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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Missing Post

- You may have noticed that there's a post missing from this blog (though as Jessica noted at Railbird, on the web....nothing ever disappears). After posting about my conversation with the NTRA's Jim Gluckson, I was informed that he was under the impression that the conversation was off the record, a declaration that was not made during the time that we spoke. I think that others who have spoken to me with that understanding will attest that I've always honored that request, and believe me, I've been told things that are far more interesting than the substance of the ex-post.

A representative of the Breeders' Cup called and asked politely if I would consider removing the post. I promptly complied with that request. While that may be against Blog Rules, for one thing, it's never been my desire or intention to unduly embarrass anyone here (unless they really really deserve it...and even then, I've held myself back). Whatsmore, the fact that Gluckson was speaking for himself and not for the BC made the post factually inaccurate.

I'm not at all happy about this whole thing; it's been a real drag. I really wish that he had made himself clear, or that I had double-checked with him before writing. I never want to get anyone in trouble, and it's embarrassing to me too. So I'm just going to move on without further comment. Going forward, I think I'm going to eschew the hard journalism and stick to the kind of stuff that has made writing this blog so much fun for me. (At least until I start getting paid).


Anonymous said...

I'll give you props for removing the discussion after the request was made.

That said I didn't see his comments (as presented by you) being in a poor light or even contrary to what the BC folks have said. He merely was softening the position as I think he might have appreciated the fact that fans want a better explantion.

The opening the door to maybe adjusting things in 2009 isn't a bad thing.

In the TB Times recently Dorothy Ours, who wrote the recent book on Man O' War, sent in a letter to the editor which was very respectful but offered constructive objection.

Rational voices like that need to be heard and the BC folks need to be open to reconfiguring the event to be more palatable for owners, trainer, fans, officials ...

Jen R said...

This whole mess stems from the misconception that they can just create more championship races. Calling something a Breeders' Cup race and moving it to Saturday doesn't mean that it's a championship-caliber event.

We already had races that covered the real championship divisions before they decided to go to two days.

...god, this sport makes me feel like an old fart.

Anonymous said...

I hope you won't let this unpleasantness dissuade you from occasionally doing things like your interview with Charles Hayward, which was both excellent and clearly on the record. You are a unique resource for those of us who spend more time thinking about the game than we probably ought to.


Unknown said...

Jen R wins the award for making the most ridiculous comment in the history of the Internet.

"This whole mess stems from the misconception that they can just create more championship races."

Why was the Breeders' Cup allowed to create championship races in 1984 but not now? Of course in 1984 they didn't create championship races. They conceived of a one-day event showcasing the sport's best, and those races became championship caliber because they attracted the best.

Now 25 years later, they've conceived a second day. I really don't understand the big stink about it. If the horsemen don't like it, they won't enter; if the fans don't like it, they won't attend/bet. If the Eclipse Award voters don't believe in the strength of the races, then they will vote winners of other races. Give it time to play out for crying out loud.

El Angelo said...


The problem is that the Breeders Cup was great the way it was. There was no need to tinker with the best day of racing. Even if they had added the other 6 races and shelved them to the Friday card as the warmup day, that would have been fine. Why water down a great day of racing though, especially when most of us will be working during Friday?

Anonymous said...

Your blog, when used by bloggers and guests is pretty cool, in fact probably the best in the racing world! When Hayward invited you to his office, he was taking full advantage of your good nature to use your blog for his NYRA agenda. In my opinion, a blog is not the format for interviews with individuals that may not express the true intent of the bigger company picture, nor is it a place to print propaganda that otherwise should be open to direct cross examination by a reporter that is prepared to lead the examination.

Alan Mann said...

Anon 8:23 - Thanks for the kind words and the thoughtful comment. I think your sentiments regarding whether a blog is the proper forum for posts like the Hayward interview are totally fair and something to seriously consider.

Jen R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen R said...

(Sorry, posted the other comment before I was done.)

Eddie D. can apparently be counted upon to be rude and condescending right out of the gate in any forum. It's nice to have some consistency in today's ever-changing world.

I'm referring to the fact that there are simply not an infinite number of truly championship-caliber horses available. These new races have the effect of either conferring "championship race" status on a field full of Grade 2/3 animals, or diluting the quality of the real championship races by spreading the better performers around. The talent pool isn't deep enough to fill fourteen races with the best of the best. So I question why these races had to be created, and why some of the better races have to be sacrificed to the relative oblivion of the Friday card to promote the scheme.