Monday, June 21, 2010

Zenyatta and the East Coast Crowd

Those west coast fans may constantly proclaim how much they love Zenyatta but they sure don't show up for her. On a beautiful Sunday (June 13th) at Hollywood Park with a Giveaway day (Zenyatta Bobblehead) and Zenyatta trying to go 17-0 by winning the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap, only 12,232 fans showed up.

Compare that to the east coast this past Sunday. At Monmouth Park, 24,262 fans (on track handle of $1,116,879) were in attendance. At Belmont Park, with no Giveaway and no Graded Stakes on the card, ( The feature race was the Mike Lee Stakes for NY Bred 3 year olds) attendance was 11,304 with an on track handle of $1,225,384.

A combined 35,566 showed up at the 2 tracks, which are 70 miles apart. Can you imagine if Zenyatta had been running at either of the two tracks this Sunday instead of last Sunday at Hollywood Park? For fun, throw Rachel into the mix and the numbers go even higher (RA drew 31,171 at Saratoga last summer to see her run in the Woodward Stakes).

Plus you had 49,240 at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. I'm not even counting the thousands who showed up at NY Watering Holes all over the Metro NY-NJ area to watch the World Cup with their drinking buddies. Too bad Zenyatta will probably never run on NY-NJ east coast soil, she deserves that east coast crowd.


Wallyhorse said...

You make a solid point, and I've said elsewhere if I had Zenyatta, her next start would be at Delaware Park in the Delaware Handicap on July 17. While only a Grade 2, at $750,000 it is the richest non-BC race in the sport for females and in reality is the next logical spot for both her and Rachel. After that, I would be doing an "old school" campaign of either the Beverly D or Arlington Million (Both Grade 1) on turf August 7 at Arlington, the Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 28 or Woodward September 4 at Saratoga (both Grade 1) and either the (both Grade 1) Jockey Club Gold Cup (on dirt at 1 1/4 Miles) or Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (on turf at 1 1/2 Miles) in October at Belmont Park, followed by the BC Turf or Classic. That's the kind of "old school" campaign that is needed.

Kay said...

I was at Hollywood Park for Zenyatta and was surprised to find out how few people were there. We felt like more! Honestly, I think it's more a function of crappy, creaky HollyPark than anything else. It's at the back-end of nowhere and you don't even want to stray a block past it, just out of fear. They're not doing ANY upkeep on this track at all, since they want to demolish it. If the race had been at Santa Anita, it would have been a very different story. Can't find the attendance for the Santa Margarita, but it was A LOT. And for the Santa Anita Derby this year, it was over 40,000. That's HUGE for Cali racing these days and I think it was spill-over from Zenyatta.

Brock said...

Southern Cal sports fans don't have a long history of showing up for much. One of the reason there is no NFL team in the nation's second largest market.

Dodger fans that do show up, don't get to the stadium until the second or third inning and college football attendance throughout the entire West coast is much lighter than other parts of the country.

Gina said...

It DOES have a lot to do with Hollywood Park. My grandfather helped build the place -- and HE died in 1969, which is probably the last time the place got any maintenance.

If she runs at Del Mar, it'll be a different story. (For one thing, I'll be there from NorCal, and I'm bringing a party of 12!)

Del Mar is a party. Hollywood Park is ... "is that my car alarm?"

SaratogaSpa said...

Wallyhorse-would love to see the schedule you drew up
Brock-and they leave in the 7th inning
Kay and Gina-agree Hollywood Park does not help with the attendance.
Thanks all for reading.

The_Knight_Sky said...

My my.

Zenyatta in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic a 1 1/2 miles on the grass - in New York with that horrific detention barn and all.

I'll have some of what Walt is having. ;-)