The 24th Breeders Cup decided every issue in the wind on Saturday, which is its purpose. (More on this at http://www.breederscup.com ) Quite unintentionally, it illustrated the growing chasm between the strength of racing in New York and elsewhere.

With the event on neutral ground, though Monmouth Park is only 70 miles, two bridges and four traffic jams from Belmont Park, the longstanding Jersey Short speed bias absent and every horse in every race on both days facing the same adverse, muddy, sloppy and soft conditions, nine of 11 winners in the newly expanded two-day format made their most recent starts at either Belmont or Saratoga. Two others made their final stops before the Breeders Cup out of town, but Mile winner Kip Deville is based in New York and Juvenile Turf winner Nownownow spent most of the season here.

While the industry is being pulling in several directions by various political factions, prosecuted and bankrupted by the states off-track betting structure and under siege by many who have sought to seize control of the soon-to-expire franchise, the core product the thing that happens between the white rails remains the bulwark of American racing, perhaps more so than at any point in history.

What happened at Monmouth Park on Saturday may appear at first glance to be coincidence, but the racing in New York between spring and autumn attracts the best horses in training. The old, if I can make it here theory applies. At the same time, this Breeders Cup is illustrative of the decline of racing in California. Of those sent to Monmouth from the West Coast, only Hystericalady, who tested Ginger Punch in the Distaff, was a factor. Idiot Proof was runner-up in the Sprint, but that race was a one-horse show starring Midnight Lute.

On Monday, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association will issue its weekly poll, in which I am a participant. My ballot:


Curlin
English Channel
Lahudood
Midnight Lute
War Pass
Indian Blessing
Corinthian
Street Sense
Invasor

With the exceptions of Street Sense and the retired Invasor, the top eight are either based or raced primarily in New York prior to the Breeders Cup. This is not an accident.