2015 Kentucky Derby News & Notes

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PJMIII
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:39 am

Blue Grass moved a week earlier, purse bumped to $1 million

Keeneland announced a richer, re-ordered 2015 spring meet stakes calendar comprised of 16 stakes worth $4.35 million, an increase of $575,000 from 2014. Seven stakes carry significant purse increases, led by the Grade 1, $1 million Blue Grass, to be held one week earlier, on opening Saturday, April 4, creating a blockbuster day of racing that features four other graded stakes, including the Grade 1, $500,000 Ashland and Grade 1, $350,000 Madison.


http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/editoria ... i?id=47778
Somnambulist

Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:04 pm

Interesting move.

No Derby prep should have a purse that big, but that's besides the point. I wonder what type of field the BG attracts this year. At first I thought why bump the purse for a grass field, but forgot it went back to turf.
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Insane Crazy
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:33 pm

Wow. I mean, I imagine having a Kentucky race the same day as the SA Derby and Wood is of great interest to horsemen who could save some shipping distance, but I have to imagine it'll impact the quality of at least one of the races that weekend. But maybe I'm wrong.
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!
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Flanders
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:06 pm

Insane Crazy wrote:Wow. I mean, I imagine having a Kentucky race the same day as the SA Derby and Wood is of great interest to horsemen who could save some shipping distance, but I have to imagine it'll impact the quality of at least one of the races that weekend. But maybe I'm wrong.
I don't think it will have any impact. The best horses are already going to be spread between the plethora of prep races, in those couple weeks, that are worth a ton of money.

3/21/15 - Spiral(G3) 9f $550,000
3/22/15 - Sunland Derby(G3) 9f $800,000
3/28/15 - Florida Derby(G1) 9f $1,000,000
3/28/15 - Louisiana Derby(G2) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Wood Memorial S.(G1) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Blue Grass (G1) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Santa Anita Derby(G1) 0f $1,000,000
4/11/15 Arkansas Derby(G1) 9f $ 1,000,000

(I didn't put the UAE Derby on the list, which also returns to the dirt and is worth $2,000,000 at 9.5f, the running is 3/28/15)
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dustino140
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:47 pm

This is a bad trend, IMO. It's just another way to give horses easy 'stallion making' wins without having to take on a top field of good horses. If you go back even less than a decade, races like the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby, Sunland Derby and Spiral weren't used as 'final' prep races. Now, we've got a schedule where there about 9 different paths to the Kentucky Derby.

IMO it's completely foolish that any race that freely calls itself a 'prep' race should be a Grade 1. What does that make the race it's a prep for? A Super Grade 1? This trend is bad for the industry and promotes watered-down racing.
Somnambulist

Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:02 pm

dustino140 wrote:This is a bad trend, IMO. It's just another way to give horses easy 'stallion making' wins without having to take on a top field of good horses. If you go back even less than a decade, races like the Louisiana Derby, Florida Derby, Sunland Derby and Spiral weren't used as 'final' prep races. Now, we've got a schedule where there about 9 different paths to the Kentucky Derby.

IMO it's completely foolish that any race that freely calls itself a 'prep' race should be a Grade 1. What does that make the race it's a prep for? A Super Grade 1? This trend is bad for the industry and promotes watered-down racing.
I agree completely.
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Insane Crazy
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:01 pm

Flanders wrote:
Insane Crazy wrote:Wow. I mean, I imagine having a Kentucky race the same day as the SA Derby and Wood is of great interest to horsemen who could save some shipping distance, but I have to imagine it'll impact the quality of at least one of the races that weekend. But maybe I'm wrong.
I don't think it will have any impact. The best horses are already going to be spread between the plethora of prep races, in those couple weeks, that are worth a ton of money.

3/21/15 - Spiral(G3) 9f $550,000
3/22/15 - Sunland Derby(G3) 9f $800,000
3/28/15 - Florida Derby(G1) 9f $1,000,000
3/28/15 - Louisiana Derby(G2) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Wood Memorial S.(G1) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Blue Grass (G1) 9f $1,000,000
4/4/15 - Santa Anita Derby(G1) 0f $1,000,000
4/11/15 Arkansas Derby(G1) 9f $ 1,000,000

(I didn't put the UAE Derby on the list, which also returns to the dirt and is worth $2,000,000 at 9.5f, the running is 3/28/15)
Oh, I understand there are gobs of prep races around that time. ;) It's just that with how trainers like to stagger their races, sometimes that week of difference can be a pretty big deal. Trainers who are okay with the three week break now only have one option on the 11th, while there are those three massive preps spread across pretty much the three major sections of racing the week before. Maybe it'll mean nothing, but it could be interesting to see the tweaks in action, is all.

I also am not into this G1/$1 mill prep race thing. It seems like a bit of a ruse re: stallion prospects. You can say "G1" winner, but do any of these preps mean as much as the G1 races that follow in the year?
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no, but a race where they sit down right on the horse!
Like to see some stuck-up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil? Well, I should say!
Somnambulist

Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:27 pm

I actually think it will effect the fields of those 3 races, and potentially "largely". One, that's a massive purse. You're gonna get your fillers. Personally I think this could make for good betting.

In the same vein, I also find having 3 G1 preps on the same weekend for one race (one race which, due to field size, takes half the field out of contention anyway) to be demonstrative of almost everything wrong with racing. It's deplorable.

Should be beyond interesting to see which ones NBC ends up broadcasting.
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dustino140
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:34 pm

The only track that benefits from this, IMO, is Oaklawn.
Admin
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:04 pm

Somnambulist wrote:In the same vein, I also find having 3 G1 preps on the same weekend for one race (one race which, due to field size, takes half the field out of contention anyway) to be demonstrative of almost everything wrong with racing. It's deplorable.
Why, though? It's not as though a horse who runs in the SA Derby or Wood would run in the BG if it was a week earlier or later than the other two. If I recall correctly, these 3 races used to be run on the same day, so it's just a return to that timing. It makes for a super Saturday of KY Derby preps which is both enjoyable and could create a good telecast.
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
Somnambulist

Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:11 pm

Personally I don't see how these races are anything but watered down, full of no-hopers and an excuse for trainers to avoid any competition in order to accure the elusive Derby points. For me this is entirely too much of a good thing. There are by far too many end stage Derby preps.

And why are these races worth so much? The Derby is .5 a mil higher (I think). No one no one keeps their older horses in training. All the money goes to a bunch of 3 year olds.
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:34 pm

Somnambulist wrote:Personally I don't see how these races are anything but watered down, full of no-hopers and an excuse for trainers to avoid any competition in order to accure the elusive Derby points. For me this is entirely too much of a good thing. There are by far too many end stage Derby preps.

And why are these races worth so much? The Derby is .5 a mil higher (I think). No one no one keeps their older horses in training. All the money goes to a bunch of 3 year olds.
Ok, so your complaint is about too many derby preps, and with too high of purses. I thought it was about moving the BG by a week (in addition to its purse increase). I don't know what can be done about that. I understand it on one hand, yet here we are in early December talking about the Derby 6 months away. And it only gets more fevered from here. It's sort of like complaining about wall-to-wall coverage on the news about some tragedy but people are watching and the news is getting high ratings.

Yes, the money's huge, and I understand wanting to see the older division getting the money (as I'd dearly love to see it), but again, the 3yo colts are the glamor division all due to the Derby. The tracks want to see them at their track, hence they bump up the purse, because everyone's watching and betting. Unless someone can create a groundswell of disinterest in the Derby, it's not going to change. How long could we not talk about the Derby and preps?

I don't agree with Dustin's idea that a prep shouldn't be a G1 since the prep can't theoretically be as big of a race as the G1 they're prepping for. But a "prep" is a standalone race, even if it's a stepping stone to another race. They're all stepping stones to another race, really, unless they're the BC or Derby. Would anyone think the JCGC shouldn't be a G1 since many "prep" for the Classic in the JCGC?

As somewhat of an aside, yes, a G1 does mean something to a horse's resume, but I don't find too many people who don't recognize G1s or black type of any sort varies in quality. I think a good example is New Year's Day winning a big G1 at 2, and I strongly suspect he isn't a hotter than hot commodity at stud. Those who are spending money buying stallions and broodmares and spending money on stud fees and yearlings, they recognize the quality of a mare who may've "only" won a G3 being more valuable to their broodmare band than another who won a G1.
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
Rick1323
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:54 pm

I was wrong. I didn't think there could possibly even more emphasis and money tossed at the 3YO division. Every track it seems must have a Grade 1 for 3YOs.....and it turns out if you are a turf horse, you can still run in 3 YO Grade 1s right into the winter. It is not only killing the older division, but it is killing the 3YOS as well, most of them will be cripples and out of racing before the summer months even hit. Plus it puts even more breeding pressure on the run fast/run early breeding programs.......I play at about 10% of the frequency I used to and I enjoy it a lot less........ I'm honestly ready to bail completely.
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dustino140
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Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:54 pm

The purses are ridiculous on their own. I'd just like to see fewer Grade 1 races across the board to make winning one more difficult and meaningful. Not that it isn't difficult and meaningful right now, but you know what I mean. I think the Derby Trail, or the Road to the Derby, is a little messed up. People want horses to stay in training for as long as possible and I just think that's a tough ask when they'll be running for the most money and in the weakest Grade 1s by April of their 3yo season. The model, IMO, of racing is just a little upside down and isn't necessarily positive for racing. Personally, I wouldn't mind if the only Grade 1 races in age-restricted levels for males were the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Cup and a handful of other races (Travers, maybe Haskell).

New Year's Day is obviously one example, but I do think there's an overall stigma in racing that horses that can't even make it to 3 seem to be a little frowned upon in the breeding realm. Maybe that's just me, though. That's not my area of expertise. I look at horses like Bellamy Road or Bodemeister, etc. and wonder what they may have done if they hadn't got that 'early' Grade 1 on their resume.
Last edited by dustino140 on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
Somnambulist

Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:55 pm

Rick1323 wrote:I was wrong. I didn't think there could possibly even more emphasis and money tossed at the 3YO division. Every track it seems must have a Grade 1 for 3YOs.....and it turns out if you are a turf horse, you can still run in 3 YO Grade 1s right into the winter. It is not only killing the older division, but it is killing the 3YOS as well, most of them will be cripples and out of racing before the summer months even hit. Plus it puts even more breeding pressure on the run fast/run early breeding programs.......I play at about 10% of the frequency I used to and I enjoy it a lot less........ I'm honestly ready to bail completely.
Who will annoy me so effectively then?
Admin
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Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:02 am

Rick1323 wrote:I was wrong. I didn't think there could possibly even more emphasis and money tossed at the 3YO division. Every track it seems must have a Grade 1 for 3YOs.....and it turns out if you are a turf horse, you can still run in 3 YO Grade 1s right into the winter. It is not only killing the older division, but it is killing the 3YOS as well, most of them will be cripples and out of racing before the summer months even hit. Plus it puts even more breeding pressure on the run fast/run early breeding programs.......I play at about 10% of the frequency I used to and I enjoy it a lot less........ I'm honestly ready to bail completely.
Correction: Not just 3yo turfers, but 3yo dirt horses, can run in graded stakes (and G1s) right into the Winter. It's been that way in CA for as long as I've followed racing. And get this -- there are/were races restricted to the newly-turned 4yos in the early months of next year out in CA. Again, it's been that way for a long, long time.
"This is how we roll in the Shire." -- Leonard
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Ridan_Remembered
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Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:51 am

Admin wrote:Correction: Not just 3yo turfers, but 3yo dirt horses, can run in graded stakes (and G1s) right into the Winter. It's been that way in CA for as long as I've followed racing. And get this -- there are/were races restricted to the newly-turned 4yos in the early months of next year out in CA. Again, it's been that way for a long, long time.
Yep, not just for colts, but for newly turned 4-year-old fillies too.
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dustino140
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Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:44 am

I don't mean to speak for Rick, but I'm 100% certain he knows the Strub Series existed, so I don't think either of you wizards just uncovered an 'aha' nugget that is going to change his thinking on the topic. History aside, I do think the disbanding of that Series is to the benefit of the equine landscape, though. There simply aren't enough good horses in California to merit having both the San Antonio and the Strub (the San Fernando already being removed from the calendar) and this should be to the benefit of racing at Santa Anita. Heck, if they get Chrome for the San Antonio it's already a coup.
Rick1323
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Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:22 pm

dustino140 wrote:I don't mean to speak for Rick, but I'm 100% certain he knows the Strub Series existed, so I don't think either of you wizards just uncovered an 'aha' nugget that is going to change his thinking on the topic. History aside, I do think the disbanding of that Series is to the benefit of the equine landscape, though. There simply aren't enough good horses in California to merit having both the San Antonio and the Strub (the San Fernando already being removed from the calendar) and this should be to the benefit of racing at Santa Anita. Heck, if they get Chrome for the San Antonio it's already a coup.
Yes...this^

And Som...I will make a special trip here on occasion just to annoy you and V....
Everyone come home sound.....
Horsebagger
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Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:40 pm

Rick1323 wrote:
And Som...I will make a special trip here on occasion just to annoy you and V....
You've been singing this song for like, forever. You're a drama queen. You aren't going anywhere.
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