2001 Breeders' Cup Will Have 'Larger Meaning Than Before'

Breeders' Cup is re-evaluating the marketing position of its World Thoroughbred Championships in light of the recent terrorist attack on New York City, an official said Tuesday. The Oct. 27 event at Belmont Park will be dedicated to the people impacted by the attack on the World Trade Center.

Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. also reiterated that no other racetracks have been contacted to serve as host site this year in light of the situation in New York. "It'll take on a larger meaning than it has before," Van Clief said the championships. "It's very important for us to stay with our plan. We'd like it to become a celebration and salute to the people of New York."

Van Clief said security will be heightened, and patrons will see some other related changes in light of the situation in New York City, where the World Trade Center towers were destroyed Sept. 11. Details are not yet available on changes planned for Belmont. Meanwhile, only about 100 people have called to cancel their tickets for the event, he said, and no participants have expressed an unwillingness to make the trip.

Horse transportation isn't expected to be a problem, Van Clief said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture already had approved the Breeders' Cup quarantine facility at Belmont.

In a related matter, the USDA approved a New York Racing Association quarantine facility, effective immediately. For now, Aqueduct will be used. That means horses won't have to ship to Newburgh, N.Y., when they arrive in the U.S.

"We have a number of foreign horses interested in shipping in for our own stakes this fall," NYRA racing secretary Mike Lakow said. "Since they won't have to quarantine at Newburgh, it solves a major problem for foreign horsemen in that it will be much more convenient to ship here to run."