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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Endless Eclipse

- I turned on TVG a little after 8 PM Eastern time, and holy crap, this had been going on for two hours already?? After the three hour Eclipse Awards Red Carpet came the hour-long Eclipse Awards Preshow, followed by the actual awards ceremony for two more hours, followed by a half hour wrap-up show. This programming brings out the worst side of TVG: the constant histrionics to make sure that we all know just how incredibly damn dramatic all of this is - and this on a night with about as much suspense as the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Alito. Plus you get the endless, pointless interviews, and Jessica York. And I couldn’t even get the track condition for Mountaineer.

In the brief time that I was able to endure, it seemed more like an infomercial than anything else. An interview with Chris McCarron allowed him to hype his jockey school but no questions about Dr. G were posed. Ken Rudolph did everything in his power, cracking some lame joke in desperation, to keep Michael Gill from talking about the controversy surrounding him. (To their credit, Frank Lyons and Todd Schrrmpffhh touched on it afterwards – but no one mentioned his intention to leave the business.) And I’d be quite surprised if anyone told me that there was any mention whatsoever of the pending suspension of the Eclipse winning trainer and the one recently served by the trainer of the Horse of the Year.

And that’s about all I have to say about the Eclipse Awards – the list of winners is here. I just don’t get hepped up about awards and award shows, whether it be movies, music, or my favorite game. I know what I think was the best film, the best album, or the best sprinter, and I don't much care what some voters think. I know there are some who right now are livid over Lost in the Fog handily taking the sprint championship, and I think they make some valid points and it’s good to see some passions flare. But I can’t say that I really care that much one way or another.

I think we'd all agree that champions should be decided on the playing field. To me, the idea of voters determining the "winners" in each division is like a committee of writers voting on who wins the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately though, the length of the season and the injuries and retirements are such that more often than not, there isn’t a true climactic and definitive showdown, so this is the best we’ve got. It doesn’t mean I have to spend six and a half hours watching it. The TBA rankings that I carry on this blog, while something that needs some tweaking, could be, I believe, especially in association with a concept like the apparently dead Thoroughbred Championship Tour, a sound basis for a system that could bring some much needed incentives for owners to run their horses in the tough spots, as well as the kind of order and continuity which could keep people interested throughout the year. But I believe that there would still be a place for a subjective vote for a Horse of the Year and other awards, just like the MVP and Cy Young Award in baseball. They're something to debate and argue about, and that’s a good thing.

The Eclipse Awards is a nice showcase for the sport, and it’s good that it has a TV outlet, even if the show was three times too long. The problem is that nobody outside the core followers of the sport could possibly care less about them. That in itself is a good reason to look into some alternatives.

3 Comments:

Walter said...

...hi Alan...yeah, i'm not much on awards either, but it was nice to see Lost in the Fog receive the award for top sprinter, if for no other reason than to stick it to Watchmaker...i really thought he turned in a great body of work, and was probably discriminated against (by Watchmaker and others) for no other reason than he didn't go chasing after the Triple Crown...i think some people assumed that meant he "wasn't good enough", which is ridiculous...some horses are just good at different things, just like some people are good at different things...doesn't make you any better or worse, that's just how you were made...

...coupla points of interest on the SoCal scene...first off, i notice in tomorrow's Form that Point of Impact's 57.0 workout from a couple of weeks ago has been changed to 58.0...not sure what signifigance that has (if any), just thought it was unusual...incidentally, i'll have his reports tonight, and will post them here...secondly, i read in the Stable Notes section of the Santa Anita website that Your Tent Or Mine, who hasn't had a recorded workout since getting body-slammed in the Hollywood Futurity, is "in light training" according to trainer Neil Drysdale...that's SOME confirmation that the horse is doing okay, at least if you believe Drysdale...in a somewhat related manner, Fusaichi Samurai returned to the worktab with a slow 3-furlong breeze...he appears to be starting over from scratch now???...oh well, at least he showed up on the worktab...i also read that Atilla's Storm came out of the Palos Verdes with some kind of leg fracture, and is scheduled for surgery...Brother Derek has reportedly bounced out of his San Rafael win well, and looks to be in fine fettle...that's everything, i guess...i'll post those Point of Impact works tonight...

alan said...

Just read that Cindago is out for 90 days with a hairline fracture.

Walter said...

...OUCH...i hadn't heard about that...gotta be disappointing to his connections, no doubt they were looking forward to a big campaign from him...

...as for Point of Impact, i just looked at my reports, and unfortunately there's nothing since his last race...he's been out a couple of times, but i guess my clocker missed him each time...doesn't take much imagination to see that he's been working well, however...the first one was originally listed on the worktab as 57.0 (though Baffert claims to have gotten him in 58 and change), and his most recent drill is 58.3...he'll likely show speed on the stretchout, just as Point Determined and Royal Legacy did recently...looks like a pretty easy spot for him, too...should get it done, and set him up nicely for a stakes try...