The Happy Horseplayer – May

The Monday after Derby is here. Normally, we would be talking about what happened, and how the horses came back. – There would be plans, next race preparations, as well as small adjustments to solve any problems. But, not this year. – The good news is that we will be talking about this in four months. Hang in there, the horses will be taking the track soon enough. – The Happy Horseplayer.


Saturday / Derby Day

The H.H. had a full day of action Saturday. – Racing was on three channels without any other sports to watch and wager. Thoroughbred racing had taken center stage. – I watched and remembered past winners and stories as TV talent made us feel it happened just a moment ago. There were oodles of comments about days gone by, and the incredible live racing taking place at Oaklawn Park.

Yeah, it was Derby Day. – The race will be run on the first Saturday in September, but the feelings were still there. – A virtual Derby gave new and regular fans a digital treat, and when Secretariat kicked clear and won the race, it was a reminder of just how great “Big Red” was on that day. – If you’re new to the game, welcome! – If you’re a regular fan it was a day at the races betting on Gulfstream, Tampa Bay, and Oaklawn Park. For this racing fan and gambler, it was business as usual with thundering action to keep me glued to the TV set.

Many are wondering when their favorite ovals will open and if fans will be allowed back to watch the live races?  Yeah, it’s on every fan’s mind. – As I keep up on who is opening without fans we have to remember to take it slow. Let’s see how things are going and with a little racing luck, we’ll find ourselves being “Railbirds” soon enough. – We have to keep everyone involved safe and ensure all protocols and practices are in place.

With the added coverage it’s a trip back in time to when racing was king. – It was the only legal place to make a wager. These were the golden days from long ago. – I didn’t think we’d ever have a trip back to these days, but during these uncertain times, there’s a timeout to get re-acquainted. – There are some ideas to bring in new fans and grow a new fan base. Here are a few ideas from the H.H. to help bridge the gap for new fans to grow.

Once upon a time, we had ten races and 30 minutes between to wait. It gave you time to handicap, watch the post parade, and get in line to wager. Sometimes you would be “shut out” and there was no wager that race. – But, these days are gone. We have rapid-fire slot machines that will allow you to play 100 games at the same time. You can lose the rent in a matter of minutes. – The H.H. is well aware of the casino-style games. I even enjoy a little bit of fast play, but not much. I’m a tried and true racing fan. With the simulcast menus out and about, it makes for a full buffet of racing action.

After this past weekend, I am confident all will be well. – Some states will be a little slower than others to open. – Even without fans, gamblers can bet from home and enjoy a full experience of being at the track. – This too shall pass. As we hear every day; “We’re all in this together.” – We will come out stronger than ever and hopefully, we’ll relish each and every time we pull into the track to watch the ponies. – Until next month, best of luck from your good friend The Happy Horseplayer and Winning Ponies!