Horse Racing Game Day

by Ed Meyer

posted on November 18, 2022 in General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Horse Racing Game Day

I was hunkered in my recliner watching College Game Day. – If you’re not much of a football fan or have been marooned on an island after a three-hour tour, it is one of the highest impact chock-full of energy shows highlighting the day of college football in the land. – The hosts have a rapid-fire roundtable that used to be stats and now has gravitated to using the -6 1/2 points on the road betting gab. – How about that? I never thought we’d see the day unless you were in Las Vegas or an offshore betting paradise. What a way to start the day, and I even have an up-to-the minute injury report before hitting the local casino. Life could never be so sweet.

Racing used to have weeklong celebrations with events. – The dart contest from the best in the world, the beauty pageant, all-star dinner with all the celebs and it would all be kicked off with a real Cajun crawfish boil to support the folks on the backside. – Music, food, and fun. TVG would ship in for on-air blips and blurbs and have a studio overlooking the track. The week was a celebration. Funny how one day of racing could capture the senses of the racing fan and turn it into an event of the year.

Why can’t we do that now? – Just like “CGD” in the morning talking the doings of the day, racing could have a week to build up to every big marquee day in horse racing. – The best part is there is always something going on. There are two major channels on racing TV and FanDuel rules the day with scrolling odds on the big game while the talking head build up the card.

Not every event would be the Breeders’ Cup; and that may be just fine. – Showcase the Iowa Day of Champions, The Best of Ohio, and The Claiming Crown Series. There is always plenty at the buffet of racing and it all depends on how we serve it up. – If we just run the races and hope someone plays. There may be no real hope in trying to grow the sport from the ground up if we don’t get behind it at the seedling stage.

Fans love to get their hands on merchandise and freebie items that promote the big day. There’s no billboard in the world that shows the big day in full color like a jacket, cap, or umbrella on the rainy day. – Whenever I pull my extra-large Keeneland umbrella, it has started a thousand conversations. I should get a new one every year as I’ve been a great spokesman.

Tracks can bring back the tried and true and make them new all over again. Bringing in the people to take part in on-track promotions. It could have that CGD feel if you had drawings for large prizes, VIP dining, and a shot at winning a piece of a “Big Ticket” for the pick-four. – Fans would rally around the idea of winning a big prize especially when it’s money. How about having a fan experience where they could be right in the paddock watching the marquee horses saddle up? Winners circle picture immediately following? – Just a few ideas that may draw players closer to the game.

Now, I don’t see horse racing fans getting close to the rail with large signs with their favorite horses, but I do see them showing up early to have a special breakfast at the downs watching the big horses work in the morning. – Fans have been overlooked for so long we kind of forgot about them quietly. It is time to invest and start making the player the star of the sport as well. Because without the betting public, there would be horses running for blue ribbons. – It’s not too late and at every level of the game there are opportunities to bring the fans up close and personal to the sport.