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SBD/November 4, 2013/Events and Attractions
Handle At Breeders' Cup Rises For First Time In Three Years; Attendance Sees Jump
Published November 4, 2013
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).