Dispatches from Del Mar: Breeders' Cup Week Logistics Takes Flight

Appreciation ... as Breeders' Cup Week kicks off for the 38th time in its history! A logistical puzzle …
Appreciation ... as Breeders' Cup Week kicks off for the 38th time in its history! A logistical puzzle …

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It's time to check your luggage, pack your forms, and make sure you have all that you need ... Breeders' Cup Week has a officially arrived! That is a welcome sentence to construct because it signals some wonderful things to come. Now, that Pre-Entries have been issued, the clock ticks with a cadence as Thoroughbreds wait to hear who gets in and not. The Rood and Riddle Post Position Draw is Monday, after all. Time marches forward ... 

Not only will humans be hopping flights to San Diego International, but Thoroughbreds will too. Sure, some will be vaned, but if you were victorious in a Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race during the past year, then you automatically have your travel covered. Boarding passes at the ready …

The Breeders’ Cup thinks of everything, and last month they announced they would be chartering a pair of planes to take some 30 odd runners to Del Mar. With all the back-and-forth concerning charters, and their increased irregularity, it was a welcome piece of news. Fitting the bill, the BC “brain trust,” headed by the eminently capable Dora Delgado, handled the logistics. It probably wasn’t with ease, but aplomb is a word that comes to find.

In the trucking business dispatchers regularly use the phrase “handle up,” when it comes to solving problems and seeking solutions. Like those souls who “route” trucks from city to city, Team BC relied on past history as a guide. There is a long history of horses logging frequent flyer miles, but still it just goes to prove the extent of commitment that the purple/white has to one of the signature events in all of horse racing.

What you may not know about the upcoming week is that there are a series of logistical orchestrations that are like a conductor handling not one group of musicians, but several … all at once. It’s rather like having 4 strings sections, a couple of winds, and brass all over the place. Running from great hall to great hall, being in on an adagio in one, and then an allegro in another, would be akin to this BC business. Classical music and horse racing … they do correlate. 

The word that best defines what the BC does is logistics, as it implies timing and collaboration. The Breeders’ Cup committee relies on both, and there are so many moving parts that flowcharts would probably take up a couple of giant old school chalkboards. You know, those kind that raise and lower on conveyors. The idea behind the two-day spans a year of planning … when the world comes to your doorstep, you aren’t planning for a month, and then off for the next 11. The Breeders’ Cup is an annual event, and even though it is not on the scale of the Olympic Games, it still has deep-seeded logistical sinews.

As the global stage is swept at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, whether it be the connections, the members of the Media, or the fans of the sport, we would do well to remember what it takes to put on a safe, secure, and unbelievable experience … it truly is a moment where the sport will shine brightest. The logistics, that is what makes this train move, all its parts, and for that we should be all be grateful.

Welcome to Breeders’ Cup Week … it is full of promise! Are you ready? They are …

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