Watching TV

by Ed Meyer

posted on October 4, 2016 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | No Comments >>




My son and I settled in after a long Sunday. We kicked back and watched the HBO series Westworld. As we watched with quiet eyes glued to the screen, I was taken back to the 1973 movie with Yul Brynner. – The flick is still good if you can get past the old techno-effects. But this version is slick and cool. The characters and towns are speck on, and even the horses looked perfection. – Oh, the horses. That’s where I started wondering off a bit when I saw them take off in a blistering pace aboard a big stud who looked like a million bucks.

The flesh looked perfect and they painstakingly used computer animation to show the glimmering flesh running like the wind. – That’s where I started wondering. – How far are we away from watching jockeys compete on computerized versions of the best runners in history ? –  I know it’s not coming to a track near you soon, but could it be in the days to come ? – The days where PETA and other agencies finally have their way to save the noble horse. No more PED’s, the only breakdowns would be mechanized, and the riders would have a safer trip aboard replicas of some of the best runners throughout time. – Before you turn the channel, give it a good think.

As I watched with amazement, I know the future of racing is uncertain. – For every thousand safe horses who compete, it is the unlucky breakdown that gets front page views. But that is the nature of the sport. Once It was just part of the game, but now it is under scrutiny for safety and transparency.  – Much of which I agree if there is to be a future for the sport. Could there be such a thing in the distance ? – Could we make the game safer and satisfy all of the naysayers in one swift blow ? – Maybe, but we’re not in Westworld.

The cost would be great and what would happen to the Thoroughbred breed ? – With the new mechanical Man o’ War runners, what would happen to a breed of animal that was bred and created for speed and stamina ? – Thoroughbreds are completely dependent on man to feed, water, and take care of them as a baby. Most wouldn’t even know to drink from a lake as they’ve drank their water from a bucket since they were weaned. – I guess that is one as a plus for the new mechanical breed. – There would be fewer breakdowns, no taking care of them 24/7, and they would be put in a holding area where maintenance and mechanics could take care of the new creations.

Would you have thought we’d be able to watch and wager on every race in the world 50 years ago ? – How about the decline of a sport that has lost it’s appeal to lightning quick slot machines. All you had to do was build it and fans would show by the ten thousands. – Baseball, boxing, and horse racing. The big three held all the interest of the sporting world and racing was special as it was the only one where you could make a legal wager. But time and tide waits for no man, and the gambling world has gone to the mechanized world of electronic games that move as quick as lightning. – People grew tired of waiting 20 minutes between posts, as they could bet their house payment in the video slots in the same time.

Back to the mechanized world of racing. – I think it could be a reality sooner rather than later. Oh, I may not get to see the best of the best do battle with flesh gleaming in the sunlight. But the sport of racing surely could. Maybe it could be bigger than ever as fans by the thousands watch Secretariat do battle with California Chrome every Saturday. Just think, no more intrusive agencies watching over the animals, and even the public may get behind the game again. Wouldn’t that be a neat idea ? – As I got back into my show and found myself riveted to the idea of the future. Maybe this could be the way of the future. Instead of buying million dollar babies through the ring, you’ll be ordering your own version of a 18-hand behemoth that had the speed of Housebuster and the closing kick of Silky Sullivan. All set to your specifications, and with every computer enhancement would come the big price tag making it the Sport of Kings once again.