Win and You're In*
By: Pat Cummings | July 28, 2007 8:22 PM
I'm not sure if everyone realized what "Win and You're In" really meant as the first weekend of the Breeders' Cup Challenge kicked off. Count me among the confused.
According to Breederscup.com, if you win one of the BC Challenge races, you "automatically earn a spot in the corresponding Championship race without having to go through the selection process."
Yet, Mike Welsch of the Daily Racing Form indicated that since Ginger Punch was not Breeders' Cup nominated, she will still owe the supplemental fee of $180,000 to start in the race.
If that is the case, all this does is guarantee Ginger Punch a spot in the gate iIF her connections want to front some big cash as her breeders failed to spring for $500 as a yearling. If a full field of 14 are entered, and Ginger Punch is the 15th, and her Stronach Stable ownership pays... Win the Go For Wand, pay $180,000, and NOW you can run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Trainer Gary Contessa, quoted in a Bloodhorse article earlier this week, said:
"It's a phenomenal concept...I would love to see it count for horses that weren't eligible. How about 'win and we'll pay for you to get in?' That would be nice," he said with a laugh.
Not only would that be nice, Gary, it would seem fair under the auspices of the concept. Only twice has a full field of 14 gone in the Distaff (1992, Paseana; 2006, Round Pond). Interestingly enough, Paseana's win in 1992 came by way of a supplemental nomination.
Horse racing has enough difficulty explaining it's features and nuances to newcomers. The Breeders' Cup Challenge was intended to add more of a team-sport automatic-bid feel to the big dance. Once again, racing does what it can to confuse the matter, and add a big old asterisk to Ginger Punch's win.
Good luck explaining to the newcomer that while Ginger Punch did win, she isn't in until her owner springs the $180k gate bill. http://home.racingdispatch.com/2007/07/win_and_youre_in.php