The official announcement may have come about eight months later than originally planned, but the open secret regarding host sites for the Breeders’ Cup through 2021 was officially announced as fact today. After the 2018 version at Churchill Downs, we’ll go to Santa Anita for 2019, then a return trip to Keeneland in 2020, followed by Del Mar in 2021. Personally, I love everything about this. The ONLY concern I have, which may be a totally baseless concern, is that the Del Mar turf course configuration puts closers who have to go wide at a slightly larger disadvantage than they normally are over any of America’s turf courses. This might be based on my frustrating losses last year with September and Untamed Domain in the juvy turf races. So I am open to revising this position later. Regardless, the schedule announcement sits well with me.
The last time a New York track hosted the Breeders’ Cup was 2005. I don’t recall seeing much complaining going on about this fact on Racing Twitter in recent months. And I admit Im not up on the politics of the situation. Maybe NYRA doesn’t even want the Breeders’ Cup. Either way, the minimum 17-year hiatus from Belmont doesn’t bother me at all. I attended the 2001 BC at Belmont. I had a good day betting but it was too cold and windy. I also felt the environment lacked a “big event” feel. Additionally, the single worst experience I ever had at a sporting event was the 2014 Belmont Stakes. Throughout the facility, it seemed as if NYRA just learned there was a Triple Crown on the line the day before and had to rush to prepare for the big crowd. I had paid several hundred dollars for a reserved seat, and the security staff proceeded to allow everyone outside into the reserved seating area, blocking the view for those of us who had paid to see the race. Overall, it was a miserable experience. And let the record reflect I won big that day, too.
Another thing I don’t like about racing at Belmont Park was that the ONLY race all day that started in front of the crowd was the Turf. Literally every other race seemed like the gates were positioned about a half-mile away. To me, it just took away from the experience. I hope the Breeders’ Cup never returns to New York.
Anyway, it’s nice to have the announcement out of the way. All four tracks are great places to take in a Breeders’ Cup.