Instant Change?

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 21, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

Instant Change

Kentucky racing is some of the best the world has to offer. There is a complete circuit, and they have year-round racing at different venues. This past year has been a tough road for the Bluegrass State. But, just when things look the darkest, has the light of hope arrived?

When you read about Turfway Park cutting the track’s signature fall event of the Kentucky Day of Champions, and Keeneland cutting purses, the reality is here…..

We always thought there would be racing in the state known for the Thoroughbred. It was hard to imagine a sport without this circuit. Days were being cut, events dropped, purse slashing… Where was the end, and was it coming faster than we thought?

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has declared that Instant Racing is a viable form of wagering at race tracks in Kentucky. This is not a panacea, but it is definitely a step to help the suffering sport. No matter what any track was doing, it seemed to fall short as they are surrounded by casinos and other forms of gaming. They could no longer hold up, and this was starting to finally hit bottom. Kentucky has lead the world industry in sales and racing for years. Many tracks in Kentucky were the gold standard as for how things were to be done.

If you look at Oaklawn Park,  the advent of Instant Racing has been a boom. I don’t know if this will have the same effect in Kentucky, but it sure sounds great. I have to say that the thought of our sport dying hurts to the core. Wouldn’t it be nice to see bigger purses, more horses, better runners shipping in, and the game growing again? I hope this is only the beginning, and if you tune in to this weeks Internet Show, you will hear Marty McGee from the Daily Racing Form talk in depth about the future of the sport.