Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Standings, and why we need them

As a member of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, I believe that the sport of kings needs to have a system of standings (rankings), like those kept and proposed by the TBA (Why We Need Standings from TBA website). I think that it is important for the growth of the sport, and for the fans that want to see a "race" for the championship. The point system concept has worked in many sports, but has seen the greatest growth with NASCAR. I think that this can work for horse racing, but I would like to see it go a step or two further than just graded stakes races.

I would like to see a point system added to almost all races and all tracks. I think that this would not only help produce more fans, but more owners, and better racing. The point system added to the state level would certainly increase the popularity of an event like the Maryland Million. Owners and fans would flock to Laurel Park to see 12 of the top 15 juveniles race to be the Maryland champion. A point system would also help make fields more competitive, and assist racing secretaries in writing races. Wouldn't you love to see a race at Colonial Downs for Virginia bred horses with a state ranking of 1-30? As a fan, you know what you are getting. Instead of a non winners of 4x, where half of the horses won garbage races at lesser tracks, you get the cream of the crop.

This state/national point system would also help owners and breeders. For owners, it gives them a sense of pride and an assignable value to a horse. Instead of telling his buddies "hey my horse is good, he won 3 races." He can say, I have the 26th raked horse in all of Pennsylvania, and the 8th ranked filly. That sounds more impressive. For breeders, it can serve as another statistic for stallion ads, or show cause to stand a stallion. The stallion ads could read "Top 10 ranked in Delaware for 3 years".

I know that this may be difficult to assign values and track every horse running, but it seems that a great deal of this information is already in place. Every race and passed performance is already recorded, and every horse in every race is assigned a Beyer or Equibase speed figure. Why not transform those numbers into a tangible product.

Just a thought....What do you think?


Handride said...

I think you're on to something, though I might be a little biased. I agree w/ everyone of your points, it's better for the fan, AND it's better for the business.

PS I know you'll get one comment so I'll address preemptively. The TBA standings are only a hypothesis that standings can work in this sport. The TBA standings don't account for differences between Gr I's, cause we'd rather leave that up to the people at AGSC who's mission it is to crap like this.

SaratogaSpa said...

It can be done, the racing form is already packed with so many different #'s and most of which the casual fan does not understand-so lets get understandable standings in place. that and the shortening of the seasons will bring better quality fields and races.

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