College Football is on the television, and the Daily Racing Form is being read … It must be Saturday afternoon. They are two of my favorite sports and they have one big thing in common. Especially in recent years it has been, in a word, chaos. It makes me wonder if I am somehow attracted to the disarray. Neither sport seems to know how best to decide on a yearly champion. In racing, Horse of the Year debates have been nothing if not contentious of late. The heated discussions, over which horse most deserves the award, have many wondering if the triumvirate of voting bodies that currently decide things, is the best way to crown our champions.
It has been theorized that racing needs to adopt a more formulaic system. Maybe one that uses a statistical computerized compilation that measures tangible results during the year, mixed with a more subjective voting on the horses. Sound familiar? Maybe racing should go to the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) used in College Football. This is what the BCS might look like in this year’s Horse of the Year race:
||Havre de Grace
||Game On Dude
||My Miss Aurelia
Just like the BCS, I used a statistical rating system to determine the horse that should be named Horse of the Year consisting of three components that each count as one-third of the final result - subjective polls of the NTRA and my own industry straw poll, as well as, the average of six theoretical computer rankings.
OK … you caught me, I didn’t actually do all of that, but you get the idea. Would racing be better off with such an approach? Would it force connections to run their horses in more of the big races, and create more match-ups among the nation’s top horses? Food for thought, but just as the BCS is inherently flawed, or worse yet lunacy; you can see it would be the same for racing. Horses like Havre de Grace and Hansen would never race each other in 2011. A meeting of Cape Blanco and My Miss Aurelia would have been even more farfetched.
So what’s the answer? Maybe we should do it like a democracy, and have the popular vote of the people decide, just like we decide our nation’s presidency. Yes, that has to be the best answer.
What’s that, our president is elected on an outdated system called the Electoral College?