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Old 11-08-2019, 10:11 PM
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Default Do Fans Deserve Any Consideration?

I was watching the Clippers game the other night and it was a nationally televised game in which their best player, Kawhi Leonard, arguably the best player in the game, didn’t play. A national debate has raged over whether or not the Clippers and Leonard owe it to the fans to have him play? Some say no and their only obligation is to do what they think is best for him and the team. Others say that the fans should be considered. The NBA makes tons of money from their television contracts. Fans pay big money to see the players play. These things lead to the huge contracts these players get. Is there any consideration that should be given to what fans want when it comes to sports? Or should owners who put their money up be solely left to determine what they want to do?

I ask this question because of what we saw in the Breeders’ Cup. As a fan, I was really hoping to see Bricks and Mortar and Midnight Bisou in the Classic. I knew it wouldn’t happen and I don’t blame the owners for not choosing to do so. But I don’t think it makes me wrong to want to see what might happen. When the day finished, what I learned about Bricks is that he is the best turf horse in the country. I kinda knew that going into the day. Had they taken on the challenge of the Classic and lost, I’d still know he was the best grass horse in America. Had he won, there would be no debate over whether or not he’s the best horse period. Of course, anyone with a brain has to understand that there are financial considerations involved in the decision making. It’s hard to turn down a chance to be 3/5 in a $4 million race for the chance to be 5/1 in $6 million race. In the end, you can understand and respect the choice they made but I don’t think it’s a crazy question to wonder if people should ever consider what might be best for the sport and not just for the individual? The NTRA put out a weekly poll showing the top ten horses in the country. We try to build up our year end marquee event and all the top horses are in different races. As racing fans, we understand why that is. Casual fans won’t understand it. The reason why Alabama vs LSU is a big deal tomorrow isn’t because people know the teams a expect a good game. It’s because they look at the rankings and that tells them it’s a good matchup. People like to see the best face the best and I think far too often, racing doesn’t provide that. Whether it’s no coordination in the national racing schedule so you have multiple top races in the same division on the same weekend or it’s adding extra races to the BC (fillies did quite well in the Sprint, Mile, and Turf so didn’t need their own races), racing seems to go out of its way to not promote top matchups and then when anyone suggests it’s something they would like to see, you get criticized for the mere thought. Why is it horsemen from other countries are so willing to step out of comfort zones and run their horses like Swain, Giants Causeway, Sakhee, Galileo, etc in the Classic when they could have opted to take the safer and probably easier path in the Turf?
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:33 AM
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I ask this question because of what we saw in the Breedersí Cup. As a fan, I was really hoping to see Bricks and Mortar and Midnight Bisou in the Classic. I knew it wouldnít happen and I donít blame the owners for not choosing to do so. But I donít think it makes me wrong to want to see what might happen. When the day finished, what I learned about Bricks is that he is the best turf horse in the country. I kinda knew that going into the day. Had they taken on the challenge of the Classic and lost, Iíd still know he was the best grass horse in America.
Bricks and Mortar, who had never been 12 furlongs until Saturday, just staved off a modest CA-based gelding to get the win, and the key rival, Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck was in tight and nearly clipped heels just as he was charging at the leaders.

Midnight Bisou, always suspect at 9 furlongs, didn't even win the Distaff.

That said, I would have loved to have seen Bricks and Mortar in the Classic--win or lose--just to avoid hearing that screeched, tacky pre-scripted line from the announcer about being "built like a champion" after he edged a 50-1 shot.

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Why is it horsemen from other countries are so willing to step out of comfort zones and run their horses like Swain, Giants Causeway, Sakhee, Galileo, etc in the Classic when they could have opted to take the safer and probably easier path in the Turf?
Godolphin and Coolmore suffer from an embarrassment of riches. And want to pad stud fees if possible.

The 6yo Swain had already nearly beaten Silver Charm in the Dubai World Cup a few months prior to the Classic. He had also tanked in the BC Turf a couple of years earlier.

Giant's Causeway had never tried 12 furlongs and Coolmore already had the great Montjeu in the Turf.

When Sakhee and Galileo contested the Classic, Godolphin and Coolmore had major winner Fantastic Light (who had spoiled Galileo's unbeaten record one race prior) and St. Leger winner Milan in the Turf, respectively. They ran 1-2.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:42 AM
Dahoss Dahoss is offline
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To answer your question.....no
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RolloTomasi View Post
Bricks and Mortar, who had never been 12 furlongs until Saturday, just staved off a modest CA-based gelding to get the win, and the key rival, Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck was in tight and nearly clipped heels just as he was charging at the leaders.

Midnight Bisou, always suspect at 9 furlongs, didn't even win the Distaff.

That said, I would have loved to have seen Bricks and Mortar in the Classic--win or lose--just to avoid hearing that screeched, tacky pre-scripted line from the announcer about being "built like a champion" after he edged a 50-1 shot.


Godolphin and Coolmore suffer from an embarrassment of riches. And want to pad stud fees if possible.

The 6yo Swain had already nearly beaten Silver Charm in the Dubai World Cup a few months prior to the Classic. He had also tanked in the BC Turf a couple of years earlier.

Giant's Causeway had never tried 12 furlongs and Coolmore already had the great Montjeu in the Turf.

When Sakhee and Galileo contested the Classic, Godolphin and Coolmore had major winner Fantastic Light (who had spoiled Galileo's unbeaten record one race prior) and St. Leger winner Milan in the Turf, respectively. They ran 1-2.
All very good points, although I would be a little hesitant to use race results to justify why something shouldnít have even been tried. Letsís say Bricks doesnít win and Midnight Bisou didnít win, could an argument be made that loses in their own divisions were more harmful to their records or reputations than a loss in the Classic would have been?
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:42 PM
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To answer your question.....no
So just neglect them and continue to do business as usual?
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:54 PM
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Letsís say Bricks doesnít win and Midnight Bisou didnít win, could an argument be made that loses in their own divisions were more harmful to their records or reputations than a loss in the Classic would have been?
In that regard, running in the Classic would be a means for the pro tem leader of another division to duck their respective supposed championship event.

Bricks and Mortar had a carefully crafted and well-executed campaign, no doubt. But considering the horses he was beating, apparently the turf division was lacking in depth. The best horse he beat prior to the BC was globe-trotter Magic Wand, a second-stringer (in Coolmore's distaff division no less), who only became a Group 1 winner today (after 20 starts) when she won a race in Australia 4 days after an unplaced run in the Melbourne Cup. In the Turf, Bricks and Mortar not only shipped west, he stepped up in trip, and beat a Classic winner (Anthony Van Dyck) and a solid international Group/Grade 1 performer (Old Persian). That was the championship performance needed to put an exclamation point on his campaign.

Midnight Bisou also had a well-manicured campaign with some soft spots punctuating a few battles with the hard-luck Elate. Ironically, Elate went for the Classic rather than taking another shot at Midnight Bisou at 9f, where the former excels and the latter is suspect. That move actually detracted from the Distaff and essentially just added more filler to an already underwhelming Classic. Nevertheless, you still had major division player Blue Prize, who was just rounding into her best form, and had nearly dead-heated with Midnight Bisou for a placing in last year's BC. When it was all said and done, Midnight Bisou was soundly beaten and her HOY aspirations--appropriately--popped like a balloon and may have even called into question her presumed dominance of the division.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:28 PM
Dahoss Dahoss is offline
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So just neglect them and continue to do business as usual?
Itís a bit different in other sports. The Kawhi stuff is ridiculous but if at the end of the year they win the championship...wasnít it worth it?

In racing, no one was neglected by two horses running in the most appropriate race last weekend. Now, if we go back to Zenyatta, I think her owners did the sport a disservice by continually finding the easiest spot possible (most of the time) but at the end of the day hard to argue with the results.

I didnt get Bricks running in the Classic at all and didnít think Midnight Bisou should have either.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:59 PM
blackthroatedwind blackthroatedwind is offline
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That idiot who trains Bricks and Mortar laughed when I told him about this discussion and said the horse can't stand up on the dirt.

But, what does he know.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:18 AM
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Itís a bit different in other sports. The Kawhi stuff is ridiculous but if at the end of the year they win the championship...wasnít it worth it?

In racing, no one was neglected by two horses running in the most appropriate race last weekend. Now, if we go back to Zenyatta, I think her owners did the sport a disservice by continually finding the easiest spot possible (most of the time) but at the end of the day hard to argue with the results.

I didnt get Bricks running in the Classic at all and didnít think Midnight Bisou should have either.
Thank you. Iím curious to know why you feel it was different with Zenyatra? If running in the most appropriate or most logical spot is all that matters, how do you fault her owners but are ok with others? Is it because you believe she was the best horse and needed to race against the best and you donít think a horse like Midnight Bisou needed to run against the best because she wasnít in that class? This year kind of reminded me of 2011 with Havre de Grace. She had already pretty much locked up her division heading into the BC and her owner threw her into the Classic. She ran fourth but still won HOY.

Perhaps Iím just way off. But when I think of some of the top female runners of the entire time Iíve watched racing, names like Personal Ensign, Winning Colors, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Rags to Riches, Enable, Miesque, and Goldikova come to mind and itís not just because of how good they were but partly because their owners have them the chance to create their signature moments by trying something different.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:45 AM
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his year kind of reminded me of 2011 with Havre de Grace. She had already pretty much locked up her division heading into the BC and her owner threw her into the Classic. She ran fourth but still won HOY.
Havre de Grace wasn't tossed into the Classic. She had already ran against--and defeated--males in the Woodward. After getting beat by division rival Blind Luck to ruin a run at a perfect season, the connections of Havre de Grace felt they needed to be aggressive and targeted both the Woodward and the Classic.

Blind Luck had won 3 straight across the country and knocked off not only Havre de Grace but also defending Distaff champ Unrivaled Belle. She was very much in the frame for divisional honors but ultimately imploded before the BC.

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Perhaps Iím just way off. But when I think of some of the top female runners of the entire time Iíve watched racing, names like Personal Ensign, Winning Colors, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Rags to Riches, Enable, Miesque, and Goldikova come to mind and itís not just because of how good they were but partly because their owners have them the chance to create their signature moments by trying something different.
For what its worth, Midnight Bisou is targeting races against males next year (Saudi Cup, Dubai World Cup).

European fillies and mares routinely face males, as you well know. Not sure that's doing something different.
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:37 AM
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Havre de Grace wasn't tossed into the Classic. She had already ran against--and defeated--males in the Woodward. After getting beat by division rival Blind Luck to ruin a run at a perfect season, the connections of Havre de Grace felt they needed to be aggressive and targeted both the Woodward and the Classic.

Blind Luck had won 3 straight across the country and knocked off not only Havre de Grace but also defending Distaff champ Unrivaled Belle. She was very much in the frame for divisional honors but ultimately imploded before the BC.


For what its worth, Midnight Bisou is targeting races against males next year (Saudi Cup, Dubai World Cup).

European fillies and mares routinely face males, as you well know. Not sure that's doing something different.
Yes, Blind Luck fell apart and I thought that wrapped up the division for Havre de Grace with her win in the Woodward. They could have chosen to take on Royal Delta again in the Distaff but instead chose the Classic. Iím looking back, it was kind of like the scenario you talked about earlier where a horse ducks their tougher competition for the supposedly tougher race.

When I say try something different, I mean step out of the traditional norms for American horsemen. All over the world, females face males throughout the year. I know a big part of that is due to purse disparities but it still happens. I also like how their sprint races during the second half of the year are open to horses age two and up. Itís not the norm but itís also not unheard of to see 2yos compete in and win some of the major stakes in Europe.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:25 AM
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Thank you. Iím curious to know why you feel it was different with Zenyatra? If running in the most appropriate or most logical spot is all that matters, how do you fault her owners but are ok with others? Is it because you believe she was the best horse and needed to race against the best and you donít think a horse like Midnight Bisou needed to run against the best because she wasnít in that class? This year kind of reminded me of 2011 with Havre de Grace. She had already pretty much locked up her division heading into the BC and her owner threw her into the Classic. She ran fourth but still won HOY.

Perhaps Iím just way off. But when I think of some of the top female runners of the entire time Iíve watched racing, names like Personal Ensign, Winning Colors, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Rags to Riches, Enable, Miesque, and Goldikova come to mind and itís not just because of how good they were but partly because their owners have them the chance to create their signature moments by trying something different.
I didnít say itís all that matters. What you were proposing with Bricks was a surface change. A surface he had never run before. The Turf was a distance he had never run before.

Zenyatta had dominated on synthetic and essentially followed the same schedule two years in a row. She had opportunities to run at home, against males on the surface she relished and at distances she had won at.

I donít think Midnight Bisou is anywhere near that class....or the class of the horses you mentioned. Sheís a very good horse. Sheís a very good horse who has come along at a time when the Distaff ranks are so-so.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:07 AM
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Yes, Blind Luck fell apart and I thought that wrapped up the division for Havre de Grace with her win in the Woodward. They could have chosen to take on Royal Delta again in the Distaff but instead chose the Classic. I’m looking back, it was kind of like the scenario you talked about earlier where a horse ducks their tougher competition for the supposedly tougher race.
Doubt they were ducking in that specific case. Havre de Grace had just blasted the 3yo Royal Delta to the tune of 8 lengths in the Beldame a month earlier.

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When I say try something different, I mean step out of the traditional norms for American horsemen. All over the world, females face males throughout the year. I know a big part of that is due to purse disparities but it still happens. I also like how their sprint races during the second half of the year are open to horses age two and up. It’s not the norm but it’s also not unheard of to see 2yos compete in and win some of the major stakes in Europe.
American racing as a whole tends to forego its status as a sport and instead focuses on the commercial aspects of the industry.

Why see who the best distaffer is when we can have 2 or 3 horses with near unbeaten records, triple digit speed figures, and undifferentiated black-type? Not only do I get to sell my mare at the end of her career for 6-figures but nowadays I can sell chunks of her along the way to Winstar, Madaket, China Horse Club, etc. Using top class races as acid tests to prove who is truly at the top of the heap puts all that in jeopardy.

In that respect, breaking from the norm--like running against males--will only happen in carefully tailored scenarios where the possibility of success is at a premium.

I find it interesting that Midnight Bisou was pulled from the sale to race in 2020. Sounds like a sporting gesture. However, my guess is that after she gets buried in the Saudi Cup she will quickly retire. I would also hazard a guess that the main reason she is staying in training is not for the benefit of the fans, but rather from the fear that had someone purchased the filly at the FT sale, they would turn around and keep her in training and take a run at all those rich races (Pegasus, Saudi Cup, DWC) that are just over the horizon.

In short, another business decision.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:53 AM
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Itís a bit different in other sports. The Kawhi stuff is ridiculous but if at the end of the year they win the championship...wasnít it worth it?

In racing, no one was neglected by two horses running in the most appropriate race last weekend. Now, if we go back to Zenyatta, I think her owners did the sport a disservice by continually finding the easiest spot possible (most of the time) but at the end of the day hard to argue with the results.

I didnt get Bricks running in the Classic at all and didnít think Midnight Bisou should have either.
Yeah Zenyatta took all those easy spots in those 13 Grade I Stakes she won. Which were the easy spots the 4 grade II wins. Ran twice in The Classic . Stop it.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:54 AM
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Yeah Zenyatta took all those easy spots in those 13 Grade I Stakes she won. Which were the easy spots the 4 grade II wins. Ran twice in The Classic . Stop it.
Zenyatta skipped 2-3 renewals each of the Big Cap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic. Never mind softer targets like the Californian or Oaklawn Handicap.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:54 PM
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Yeah Zenyatta took all those easy spots in those 13 Grade I Stakes she won. Which were the easy spots the 4 grade II wins. Ran twice in The Classic . Stop it.
I know reading comprehension isnít your strong suit (what exactly is your strong suit?) but I said most of the time. Kudos to them for running in the Classic twice. I think her results in those races proves she could and should have been competing with the boys more often....like Rachel did.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:39 PM
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That idiot who trains Bricks and Mortar laughed when I told him about this discussion and said the horse can't stand up on the dirt.

But, what does he know.
Ask him if he thinks Uni is the best horse in his barn
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:49 PM
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We all want something, this horse to run in that race, posters to use paragraphs....we all have to suffer a little for good of it all.
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