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4yo Platform Test - Changes coming Season 57

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  • 4yo Platform Test - Changes coming Season 57

    Changes to 4yo racing effective January 1, 2024

    There have been many debates over the last couple of years and seasons about the state of the 4yo-7yo racing platform. Many great opinions as well as some poor opinions. Digital Downs has tried many things to help boost the 4yo racing platform with nothing really sticking. Most of the past attempts targeted 2yo and the hope was that these attempts would trickle down to 4yo racing because the community would see the benefit. This has not worked time and time again. The main reasons why 4yo racing fails to kickoff:

    Nearly 50% of all 4yo's are retired for breeding rather quickly
    Perception of wear and tear or decline of a horse's ability
    No appetite for racing the book properly with an older horse
    The appetite for new 2yo horses and potential.

    While many members claim that they do race 4yo's or that they intend to race 4yo's in the future...this just does not happen. A few members do dive into 4yo races and run 200-500 4yo races a season each. The upcoming change unfortunately impacts them the most and for that, we at Digital Downs apologize and hope that these upcoming changes will still be beneficial to your stables. Please understand that as is we only run 0.57 4yo races a day site-wide that are non stakes races. Stables wanting to race 4yo often get their entries refunded (this will happen less). The only 4yo races that run somewhat consistently are stakes races.

    Effective January 1st, 2024, we will allow the purchase of 4-year-old horses from the Sales Ring and Sales Ring Only. Details are as follows:

    The sales ring will be the only source of 4yo purchases
    All horses purchased will be geldings
    There will be no 4yo mares available from the sales ring
    For the first time, bonus credits can be used to make a 4yo purchase from the sales ring
    The cost will be $10 in cash credits or $15 in bonus credits
    4yo horses purchased from the sales ring will require 2 wins to compete in stakes races
    There will be Blue Blood Maidens and Reveal added allowance scheduled to accommodate.
    More bonus credits will be added to the race card
    The 4yo Eliminator Tournament will be pushed back a few days to allow more time for entry.

    The changes above have zero impact on the normal 4-year-old racing book since those races haven't run as is. We also wanted to avoid any age change concerns by not allowing 3-year-old foals to be born to turn 4yo. We directly addressed the future breeding impact of this by not allowing these horses to breed. The only question will be the impact of 4yo stakes races for the non-retired natural 4yo horses. There currently is no data on the impacts..just opinions. We also feel that allowing bonus credits to be used for purchases will give new power and opportunity to some stables. this decision will also give new stable the opportunity to race more of a full book and not have to wait 6-9 months to get involved. We feel we have taken into account all concerns on this matter and addressed those concerns with this layout. We fully expect the results will be a more robust 4yo racing season and also an expansion into 5yo plus racing. After all we are here to race.

    This is a test for season 57 and we will reevaluate this decision at the end of season 57 for season 58. I ask that you have an open mind think about the potential and impact to the entire community.

    Thank you
    Digital Downs
    Last edited by Digital Downs; 12-11-2023, 09:22 AM.
    The Big Boss