Wish List For The Holidays

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 30, 2008 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Thanksgiving always makes me focus on the things I am most grateful. Family, health, friends, and the sound of thundering hooves.

The onset of the Holiday season always gets me thinking of lists. For kids it is always about gifts; adults wishing for things or events in their lives; and the horse player has their wish as well. See if any of these will appear on your list this year:

  • I would love to see all tracks end disputes with ADW’s and the player could have ease of motion of wagering. Take the game to the player. The old days of having 35,000 fans on a daily basis at Belmont are over. But the money can still be wagered, and we need to make it easy on the player. After all, they keep the lights on for the game.
  • Rid our sport of performance enhancing drugs. The time has come, and we have seen too many tragedies. The only way to make this stick is to have a stiff first offense, and the second is a lifetime ban. This is a step in the right direction of cleaning up the greatest sport we love.
  • How about a rebate program for players? Lets cut through all of the red-tape and get down to rewarding the true stars of the game. The players.  John Q. Public. The people who have supported the game since the beginning, and will stay with us if we recognize them.
  • Tracks need to be more of an entertainment destination. The fan base is changing, and we must change if we want to survive. Have family days, get the public close to the action, have drawings for  everyday patrons to own a piece of a race horse. Invest in fan education. We are creating the fans of tomorrow. Pay it forward. Our past keepers of the torch made the game fun. But it is changing, and we must change if we want to survive.

I know, this is only a wish list. Some won’t care, and many things won’t ever see the light of day. There will always be nay-sayers who put down new ideas, and extol the virtues of days gone by. But this defeats the optimism of the wish list. It is an idea for the future. Not because we want instant gratification, but because we want to do the right thing. Go ahead make your own list. Keep score. Be a keeper of the torch. It is our game now, and we are seeing dark days. It is a wish that may be the catalyst for ideas that bring us to the light.