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SBD/June 15, 2012/Events and Attractions
Churchill Downs Considers Dropping $50 Kentucky Derby Ticket Fee
Published June 15, 2012
SEEKING FEEDBACK: In Louisville, Jennie Rees notes CDI President Kevin Flanery formally announced plans for a new series, the “Road to the Derby,” on Thursday and “reaction was varied as horsemen began learning the details.” The series will “encompass 36 races, almost all of which are historically prominent Derby prep races, and have a tiered point system where points increase in value as the prep distances stretch out and get closer to the Derby.” Flanery said that they “want feedback from tracks and suggestions how to improve the system going forward.” Trainer Bob Baffert was “among those expressing chagrin that horsemen were not consulted.” Baffert said that there “should be a minimum purse to be a qualifying race and expressed concern that tracks would whack a stakes purse once its Derby points were set.” Trainer Todd Pletcher also said that he “didn’t think there was a need to change the existing system.” His main objection is that “he believes fillies and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner are not treated fairly” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/15).
NOT BIG FANS:Trainer Chip Woolley said, "I think it's a bad deal. I sure don't agree with it. To me, this is not a fair way of doing it." Trainer Graham Motion said, "I hope they are doing the right thing. I am a little concerned" (Albany TIMES UNION, 6/15). The DAILY RACING FORM’s Marty McGee noted trainer Steve Asmussen was “adamant in his opinion that the new rules are overwrought and unnecessary.” Asmussen said, “This isn’t some subjective sport like figure skating where you don’t know who the French judge is. The Derby is the only thing in racing that seems to be working, so why have they tinkered with it?” (DRF.com, 6/14).