12/04/2012 12:43PM

What Is a Breeders' Cup Win Worth?


If Executiveprivilege wins Saturday’s Hollywood Starlet Stakes, and she will be heavily favored to do so, it will create an interesting dilemma for Eclipse Award voters:

With a win Saturday, Executiveprivilege would have three Grade 1 victories (the others being the Chandelier, and the Del Mar Debutante), more than any other 2-year-old filly. Do you vote for her to be champion of her division? Or do you vote for Beholder, whose only Grade 1 victory came in the biggest race for her age group, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she defeated Executiveprivilege by one length?

If the Breeders’ Cup was the only time Beholder and Executiveprivilege raced against each other, or if it was obvious there was a considerable disparity of ability between these two, then this question wouldn’t be difficult. But these fillies met once before, in the Del Mar Debutante, and Executiveprivilege edged Beholder by a nose in that encounter.

Even then, to simply say Beholder and Executiveprivilege have split their two head-to-head meetings would be to ignore important extenuating circumstances that only further cloud the issue. When Beholder won the Juvenile Fillies, she did so in front-running fashion over a speed-biased track, a surface that must have compromised Executiveprivilege. But when Executiveprivilege got up in the Del Mar Debutante, she did so only after Beholder drifted toward what local observers insist was a dead rail, which had to compromise her to some extent.

If Executiveprivilege wins Saturday, then the subsequent Eclipse Award vote will be an interesting test of the real value of a Breeders’ Cup victory. If Executiveprivilege goes on to be voted divisional champion, then it reaffirms what we have always known, that three (in this case, Grade 1 wins) is greater than one. If Beholder is voted the title, it reaffirms something else we have always known, that not all Grade 1 races are of equal value, and that a Breeders’ Cup win is greater than three non-Breeders’ Cup Grade 1 scores.

THE More than 1 year ago
Blame received a shaft job of magnanimous proportions.To add salt to an open gaping chestwound...t Disgustinghe West Coast phonies on TVG started their rant for Zenyata's Horse Of The Year award BEFORE Blame ever got into the Winner's Circle! Disgusting!! Bob McKenna
ghost2_ More than 1 year ago
Yet Zenyatta was the better horse, a truly great animal, and the one who will be remembered in the years to come, while Blame will be only a footnote (though he might be remembered at stud if he produces well).
long_shot_alert More than 1 year ago
Well, Brocco trounced Dehere, who also lost to Holy Bull that fall. And the voters, well the East Coast cabal, gave it to Dehere. The fact is the value of a BC win changes with the circumstances. You might say it's in the eye of the Beholder. If EP bounces back with a win she's champ. If not it goes to the BC winner.
BrandonLayer More than 1 year ago
Beholder is 2 year old filly champ no matter what. If you don't think so you're kidding yourself or maybe it's wishful thinking because you like EP more, but Beholder is champ no doubt. It's obvious really.
Merrill More than 1 year ago
Since the Breeders Cup began, the Graded Stakes schedule has not lived up to Grade 1 quality. The fields just do not ooze quality. I believe a very serious problem is avoiding facing the other guy until Breeders Cup. There are not enough qualifications in place to even run in a Grade 1. I am convinced that Exec Priv. did not beat the best of fields in all her races. Raced more, but had some easy roads. Beholder proved to be better, and if they raced tomorrow, Exec Priv. would be behind again. When any horse at the max or classic route of the specific generation goes wire to wire and does it in an earned timely manner, that horse has proven superior. This is why Beholder will win the award.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Blame / Zenyatta...you've answered your question.....
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
The Breeders' Cup isn't everything and shouldn't be.
Diane Hain More than 1 year ago
The Eclipse Awards have existed longer than the Breeders' Cup. Just how do you think the awards were decided before 1984? On the merit of a horse's entire year of racing! It should never be about one race and one race only.
Dean Cristy More than 1 year ago
Executiveprivilege also beat Beholder when they both debuted on June 28th -- by 8 1/2 lengths. This makes it an even tougher decision. Do you reward the body of work of Executiveprivilege, or do you reward Beholders one upset in the biggest race of the year for the division?
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
No question Excecutiveprivledge is the 2yr. old champ, Either way she will win the Starlet on Sat. and I for one will be there to see her and new rider Mike Smith win. Too classy for who ever dare's to line up with her and Mike Smith in the saddle say no more.
Kim Cichy More than 1 year ago
All G1's are not nor should be created equal. There has been tak of Super G1's.....and it should go forward. A Championship is a Championship. If the A's beat the Angels during the season but the Angels win the playoffs....they move on. The Breeder's Cup was the playoffs. Beholder won. The end.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
The classic counter arguement to this is Blame. Won the championship, then got screwed by hype.