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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Time for a Real Championship Series

One can't help but wonder if the TVG Series has become outdated so quickly with only six trotters dropping into the box for this Friday's tilt at the Meadowlands. Granted, with a purse of $50,000 it is not exactly going to draw the best FFA trotters with many major stakes races yet to come. Standardbreds, especially the top horses, are not racing as much as they once did so it is easy to bypass this race.

Quite honestly, the funds provided by TVG and those additional funds invested by Jeff Gural could be better spent on a true championship series.  Some will say the Breeders Crown is the championship series, but with anyone willing to put the starting fees up (assuming the stallion is nominated), you can buy your way into the dance, and win even if a maiden (though admittedly, you may not get through any elimination race which may be scheduled).

A true championship race would be one restricted to those which raced the best all season long on the Grand Circuit.   I see two ways a revised TVG series could be formatted.  In the first format points could be earned for each start in Grand Circuit events.  When the time comes to race the year end championship, those horses entered with the highest point totals earned on the Roarin' Grand would be the ones to contest the TVG Series Championship.

The seecond proposal would be similar to the first, except there would be 'win it,, you're in it' races both in North America and abroad (assuming a horse is eligible for the championship race).  These horses would be granted automatic berths in the final.  In the event, not all the 'win it you're in it' horses drop in, the highest point earners of the other horses who drop in would fill out the field.

Where the TVG series is currently intended for older horses, there would be a championship race for each age, sex, and gait.  The race could be contested either before or after the Breeders Crown but make no mistake, this new series would truly reward the best of the best, not just the hottest at the time.

Then harness racing would truly have a championship series..

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