Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Going Begging

Gary West on the tiny Cotillion field:

Anyway, it’s embarrassing, but there it is: four horses racing for a million bucks in a Cotillion that has turned into something of a private dance party. And Saturday night, how many owners and trainers will regret not having entered?

A fifth-place finisher could have earned $30,000. Any runner finishing worse than that could have earned $10,000 just for starting. #gasface

You’d think with only about $9 million in age-restricted main track graded stakes purses for 3-year-old fillies through the year (compared to $23 million for males), connections would be reluctant to pass up the earnings.

9/24/12 Addendum: Post-Cotillion, John Pricci considers why some may have decided against entering their fillies:

What if you were the owner of any 3-year-old filly in the land not named Questing or My Miss Aurelia, would you be knocking down the racing office door to get into the fray? And, remember, please, there is more pressure than ever to “do the right thing by the horse.”

The obvious overmatching of race horses for the purpose of earning minute shares of a big purse does not serve the best interests of the Thoroughbred.