Horse $ense

Every sport has fans, and all fans have an opinion. In the old days, the only opinions were read in your favorite newspaper, or you had to call into a radio show. But, here is an idea for the serious fan. Not the ones who create nicknames, or give a new twist to profanity. Just the serious fans who want to be an active part of the game.

Big-time kudos to WinStar Farm. They are looking for a jockey to ride Revolutionary, and decided to have a little fun. They are asking the fans to sign up for WinStarStablemates, and cast a vote. I know this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but allowing fans to take part will pass our sport to the next generation. Kudos… They get it.

We have many forums where fans, players, and track employees can blow off some steam, and dish out about racing. Instead of allowing some “Joe-Blow” to play couch potato quarterback. How about having a moderator post a series of questions? – It could range from synthetic tracks, riders, medication issues, and many other questions that are on the minds of real fans. Not the potty-mouth telephone tough guys. I want to hear from real players with ideas. Anyone can bitch and moan, but for every problem you see. I want you to think about two solutions. Real fans with real ideas….

H.A.N.A  (Horse Players Association of North America) has set the ball in motion  giving the horse player a voice. They are one of the good guys, and have really focused on making the game more transparent. I can’t say enough about the many good things they have brought to the table. They are the start of the process, and have brought to light what we need to do make our sport flourish.

Here is a thought. Just like many sports betting sites, you can have a blog/news section where players can post. The content will be monitored closely, and for every informative posting. The writer will receive a recognized notation, and we will begin hearing from the fans who know the sport. Individual Racing Circuit Bloggers, Tracks, ADW’s, Medication Issues, Discussion Boards, Daily Industry News, Data Information Sites, Live Streaming Video (free), and Free Wagering Tutorials. Make this the one-stop site for fans to keep up on the sport.

The individual blogger serves a purpose. As we see dwindling racing coverage, there is a real need to hear from 4-star bloggers who follow the New York circuit, or have an understanding of racing issues. This area could be “controlled” by long time turf writers like Jennie Rees, Rich Eng, Dick Jerardi, or the bevy of others who have lost their voice in the mainstream news. Who better to keep the beat than the folks who have kept us informed for years?

ADW’s would have a section to promote, and recruit players. Not just one site, but every ADW that supports Thoroughbred racing. Let the fans decide, and allow them to be introduced to wagering via phone, computer, etc.

Free tutorial wagering could allow players to accumulate “credits” to be used for industry prizes, etc. The main thought is to put together a top-notch site where new and returning players can learn at their own pace. Great strides have been made in the area of fan education, and if you want to start thinking in the right direction. Just get ahold of Jeremy Plonk or Joe Kristufek. They will be honored this year for ground breaking work in player education.

Free video would allow the fans to follow the game uninterrupted. No costs, fees, or hidden agendas. If you want them to know how beautiful the sport is to watch. Let them.. Keeneland gets it, as they allow you to watch the live racing free from their site. You could spend a billion dollars advertising your wonderful product. Let them see for themselves, and I’ll bet you won’t go wrong.

The best part is that it will be free. Free to join, no costs, or wagering thresholds. It is time to get busy as the load is being carried by the few, while the many are on the sidelines talking. I had a professor who once told our class “to get excited about something in your life. Not just for the moment, but really get into the groove. It won’t hurt, and there is nothing like a little sweat equity.” Tracks, ADW’s, Data Sites can pay to be a part of the one-stop site. They will be reaching new, current, and returning players. The floor is open to everyone. –  I have been a long time player, and I get overwhelmed by the NTRA, NHC, UFO’s and VIP’s… I think you get the idea. Make it simple to use, and easy to follow. Let everyone have a place under the big top, and fans will begin paying attention. There are so many great things going on, but they are all sending different messages. One site, one direction, and many options…