- Nice job by...well, somebody in getting Rags to Riches' appearance in next Saturday's Coaching Club American Oaks onto ESPN, replacing the originally scheduled San Diego Handicap from Del Mar. An NTRA press release seems to imply that the decision was made by all of the parties involved.
“We wish to thank our broadcast partners at ESPN, the New York Racing Association, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and TVG for helping make live coverage of this event on ESPN a reality,” said Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of NTRA. [Bloodhorse.com]And that's excellent - just the kind of cooperation amongst different tracks and organizations that we need to see. Of course the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club would realize that their stakes, though a nice race, will hardly be the top story of the day, and would magnanimously, with the good of the sport in mind, work with the NTRA and ESPN to get Rags to Riches the national exposure she warrants. After all, she has the kind of star power that has the potential to ultimately benefit Del Mar, and every other track in the country.
But, reading San Diego's North County Times, one gets the feeling that's not quite the way things shook out.
"Obviously, we're disappointed because the San Diego is such a good race," Del Mar president Joe Harper said Monday, "but we don't make those decisions. They've got the keys to the TV station.So much for that brief moment of euphoria.
"I started out in television, so I know these decisions are made for different reasons and not the quality of our product. I'm not going to get too upset. Just disappointed."