Today, racing fans around the world watched three Eclipse champions race at three different tracks. Two won despite the oddities of pace and circumstance, thus confirming their qualities and great hopes for the future.
The questions will pop up in coming days about Rachel Alexandra and her readiness to compete against Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom. Let’s hope that all works out for the best and that more exciting racing awaits us soon.
Certainly, Lookin at Lucky overcame his difficulties in a roughly run race to show toughness and courage fitting for a champion and classic prospect of considerable promise.
Regardless of the results of specific races, this was a tremendous day of racing at tracks from coast to coast and points in between. By any fair-minded observer, the sport was seen in glory with lovely horses racing on many venues in front of cheering fans.
A black cloud of long-term concern, however, is the state of the breeding farms in the Bluegrass. As horsemen in Kentucky know and some readers of this blog and other reports will have learned, all is not well.
Financial challenges of many kinds await, and they should not be underestimated. In one area of commerce related to the breeding of racehorses, there has been a precipitous drop in activity already.
In the central Kentucky area, several companies make a tidy living by transporting mares from boarding farms to the farms that stand stallions. These breeding shed runs average about $130 each to the mare owner, pushing millions of dollars into the Kentucky economy annually. Yet this year, business is down by more than half for these transport companies. Yes, more than half.
That proportion may alter somewhat in coming weeks if breeders from other states ship mares into Kentucky, but this does sound so very like what some concerned farm owners have been saying might happen. It just seems to be happening more quickly than even they expected.
Will the concerns of breeders and farm owners continue to fall on deaf ears among our political leaders?