RSS Feed for this Blog

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BC Spins the Numbers

- Thanks to this reader who points us to Steve Crist for the grim year-to-year handle comparisons from Friday in spreadsheet form. The F&M Sprint, the only race which was run on Friday last year, came in virtually dead-even with last year's race; and as Crist points out, considering the awful conditions last year, that has to rate as a big disappointment.

Not as much of course as the three races which were (properly) run on Saturday last year. Considering only the single-race pools (wps, ex, tri, super), the combined handle on those races were down 32% according to Crist's spreadsheet. And recall again that some people shied away from the races last year due to the slop. (In fairness, I suppose some may also have done so this year due to the Pro-Ride; but that was strictly the Breeders' Cup decision as opposed to uncontrollable forces of nature.)

Of course, one can spin numbers anyway they want, and the Breeders' Cup was quick to point out that this was the biggest North American handle ever for a Friday; a middling claim at best! "The horse racing fans of Southern California and sports fans around the world responded enthusiastically to the new format for Championship Friday," said Greg Avioli.

No Greg, sorry, but they did not. Instead of spouting pure unadulterated BS like that, a more fan-friendly and marketing-savvy statement might have been: "While the horse racing fans of Southern California and sports fans around the world responded enthusiastically, we have also heard your concerns. Therefore, in response to the fans who showed their loyal support today and throughout the year, we will revert to our traditional format next year, and restore the Breeders' Cup Distaff to its rightful place on our true championship day."

Dream on...


steve in nc said...

Not to mention that this denied Zenyatta the bigger Saturday spotlight she deserved. Whata racehorse!

Had this always been the format, Personal Ensign/Winning Colors would have also happened during the workday scramble or hellish commute that is Friday afternoon for most people.

And now the sprint has only 9 entrants, missing the fillies that always used to spice it up.

But face it. We're just a couple of old coots crowing about the way things used to be. The NBA playoffs end in June now. If it weren't for global warming, World Series games would get snowed out.

Look forward eventually to Breeders' Cup week, with an all 2YO turf card breaking records for handle for Wednesdays, except when fields are reduced to 5 because the races get rained off the turf (gotta save the course for the all filly turf Thursday).

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the Friday card. It was all about Zenyatta and some beautiful newcomers i never heard of, Stardum Bound was awesome.

This is a bad year for the dollar everywhere, tracks included. Do I wish for the old glory days when a horse is King? Hell yes! What??! Curlin rules!

Have a good trip!

John said...

Thanks for pointing out the spreadsheet. Of course we bloggers who boycotted the program are going to have a field day with the numbers, I know they don't imply our boycott had any effect but they do imply that Ladies Day ain't such a great idea.

There's some satisfaction in that !

Jen R said...

"The idea was to create two championship days of racing--in some respects equal, but different days of racing."

In some respects equal, and in other respects one of the days has the prime Saturday slot while the other is dumped in the Friday wasteland.

steve in nc, you are singing my tune.