Exactly a year after I wrote about how you could cash in on the death of Barbaro things seem to be getting clearer. Yesterday came the news that the horse--winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby, who was eventually euthanized after an injury suffered during the Preakness--would be buried on Churchill Downs grounds.
Considering how beloved Barbaro is, it makes sense to ask whether having him on the grounds means it's worth it to take a look at Churchill Downs stock.
From the information that is out there now, I'd be skeptical as to whether this is going to be a cash-in opportunity.
You see, Churchill Downs originally expressed interest in having Barbaro buried in its garden with four other forgettable Derby winners.
But word out of Louisville--if I'm reading between the lines right--is that Churchill Downs won't be earning any incremental revenue from the gravesite alone. Plans are to have Barbaro's remains "placed outside of an entrance gate," which, to me, means people can walk up and take a look without paying any admission.
While that was probably done on purpose by Barbaro's owners--who want America to see America's horse--it's a shame for the investment that is Churchill Downs.
Now, I suppose some can argue that a free visit to see Barbaro in some cases yields a visit inside and the buying of a $20 plush Barbaro in the gift shop, but that's too much of a stretch for me to advocate the "Barbaro play" at this point.
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