I can't help but wonder what the North America Cup will look like in the future with the end of the Slots at Racetrack program this coming March. I am pretty sure it will continue to be contested, but I imagine the $1.5 million purse may become history in the next year or two. It will join the Meadowlands Pace as major races with the purse being reduced. This year's Meadowlands Pace will go for $800,000, a $200,000 reduction. However, if more money needs to be dedicated to overnights in order to fill racing cards at the Meadowlands, will next year's Pace go for less? Time will tell.
A while back, I talked about introducing the Skewbald colored standardbred in the United States to add some 'color' to the sport. Since then, I found out why this has not happened in North America when I talked to a friend in Australia, where the first attempts were made to reintroduce the Skewbald. Sam says:
The Skewbald, didn't really take off over here. There was a couple of stallions that stood at stud, but nothing really found there way to the race track, mate. To be honest with you, they were a flop.
The main reason, was the stallion, poor performers, low earnings and no time against their name. There were a couple racing in NSW and Queensland, one horse went ok, winning a couple of races but no superstar.
A Skewbald stood at stud here in Tasmania, the closet his foals got to the race track were as outriders.
They are nice horses, but you will not find any of then at Metro tracks, maybe the odd one at a country track.
Perhaps, the skewbald could be introduced back into the North American bloodlines, but it would take time to successfully get the right mix in order to get them up to racing speed, something the commercial breeder has no time and to be honest cash flow to work on. Maybe there would be a market for the skewbald standardbred for non-racing purposes, but that market is too small to breed for. So it appears the Skewbald Standardbred will remain a curiosity.