This is a place for friendly and civil discussion of horse racing of all types including handicapping.
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West was very outspoken on a major morning show this week, calling the Churchill Downs people "a greedy organization" having a 20 horse field. He says it should be 14 "max" like the BC.
That's kind of what I was getting at. 20 unproven 3-year-olds in those unfriendly confines is not a good thing. It's amazing we haven't had a multi-horse spill. We came damn close in 2008 though. Eight Belles tragically broke down during the runout. Had she broken down at the 1/8 pole that would have been the NASCAR "big one".
They at least need to get rid of that auxiliary gate. Looking at that start, same thing happened as has the last two years. The only thing that saved them is Master Fencer was slow out of the gate. I have said this before, they make enough money they can make a special gate just for the Derby, getting rid of that, and helping the inside post a bit more. It would make for a more fair start, relative to 20 horses coming out of there.
The number 7 horse was alone in the front and had the entire track to himself. War of Will was coming to his right to attempt a move. When Maximum Security veered there were 3 horses to his right for a total of 4 horses involved in the incident.
While I agree that 20 is probably too many for this race, I don't see how the numbers impacted Saturday's interferences & near falls.
It was a blessing that WoW got to leave from post 2.
So the industry has the PERFECT opportunity to lower the field to 14 or so now.
Will they do it? I would not bet on it. Their ability to be proactive, about anything, is totally non existent.
Nope, i always maintained 20 are too many. 14 would be fine and it gets the auxillary gate out. The thing is this is a money driven sport so having 14 might have an effect on the purse handle.
Tough enough to 'cap an 8 horse field let alone 20 on the mud!!
Good points!! Especially the comparison between Justify and Winx.
IMHO less than 20, say 14
Less breeding/less foal population
Less put in auction
More home breds kept
Less people getting into racing ownership
Auction prices would go down
Derby attraction for general population*, and perhaps world wide would deminish
* Not the infield
Handle and advertising would diminish
Preakness and Belmont Stakes would be devalued on many fronts
Cause a lot of yawning