This to me is all about keeping the mainstream media off NYRA's back. This to me was forced upon NYRA by what happened with Harness trainer Lou Pena and the many positives he was accused of having at Yonkers that hit just as I'll Have Another was going for the Triple Crown (he was later as I remember absolved of those) as otherwise, the happening at Yonkers likely would have spilled over into Belmont Stakes week and NYRA and New York State would likely have been accused (fair or not) of being lax.
One of things in a recent plan of mine I put together for a new International Meet of Champions at Thanksgiving at Belmont Park (http://www.toosmarttofail.com/forums/showthread.php?75) is part of my plan would include the lengthening of several major stakes events. These would include the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Beldame to 1 1/2 Miles as well as the return of the 2 1/4 Mile Display Handicap and the Gallant Fox as a 2 1/2 Mile grass race. I would also have the Pilgrim and Miss Grillo on turf as the only two year old stakes events in North America at 1 1/4 Miles on turf (a distance two year olds do race in Europe late in the year). The emphasis and biggest money would be in the long distance races as part of a 31-race, 22-stake meet that would take place on Thanksgiving Day and the two days after only (just the three days at Belmont Park). That in my view would send some serious messages to BC Ltd. and others about having more distance racing.
One of things in a recent plan of mine I put together for a new International Meet of Champions at
This is quite ironic, isn't it given how there is such an obvious demand to breed for speed? This is why Breeders' Cup, Ltd. needs to have the guts to lengthen the BC Distaff and Classic to 1 5/8 Miles. Doing so would have a major ripple effect as it would force distance changes in other stakes events.
This is the type of stuff we need more of in this sport! Great to see!
Tom: The problem is, networks dictate the start time of sporting events WAY MORE now than ever before. I suspect if we did have a nighttime BC, the locals would come and it would be a considerably younger crowd of mainly The Millenials who consider any championship event in the daytime to be irrelevant because they have been conditioned over a 25 year period to believe all championship events take place at night. This is all moot anyway if the Asia-Pacific region comes on board because then the BC would have to be at night to accommodate that region (where it would be Saturday morning for Friday night BC races and Sunday morning for Saturday night BC Races). The potential handle from there would be too big to pass up if the Asia-Pacific region comes in all out as that handle would likely be in the 9-10 figure range. Then, BC Ltd. would have no choice but to go with an all-evening BC.
Personally, I think starting with next year, any BC host will have to have lights installed for night racing due to a likely demand in my view of NBC wanting the BC to run to 11:00 PM ET because of how live sports is now the only thing that does well on Saturday night. NYRA likely can't bid for the BC again until the laws in New York State are changed to permit nighttime thoroughbred racing, at least on a limited basis.
I suspect those "movie nights" in the summer would be very popular and cause some to come back in September when there is actual racing at CD.
If the board is powerful enough, I would not be surprised to see Churchill when there is no racing going on do what Ascot often does during the summer, having "movie nights."
While I think NYRA had privately wanted to cancel earlier, I also think they may have been under pressure from owners of some horses who were entered on Sunday to wait as long as possible before canceling, especially if such owners (and even more so those with horses in the Personal Ensign) might not have been able to make a return trip to see their horses run later this week in rescheduled runnings of such races. That may to me have been why NYRA waited so long even, hoping against hope that Irene would make a sharp right out to sea.
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