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SBD/November 4, 2013/Events and AttractionsPrint All
Handle at this weekend's Breeders’ Cup "rose for the first time in three years this year, despite the event having one fewer race," according to Matt Hegarty of DAILY RACING FORM. Handle on the 14 races this weekend was $135.5M, up 6.8% "compared to preliminary reported handle" of $126.8M on 15 races last year. Handle on last year's races was down 9.5% compared to '11, when the event was held at Churchill Downs, a "decline that was blamed in part on the aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy." Wagering this year "was bolstered by a record pick five pool" that drew $5.5M in Saturday bets "following a carryover of almost $900,000 when no one hit the bet on Friday." Wagering was "especially strong early on in the Breeders’ Cup slate of Saturday races, but betting began to soften at the midpoint, a phenomenon that occurred on last year’s Saturday card as well." Overall, "betting was up on the Classic." The event "reported a crowd of 58,795 on Saturday, a gain of 6.6 percent over the Saturday crowd last year." The Breeders’ Cup "put together a lineup of pop-music stars to perform in the infield on Saturday, a first for that type of promotion, and attendance in the infield appeared to be sparse all day despite the entertainment." On Friday, when five races were held, attendance was 35,833, up 3.5% over last year’s Friday crowd (DRF.com, 11/3).
I LOVE L.A.: In L.A., Bill Dwyre wrote the announced attendance and November sunshine in Southern California "may continue to nudge Breeders' Cup officials toward making Santa Anita a semi-permanent home" (L.A. TIMES, 11/3). In N.Y., Tom Pedulla wrote the Breeders’ Cup is "set to return here next year, the fifth time in seven seasons the event will be held at Santa Anita." The setting "is grand and the weather ideal, but the focus on the West Coast has its critics." Horse owner Ed Stanco "is among the most outspoken owners in believing the event should visit a larger number of venues." He said, “If it’s a Breeders’ Cup championship, it should move around. If you don’t move it around, all it becomes is the California championships.” Stanco also "believes thoroughbred racing will miss opportunities if the trend continues." Stanco: “The biggest problem we have is fan interest. The best way to develop fan interest is to bring the game to them" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/3).
UNENVIABLE POSITION: ESPN.com's Jay Cronley noted horse Secret Compass broke a leg in the first race Saturday and had to be put down "just before network coverage clicked on." Cronley asked, "What's to be done about a Breeder's Cup horse that dies on the racetrack on one of the industry's biggest days?" Fans are "probably not going to hear announced over the public-address system to all those late arrivals that a Breeders' Cup horse died." Cronley: "You're not going to hear anybody talking about the dead horse on the prime-time coverage" (ESPN.com, 11/2).
WRAPPING UP: In Louisville, Jennie Rees noted the Breeders’ Cup’s “The Best Is Yet To Come” theme song "seems to run counter to Jockey Club efforts to introduce more twenty-somethings to the sport." Last year it was Tony Bennett "singing the old Frank Sinatra song." This year it was Kristin Chenoweth "belting it out." Meanwhile, though attendance Saturday was announced at 58,795, there were "lots of empty parking spaces." The weather "was perfect, but that number still lags far behind any of the eight Breeders’ Cup Saturday programs held at Churchill Downs" (COURIER-JOURNAL.com, 11/3).
A record 50,740 runners started the 43rd edition of the ING N.Y. Marathon, and as of late yesterday the race had "proceeded without incident as runners continued to cross the finish line in Central Park," according to Sara Germano of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The marathon was "bolstered by extra security from the NYPD and limitations on backpacks and other attire for participants." NYRR President & CEO Mary Wittenberg said there were "zero incidents and zero threats" (WSJ.com, 11/3). ESPN.com's Bonnie Ford wrote security "was omnipresent ... as runners emerged from the finish area wearing bright orange ponchos and carrying the now-mandatory clear bags with their belongings." There were the "usual festive family reunions, but it was impossible to miss the increased police presence, many officers toting handheld surveillance cameras" (ESPN.com, 11/3). On Long Island, Lauren Harrison notes runners had to "file through a security checkpoint before the race started." Blue police barricades "blocked intersecting streets and police cruisers and ambulances were evident along the route." Meanwhile, the heavy security "included at least one bomb-sniffing dog near the finish line, barricades around Central Park to limit entry points, bag checks and scuba divers in the waters." Police said that there also were "about 1,500 cameras along the route" (NEWSDAY, 11/4).
ON YOUR MARKS: In Newark, Mike Vorkunov writes the marathon "provided moments to remember and showed that there would be a new normal." The "whir of helicopters buzzed throughout the day," and race officials "wore clear backpacks to hold their own materials" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/4). In N.Y., Juliet Macur writes it "isn't easy" trying to "find a way to make big crowds safe crowds without letting armed forces steal the show." It was "a near police state" around the finish line. Runners and spectators "were conflicted" as the extra security "provided some peace of mind." However, many said that it was a "shame we’ve come to this." Macur: "Gone are the days of the New York City Marathon feeling like a laid-back gathering of like-minded runners" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/4).
MAKING GOOD TIME: In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes the marathon "really proved what the New York Road Runners were so anxious to demonstrate last year, too soon." This was the "right time, 12 months later, to show the world that New York recovers from disaster as well as anyplace in the world, and that it can put on a show best of all" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/4). Wittenberg said, "I just really hope that today is another good step forward for our city" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/4). On Long Island, Mark Herrmann writes under the header, "For Many, New York City Marathon Was A Much-Needed Positive Experience" (NEWSDAY, 11/4).
We put out the call last week seeking those running in yesterday's ING N.Y. Marathon, the first after last year's cancellation due to Hurricane Sandy. We appreciate the many readers who sent in their times and thoughts from the experience. We would like to congratulate all those who competed and ran through N.Y.'s five boroughs. The following is a list of readers who shared their experience with us and images from the day.
NAME TITLETIME COMMENTS Emily
MATTER Account Exec
After successfully completing her first marathon, Clements reunited with her family members and immediately inquired, “What’s the Saints score?" Sean
MLS Dir of Corporate Communications
MATTER Account Exec3:52:21 It's amazing what can be done when it feels like an entire city is cheering for you. What an incredible day for our city and the running community. My first New York Marathon and definitely not my last! Matt
NASCAR Manager of Competition Communications
My wife met me at the finish line -- exactly one year after I proposed to her at the same location. We became engaged at the finish line the Saturday following the 2012 marathon cancellation. And since she works for ASAP Sports, she had access to meet me there this year and even though we are already married, I asked her to marry me again. Thank goodness she said yes! Brad
Braves Dir of Partnership Services
What an incredible experience. The volunteers and fans were great. Running over into Manhattan is a rush, but I still say my favorite is mile 8 in Brooklyn. Hats off to NYRR for keeping everything moving with the added security. Tyler
USA Today Dir of Sports Media Group Leagues & Properties
I have done 7 marathons and nothing compares to the ING New York City Marathon. Nothing compares in terms of excitement, in terms of vigor, and in terms satisfaction when you complete it. When you hit your breaking point, you have crowds 8-10 deep cheering you on. This year was tough with the wind and cold, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else. Chris
MLB VP/National Sales3:15:53 NYRR did it again, another great marathon! During the race, I had to battle the wind in a few spots but other than that I had a great run. Also, NYRR and the city did a great job increasing security without disrupting the runner experience. Looking forward to running again in 2014. Matt
MATTER Account Supervisor3:30:57 The fans lining the course were incredible and deserve a huge thank you. Their relentless energy and encouragement for all 26.2 miles carried me through to the finish line. Barbara
MLBAM Senior Marketing Dir3:31:21 It's been 6 years since my last NYC Marathon and on Sunday I was reminded how great of a race it is. It's a roller coaster day of emotions, but a sporting event you yearn to experience again and again. A huge thanks to all family, friends and strangers that cheer us on and push us to the finish line. Nan
MLS Partnership Marketing Coordinator4:24:30 Josh
MLS Senior Financial Dir3:22:53 Lindsay
MLS Special Events Dir4:22:42 Nikolay
Turnkey Intelligence VP/Consumer Research3:29:29 It was a little windy but overall a great day for running. The crowd was incredible, I had a great time and enjoyed every moment of it. The organization of the event was spotless, which is impressive given its scale and increased security measures. Sam
MLB Network host/reporter5:32:00 I didn't realize just how emotional the experience would be. The calm and quiet of the Verrazano bridge into the crowded streets of Brooklyn was simply fantastic. Some may call it a once in a lifetime experience, but I loved it so much, I'll be back for the 2014 NYC Marathon. David Wahlen IMG Consulting Account Manager
Spectators make the race experience special. Hard to believe people drop out with all the support you receive from each of the five boroughs. The feeling and sound coming off the Queensboro onto 1st Ave. is something everyone needs to experience once in their life, goosebumps for sure.
MORE RUNNERS: In addition to the reader-submitted times, there were several sports personalities who completed the marathon, including former U.S. Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos and NBC's Michelle Beadle.