June 19, 2005

We will post updated TROTLINES on Tuesdays rather than Mondays in order to provide any late breaking insights from the immediate weekend.

O.K. Kathy Parker here’s that blueprint for the Breeders Crown again.

Before proceeding the basic understanding is that The Breeder’s Crown like The Breeder’s Cup should be America’s day at the races or in our case America’s day or night at The Harness Races.

So do we do this? One way might be by:

ELMINATING those aged only races since staging them in mid summer often dilutes the “championship” aspect.

Take those monies and add them to what would now become the 3 and ups…simulating the CLASSIC ASPECT that prevails in The Breeders Cup.

Too often the 3 year-old only Breeders Crown events simply morph into just another age group scenarios with little more championship impact than any other similarly pursed sophomores only event. Too often as happened last year- divisional leaders pass! Then there’s the redundancy aspect as there was little relevance in Rainbow Blue beating the girls. Again…

For additional funding why not transfer that ½% collected for the Classic Series into the Breeders Crown purses. Inevitably there will be a call for the rescinding of auction sale take outs for the Classic but having those monies swell what would then be significant Breeders Crown pots would be far more palatable to those consignors and purchasers who have no choice but to “ante up”

This would then reduce the Crown to eight races comprising the four for 2-year-olds exclusively subdivided to sex and gait and the other four for the 3 and ups. It would certainly make for a more concise and more relevant broadcast package on what could then be a truly championship stage.

The date should be at a time when weather plays minimal significance. Moreover there is ample precedence for championship caliber 3-year-olds being able to deal with their elders at that stage of the season. The likes of Shadow Wave, Bullet Hanover, Most Happy Fella, Oil Burner, NIATROSS and others all distinguished themselves in American Classic type venues back then.

To further offset the age advantage why not borrow from the thoroughbred weight for age concept in which 3-year-olds receive a 5 pound weight allowance by allowing our 3-year to automatically draw for the inside or most favorable post positions

Is this a pipedream? Perhaps. To get anything like this accomplished would require massive industry wide cooperation. Still it would seem for the betterment of the sport, some form of Super Bowl concept is necessary like the Breeder’s Crown was originally hyped to be.

Oh and one of the first things mentioned when news surfaced of Ghostzapper’s injury induced retirement was “There goes that Classic match-up with Afleet Alex!

Couldn’t agree with you more Randy Waples! WITHOUT LIMITS the saga of Oregon distance runner Steve Prefontaine is about as inspiring an athletic story as you’re likely to see.

Liked the entire June 9th Canadian Sportsman issue. Stan Bergstein’s Loose Lines column is a gem addressing commentary reprinted from recognized thoroughbred columnists Paul Moran and Andy Beyer.

Moran states that it is at least as important for thoroughbred handicappers to know the name of the “stable vet” as it is to know the name of the trainer.

Beyer cites how “drugs including concoctions aimed at speeding muscle recovery have debased the wonderful game of handicapping.”

We may not like this but as Stan stipulates, it is indicative of how THEY are thinking.

Also liked the piece on fathers and sons.

The story about the sidelining of RAINBOW BLUE was picked up by the New York Post hours after its release. While not exactly good news it was after all a NEWSWORTHY STORY of interest to racing fans everywhere. . So too was another story that has yet to be covered concerning a significant driver change on what must be considered a celebrity horse. While this may not have been complimentary to all involved and there could be some negative undertones it is nevertheless a STORY that fans might be interested in reading about. Something news editors tend to take notice of.

As Cole Porter so eloquently versed in Lets Misbehave, “If you want a future baby go out and get a past! In other words, if you want INK, provide something to print!

Jack Parker’s impressive Dream Vacation colt WILDWOOD DAYS (Flash Of Dignity) was scratched from last week’s baby race with a slight temperature. He went again Saturday but the early posting required for the Monday’s publication precludes the opportunity to report how he did.

Impressive that day was XHILARATION a Western Hanover filly from Motivation and thus a half sister to Figure The Odds, Unspoken and our own Good Vibrations.

MUSCLE BOUND (Muscles Yankee-Habit) came right back in Thursday’s New Jersey Sires Stake. DIESEL DON (Muscles Yankee-Yankee Blondie) qualified back impressively in Friday.

Hey Barry Goldstein! We’ll be pulling for BLUR (Muscles Yankee-Blue Ridge Girl) in the Elegant Image final.

More next week

Bob Marks




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