Breeders Cup Discussion?

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Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:32 pm

Somnambulist wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:00 am
I think boxing took a similar turn to racing and it's arguably more brutal. Yet that's on the upswing.
And not too long ago, two fighters died of brain injuries after matches -- one in Argentina, the other here in the U.S. Yet the sport never comes close to being banned. In fact, the trend in amateur boxing now is to eliminate the headgear. I see lots of European amateur tournaments on YouTube where the boxers just get after each other for three rounds with no headgear, and it's all sanctioned.

I've been a boxing fan for years (an apparently recessive gene in my mother passed down from my maternal grandfather, just like the horse racing gene) and don't want it banned, but sometimes I shake my head when I think about all the unsavory aspects of it and wonder how it has survived in any form!
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Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:46 pm

Tessablue wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:21 pm
No worries Charlie. I know you're not someone who wants to keep things as they are, just thought your post could be used as a springboard for exploring some feelings on the subject. Apologies if it came off as accusatory. I think we're all having a bit of trouble articulating how we feel right now. Overall this forum has had a really measured response thus far, but if you venture off of it there's some pretty intense meltdowns happening on other platforms. A lot of declarations that it has always been this way and you're just as bad as PETA if you agree that things need to change. It's honestly distressing.

I agree that equine physiology is a unique challenge, although on the other hand the stresses of racing are probably more predictable than the injuries which could be potentially encountered on the playing field. Even if it's not a super accurate comparison, I think it's good to bring up the NFL because that sport has had major injury concerns recently as well. I'm actually convinced that the NFL is on the path to destruction and could fall out of public favor within a couple of decades (personally, I'll probably stop watching once Brady retires). This is because I Ithink the NFL genuinely does not believe that it is in danger, so it is content to mess with research funding and mislead the public while knowingly damaging the brains of its players. The way to prevent CTE- fewer games further apart- would bring down the bottom line, so it won't happen absent a paradigm shift in the organization's thinking. Racing, meanwhile, has fewer funds and far less centralization, but I think most everyone is starting to realize that the current model is not sustainable.

It will be really interesting to see how the two sports adapt in the coming years.
You're good Tessa, I just wanted to make sure my post wasnt being misread and so I wanted to clarify. Your post didn't seem accusatory.

That is an interesting point with the NFL I hadn't thought of. No one would look at the money that sport has and say in a few decades it would be gone, but I can see what you're saying and I agree.

Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:55 pm

They said it about baseball too and look at that. Nothing stays the same forever. That's why it was crucial for racing to figure out how to survive as a niche sport.

I don't think football is going anywhere. It might change in populariry but all sports do. I have family in the Midwest and football is literally their entire life. The NBA will be the next king of American sports. Soccer is growing pretty impressively too.

Industry personnel's responses to all this on Twitter legitimately hurt. What is the harm in doing better? And I thought I hated change...
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Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:31 pm

The real problem horse racing has as a niche sport that boxing and baseball don't is that its gut-level appeal from the outset was as a vehicle for gambling. All those hatted gentlemen of the Greatest Generation and before you see packing the apron in old black-and-whites were at the track to bet. Some may be have been attracted by the presence of an outstanding horse or the running of a highly anticipated race, but make no mistake, few would have cared about the sport at all if they couldn't make money off it by correctly guessing the winners.

Now, of course, there are dozens of other ways people can legally gamble, few of which require much study, especially of the arcane sort that horse racing forces its serious bettors to do. So while people are still watching boxing and baseball in great numbers and not wagering a penny on what they're seeing, horse racing has only a minuscule number of "horsey people" and other esoteric purists to draw from if it wants to replace the gamblers who've found other games or cashed in their chips for good with non-gamblers. And today's young gamblers, who have the opportunity to get into gambling by betting on sports or card games or taking a spin on slot machines, are poor prospects to ever give horse racing a chance.
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