2011 Early Predictions

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 30, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

The beginning of the holiday season gets me in the mood to start thinking about the new year. I can’t help it, but when the year winds down, it does leave many to start the guesswork. I have spoken to media folks who did not want to be quoted, as they have no real base. It is only from being around the connections do they see the truth.

1st – Mike Smith just won the “Big Sport of Turfdom” from the Turf Publicists of America. I have to admit after the fact, I did vote for him. The way he handled himself after Zenyatta lost by a head, and what a true professional he is on and off the track. I hate to say that it may be a month or two before you see Smith pick up his head. For most, the loss would send them into retirement. Smith is one of the best, but the race will hang around in his noggin for a while. So, if he is not up to snuff, give him a pass for a month or two…..

2nd – Blame will go to the shed, and will be popular. His breeding and back class will be considered a bargain at $35,000. Claiborne Farms is sharp. They have a gold mine, and he better eat his vitamins or little blue pill. I think he will be a very busy boy!

3rd – The synthetic revolution will begin to unravel. I think many tracks need it where the weather is poor. But, tracks need to get back to dirt. It worked for 150 years, and I think it will return.

4th – Drugs and race day medication will be examined. We will adopt the European ideals, and maybe racing will see fewer breakdowns. They don’t stand for it, and why should we?

5th – I see the Breeders’ Cup opening many eyes that we can revive the sport. The handle was over the top, and we will make it a rule of thumb to have 50-cent tri’s and 10-cent super’s at every track, and every race. The thought of a betting exchange where we can wager on the race as it runs, will make the game seem like the stock market. But, it will open doors to new players and tech-savvy demographics.

6th – Night racing at Churchill Downs would have been scoffed at ten years ago. But, after 191% increase in attendance, you can bet that CD will have many more days up their sleeve coming in the spring.

7th – 2011 will usher in the year of alternative gaming. This will be the year that many states will have Instant Racing, VLT’s, and full-scale casinos. It may not be a panacea, but it is the needed bandage to allow us to catch our breath. Mark my word, the talk is over and action will take place.

We all like to look into the crystal ball and prognosticate about the future. But, these are words from the media professionals we read every day. One is by yours truly, and we will keep them mixed to protect the innocent, and the ones who miss by a mile. Just keep your fingers crossed for the good, and hope against the bad.