tcw wrote:With the calendar now flipping over to the new year and the TC trail heating up soon, does anyone know what happened to the early 6.5 and 7F stakes races of the past? Looking at the TC prep races coming down the pipe, I didn't notice EVEN one 6.5F or 7F early prep stakes race at any of the major tracks. It's really too bad as horses like Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and others all began the early prep season with races like this.
Looking at the calendar there are a quite a few 6-7f stakes races carded for 3yos, but I don't think any of them are attributed any Derby points, even the G2 Swale does not offer any points. Which means a lot of trainers aren't 'wasting efforts' on these. Because they're committed to the Derby trail unless they've already gotten a lot of points (I don't know say the Cattlya Sho winner came over stateside early for example or in the case of the BC Juvie winner) they can't really afford to miss an opportunity to earn points. Even the G2 Swale does not offer any points.
It's a shame because it's a great way to sharpen a horse up imho. One of the reasons why I miss the old stakes winnings entry system for the Derby. The other one is we are less likely to see fillies and foreign horses in the Derby now.
(That being said I do also see the benefits of the point system in weeding out those that don't belong but eh. Advantages and drawbacks to everything, I guess.)