Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Great Race Name Change Place

In another MX missile shot to tradition, Santa Antia Park has renamed several of its graded stakes races. The Park's PR Machine stated “This has been an important process for all of us involved with live racing here at Santa Anita,” said Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita Vice President of Racing. “We did a lot of research and tried hard to make sure each name had a tangible meaning, either geographically, historically or culturally." The real reason of course is that Magna...what are they called nowadays since they declared bankruptcy? Magna International Developments? I think? Anyway, Magna Whoever conquered Santa Anita's Fall meet from the Oak Tree Racing Association. Since Oak Tree technically owns the names of the graded stakes races, Magna wasn't about to pay for the rights. So...CHANGE THEM!

Eddie D. Stakes (Gr. III)-- Morvich Friday, Sept. 28
FrontRunner Stakes (Gr. I)-- Norfolk Saturday, Sept. 29
 Awesome Again Stakes (Gr. I)-- Goodwood Saturday, Sept. 29
 Rodeo Drive Stakes (Gr. I)-- Yellow Ribbon Saturday, Sept. 29
Zenyatta Stakes (Gr. I)-- Lady’s Secret Saturday, Sept. 29
Chandelier Stakes (Gr. I)-- Oak Leaf Saturday, Sept. 29
John Henry Turf Champ. (Gr.II)-- Clement Hirsch Sunday,Sept. 30 Arroyo
Seco Mile (Gr. II)-- Oak Tree Mile Saturday, Oct. 6
Santa Anita Sprint Champ. (Gr. I)-- Ancient Title Saturday, Oct. 6

Naming a race the Awesome Again Stakes has nothing to do with his stud duty. Right? Right!  As much as I loved Zenyatta, Lady Secert was a pretty good race horse in her own right.  I know...too much to pony (hah! I said "pony") up $75,000 to create a new race.  The FrontRunner? Who? What? Really? For those who don't know, Norfolk was the name of a very good race Virginia-bred horse in the way back days.  I find this to be a personal insult because the horse was named after the City of Norfolk, a place I have called home for the last 18 years.

The only one I can possibly understand changing was the Clement Hirsch.  Mr. Hirsch founded the Oak Tree meet when no one else would fill in the gap in the Southern California racing schedule.  So, Santa Antia couldn't have that ink blot could they?  Of course I am surprised they didn't name it the Frank Stronach Stakes. 

Whats next? Selling the naming rights to a whole race course? Oh...never mind....

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