The Breeders’ Cup board of directors meets on Thursday, June 27th, and a key topic for discussion will certainly be whether or not to maintain the organization’s commitment to hold this year’s two-day championships at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Nov. 1st and 2nd.
It would seem that things are just too hot out there, and not worth taking a chance of running the Breeders’ Cup races at a track where 30 horses died while training or racing over the course of the winter and spring meets from Dec. 26th through June 23rd.
Breeders’ Cup board members make fiduciary decisions on behalf of Thoroughbred breeders and owners who provide millions of dollars a year in foal, stallion, pre-entry and entry fees. Negative publicity surrounding the event – even if the two days of racing are conducted safely and without any incidents – could cause short-term harm to the Breeders’ Cup.
So moving this year’s event from Southern California to another location – most likely Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. – should be the easy decision to make.
The Daily Racing Blog hopes the board members consider the repercussions to the business of horse racing as a whole if something were to go wrong out at Santa Anita this coming November.
The industry has always been run like a random dispersion of county fairs, devoid of any cohesive direction- good or bad. Anyone who loves this game should be angry and ashamed that horse racing does not have a central governing body- which if one existed, would have certainly shut down Santa Anita immediately.
So DRB sincerely asks the BC board members to move the Breeders’ Cup Championship out of Santa Anita Park. Please don’t risk bringing the best horses in the world into the belly of the beast.
These are challenging and difficult times for the Thoroughbred Racing industry, and not just in Southern California.
Many in the general public who knew nothing about racing are now keenly aware of just how dangerous this sport can be for its equine and human athletes. They are demanding that racing do all it can to make the sport as safe as possible.
Know this; once the National Football League finally came clean and recognized that football players are vulnerable to brain damage after years of head to head collisions, the league began to try and make the game safer. Truth be told- players still suffer from concussions.