy towards solving the drugging epidemic, improving dailey cards at all local tracks, lowering takeouts, adding more pageantry, SPECIAL EVENTS, and fan friendly staffing!

  • Doctor Ichabod

    Anywhere but another lame and biased frank stronach track plz………..

    • Tjs

      Agree. GP is not a track that can handle any crowd at all.

      Leave the BC alone. I’ve seen this before, boards feel like they need to put a unique stamp on something that is working well. A legacy of their presence, it usually is a bad mistake. See it in business all the time.

  • Elle D

    What, pray tell, are they smoking? With the expenses of attending Breeders Cup, how many would, or could, consider two trips, a month apart? And how is it feasible to have Breeders Cup at a track with barely a grandstand? Just nuts!

    • Inkboy95

      Breeders Cup has been trending towards a rich only need attend for several years now. Breeders Cup Ltd could care less about joe railbird fans.

      • up the track Jack

        You mean lifestyle brand!

        • Inkboy95

          Yes how stupid of me. I stand corrected. You are correct kind sir.

      • Elle D

        You’ve tot that right. Sometimes less is more. And the industry talks about bringing in new racing enthusiasts. Good luck with that.

  • kuzdal

    Alright….I’ve stopped laughing.

    Even if you don’t think running the BC Classic in mid-December is absurd, tell me you didn’t know that a Stronach property was central to the proposal. Shocking, huh?

    As I’ve written before, when the Stronach Group controls the New York Racing Association, it will die. Then, they can run the Belmont wherever they want.

  • JustJoe

    First they water down the event by adding races and splitting the event into two days. Now it appears there will be watered down prep races for an event to be held at another track four weeks later.

    You want to know why the event is not growing? Because there is no consistency!

    Pick a permanent home that can accomidate at least 80,000+ horse racing fans and show them one day of best horse racing in the world!

  • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    All about the Bejamins with these folks!!!
    Also, are they going to have the Clown Show Stewards from Santa Anita that give Mike Smith a three day rest?

    The aforementioned races that would move to December would be held at Gulfstream Park,

    This is brilliant, Gulfstream isn’t big enough to handle the field, that was the problem at DelMar too many horses got squeezed and in addition the Turf Sux at Gulfstream. I have seen better lawns on properties that have been condemned than at Gulfstream!!!

    PS Does Stronach have pictures of some these people??? It must be if they do this favor for him!!

    • Chris Lowe

      I’m shocked they don’t suggest a Breeders Cup Super Sprint….at 4 1/2 furlongs…. at Charles Town…. in January.

      • Barrmorr

        To take your idea one step further how about a Breeders Cup Super Duper Sprint at Los Alamitos: Distance 100 yards for Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Arabians and Clydesdales. Not much dumber than what is under consideration now.

      • Lefty_Orioles_Fan

        I think they should do that.
        It has success written all over it.

  • David J. Beltran

    Stupid…plain stupid.

  • Up the track Jack

    Breeders Cup Saturday is the best sporting event of the year. Why on earth do they want to water id down in December? Every American is so distracted in December. No way you will increase handle holding the Breeders Cup in December. I thought new Gulfstream Park was too small for the Breeders Cup? Why on earth is everyone listening to Stronach. You have the Breeders Cup they are at YOUR MERCY! It’s not the other way around.

  • Michael Castellano

    I second all the negative views. Awful ideas, and stupid too. Disheartening that racing has no central governing body, no commissioner or president. No strategy to market the sport or find some common interests for all the different venues. Like the rest of the country, racing is divided and headed for disaster. And its leaders will be the last ones to know.

  • Heavenly Prize

    I long for a time when we had seven big races on one day. The build and excitement level was spectacular. It’s been so severely diluted now that it’s like heavily watered down liquor, it barely has a taste.

    • Elle D

      I wouldn’t mind seeing BC go back to one day. Eliminate the undercard race for an all BC day.

      • Greg Rambo

        I miss the one-day-7-race format as well. But if you’re a racetrack like Santa Anita, what are you going to do; run a regular Friday race card and get 3,000 people on track, or run a Friday “Breeders Cup” card and have 30,000 people show? Unfortunately, it looks like two day Breeders Cups are here to stay.

        • Elle D

          I’m sure you’re right.

  • Delrene

    This idea is so wacky I really thought it was an early April Fools joke. Pray it goes away.

  • Jay

    These proposed changes so defy logic that it makes one wonder whose and how many palms have been greased.

  • StrideBig

    I don’t think other countries, mostly European countries and trainers, will want to come over for more than one event, nor make a December trip.

    So basically the BC would just become another weekend of US racing. ~K

  • Rachel

    here’s a thought for a ‘change’ – make it one day again…ever since they added so many races, and made it 2 days, it hasn’t felt, or been enjoyed, the same to/by me, it wasn’t supposed to be like a ‘festival,’ it was supposed to be ‘racing’s biggest *day*, and, by the way, let’s start having it at more different tracks, again, the way it was intended

    • Judoon

      I personally love having two days of high-class racing to watch on tv rather than just one day.

  • idavis

    Was hoping this was just a bad rumor, but apparently not. It’s a bizarre idea, and hopefully rational, sane minds will save the day. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. SMH

  • ToppysMom

    An honest question because I’ve never known the answer: Why is it split on a Friday-Saturday instead of a Saturday-Sunday, which is when the vast majority of fans have days off so they could attend? It’s not like anyone is carding great Sunday races the day after.

    But yeah, this latest idea is just stupid. STOOOPID. Why not make the biggest races on Sunday — the Sprint (??), the Distaff, the Mile, the Juvenile, the Turf and the Classic — and the others on Saturday? Makes more sense than this ridiculous idea.

    • Flanders

      I think they do Friday-Saturday because fans would have to take Monday off to travel home, so either way would have to take a day off work. Also it may be because that is how the Oaks/Derby is.
      I much preferred the one day event on Saturday.

    • togahombre

      sunday in november =NFL football

    • talkingman17

      Everyone gets paid on Friday.

  • Kincsem

    The horse racing industry does a lot of things wrong, but the Breeders’ Cup has been something done right. It’s an iconic sporting event, and our year end championships. Over the past decade however, this board has just been so hell bent on trying to “update it.” From making it two days, to regularly adding and taking away races, to this disaster of a suggestion. Besides Flay, I guarantee the only other supporters are stud farms and some trainers looking for an easy 3yo G1 to tack on to their horse’s resume. At this rate, why not add on a Breeders’ Cup Oaks as well? I mean if they’re so determined to drag this event down, at least go big.

  • CE Butler

    The “EVENT” is too watered down now with the two day format; this proposal will kill what already has become a dying specticle. It is a shame as the originial format of the very best running on one day to decide champions is over. Might has well have a Breeders Cup race for $5,000,00claimers and hold it at Mountaineer!

  • Flanders

    This is so stupid.
    They just keep watering down the event. I miss the days when the card was only on Saturday. The Breeders Cup used to be a big event to me. Something that I would never miss, I haven’t watched it on TV in years. It just doesn’t have the same excitement as it used to and watering it down even more will not bring that back.

    The 2yos whose trainers really feel are capable of running in the Derby/Oaks aren’t going to stay in training another month to race in the BC Juvenile races in December. They will go on their winter break in order to prepare properly for the prep and Classic races.

    Do we need a Juvenile Turf Sprint race? The Juvenile Dirt Sprint was apparently a disaster as it was only run 2 years, the last running had 5 horses entered?

    What ever happened to the Supplemental Stakes program that was only supposed to be suspended for one year?

  • Longshot

    Maybe move the super bowl to June and the world series to February

  • David

    A popular Board Room rebuttal is the one that says the law of diminishing returns doesn’t apply in “our” case. The BC benefited greatly being born while interstate simulcasting was ramping-up. It served to create the perception its product’s growth potential was limitless. Another almost universally-accepted Board Room adage deals with doing what one does better than the rest. Racing simply doesn’t enjoy the awareness to compete in December. Hell, the man-on-street question couldn’t get you more than 1 out 20 to tell you who won last year’s KD much less one of the Friday BC races.

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