The Breeders' Cup has announced saddle cloths will now be the same color as the ones regular horse players are used to.
"We appreciate the input from so many passionate horseplayers on this topic, and believe the new saddle towels will provide a more fan friendly experience for our customers betting on the Championships.” [BC Press Release on Bloodhorse.com]After the debacle of what will be two straight years at Santa Anita and the controversial changes to the program, the BC needed some "Hey, look, we're changing, we're listening to our fans" news. But I find this to be a mere toss of the bone when issues many fans find more profound, such as the Distaff name change and the Filly Friday program, have been arrogantly ignored.
I mean, big deal, using the standard saddle cloth colors, that was just a no-brainer, like needing a new healthcare system. Why were they stubborn about this for so long? To now cite it as proof that they're listening to the fans is purely cynical and insincere in my view.
The bigger point here is that the Breeders Cup and all of horse racing is in relevancy trouble. It's not good when:
- A bunch of horses no one has ever heard of comes across the pond and win your top races.
- The connections of the one mainstream-newsworthy horse is putting out weekly press release saying they aren't going to the year end championships.
- Even horse racing fans say they are overwhelmed by the amount of races over two days
- Seriously, are any of you following the bloated Win And Yer In?
- The tracks don't want to help because they don't make that much on the signal
- Foal nominations are down
So, the saddle cloth change is nice, but, as my buddy Handride always says, it's just deck chairs really. I guess it's a start, but it's only that.