Be Careful What You Wish For

by Ed Meyer

posted on July 14, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Be Careful What You Wish For

Confusion has a steep price to pay. I’ve been working in racing all of my life. No more saying it’s been mostly part of my working years; it’s been my entire life. – I’ve loved every day from the ice-cold parking lot days until I slowly climbed the ladder. The sport was my first love and to this day she is my muse. But these days it’s been hard to believe in the future. I guess I’m one of the many who just sit back and wonder what’s next.

Trainers getting sent to the showers and not allowed to enter races. I guess this would be one of the worst calls a conditioner could get in the early morning being told he’s on the shelf. No money to be made, horses sent to other trainers, and your staff that have taken years to build are given their pink slip. – Then a few weeks go by and “POOF.” They are allowed to enter and run once again after the court of Public Opinion has lost faith in you; the process of building back your business begins. Imagine how tough it is to convince folks who have been reading about you cavorting with the devil and doing wrong. It will be tough to get them to believe once again and send hundreds of thousands of dollars your way. This was a tough read from an outsider’s perspective. Can’t imagine what they were feeling.

I waited with bated breath for the casinos to arrive. They were going to bring the game back to days of glory and the future looked bright ahead. But, be careful what you wish for, you may just get it. – In my neck of the woods the race track is looked upon as something they just deal with until they figure out a way to get rid of it to stash more lightning-fast slot machines to take the rent money. Funny thing, they wouldn’t have even been here unless that lucrative gaming license brought the hope of bringing the Trojan Horse to the races. They weren’t there to save anything except expand their own waistline. – Team Members come over and watch the races like they are looking at aliens. They don’t understand, and even if you took time to show them, they couldn’t give a damn about the sport. Just not fast enough.

Some casinos come in and relish the opportunity to expand the racing side by making the complex a complete entertainment destination. Great idea if you ask me, but nobody is asking. Those casino entities advertise the entire property as a place to enjoy the excitement of gaming. A little something for everyone. – But there is the flip side of that coin. Others just meander around and watch an occasional race looking for a chance to celebrate in the winner’s circle like they care.

I’ve watched friends and co-workers lose jobs and shuffle around to different ones. Leaving behind the work they did for decades. Sad to see but even more tough to watch these strong people lose hope. – But the beat goes on. Loud music around the slots, free soda, and coffee as long as you’re playing, but never once have I even seen that free soda machine or hot coffee urn make its way to the racing side. I guess they wouldn’t enjoy a cup of coffee.

I’m still trying to hang in there, but it’s getting tougher. They make it rougher with a secret plan to rip up that lush turf course and build a super high-rise of penny slots. I sometimes refer to the facility as “It’s not your grandpa’s game anymore.” – I’m sure glad he’s not here to see it. He’d just walk back to the car and head back home.