Irwin: Now’s The Time To Make A Later Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown The Norm

As the COVID-19 crisis has shifted the schedules for race meets, graded stakes, and classic races already, Team Valor International CEO Barry Irwin writes that this would be a good time to make a permanent change to the schedule for the American Triple Crown.

Writing for Thoroughbred Racing Commentary, Irwin asserts that the modern Thoroughbred is worked and run much less often than racehorses were when the races were first established as a series in the 1930s, or when the modern schedule was established in the 1970s.

Irwin suggests shifting the Derby to the first Saturday in June, the Preakness to the first Saturday in July, and the Belmont to the first Saturday in August.

This would give horses who ran tough campaigns as juveniles on the road to the Breeders’ Cup an additional month to recuperate, and would reduce the need for heavy training in winter. It would also allow tracks to better space out prep races and avoid their running over each other.

“The biggest gripe one would imagine has to do with scheduling vis a vis other major sporting events and TV time,” wrote Irwin. “I understand the impact that national television has on the Triple Crown. But in real life sports fans have not cared about the Preakness or Belmont Stakes in a very long time unless there is a Triple Crown prospect involved.

“Racing must first and foremost take care of its own and, by ‘own’, I reference the horses, the owners and the fans.”

Read more at Thoroughbred Racing Commentary


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