The tale of the Suburban ‘Cap and mall culturally significant

20 thoughts on “The tale of the Suburban ‘Cap and mall culturally significant”

  1. Quite an apt & sadly depressing analogy, sir. It’s no surprise our racing is, in many ways, a microcosm of our culture-at-large.

    Aesthetics, you say? It’s difficult, if not impossible, to perceive a meaningful aesthetic when all the edges have been rubbed out in favor of a bland sameness.

    Sadder still, with rare exception, I believe few people care. Or, I should say, care enough to bite the bullet & change the landscape of our current game.

    If we can acquiesce so submissively on a cultural level, is there a reason to believe we will rise up to reinvigorate stateside racing?

  2. Amen to this. It isn’t just that the racing program itself gets bland, but that the various types and characters that used to be mixed so intriguingly to create a versatile and complete racehorse get lost–as you point out. The greatest of our champions had a variety of inner resources to call upon when needed that could be traced to the blending of types, and this is at least one of the things that made them so imnpressive.

  3. Excellent article Sid. But I don’t see much changing until others follow your lead and start to complain about the state of Amercian racing.

    I personally don’t know what it will take to stir the passion in the turf writers, the bloggers and racing fans to speak out about theses issues but when, and if they do, then I believe that some positive changes will be made.

  4. Well expressed, Sid. And even sadder yet, decisions like these are microcosms of the utterly short-sighted way in which the U.S. racing industry has ‘developed’ its business during the past 25 years.

    It really is the quintessential slow-motion train wreck, except that in this case, everyone involved in the industry have either been engineers or passengers…

  5. All I can say is… 100% correct. Drag racing is a car sport, 50 yard dash style is for High School. In our quick fix society, the “art” of breeding, training, racing… is under attack.

  6. It’s because people are obsessed with speed. They believe a speed horse like Rachel is superior to a powerful stamina horse like Zenyatta but now the truth is out that a Zenyatta is rarer than a speed horse like Rachel

  7. I wrote an article to this very point for The Blood-Horse about ten years ago, and of course the problem has gotten worse since then. There is very little reward for breeding a “classic” horse anymore, and in fact, stallion prospects with stamina are virtually frowned upon now as everyone wants a horse that can perform at 2 and be a factor on the Triple Crown “trail,” although the Triple Crown itself is more of an afterthought to breeders…

  8. Excellent article. Racing secretaries will tell you they need to shorten distances of their races to get full fields. I say au contraire, NYRA and other entities that run tracks, large and small, owe a duty to the thoroughbred breed and to the sport of racing to to run more route races, and by route I mean 10 furlongs or more. The mind-set of the current trainer is influenced by the condition books they read, every one of which has races broken into 2 designations on the Index page at the front of the condition book: short and long, with races run at 8, 8.5 & 9 furlongs mislabeled as “long”. The Index page of condition books should contain 3 designations: short, middle and long (10 furlongs or more) and the condition books should contain races at 10, 11 and 12 furlongs for all level of horses stabled on that track’s backstretch.

  9. Love it, Sid. Perfectly drawn analogy. It is disturbing to see just how pervasive this “quick and easy/cookie cutter” approach to the world is becoming. Thanks for shedding a little more light on a topic that needs it.

  10. Thanks for all the comments, y’all. It’s been been very interesting reading them because all of us seem to see something that “they” — the powers that be— don’t.

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more Sid. I was very pleased to see the renewal of the Stars and Stripes at Arlington next month go to a mile and five eighths (from a mile and a half) for those very reasons.

  12. When I started buying horses, only a decade ago, My goal was to win the Lawrence Realization, then, as I recall, at 14 furlongs, later shortened, and now eliminated. Never did that, but early on we claimed a nice gelding who loved the 13-furlong three-turn races at Aqueduct. Don’t run any of those anymore either. And going to the races to watch the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup was a highlight of my high school years.

    And the few times that a racing secretary does card a real route, he/she gets hammered by trainers who say they don’t have the horses for it. Well, of course.

    The Breeders Cup “Marathon” (at 12 furlongs!) is a weak first step toward rewarding breeding for stamina. Not sure what else would help, other than buying horses in Europe and South America and putting some real money into purses for longer races. Oops, forgot that most tracks don’t have all that much real money these days.

  13. Great article.

    Most people don’t understand enough about architecture to get what a travesty the American strip mall truly is. As for racing, we Americans have already accepted our second- tier status. We got run over in the Breeder’s Cup and didn’t even care, but when we beat the English in like we did when they sent Dylan Thomas they were genuinely disappointed. To put it bluntly they have a passion and love for the game that most of us don’t

  14. No wonder a horse like Chinchon (no world beater in France) can make the field of a Grade 1 look pedestrian like he did in the United Nations at Monmouth. Its a similar situation in India too especially at Bangalore where we had to prep our fily Conceptual in a Mile race to run the St. Leger at a Mile and Three Quarters a few weeks later. I love the German scene where they still breed for stamina and as a result end up being responsible for the damlines of the first three home in the Epsom Derby; King’s Best, Galileo and Tiger Hill!

  15. Sid great article. A good examples of the cookie cutter horses you are talking about are Quality Road and Rachel Alexandra. Both very popular and followed by passionate fans. These two are now considered routing horses. Specially Alexandra winning the Preakness. Sad but true.

  16. Glad to live in a country where the stayer is still cherished. Sea The Stars and Frankel have been wonderful but many would put Yeats right up there with them. Sadly, though, I can see a day where that is eroded here too because it’s already happening in the breeding shed. Breeders: we have a choice. Speed and precocity are worthy attributes but stamina is not a dirty word. Great piece, Sid.

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