Jay Bergman, in an article for the Breeders Crown proves a point we all know, allowing winners to pick their post positions in finals are a sham. Seven of the eight horses that got to draw a post won their Breeders Crown Final. Maybe this is why wagering on the Breeders Crown is not as high as it could be. For some gamblers, betting on the favorites is not a good investment of their money as all it takes is one or two losses and any gain you can disappear and put you in the minus side by the end of the night.
I have said it before and I will say it again, when you allow winners of eliminations to choose their post positions you are manipulating (as in making it easier for one horse to win over another) the outcome of the final; it is not a fair race. Yes, I know all the arguments that you need to put a carrot in front of the horse in the elimination to get the horse to perform to its best ability because the purses are too small for the eliminations. Raise the elimination purses too much so everyone tries and the final purses become pedestrian.
Why should anyone get to choose their posts? What about the horse saddled with the ten hole in the elimination who has to raise their lungs out just to get third or even second; shouldn't they be rewarded for their efforts? The point is a horse may be in an elimination drawing a post which basically eliminates them from competition and no one cries for them, but let an elimination winner draw a bad post and a river of tears flows.
Daryl Kaplan of Standardbred Canada has the best solution for this mess. Let each race have an open draw and if an elimination winner wins their elimination and final, let them win a bonus. If a horse is unable to pull this racing double, add the bonus to the final purse and distribute it the normal way. As an example, have the bonus be $100,000 and instead of a race being a $600,000 race, make it $500,000. If an elimination winner wins the final, they get their 50% of the $500,000 plus the entire $100,000 bonus. If a different horse wins, the winner gets their 50% of a $600,000 purse. That would be incentive enough for a horse to try to win their elimination. Best of all, we would not be manipulating the outcome of the race.
Other than the elimination winners (who often get a decent post in the elimination), the owners are getting shafted and the gamblers are being deprived of the potential for decent payoffs when an elimination winner wins. If posts were drawn fair and square, you may get a good price on the elimination winner.
This problem has got to be fixed once for all