Troubled Times

by Ed Meyer

posted on April 21, 2010 in General Discussion | 2 Comments >>

I have the opportunity to work at an oval that holds small claiming races. We have Ohio stakes, and many allowance races as well…. It is a quaint little oval where beauty takes you back to the days of old.

As if not having any alternative gaming is enough, we have a dispute with horsemen. The track would like to cut back one day of operation, and offer that day’s purse structure into the overall coffers. Long story short, they run for more money.

The horsemen want to run more days. But, the drawback is that there are scant fields and people do not wager on small fields. The track loses, and the handle cannot fuel the purses. I know these men and women want to protect their dates, but we may live in a time when less is more. If we have 80 days versus 100, and the purse structure increases, what is the rub?

Now more than ever, the increased competition has squeezed tracks into scenarios like this. The Kentucky circuit would have thought to be untouched. But, after many years of losing, Turfway Park was forced into dropping two days per week. This increased field size, handle grew, and fans seemed to flock back. Maybe less is more, and in these days what do we have to lose?