Santa Anita will host the 2012 Breeders’ Cup in a decision that has created some controversy in the United States.
It will be the third time in five years that the Breeders’ Cup has headed to the Los Angeles venue. The host site for 2012 was selected from a pool of three tracks: Santa Anita, Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
Churchill Downs will host the Breeders’ Cup for the eighth time this year. The Championships were also held under the Twin Spires last year.
New York Racing Association president Charles Hayward was clearly disappointed after the decision was announced this week. “Congratulations to Santa Anita,” Hayward said. “We remain hopeful Belmont will remain a serious option for 2013.”
Churchill Downs and now Santa Anita will have hosted the Breeders’ Cup three times each since the 2005 Championships at Belmont Park.
Daily Racing Form columnist Steven Crist was scathing in his criticism of the decision. His report follows;
“To my mind, it’s a sad day for American racing and for a Breeders’ Cup organization that has lost its way and abandoned the ideals it established nearly 30 years ago.
“One of the founding principles of the Breeders’ Cup was that the races would move around the country while emphasizing the primary racing centres of California, Kentucky, and New York. It was a bedrock principle, the only way to ensure national unity and support for a year-end championship.
“After being run at Santa Anita in both 2008 and 2009, then at Churchill Downs in 2010 and again this year, the only question should have been whether Belmont would host it in 2012 alone or in both 2012 and 2013.
“Instead, Cup officials not only spurned New York for the fourth year in a row, but also did so in disrespectful and humiliating fashion.
“When the Breeders’ Cup was being run by people who supported racing without regional preferences, by leaders such as Ted Bassett, John Nerud and D.G. Van Clief, the Championships were awarded in an equitable fashion with the goal of helping the entire industry.
“Those days are clearly gone, along with a fair and balanced Breeders’ Cup.”