- NYRA, if they still exist by then, will run four Grade 1's on the first Saturday of next year's Saratoga meet in cooperation with the Breeders' Cup "win and you're in" Challenge. The Grade I races to be held that day are the Whitney Handicap (winner qualifying for the Breeders' Cup Classic), Go for Wand (Distaff), Alfred G. Vanderbilt (Sprint) and Diana (Filly & Mare Turf). [Albany Times Union]
- Post positions will be drawn at 11:15 today (Wednesday). No live coverage on ESPN, but they will have a one hour Today at the Breeders' Cup on ESPN2 at 2 PM. ESPN and Breeders Cup officials were talking it up yesterday. Breeders Cup interim CEO Greg Avioli said: "The decision to go to ESPN was not a ratings-based decision," he said. "It was designed for significantly more promotion over the months leading up to the Breeders' Cup to grow the property." [Louisville Courier-Journal] You can decide for yourself if that's been the case. But for next year, ESPN is in on the Breeders Cup Challenge, and will televise all six dates.
"As opposed to having 80 or 90 or 100 good hours of horse racing that's nice but disparate, let's tie it together," [ESPN VP Len] DeLuca said of the network's strategy to both acquire the Cup and create the Cup Challenge. "Let's create a season." [Lexington Herald Reader]- Seems as if Dubai Escapade wouldn't have run even if she didn't have inflammation in her ankle, because they're both owned by one of the sheikhs or another; i can't really keep up with which sheikh is which these days. But somewhat overlooked in Discreet Cat's avoidance of Bernardini is the fact that the sheikh's brother's Invasor will take on the big guy. Do you think he'd be running if the Head Sheikh really though he had a chance to upset Bernardini?
- The NY Post reports today that NYRA has not yet officially responded to the state's offer to parcel out the $19 million in installments.