The richest two days in horse racing are inching closer and closer to returning to the Bluegrass.
The Breeders’ Cup is currently scheduled to run on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park. The rising death toll at the California race course has drawn a plethora of safety concerns, yet aside from a month-long closure in March, there have been no consequences. That could all change Thursday when the Breeders’ Cup board meets in Lexington.
Thursday’s meeting will be the final opportunity to move the event from Santa Anita Park. Churchill Downs, the host of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, is the most convenient track to host such a large scale event on short notice. The wheels have already been set in motion to facilitate the move.
The most obvious sign was discovered by Tim Sullivan. The nightly rates at the Omni Louisville the week before the Breeders’ Cup are $220 a night. For the first week of November they are currently $636 a night. He isn’t the only one who noticed the vast changes. Other hotels in the area are bracing for impact.
A few little birdies from the Churchill Downs’ barns have been chirping quite a bit as of late. They’ve been telling folks the track is prepared and willing to take the event if the Breeders’ Cup board is ready to make the move.
When reached for comment on the record, Breeders’ Cup President Craig Fravel told Sullivan: “Any guidance I have will be addressed to my board. But thanks for checking.”
If the event does move to Churchill, it couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Unlike last year’s event that was held during the SEC East Championship Game vs. Georgia at Kroger Field, the Kentucky football team has an open week during the event. Louisville is also an a bye, leaving every football fan in the Commonwealth a free weekend to bet the ponies.
Please, Breeders’ Cup board, this Thursday do the right thing and bring the Breeders’ Cup to the Bluegrass.