JC / Railbird

Euro Perspective

Progressively International

Chris McGrath applauds the recent Breeders’ Cup changes:

… there is a case for wondering whether the latest such initiative will prove one of the most significant in the history of the international sport. For with a single stroke, the Breeders’ Cup has dismantled the barriers that have historically confined European participation to a minority blessed by unusual luck or resources.

The main criticism of the Challenge series, from the start, was the asterisk attached to Win and You’re In. Removed, the event truly goes global.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing several Euro juveniles at Churchill Downs this November, none more than Frankel, so dominating in his first two starts. But I may have to wait another year, writes Nick Luck on BC360: “Given the colt’s likely intended path through European Classics in 2011, however, an appearance at Churchill this time around is pretty unlikely.”

Real-time gets richer: Twitter unveiled significant updates to the service last night, which will be in place for all users in the next couple weeks. The new right pane will display videos and photos alongside the stream, which opens up some intriguing possibilities for on-the-scene tweeting from Louisville.

Euro Take

On the news that the Santa Anita track will return to dirt:

“I’m disappointed because the European horses won’t be as effective in the BC and I can’t win as much money on backing them through the Yankie [sic] Tote.” — TiltEngine88, United Kingdom / 09:52pm – 19 Aug 10

With the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, that would have been the case this year and next anyway, TiltEngine88! And don’t forget, you still have the Turf.

Rich Eng makes a very sensible point regarding the surface change:

I don’t think this will be the game changer that many others expect it to be. The problems in California racing run a lot deeper.

Also, horsemen and horseplayers: “it’s put-up-or-shut-up time.”

Elsewhere: I haven’t done a links post in several weeks, but the bookmarking never stopped. If you liked those posts, you may like my Delicious account, to which I’ve recently saved more reactions to Santa Anita’s return to dirt, a flashback to racing at the 2001 Brockton fair, a guide to HTML5 for journalists, a summer cocktail recipe, an interview with novelist Gary Shteyngart …