SBJ/October 8 - 14, 2001/Opinion
Breeders at Belmont a symbol of renewal
Published October 8, 2001
The recent attack on the World Trade Center set off a two-tiered debate within the racing industry. The first debate centered on when individual tracks should restart normal operations. In New York, both the New York Racing Association and Meadowlands have held off. Logical and sane decisions, especially after Don Imus called racing "gangsters" for opening days after the attack.
The other debate involves the running of the 2001 Breeders' Cup or whatever its new moniker is, scheduled for Belmont Park on Oct. 27. Thought has been given to moving the event to Churchill Downs. Don't!!!
Holding the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park is symbolic. Just like the WTC was a symbol for the financial might of New York and the United States, so is Belmont a symbol to the rest of the racing world for the best the sport has to offer in a setting that is fitting for such an event.
And how better to show the international sports media that racing is alive and will rise again in the United States. Here we are. Welcome to New York and to beautiful, majestic Belmont Park. It has stood gracefully through world wars, Korea, Vietnam, assassinations of national leaders and terrorist attacks.
Churchill Downs is a wonderful venue for major racing, including the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup. Perhaps it is destiny that Belmont Park was picked as the site for the 2001 Breeders' Cup.