Signs Of The Times

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 17, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

In today’s economy, nothing is exempt from cuts. The game that stood during the time of The Great Depression is starting to wobble like a boxer against the ropes. When you start seeing the marquee tracks taking direct shell hits, you have to start wondering if there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hollywood Park is slashing $1.5 million in purse money from its stakes schedule for the track’s 65-day spring-summer meeting that opens April 22nd.

The meeting’s richest races – the Hollywood Gold Cup and American Oaks – will have their purses reduced by $50,000 each to $700,000.

The stakes schedule released Tuesday was cut due to the sagging economy with the intent of protecting the overall quality of racing. To use words like protecting the overall quality of racing is French. It really means keeping the doors open, and we have to make cuts. These cuts are just the beginning. You will see little by little the track that you once knew start taking a different shape. The promotions and giveaways will be left off of the calendar, and eventually you will hear words that describe how much land is worth per acre.

I flew into L.A.X. and I saw Hollywood Park. It gave me chills to see the track that I have been playing for years. To hear that tracks will begin making financial cuts for the survival of racing is the beginning of the end. We better get behind our game, or it will start wobbling. Come to think of it, it is already getting the standing eight count as we catch our breath.