Eliminating eliminations a dangerous precedent
Over the past few years, I’ve seen stake races reduced down to the top money earners of the past year or past two years. I’ve also have witnessed a trend to take the top 10 money earners lifetime for a stake. The is a move to supposedly eliminate elimination races as many feel they are not competitive and only race to make the final. This reduces the handle and it’s a business to have the most betting possible. This move is definitely not for the owners and is a deterrent. They wish to race and find themselves written out of a race, in some cases, before the season even starts. This, of course, reduces entries which cannot be a good thing. Imagine you have one of the best horses in the country and are destroying the fields. However, the horse was sick or injured and has very little earnings from the year before. You have zero chance to enter the race for lifetime earnings. How can this be right? Eliminating the best horses to facilitate no eliminations is just plain wrong. It accommodates the track and the bettors and hurts the horsemen. Virtually every stake race has instituted these new rules. What’s truly ironic is because they are in place the very horse that could not enter may again be unable the following year because he wasn’t able to earn enough to again be in the lifetime earnings race.
We are accommodating the tracks and the bettors. Owners don’t seem to count. Where will we be if owners disappear because there isn’t enough money to race for?
If the reason is the track doesn’t want to fund the elimination races then reduce the final. If it’s because those races are not bet, then make the race competitive to induce betting. If need be, increase the entry fee to accurate the race purse. Make the elimination races similar to the Jug format. The winners get first choice as to their post, second place gets the second choices, third place gets third choices and so on if more than two eliminations. Now everyone is trying. Who races to just get in and be fourth when that means the 8 post or fifth means the 10 post? We shouldn’t be eliminating horses who wish to race. It makes for less entries and sometimes the best horse . We need to re install elimination races.
Richard Young / Boca Raton, FL