So Nice They Did It Twice: Breeders' Cup To Hold '13 Event At Santa Anita
The Breeders’ Cup today announced it will hold its '13 event at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1-2. The Breeders’ Cup is horse racing’s annual championship event and features two days of racing. Breeders’ Cup officials had been in talks with Monmouth Park about holding the '13 event there, but track officials announced late last month that the championship would not be held at the New Jersey venue. Breeders’ Cup officials also had been in talks with NYRA earlier this year about holding the event at Belmont Park, but obstacles included lack of lights for night racing and the potential lack of hotel availability. There also has been a shake-up in NYRA’s leadership. NYRA President & CEO Charles Hayward was fired in May, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to unveil a new NYRA BOD after Labor Day weekend. The announcement that the Breeders’ Cup is returning to Santa Anita for a second consecutive year could ruffle some feathers in the horse racing industry. There has been a decades-long East Coast-West Coast rivalry in the sport, and some New York horseplayers and horse owners were publicly critical of the Breeders’ Cup when it was announced last year that the '12 event would be held at Santa Anita. This year’s event, which is being contested on Nov. 2-3, marks the third time in five years that the Breeders’ Cup will be at that track. Churchill Downs hosted the event in '10 and '11 (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).
GOING BACK TO CALI: The DAILY RACING FORM's Matt Hegarty reported Santa Anita has “several ardent supporters on the Breeders’ Cup board because of the track’s location within the enormous Los Angeles metropolitan area and because of the mild Southern California climate.” The selection of Santa Anita as the host site for the second year in a row “also dovetails with a preference by some Breeders’ Cup officials to run consecutive events at the same site to leverage the organization’s marketing efforts” (DRF.com, 8/8).