12/26/2008 1:00AM

Letters to the editor


Breeders' Cup stakes program key for breeders

By not informing the nominators of foals that they were paying for a benefit that might no longer exist when the foals they nominated would be eligible to receive that benefit, the Breeders' Cup engaged in a practice I cannot abide.

I was truly dismayed by the sudden announcement that the Breeders' Cup would suspend its stakes program in 2009 ("Breeders' Cup axes purse supplements," Dec 14). Then that was reversed ("Complaints trigger reinstated stakes funds," Dec. 19). I nominated foals of 2008 who would be eligible for the stakes program beginning in 2010. Now the possibility looms that there may be no stakes program in 2010.

Without the stakes program, those foals have little or no shot of any return from Breeders' Cup winnings. The lifeblood of the Breeders' Cup is the stakes program, especially for the smaller breeder. Breeders' Cup Ltd. would do well to heed the words of Steven Crist's Dec. 21 column, "Breaches of trust imperil racing."

Granted, there are those with large broodmare bands who are more likely to benefit from the year-end championship program, but I don't want to subsidize those few any longer.

Had I known that my nomination fee of $500 per horse might not grant me any benefit as a breeder except the possibility of one of my foals making it to the championship day of racing, I would not have nominated any foals. Obviously, there is little or no incentive for buyers to pay more for a nominated horse without the stakes program. There is no way to justify an enhanced price except if the horse runs on the championship day.

How would you like to pay for a membership in a club that offered monthly golf tournaments with prize money to the membership, only to be told once you had paid your dues that all the tournaments were canceled except for a championship tournament at the end of the year?

I would like my foal nomination fees sent back to me. When the Breeders' Cup can demonstrate that it is managing the money of the breeders in a responsible manner, with full disclosure as to benefits, I will return it. Until then, my money will be better spent on a few tons of hay.

Danzel Brendemuehl

Classic Bloodstock, Ocala, Fla.