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Friday, January 19, 2007

Setting the Record Striaght

- Reader Late Scratch was at Empire's town meeting, and he reported that the Saratogian did indeed have a lengthy article in their print edition. I'd even done a search by 'Paul Post' but there was nothing. So thanks for that info, and I apologize for that bit of misinformation.

He also informs us that he didn't hear Perlee make the remark that was attributed to him in the Glens Falls Post Star; directly from the story posted on its website, Perlee was reported to say: "What the Belmont is, and when you see what the Belmont could be, as a New Yorker, it breaks your heart." As quoted, it's such an off-the-wall statement in my humble opinion, that I'm certainly willing to consider that perhaps he was misquoted; in fact, I'd go as far as to say that I hope he was.

Late Scratch thought Perlee was talking about the backstretch at the track, something that few would dispute. But note that the quote was in context with the content of the story at that point, as it followed the line in which Perlee said he'd like the Belmont to be like the Derby, and reader Green Mtn Punter agrees. I just don't think that's in the cards...unless a horse has a chance to sweep every year. There's so much emphasis on a horse winning the Triple Crown these days, given the length of time since Affirmed was the last to sweep it, that there's just a natural letdown if the Derby winner fails or doesn't run two weeks hence. And I also think that Bernardini's absence from the race may encourage others in similar positions to do the same. I think that the Travers is a better race to try and promote as a Derby-like event. It is known as the Midsummer Derby after all.

1 Comment:

Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, The Travers certainly has all of the cachet of the Derby and then some but the Spa has only 11,000 seats under cover. Yes, if somehow The Travers could be restricted to a TV event other than raising all seat prices into the stratosphere than I'm all for it. I still don't understand your downplaying the untapped prestige and potential of The Belmont Stakes to go head-to-head with The Derby as America's Stakes Race. Up until the Col Matt Winn era at Churchill Downs, which finally "arrived" in 1937 when the Col and Churchill Downs appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, the Belmont Stakes was the preeminent classic race for 3 year olds in America. The Derby's preeminence has been assumed and unchallenged for so long that it just hasn't occurred to any present-day marketing geniuses that maybe The Derby has run it's course, it's time for something new? Just as NASCAR came along in the 70's and the Daytona 500 unseated the Indy 500 as America's Auto Race, nothing lasts forever. I sincerely hope that NY as the unquestioned # 1 in American racing is a top priority for the new franchisee in 2008. Let's remember that NY racing is competing with Churchill Downs and the Breeders Cup because you can be sure that CD and the BC are very aware of NY as their only serious competitor.