California Chrome is just one of many magnificent runners at the 2014 Breeders' Cup

California Chrome is just one of many magnificent runners at the 2014 Breeders’ Cup

After spending all those years in grade school, I think I figured out there is no such thing as a stupid question…maybe a stupid answer…or stupid people…but never a stupid question. With that in mind, let’s expound on a few thoughts racing through my 6 ½ furlong mind with a little Breeders’ Cup Q & A. The first question that comes to mind for the everyday sports fan is simple…what in the world is the Breeders’ Cup? The Breeders’ Cup is truly the world Thoroughbred championships. It is not like some of the other sports title tilts that claim to be “world” championships when only teams from North America are competing. Runners from around the globe congregate for an event that features 13 different races in a two-day span. There will be races for sprinters, grass runners, middle distance dirt, classic distance dirt, youngsters, girls, boys, the whole darn schmere! Ponies from North America will make up most of the entrants, but there are also horses from Japan, Ireland, Chile, Argentina, Great Britain, and France being saddled. Where is the Cup being contested and is it always at the same place? The 2014 Breeders’ Cup is being run at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. The Cup is normally rotated around to different tracks, but this will be the third consecutive year “the great race place” will host. If you have ever been to this lovely piece of real estate located in suburban Los Angeles, you understand why the Cup has called it home recently. Next year, the event will be held in the heart of horse country at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. As far as wagering is concerned, is picking my horse by the name a legitimate strategy for a pony payoff? The answer here is absodoggonelutely (that is Southern for most certainly). This is the Breeders’ Cup and ALL of the entrants are good. This is the richest day of racing in North America and the best will make the dash if you flash the cash. Long shot winners can be the norm at this event so if a name strikes you and the odds are long, throw down the money and hope they run strong. My friend and Breeders’ Cup winning trainer Carl Nafzger says odds have never determined the outcome of a race because “horses can’t read”. At this event Carl couldn’t be more correct because everybody really does have a chance. What about the food at a place like this? Will there be good eats? Does a brown bear have hair?…I mean come on, this is Southern California. There is an abundance of fine food as a mix of culinary culture descends upon Santa Anita. At my last visit the fabulous beef brisket taco was discovered and those very thoughts were brought back to Tennessee. In a word it is simply…Yum! Will there be a coronation for California Chrome in this his home state? The Triple Crown chase put this beautiful chestnut son of Lucky Pulpit at the forefront of the sporting world. Magical runs in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness pushed this California-bred up the social ladder. Chrome has not been very shiny in his last two outings as he finished 4th (Belmont) and 6th (Pennsylvania Derby). The California Chrome team remains optimistic he is ready for a big effort, but outspoken owner Steve Coburn is the first to admit “He is in for the toughest race of his life”. With 14 others set to oppose him in the $5 million Classic including the unbeaten Shared Belief, Coburn is totally correct. But hey, this is the Breeders’ Cup and that is why it is the greatest. The 2014 Breeders’ Cup will be run on October 31 and November 1 with NBC sports network and NBC providing television coverage.