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Breeders' Cup Expands
Three mores races and a second day of action added
1/9/2007... On Monday Breeders' Cup officials announced a significant expansion plan. Starting with the 2007 BC at Monmouth, the year-end event will add three more races and extend one more day.
On the Friday preceding the "big day" there will now be a Friday afternoon BC "hors d'oeuvre" consisting of:
Fan reaction to the announcement has, so far, been decidedly mixed. Here's a sampling:
- $1M Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile... 3YO & Up
- $1M Filly & Mare Sprint... 3YO & Up, Fillies/Mares
- $1M Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf... 2YO Colts/Geldings & Fillies
- The one good thing is the 3 new races they are adding are all on the first day, with the traditional BC races still being run together.
- I just worry that these races will take out some of the interesting horses that would run on Saturday. Would Johannesburg or Arazi have run in the BC Juv? Would Safely Kept have tried the sprint?
- ...dilute the product until it is just plain dull and boring.
- I don't think the dirt mile was entirely necessary (NYRA is probably mad; it may take some of the meaning off the Cigar Mile), but the 2YO turf race was another nice add.
- ...it will gut the Cigar Mile to be sure, but then again several historic races have already been killed by the BC, but I think in interest of the sport it may be better to have the focus more on BC day than spread thin everywhere.
- A second day for the Breeders cup is like the 2nd day for the NFL draft, it just doesn't compare to day one.
- I, myself, am not crazy about two days. A lot of people work friday afternoons too.
- I think the two days could work, but not over a Friday/Saturday. They're trying to get crowds like Kentucky Oaks Day does the Friday before the Derby, but it's a different time of year.
- I think the Friday before would outdraw the NFL Sunday the day after.
Opinions of Del Mar forumites went like this:
- Excellent news.
- I'd have rather seen a turf sprint added instead of a Filly and Mare sprint. Fillies/Mares have won the BC Sprint enough times to prove they dont need a weakened class to compete in.
- I'd like to see them have a 1.5 mile, or even a 1.75 mile, race on the dirt. Purse of at least $2 mil, to encourage breeding for stamina.
- I like the new races except for the fact that the Filly and Mare Sprint will be at 7f.
- Excellent, more high quality races for us to get a look at and finally a place for the tweeners to go.
- By adding a mile race, you are only going to deplete the quality of the Sprint and the Classic. More opportunities for the best horses to duck each other. Fantastic. What the racing schedule needs is FEWER big races, not more.
- Bolster the day before ... or the morning before ... fine ... but there doesn't need to be three more of these races. Before too long, it'll be just like everything else. Too much of a good thing just becomes mediocrity.
- I like the idea of the Turf race for 2 year olds. I would have liked to see a Turf sprint as well but understand that having 5 Turf races out of 11 would have been probably too many.
- Some are good ideas others not. I doubt we'll see another Wilko, Johannesburg or Arazi now there's the turf race for 2yos.
Folks at the Final Turn message board had this to say:
- The only saving grace is that ESPN will probably have the Woman's Arm Wrestling Championship (which consistantly gets a 0.9 rating) run late and we'll miss these races.
- If it works I wish them well but I just don't see how without diluting the other races.
- If the Juvenile turf is ANYTHING less than 9 furlongs we should all be ashamed of the Breeders Cup.
- A distance dirt race would have gotten my vote as a worthy addition to Breeders' Cup day.
- I think a 2-mile dirt race would be cool.
- Sounds like a lame idea to me. Juvenile Turf??? Um ok. I guess that race will be full of Euro juveniles. I can't imagine that the Filly and Mare Sprint will be much of a field. It's kinda sad really. Top female sprinters used to show their stuff against the boys. They are diluting what used to be a unique event.
- I like the new races... I think the 2 year old turf race is a great idea.
- I agree with the dirt mile and filly/mare sprint, but the juvenile turf seems a little unnecessary.
- For a few years there one of the great story lines of the BC Sprint were the super sprinting gals going against the colts for the big prize... So why a F& M sprint had to be created is beyond me.
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