What Do You Think ?

... appears on this week's SI cover. (Photo: Courtesy Sports Illustrated

The big event has come and gone, and we have a Triple Crown winner. Thoroughbred history books open up, and another name is etched in gold. Most every fan felt there was going to be a rush of change, or at least more attention paid to racing.  Saturday marks three weeks of having American Pharoah’s name mentioned with the all-time greats. In your opinion, do you think the powers that be are more focused on using this moment for attracting attention ? Will there be any special efforts from the tracks to promote the sport ? – Or, will racing just allow this glorious moment in time to slip away quietly ?


I’ve heard plans the track I work for is already looking to make next year’s Triple Crown events bigger and better. If I had to bet a dollar it would be focused on having more access to wagering, and food and beverage booths availed with wonderful fare. – This is all in the making to allow fans to enjoy their experience, and hopefully better serve their needs. Racing in my neck of the woods is moving on the right track. But, I think we can do even more. Now before you toss your head away and complain about facility costs, give the idea an honest “think” before you give it the thumb up or down.


“Fan education” is heard in many gaming facilities. Not just informing the fans of who to bet. But actually teaching the fans of tomorrow about how to begin the process. Handicapping can be daunting, and if you allow the wave of information to bury them in their seat, they’ll start heading out to find an easier game to play. Tracks need to start at the beginning and work up. Yes, it will take a great deal of work. Yes, it will involve working more with this game than just plunking down a few dollars and pulling a lever. – In the end if you take the time and do it right, you may be amazed at what you’ve accomplished. If you think about the Sports Illustrated cover, think about the sea of humanity holding up phones and tablets to record the event. Have you ever seen this many people gather around a slot machine and do this ? Have you ever watched in amazement as fans stand and cheer at the top of their lungs for two minutes ? – This is where we begin. Racing has a golden opportunity, and in the words of Rage Against the Machine. – “It has to start somewhere, It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now?

If you missed the Belmont Stakes, didn’t read a sports magazine, or were stranded on a desert island. Just watch this clip and you’ll feel the energy, and see for yourself how fans are hungry for racing.

The game is far from over. It was 37-years-ago when the Racing Gods planted the seeds of hope, and on Belmont Day watched it blossomed into a beautiful event. – Fans of any sport hold their breath, wait patiently, and listen to behind the scenes problems. But still, there are fans. – Now it is our responsibility to use the power of the moment to recapture their interest. – As we read about tracks cutting dates, and purses being slashed to stay afloat. The business model may need to be re-examined and think about digging in and investing one more time. What happened last year means nothing, it is all about the now. The sport cannot be supported with empty promises and hoping they’ll show and do your work. So if you’re working in racing, get ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy. Or, you can hope you’ll eek out another meet, and maybe next year will be better. – Time isn’t on our side, and how we handle the next year can breathe life into the game, or we’ll listen sadly as the lonesome bugler plays the final call to the post.