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Breeders’ Cup FTW!

As much as I like to complain that the racing industry often Gets It Wrong, the Breeders’ Cup did two Very Good Things this week (and it’s only Tuesday). First, they announced that a race will be airing live between two college football games on October 10th – and while I don’t personally see the point of college football (or, really, any football that largely involves the hands), this is a very smart marketing move. Depending on how things shake out, we should have a chance to see either Zenyatta or Mine That Bird in a Breeders’ Cup prep.

There will be a good schedule of racing shown October 10th on ESPN in any event (the Goodwood, the Lady’s Secret, the Oak Tree Mile, the Shadwell Turf Mile and the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity), but getting at least one of those races out to a new audience is a welcome gesture. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been the Woodward, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The second Good Thing is the launch of Breeders’ Cup 360 – it may be aimed primarily at bettors, but it’s full of plenty of great content and it’s powered by our favorite racing engine, Raceday 360. There’s plenty of opportunity for commentary and discussion and it’s got a fantabulous layout and design – full marks for everyone involved!

The flip side to all the good news was the very strange outcome of the Prix Vermeille over the weekend, in which the winning filly, Dar Re Mi, was disqualified to fifth – leaving the pre-race favorite Stacelita undefeated. The reasoning was that she interfered with the fifth-place horse, but I would challenge anyone to find anything amiss with the ride – it’s certainly not one of those 50/50 calls. Both fillies will likely still point to the Arc – but as impressive as Stacelita has been so far this season, in my mind, she’s certainly not undefeated anymore. And if the ground comes up soft in Paris on October 4th, Stacelita, a fan of the wet stuff, may well be the victor – for Sea the Stars won’t run if it’s damp. In that case, we’d be more likely to see him in the Breeders’ Cup in November – but in any event, the race for the Arc has gotten very interesting indeed.

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