Is Less Really More?

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 3, 2023 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Is Less Really More?

I was sitting in the grandstand for the 1pm race card at Latonia Race Course. Ten live races, and a heap load of excitement to be had. – Ushers came around and asked fans to leave at the end of the card. We walked to the car and drove to McDonald’s for a burger and fries and dinner talk. – After an hour, we made our way back to the track. We paid to park a second time, and used our last passes to save our cash for buying another DRF and program. We had better hurry as we were on our way back to the grandstand for another 10 live races to complete the doubleheader. Life could get no better…

Racing in Northern Kentucky was 5 days a week with 10 races daily. Full fields and mainly a diet of cheap claiming races. But the action was more than the law allowed. – These days were the best of times. It was like having Las Vegas right in your backyard. But sadly, these days are long gone.

If you get three to four days each week, consider yourself in the lucky zone of horse racing. Count on an eight-race card for the most part, but you’ll still relish the action. I never thought there would be so few races with a reduced number of entries. The days of 12-horse fields are a rarity except for a couple of tracks.

I can remember hearing about tracks doing away with the long meets and going to abbreviated racing. The talk of “12 super tracks” ruling the landscape seemed like a horror story that would never come true. But after we lost Beulah Park, Bay Meadows, Calder, Hollywood Park, and Arlington just to name a few, it seems that tracks are falling by the wayside and racino interests have changed the priority of racing. Many states are breaking long-standing commitments with tracks. If you doubt the move, take a look at Dog Racing in Florida. It’s a memory.

So, is less more? – Do we need to peel back the long meetings and move to a shorter lucrative season? – If so, what happens to the small outfit horseman? – There are more questions than answers and racing is definitely getting a standing eight count.

Keep an open mind and enjoy the sport while it’s in session. – Things can change in the blink of an eye and before you know it can go the way of the dinosaur. – Racing may need to have quality meets, fewer racing dates, which would lead to better purses which attract bigger outfits. – For now, this is our model. Just look around and take a close look at the meetings that are in session. I see less being the new rule of thumb when a racing meet is to take place. Just sit back and watch.

What say you? – Any ideas or thoughts on the matter? – If you don’t speak up now you may not have a voice later.