Let's take a quick look at some of the more interesting topics in horse racing this week.
- Thursday marks the beginning of the Dubai Interantional Racing Carnival at the brand new Meydan Racecourse. The new course sports a design much more similar to courses found here in North American, as opposed to the triangular shape of the old course at Nad Al Sheba. At Meydan, however, the turf course will be outside the synthetic Tapeta surface, similar to what is done at Woodbine. It remains to be seen how the track plays but, obviously, we should expect to see differences.
This year's Dubai World Cup will be run on March 27th. British bookmakers have installed 2009 Eclipse Award winner, Gio Ponti, as the early betting favorite to win.
TwinSpires.com has announced that they will have live streaming of the event which is pretty cool, if you want to watch a bunch of guys in a casino racebook yelling at the big screens. I'm sure to many that doesn't sound like enthralling TV but I can say that if you've ever been to a handicapping contest they can be pretty interesting. I've never had the honor of competing in the big tournament in Vegas but I've played in a few of these contests at Emerald Downs and I find them to be an absolute blast.
The event has not yet announced which tracks/races will be involved in this year's event but if the past events are any indication, it will be a collection of tracks from the east, midwest, and west, with the usual assortment of maiden claimers thrown in.
I'm not interested in the political battles or the "who's to blame?" questions. No, what gets me is that yesterday we have news out of Georgia that they are attempting to legalize pari-mutuel wagering (along with the possibility of building new tracks), while in Kentucky, the Mecca of horse racing in this country, we are reading about tracks, horsemen, and owners that can't make it.
The issues are obviously complicated, and passions are high on all sides, but you've got to think that Kentucky will get this sorted out? Right? But that is certainly not a given.
When you hear of tracks like Ellis Park struggling to make it (one of most player-friendly tracks around), you desperately hope an equitable solution can be found.