Take Back the Race!
On February 27, Breeders\' Cup officials announced the Breeders\' Cup Distaff would be renamed the Breeders\' Cup Ladies\' Classic and that all the Breeders\' Cup female stakes races would be run on Friday, removing the Juvenile Fillies, the Filly & Mare Turf, and the race formerly known as the Distaff from their customary Saturday placement, with the intent to create \"separate but equal\" championship days. These changes were finalized and announced by the Breeders\' Cup following a process that included consultation with racing and marketing executives only in one focus group meeting, as explained by BC marketing consultant Chip Tuttle: \"The process was deliberate and included a focus group of leading female and male sports marketing and horse racing executives.\" We, the undersigned racing fans, ask the Breeders\' Cup to reconsider these changes, and: - Acknowledge the vocal public outcry against the use of the word \"Ladies\" in the Breeders\' Cup by restoring the original name of the Ladies\' Classic or renaming the race the Filly & Mare Classic, which would fit with the names of the other female championship races and still align the race with the Breeders\' Cup Classic; - Create a fan committee representing the diversity of the racing audience to provide ideas and feedback on proposed changes and marketing plans to the Breeders\' Cup; - Explore alternate schedules for future runnings of the Breeders\' Cup that would be more inclusive of working fans and would present the championship races in such a way that no divisions would appear minimized. Fans have generated several such possibilities online; a fan committee could help generate and explore a multitude of options. To show that we are serious about these matters, we pledge to protest by not attending, betting or watching the entire Friday card unless the Ladies\' Classic name is changed and there are assurances from the Breeders\' Cup to create a formal feedback mechanism incorporating fans in ongoing marketing decisions of the Breeders\' Cup.