How Important Are They?

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 20, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

The Paulick Report had a great article about what horsemen wanted, and what the gamblers want. The real question, is how important are they…

Ray Paulick writes some stuff that will leave your hair blown back. He doesn’t care about advertisers and what they want him to say. This is rare, and it means we will get to hear the truth for once.

Today he was talking with trainer Bob Hess from the Southern California circuit. He talked about his horses doing well, but the players hate the surface. It is too challenging, and can be inconsistent. This will affect the handle, and before long, the horses will be running for blue ribbons instead of mega-dollars.

This is a hot topic. I have went back and forth many times. I try to be open-minded, but the end of the day result is what the players want. They make the game, and make money for the tracks and create purses. Personally, I have tried to adapt. Even after all of this time, it still befuddles me. Will there ever be a time that I am adapted? I am sure… Then they will pull it all up, and the horses will run on blacktop….

I think the trainers and tracks must come together and gain the confidence of the gamblers. Start by having training videos of works. Have trainers address players in seminar form, and tell them everything that is going on. Keep a detailed report as Keeneland does, and make it accessible for everyone. Have noted handicappers come in and talk the talk, telling players what to look for. For the first time, pull back the curtain and let them see what is behind the scenes. Gamblers are superstitious by nature, and we need to break down the barriers. Information, education, and access… This is a first, but it may be the new way to reach players. After all, without them, there would be no racing…….