JC / Railbird

Stakes Inflation

A Great Year

Gary West on the 1988 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs:

I remember being so overcome with the experience of that 1988 Breeders’ Cup, so moved and dazzled by the proximity of greatness that I collapsed into a chair when it was all over and sat there for several moments before I could even begin to think of writing.

Less great: “… about 38 percent fewer horses are on the track than 24 years ago, but they have 114 percent more Breeders’ Cup races to run in.” (See also.)

Stakes Inflation

Chris Rossi on the graded stakes bubble:

As foal crops have declined, so has the number of race days for a total of 6,250 race days lost since 2006. Yet the number of stakes awarded graded status has remained level: 475 awarded in 2006 and 474 awarded in 2011. This failure to adapt to the new racing landscape has resulted in an increase of 14% in the number of races awarded graded status.

The 2016 projection should strike fear in everyone involved in breeding and selling American Thoroughbreds. Without correction, short fields and ducking connections won’t be just the bane of bettors in the very near future.

(Neither the Paulick Report nor Equidaily like to pick up Raceday 360 pieces, but both should aggregate this one.)