What Do We Need?

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 25, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

As a horse player, we need very little to keep our smiles flowing. That is of course, if you have the winner of the fifth race.

As business gets tough, we need to stop crying. Things will get better, and if they don’t, what difference does it make to go the extra mile?

I applaud Churchill Downs for the lights. But, all new things take time to grow roots. OK, it was blow-up for night one. Let’s wait and see what they have up their sleeve this time. My bet is that they will be prepared, and the idea of lights will come into play for the future. Think about it… Churchill being the night signal.. It would kill off all of the others that attempt a twilight or night card. Good move, make it more accessible for the people.

Give the fans easy access to handicapping information.  Allow the tracks to have tip sheets, websites to use, and all of the other information services. The tracks can work out a deal with these entities and find a suitable price for players. The tracks can split the cost, and keep it only on track so the players have to be there to get the deal. Everybody wins..

I think you should only charge admission on the Triple Crown events, and the Breeders’ Cup. Why charge people to gamble? Are you crazy? That idea died in the 70’s. Give away parking, and have a modest priced valet. That way everyone is a VIP. Treat them as your business depends on it, because it really does.

Have fun days. I know, how corny does it have to be? The idea of the NTRA was to bring together tracks and form an alliance. They have plenty of bright minds. Give them a hat on a day, allow them to win tickets to another track in the VIP room. Hell, make them feel good and appreciated. They are paying our salaries.. I greet every person the same at the track where I work. I even have interns who ask me why I treat people so nicely… I simply inform them that they are preparing for the future. I don’t know of many baseball players who hit homers the first time at bat with no practice. No matter what field they choose, treating customers with respect, and doing it cheerfully, will go a long way.

Recognize players who hit big with a “wall of fame.” That is, if they agree to be honored. Some just want to be left alone. I don’t think we can thank the people who wager enough. If it were not for them, the horses would be running for blue ribbons. Honor and recognize your stars.

Here is an idea that may have some impact for new players. Just last week, I took a family up to the press box and let them watch a great race call, meet the stewards, and get the best seat in the house for a race. Guess what? They wanted to know what time post time is next Saturday. I think we may have created some new players.

There are no left fielders in racing. That means, we don’t just have a special department that handles guests. We are all employed in this area. From the parking lot boy to the president of the track, take the time and treat people right. Just act as if your job depends on it…..