Dear Mr. Repole,
You and I have had our problems in the past and even though I am very opinionated, I also consider myself to be fair. That being said, I am about to back the recent comments you made about the Breeder’s Cup and the Lasix issue.
Mr. Repole, undoubtedly I will see a lot of heat for backing the comments you made and for making the comments I am going to make but if you can stand up, the least I can do is voice my opinion as well.
First, there is the “travesty” of the Breeder’s Cup being held in California…AGAIN. I agree with you, this is not fair to the East Coast owners, trainers, jockeys, tracks, cities and fans. There is record breaking turn out when Louisville hosts the Breeder’s Cup and I expect that New York would be the same way. The fact that they are holding the event in the same place they held it 3 years ago is flat out wrong and it should be reconsidered. The 3 places should be rotated as you mentioned so that each city has the chance to gain from the revenue. It should be shared so each track has an opportunity to show the world their best. It should be in different places so that each fan has a chance to see a Breeder’s Cup in person.
As a fan, I want to go to all the Breeder’s Cups and experience what all of the racetracks have to offer. I have yet to venture out to Santa Anita, and even though it is close to the top of my list of tracks to go to, I will follow you in boycotting the Breeder’s Cup. As a matter of fact, if you are to boycott the Breeder’s Cup and have a showcase in New York, I may just show up there instead.
Also, you were absolutely right when you pointed out the fact that Santa Anita has yet to decide what their racing surface even is. The fact that their surface is still in limbo puts the horses, horseman and track at a great liability. If something should happen because of the ever changing track, during the biggest show we will never hear the end of it from the people who are determined to shut down racing forever. The activists will be out in full force to call for the end of racing and people who do not know better may see the side of their argument.
Speaking of the activists, let’s dive into the Lasix issue. I have heard the same things you have heard about Lasix; it is the only needed drug! Period! Let’s dissect this more.
First, the biggest horse racing stage of the year is no place to experiment. It could be a catastrophe! Like you mentioned, the biggest stage is not the place to show the world the flaws of our sport. It would be a huge mistake to allow these horses to have their medication everyday and then on Breeder’s Cup to come charging for the finish line bleeding from both nostrils’. It just makes no sense and I can not see the reason for it.
The two days that is Breeder’s Cup is the opportunity to show people what our sport is all about. It is a chance for us to get new people interested and rekindle the spirit of the long time fan, so things needs to be perfect that weekend. Horseracing is not perfect, but we need to be able to prevent it from being a disaster which is what it may turn out to be. I remember turning on the news after last years Breeder’s Cup to see report after report of Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano duking it out in the winners circle; what a disgrace in front of millions of people. No doubt if something goes wrongs, the images will play on and on and on… I do not want people’s image of horseracing to come from 14 horses running down the stretch all bleeding from their nostrils.
Thankfully, Mr. Repole, you have come up with a solution. The solution is to have NYRA start their own set of games that weekend, showcasing the best that the East Coast has to offer. I think it sounds like a hell of an idea. If this were to happen, I would be spending my money on these races instead of the Breeder’s Cup races. We both know that this East Coast showcase will not be the Breeder’s Cup, but it may be interesting to see. I don’t know how I feel about denying the great horses and jockeys their chance at adding a Breeder’s Cup victory to their resume, but since you are putting your money where your mouth is, I think it may be worth a try even if it is only for the next 2 years. On the flip side, I also do not like the idea of denying a great racehorse a full, successful career because of injuries obtained while running without their lasix medication.
Well, Mr. Repole, you have given us all something to think about. You have given us something to debate, argue, point, counter-point and discuss. I am anxiously awaiting the feedback we receive about these subjects. Best of luck to you in your quest to form the Empire State Games, perhaps I will see you at the inaugural running.