The question looming over this year's Breeders' Cup is: will the Pro-Ride surface be able to prevent catastrophic breakdowns of the kind we've seen in at least the last three years' of this event?
And so it was with great interest that I read Marshall Gramm's fascinating analysis, "Injuries/Breakdowns at the Breeders' Cup," with a year-by-year table documenting all of the competition's "nonfinishers," including injuries and fatalities since the inaugural event in 1984. Encouragingly, Gramm notes that "six of the seven Breeders' Cups contested in California have been incident free. There has never been a breakdown in (a) California Breeders' Cup."
More ominously, though, Gramm projects that, "Based on 160 starters (90 synthetic, 70 turf) the 2008 edition projects 2.7 incidents, 1.6 horses eased and 1.1 more serious (pulled up, fall, break down). "
For the sake of the horses, we can only hope for a much better outcome.