Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepagefeedback | low graphics version

You are in: Other Sports  
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 03:24 GMT 04:24 UK
The show must go on
A horse rides on the track at Belmont Park
Belmont Park is only a short distance from New York
BBC Sport Online's Kevin Asseo examines the reasons why the Breeders' Cup will go ahead despite the recent tragedies in America.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September, virtually the entire American sports world came to a halt.

Major League Baseball postponed games for six consecutive days, American pro and college football games were delayed, the Ryder Cup was put off for a full year and countless other proceedings were rescheduled or cancelled altogether.

But one major event stood apart from all the others by deciding to go ahead exactly as scheduled.

We want this year's Breeders' Cup in New York
Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr

The Breeders' Cup, the most prestigious day of horse racing on the other side of the Atlantic, will move ahead with its card on 27 October.

The decision raised more than a few eyebrows in America's horse racing community, especially given this year's venue for the event, Belmont Park, is just a short distance from New York City.

The effects of the terrorist attacks will make a significant impact at the Breeders' Cup, which bills itself as the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Participating horses come to the event from many different parts of the globe, and travelling to the United States is not nearly as simple or comforting as it was prior to 11 September.

Breeders' Cup officials have responded to criticism by dedicating the full day of racing to the families of the New York firefighters, police officers, emergency services personnel and other victims killed in the attacks.

"We want this year's Breeders' Cup in New York to have special meaning by honouring these true heroes and innocent victims, and by helping their families cope with this tragedy in some tangible fashion," said Breeders' Cup President D.G. Van Clief Jr.

In addition to dedicating the day to the victims of the attacks, the Breeders' Cup established the "New York Heroes Fund" to aid families affected by the events of 11 September.

Jockey Mick Kinane
Mick Kinane has made a charitable pledge
A portion of the Breeders' Cup revenues will go into the fund, along with donations from outside sources.

Already, many of the Breeders' Cup participants have pledged their support to the Heroes Fund.

Among them are owner Michael Tabor, trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Michael Kinane, who have agreed to donate 10% of their winnings on 27 October.

The pledges of Tabor, O'Brien and Kinane should remove any doubt that Galileo or Mozart might not make the trip to New York.

Galileo is one of the early favourites for the Classic, the richest race of the Breeders' Cup, while Mozart is set to run in the Sprint.

While travel concerns are the biggest problem facing participants from outside the US, horses within the nation have had their share of setbacks as well.

Many of the major prep races for the Breeders' Cup were cancelled in the wake of the attacks, significantly altering the plans of several leading American trainers.

But despite the troubles caused by the attacks, the Breeders' Cup is sticking to their decision. There will be racing in New York on 27 October.

See also:

21 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Breeders' Cup gets go ahead
31 Aug 01 |  Other Sports
Point Given's career over
08 Sep 01 |  Other Sports
Galileo set for Fantastic re-match
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Other Sports stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Other Sports stories

^^ Back to top