SAFC archive - 2008-2009
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TimestampPrimary CategorySecondary CategoryFeedbackSubmission TypeRelationship LengthRelationshipNameURL
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6/26/2008 21:07:37StewardsNew YorkInstall WordPress/MT/ExpressionEngine on NYRA.com and let the stewards blog their notes daily. Idea6-9 YearsFan, Regular Player, Industry Professional, Media
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6/28/2008 7:53:15Customer ServiceNoneThis is arcane---guaranteed I'm the only one to mention it. I will be a petition of one in my own blog...

I want the fans to able to name more races! Or have the power to change names! There's no Secretariat (Arlington) or Seattle Slew in New York---E_FUCKING_GADS!!!! I want to rename the Gold Cup the Seattle Slew---the gutsiest effort ever, finishing SECOND in the Gold Cup---ask racing fans what the hell the Jockey Club is or does--ask the racing fan about Seattle Slew

Petition of Onestein
Idea25+ YearsFan, Handicapper, Regular Player, Racetrack Employee, Other
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6/28/2008 7:55:14Breeders' CupTrack SurfacesRidiculous to entrust the Breeder's Cup to a mystery surface.Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Racetrack Employee, Other
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6/28/2008 11:37:01RetirementNonePlease, please, please can we find a way to prevent retirement after the three-year old campaign? I invested emotionally in Hard Spun and his competition with Street Sense. With neither to race ever again I feel betrayed. So much time and energy devoted to athletes who are here today, gone tomorrow...literally!Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Media
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7/2/2008 21:00:28TracksCustomer ServiceClockers reports should available online... for FREE!

Bigger tracks like should also provide videos of works... for FREE.
Idea1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/2/2008 21:02:32RetirementMarketing / PromotionsPlease find ways to create disincentives for retiring horses at 3 and incentives for keeping horses running past 3. Hardcore players are only a segment of the fanba$e, the rest of us would like to be able to emotionally invest in our stars, which is incredibly difficult to do when they're gone so quickly!Rant1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/2/2008 21:07:26StewardsCustomer ServiceStewards should be able to easily post their daily reports online for all to access. The press shouldn't be the only ones to have access to them!Idea1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/2/2008 23:39:20OtherNoneSeems to me that we, as fans, have the biggest stick in this whole bloody game.

If we really want a seat at the table, walk away from it.

Watch how quickly they come running after us.
Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerWinston Armstronghttp://www.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com/
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7/2/2008 23:44:45National Governing BodyNational StandardsHow hard is it?

Racing commissioner
Zero drug policy. Nationwide.
One jurisdiction. One set of rules.

Everything else is window dressing.
Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerWinston Armstronghttp://www.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com/
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7/6/2008 10:47:44Online Wagering / ADWsNoneHow is it possible that I can't wager on Churchill with my TWINSPIRES account?

This is the perfect illustration of how out of hand and convoluted the ADW model is.
Rant1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/7/2008 11:13:30Breeders' CupMarketing / PromotionsCan more attention be drawn to the ever-revolting change from Distaff to girl race/ladies classic and from segregating the races for Fillies and Mares to a Friday?

I have signed the petition to take Back the Race, and forwarded it to everyone I know.

What does it take to gain discussion of these changes on national broadcasts? Sexism and Segregation would seem to be a sound bite hook. Is there anyone who could be asked/petitioned to add this to their interviews and/or comments in prep race coverage? Perhaps owners, trainers, and jockeys, whether male or female, could speak up during interviews. Could fans hold signs during ESPN televised races?

I really hate these changes. What better way to alienate current and future fans than to take a giant leap backward by segregating females? Will the next knuckle-headed marketing idea be something as cute as races for all gray horses? Or how about races for geldings only? Those races could be on Thursdays, and called the nutless wonder division.
Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Playergrrr grrrl
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7/7/2008 13:31:07DrugsNoneApprox 35 years ago, America became the ONLY jurisdiction in the world that allows race day medication. The justification for this experiment was that the drugs would enable horses to make more starts - well 35 years later, the exact opposite result has occurred; fewer starts per year. Why? Ameicans have been breeding horses that, in the past, wouldn't have made it to the breeding shed, but did as a result of their drug-enhanced careers. The results have been disasterous. It's time to stop this foolish experiment immediately and ban the use off ALL race-day medication, just like every other racing jurisdiction in the world.IdeaFan, Regular Player, Owner, BreederVan Cushny
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7/7/2008 13:43:03Marketing / PromotionsNew YorkWhen NYRA advertises a giveaway day, they should have enough inventory so that most patrons actually receive the item (unless of course they disclose that only the first ?,??? guests will receive it). On two occasions this year, I arrived at Belmont during the second race only to find that all of the shirts/caps were gone. I know this is very low on the list priorities, but it doesn't contribute to a positive fan experience.Rant3-5 YearsFan
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7/7/2008 14:03:58National StandardsNoneThe big things: central leadership and accountability, no drugs, limits on breeding, keeping horses racing safely.

Medium problems: Marketing, race grading, more big races for older horses.

Small, but real issues: Crappy food and drink at every track, more family-friendly facilities needed, better media coverage.

Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular PlayerSuperfectahttp://www.superfectablog.com
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7/7/2008 15:05:15Customer ServiceTracksMake the tracks a fun, friendly experience. Open up the morning workouts to regular fans. Better food, Better betting guides, better race call PA systems, and use of TBA standings !!!!!Idea20-24 YearsFan, Occasional PlayerRoberthttp://saratogatrack.blogspot.com/
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7/7/2008 16:47:10National Governing BodyDrugsCreating another layer of bureaucracy will do NOTHING to help the sport, except require more money to come from the takeour.

Drugs are the problem, not structure. Commissions should drop really HEAVY penalties on drug violators and adopt a three strikes you're out.

US commissions have reciprocity of suspensions/revocations...that's good. Increase penalties for offenders is what we should work for and stop talking about bureaucracies. Another layer would be a costly MESS!!!!!
Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Industry Professional
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7/8/2008 7:40:27DrugsNational StandardsWant to eliminate early retirments and a lot of drug use - eliminate 2-y-o racing completely. That will change everything.

Why is there no Veterinary accountability! - That would change things !

Why should the trainers take all the heat - if the veterinarians were up against fines and banishment from practice at their tracks they would be less apt to give "the shots".
Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Owner, Breeder, TrainerOscetra
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7/8/2008 12:05:46Online Wagering / ADWsTypes of WagersExpand .10 wagers to all wagers online and through on-track betting terminals, including the pick six. Idea6-9 YearsRegular Player
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7/8/2008 14:40:26New YorkNoneTime for NY Racing to get new stewards. The current trio is either corrupt or incompitant. The recent DQ's/non DQ's were astounding.Rant25+ YearsRegular PlayerGeoffrey Sarnataro
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7/8/2008 15:35:33New YorkCustomer ServiceNYRA has treated its customers to public urination on Belmont Stakes Day and followed up with a takeout increase. NYRA did not issue any apology for the Belmont fiasco and is playing the victim on the takeout increase.

Meanwhile the NTRA, DRF and other industry leaders have been silent on the shabby tratment of New York racing fans.

Are there any plans to hold NYRA accountable for its actions? How does NYRA expect to grow its business with third world conditions for racing fans on the biggest NY racing day of the year?

Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Owner
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7/8/2008 17:39:35Marketing / PromotionsNoneTo get more people interested in racing have more stable tours, breakfasts at the track, opportunties to see the horses up close or hear a jockey or trainer talk about what they do.

I bought into a tiny piece of three race horses this year and all my friends want to come to the track when they are running because they see a personal connection. I take them all to the barn to see and pet the horses and see how well they are taken care of.

My experience at the track and breeding farms so far has been very postive, people have been exceedingly friendly.
Idea25+ YearsFan, Occasional Player, Owner
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7/8/2008 19:50:20Marketing / PromotionsNoneSeeing the poker boom has made me a little sick.

The grandest idea in poker for all who have been attracted to it is that the house takes a defined cut and the players essentially gamble against each other. You don't need to be Phil Ivey or Johnny Chan to beat the guys and gals at your table - there is no house edge to compete against. Sound familiar?

Why no bright light at the NTRA has been able to put two and two together is beyond me. The revolution in poker was the 'holecam' - people watching at home could see they were capable of making just as sound decisions as those playing. Why not a television show that follows three teams of players as they debate and handicap the same card? It has all the drama of reality television (the personalities, who will win, etc.). More importantly, it will bring the same mentality that the poker coverage did - 'I can do just as good as that guy, and that is essentially who I am competing against'.

The marketing angle of showcasing beautiful animals in pastural settings is not hitting the mark. The industry does not need to look to far to find a platform that is working.
Idea10-14 YearsFan, Casual PlayerBrian Averell
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7/9/2008 2:05:14JockeysStewards20-24 YearsFanluisbewww.twobrushes.ca
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7/9/2008 8:00:55Disabled ListNoneHow many times do we see or hear of a horse being injured in a race or workout and then we never hear about him again; or wait and wait for rehab updates if we were even told he did indeed have surgery or recupe time?

One blog host wrote me that it is because the connections are busy people plus it is all private, privileged info.

Well, as to the latter, when a horse goes on the track before the public for all to see, and to receive the public's wagers, someone should make a little time afterwards to occasionally keep the public informed of his general status!

Do you think some equine lover who frequents a certain track could be granted entry to the barns periodically and ask the trainers what has
become of so and so, (if the media doesn't prioritize such questions and the owners, etc are too busy to have a secretary issue an update)?
Idea25+ YearsFan, Occasional PlayerSkye
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7/9/2008 12:00:15Takeout / BreakageNoneAs long as track takeouts remain high compared to other betting venues like internet gambling, sports betting and even slots and other casino games, racing will not grow.
Track takeouts at these current levels make it impossible to produce long term winners. You need winners so as to have some sort of Buzz to create new players with new money.
With simulcast and internet betting on horses, fans just lose their money quicker and get discouraged faster, and wind up spending less time on horse race handicapping, etc. In fact, many players wind up finding other venues to bet on. Venues where there is the odd winner.
By lowering takeouts, players will last longer, and become more involved, probably getting friends and family members involved to some degree as well. The bottom line will be at least the same (as the players will lose collectively what they would have lost in the long term), but most likely it will be much much higher for the racing industry as new players with new money will also start going into the pools.
Idea25+ YearsRegular PlayerCangamblehttp://cangamble.blogspot.com/
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7/9/2008 14:22:45Track SurfacesNoneBeginning to really dislike the synthetic surfaces. Cushion track installed on two different ovals in CA that are 30 miles apart, and the tracks were totally different. One of them is gone now and being replaced by Proride; gate crew wearing dust masks and everyone who is near or on the track goes home with a headache every night. All sorts of synthetic materials in the air; can't be good for the lungs.

Trainers have stated how much the surfaces change throughout the course of a meet; they're obviously not consistent, and they require much more maintenance than advertised.

I've seen some horrible break downs at Hollywood Park during this Spring/Summer meet.

Trainers are already doubting wether or not they will run certain horses at Del Mar this year. They complained all last summer about the track not being the same from am -pm. Del Mar plans to water this year, so we'll see.

I have a strong feeling the synthetic issue is going to have an impact on wether or not trainers and owners send their horses to the BC this year.

I know alot of handicappers who hate betting on synthetic tracks.

I think the synthetics have raised many more questions than they have answered. I'd like to see dirt surface return.
RantNone of the AboveAlydar's Revenge
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7/9/2008 19:16:41Jockey ClubNoneWhy does horse racing continue to charge for Lifetime Past Performances. A Baseball Fan can go to 25 free sites and look up the year by year stats of Babe Ruth and can download the entire history of baseball in excel for $25 dollars. DRF and Jockey Club and other services charge $5.00 per horse. I can see for current runners, but for horses in retirement, there not using the information for betting on a race that day. How else can you compare current runners to old time greats without the stats. Remember Stats has fueled Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football. The stats came online and then the interest exploded. not the other way around.Rant3-5 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/10/2008 8:26:17Charts / Past PerformancesNoneIs it just me or do you hate when it takes 3 pages of DRF to get 7 or less horses' past performace. The DRF has sold so much advertizement that doing a decent comparative analysis is next to impossible. I love it when I get ten or so horse on two pages without turning a page. Isn't that the way it used to be ?Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/10/2008 11:45:52VeterinariansNoneRacing drugs come from mainly two sources: 1) the vet, 2) trainer or in a large stable the assistant trainer. Each racetrack should have a Racing Commission Employee as their helper every day, from their arrival in the AM, thru the time they leave in PM. This person should be able to identify one chestnut horse from another. The RCE would receive training so "THEY" would draw meds up for the vet, and "RCE" would turn in a list daily of what horses were treated and with what meds. This would help with the swapping halters/stalls, etc. And, if a vet had two bottles of Lasix in his truck, the RCE would be drawing out of it, and therefore controlling what horses receive medication from which bottle. If a horse came back with a positive, it would be much easier to identify the source.Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Owner, Breeder, Trainer, StablehandRight Racing's Wrongs
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7/10/2008 11:52:34DrugsVeterinariansIf a horse comes up positive, and it is an error on the part of the veterinarian, the veterinarian should receive the same penalty as the trainer. Idea25+ YearsOwner, TrainerRight the wrongs
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7/10/2008 12:11:35DrugsPenaltiesI am sick of the blindfold racing puts over on the players.
Specifically, the five trainers who had lasix overages @ 10x the lenient lasix amount allowed in KY @ KEE in April 2007. The person who threw out the highest split sample should have been publicly fired!! Instead, because there is no split sample to test, the trainer pays a $250 fine and beats it out of town. #1: 10X the limit is not safe and could cause the horse to drop dead in the middle of a race! An of course, the bettors don't get any refunds! Wagering laws should allow bettors to have their tickets refunded if there is any "positive." Instead, we have all these ABC racing commissions sweeping these things under the table.
Rant20-24 YearsProfessional PlayerBettin But Not Forever
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7/10/2008 14:45:25Online Wagering / ADWsTV CoverageI have had it up to here with the TVG/HRTV mess. A sa DirecTV subscriber, I have only had access to TVG for the past 5 years. I have called DirecTV on numerous occasions to request HRTV, only to be told that they have no plans to add HRTV.

In any event, I have lost any hope of these two corporate crybabies resolving this matter by MERGING. There is absolutely no legitimate business reason for TWO separate Horse Racing Networks. The current "stand-off" is deeply hurting racing and will now get much worse with the end of the California "experiment" with the opening of Del Mar.

The two networks do not care about the fans and never will. I just want to see all of important tracks. Please end this nonsense.

Finally, one more comment about these networks incompetence. The Man O' War has just about come up as one of the most important races of the last decade, if not of all-time. Yet, neither TVG nor HRTV will be covering this race. Their significant California bias is being brightly displayed again. TVG has always treated New York racing as a poor step-child and the omission of the Man O' War is just their latest example of mistreatment of NY. In a couple of weeks, TVG will ignore Saratoga again. TVG treats Saratoga as if its no different than Suffolk or Tampa Bay. Come on TVG, can't you try just a little harder?
Rant25+ YearsFan, Occasional Player, Casual Player
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7/10/2008 22:28:00OtherNoneThis is a good idea however presenting too much information in a jumbled manner wont do much more than add to the garbage pail junk at the organizations that you send it to. The problem with including ALL correspondence is some of the inaccurate or sometimes off base complaints will get much more attention than the more important ones. You guys put this together, you need to edit out obvious error filled or off base rants. Otherwise the good you are doing will be erased by radicals with agendas that will show up here.Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Owner, Breeder, Trainer
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7/10/2008 22:28:10RetirementNoneI'm sorry, but owners need to be forced to take some responsibility for their horses' post-career lives because they clearly don't do much of it volunarily.

Therefore, I believe that all tracks should REQUIRE owners to pay an additional $5-$10 for every race in which they enter a horse, with those funds being doled out to reputable & fully transparent thoroughbred retirement and adoption programs.

And, if needed, these the feds should mandate this for all tracks.
Idea1-2 YearsFan, Other
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7/11/2008 13:57:27National StandardsNoneSet A Standard Release Time For All Entries and Morning Lines - Why are the morning line odds not released at the same time for every track? Santa Anita is notoriously slow while Keeneland is generally a full day ahead of every other track.
Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
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7/12/2008 0:36:00Takeout / BreakageNoneI would like to see a(or all)major track(s) in N.Y.,Cal.Fla or Kentucky to have a pick-4 on a Sat.or Sun,once a week, with 0 takeout,yes NO takeout.Not for a few weeks but year round.

This would create a buzz around all betting facilities.

It would also bring in more gamblers.

As you know,the takeout will come back to you.

I can see the Headlines in the DRF.

"NO TAKEOUT IN TODAYS PICK-4 AT HOLLYWOOD PARK"

Idea15-19 YearsFan, Regular PlayerJel
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7/13/2008 7:18:06Wagering SecurityNational StandardsDevelop a wagering system that would be capable of displaying final odds at the start of the race (before the start would be even better). Idea25+ YearsFan, Industry Professional
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7/13/2008 8:36:20NTRANoneSubject: NTRA

This organization has now been in existence for I believe about ten years. Its original mandate was to introduce Thoroughbred racing to the unknowing via advertising and marketing; it strayed on day one from this objective.

Today virtually all racetracks are on life-support, receiving a portion of slot revenue or a dole from local casinos. People flock to casinos and to racinos, where racing goes on a few yards away in front of more birds than people. It is unimaginable to me that people find sitting comatose in front of a slot machine more exciting than gambling (ah that word) on horses. But, what can be expected when there is no marketing plan in existence to introduce the unknowing to gambling on thoroughbreds?

Thoroughbred racing will continue to decline until NTRA and racetrack management finally realize that it is the betting window that is the attraction, not the thoroughbred, and start promoting racing for what it really is: an alternative to casino gambling.
Rant25+ YearsRegular Playerwendell corrow
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7/13/2008 15:37:17New YorkConcessions$4.50 for a Nathan's hot dog? That's ridiculous even by New York standards. How about only gouging us $3 or $3.50 (a dog at Katz's is just under $3.50) and adding some variety for us general admission folks beyond low rent mall fair.Rant3-5 YearsRegular Player
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7/13/2008 16:16:31Breeders' CupNone30+ years ago, I believe that the Breeders Cup was instituted to promote Thoroughbred racing. The current version is only interested in promoting the B-cup. Most big tracks don't want the Breeders Cup because of its greed (keep all the money Friday and Saturday)and the smaller tracks can't afford to turn over their operation th the GREEDERS Cup.

The cup won't be going back to Lone Star (too small) or any other venue that would boost local as well as national racing. This is no longer the goal. Colonial Downs, a turf track with an American Classic 1 1/4 mile dirt course, would be a good site for the BC/Forget about it. The choice is Santa Anita, the landfill course - 2 years in a row. Can it be any worse than that?
Rant25+ YearsRegular PlayerRalph P. Olsen
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7/14/2008 19:01:49New YorkNoneThe race call cannot be heard in the grandstands at Belmont. One can hear it beautifully inside but I don't come to the track to sit inside.

Please fix the audio in the grandstands! It's such a pleasure to actually hear Durkin AS the race is happening at Saratoga. Why not at Belmont?
Rant1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/15/2008 10:01:20New YorkCaliforniaWhy can't year-round racing circuits institute a two-week break between every meet? It would give everyone -- horses, trainers, stable help, handicappers -- a chance to freshen up. It might also end, or at least reduce, the short-field filled cards (Hollywood, Saturday, 56 entries!) that dominate when meets begin to wind down, leading to fuller fields and better wagering when a new meet begins. Rant6-9 YearsFan, Regular Player
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7/15/2008 14:19:48TaxesNoneThe tax laws regarding wagering need to be completely overhauled. Our money gets taxed on the way through the windows - it shouldn't be taxed, again, on the way out. This is particularly true for exotic wagers. A simple example: you collect $1,000 on a winning pick-4 wager; it cost you $600 to construct your tickets, resulting in a net profit of $400. However the IRS will tax you on entire $1,000, totally disregarding the $600 you spent for the tickets. If you are "lucky" enough to collect these wagers numerous times during the course of a year - well, it's almost not worth it.

These archaic tax laws are pure bullshit and discourage we from making similar bets.

Winning wagers, no matter what the size, should not be taxed. Period!

Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular PlayerNemo
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7/15/2008 17:18:02NTRAMarketing / PromotionsWaldrop's blogs read like some sort of cough drop ad for the TB ward.Rant- Select One -Fan, Casual Playergrrrllll
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7/17/2008 0:30:55StewardsNational StandardsThere were three stewards inquiries/objections on opening day of Del Mar. The stewards declined to change the order of finish after further review of the videotapes, which were played back and explained to the public by track announcer Trevor Denman. It would be very difficult to come up with a good reason why this should not be implemented as the standard across all thoroughbred tracks in the United States!
The betting public prefers to be informed in regards to executive decisions that affect parimutuel wagering.
Rant25+ YearsFan
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7/18/2008 13:42:59TracksNone 1. All tracks should call the owners to see if they will be bringing guests and need a place to sit on the day their horse is racing.
2. The tracks ought to GIVE the winning owner a win picture.
Idea25+ YearsOccasional Player, Owner, Breeder
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7/19/2008 11:22:04BreedingNone In my understanding of this game, the Breeders are to be blamed, they take the Stars from the track, we have no popular celebrities after age 3 and they breed the ill, weak animals that break down. The emphasis on speed shows on how, pretty soon, anything over 6 furlongs in going to be won by an Argentinian or Euorpean horse and they have given us the 6 furlongs on the turf of Belmont! on Fridays, I no longer look at that card, the Racing Secretary never answers my Emails and Remember WE ARE THE ONES THAT KEEP THIS SPORT WORKINGRant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerMD
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7/19/2008 11:29:18StewardsNone In many tracks around the world when a long shot wins, the trainer is "invited"by the stewards to explain the sudden reversal of form, the explanation is posted in the local equivalent of the DRF. Why not in the USA? Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerMD
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7/21/2008 15:51:01OtherNoneSomeone who know about these things should develop a wikipedia thiing for horse racingIdea25+ YearsRegular Player, Ownerwinstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
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7/22/2008 9:41:59Wagering SecurityTracksIs it really that hard, in this day and age, to embed a RFID or similar chip into a horse? My dogs have one and I can track them via satellite if I want.

Instead of having tatoos that fade and require someone to visually inspect them, put the chip in the horse, have someone with one of those Wal-mart scanners in the paddock and when the horses go by scan the poor animal. Every horse gets their own SSN if you will and this can be easily tracked.

Prior to the race, the ID# is given to the stewards or whoever and this is then placed in the tracks surveillance system and you can link this to trackus or whatever and get an accurate running line for the horse in the race. No arbitrary beaten lengths margin. A true representation of how fast and how far the horse ran.

Then again the slaughter lobby might not like the idea of being able to track all these horses for the rest of their lives.
Idea25+ YearsRegular Player, OwnerWinstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
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7/22/2008 19:44:23OtherNoneI think this website is a great idea and I look forward to many racing fans becoming regular visitors and participants. Good for you...I am happy to lend my support. This is much needed.Praise10-14 YearsFan, Regular Player, Owner
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7/25/2008 19:08:59MediaMarketing / PromotionsUnfortunately, the popularity of something in our culture is usually due to it's portrayal in Hollywood. Due to the lack of a horse racing presence in the entertainment world, it comes as no surprise that some young adults are unaware horse racing exists. I heard a 20 something say in reference to harness racing:
"I didn't know they still had chariot racing!I thought that ended with the Romans!"
How could an industry ever survive under these conditions? I can't stand Hollywood myself, but racing needs to have some presence in the entertainment world, and I'm not talking about Dreamer, (a children's movie) or Seabiscuit, (a bygone era) or Racing Stripes (zebras running around.)

Andrew Nash

AndrewNash22@email.phoenix.edu
Idea10-14 YearsFan, Regular PlayerAndrew Nash
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7/26/2008 12:33:08Charts / Past PerformancesNational StandardsI would like to think that the Racing Form has a fiduciary responsibility to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information possible to their customers, but it seems their corporate ethos troubles itself not on profiting handsomely from peddling half-ass data and misinformation.

So, we have no mud caulk information, no notification of geldings, no acknowlegement of drug positives when a trainer gets suspended, or a horse disqualifed from a purse. Etc, Etc, Etc.

But we do have droolfest blog of such sychophantic suck from Racing's favorite celebrity greeter that it, in and of itself, must be causing unfavorable disruptions in the planet's weather patterns.

California consitently runs 40,000 Alw races for non-winners of two lifetime but the 2L indicator never appears in the PPs. Starter allowance are run both for horses that broke their maiden at a certain price and for horses who ran against open claimers for a certain price, but no distinction is made between these two very different quality of races. After all, what would it take but addind an M to the race line as in Alw 40,000Ms. Or, using the fifth race at Del Mar On July 26th, as an example the race should appear in the PPs as Alw 40,000M2Ls. That's what the race is.
But no, why worry about making the PPs as accurate as possible when there is more money to be made selling Breeze figs? Or whatever.

My suggestion is that the Racing Form should change its name to the Racing Firm, keep hustling their hats and books, but sell its Past Peformance business to an entity that acutally cares about providing the best, the most accurate, the most comprehensive information possible to its readers. And maybe the NTRA should consider putting a group together to save the PPs before they unravel into complete gibberish. Either that or the Racing Form should get a new publisher and/or editor. You know, get some people involved with the mangement who actually know how to read the PPs and are a little bit less interested in self-promotion.
Idea25+ YearsRegular Player
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7/26/2008 19:55:15Breeders' CupMarketing / PromotionsThe Win and You're In scheme serves only to confuse new fans. Who else believes that winning one such designated race means that a horse will really run in a BC race? No one who follows racing puts value in this gimmick, and any new fan is sure to be confused - it's win and PAY and then you can be in... if your horse is healthy and if your horse is in good form and if...

Why do marketing plans in racing exclude existing fans? Don't they consider grassroots/word of mouth enthusiasm worthwhile?

Why must a fan explain to anyone who knows that he/she loves racing: how Win and You're In really works, why BC "Ladies" race seperately on Fridays, and why rulings on drugs and excessive whipping aren't uniform?

Rant25+ YearsFan, Occasional Player, Casual Playerperplexed
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7/27/2008 11:15:15Triple CrownJockeysRef: Big Brown Defeat

I can't get this race out of my mind. I have been handicapping and visiting racetracks for 50 years. I presently own several horses (another breed) and am involved with horse people everyday. The comments I hear regularly is the gamblers were involved. I don't want to believe that, but I offer the following:

1. There probably would have been a negative pool if Big Brown finished in the money or it was better for gambling interest if there was no pay out.

2. I have never heard of a jockey pulling up an injured horse and not immediately going to the trainer to give him vital information that would help in treatment. (Desormeaux didn't talk with Dutrow for 3 days). Maybe there wasn't a problem!!!

3. A jockey is bound by rules to ride his horse to the wire unless it is injured (no injury found or none reported by jockey).

4. Desormeaux is a very proud, arrogant person and this was the best way to not finish in the money and not have to answer to "not trying" comments.

5. Trainer still can't find a problem.

6. No logical intelligent answer from the industry has been issued.
Rant25+ YearsFan, Casual Player
57
7/27/2008 12:59:01Customer ServiceNTRARacing as an industry seems intent on squeezing the lemon dry.
Instead of increasing same store sales, so to speak, they've banked their future on rapid expansion. The bankruptcy courts are filled with pursuers of this strategy, although it must be conceded that a few always make millions running their business into the ground.
My complaint today is about eleven race cards, as ten years ago it was about ten race cards. They tell you in show business to always leave the customer wanting more, but Racing seems to want their customers to leave tired, broke and full of their racing quotient for the year.
There once was a rhythm to a day at the races which is fast eroding. I know I don't have to be there for all the races, that I can pick and choose when to come or when to leave, but I liked the rhythm of the nine race card, being there early and leaving after the final. When they went to ten race cards at Monmouth many years ago I cut back my attendence. And it would be virtually impossible to get me to endure an eleven race card.
And yeah, I do think that Racing would be easier to market to a larger audience with not nine, but seven or eight race cards. To start with it's on a more manageable scale, time wise and handicapping wise. It would exist in the proportions it was meant to exist in; the sporty proportions of a leisure not as a test of stamina.
But increasing total handle in any way possible,seems to be the Northern Star of the industry, not a sense of long term planning or of nuturing the traditions.
And so what we have is what David Halberstam, deriding expansion football, famously described as, "More and more of less and less." The King of Sports becomes the Sport of Court Jesters. Race after race after race, simulcast after simulcast after simulcast, perfect for box and all players, but inimical to the worthy test of handicapping.
Yes, in Racing less is more. And I'm convinced that a little bit less in the short run, could be converted into so much more in the long run. But first you have to stop squeezing the lemon dry.

Regular Player
58
7/28/2008 12:05:55Charts / Past PerformancesNoneThe Racing Form offers an index of horses and trainers for today's races at a given track, but not an index for jockeys. Yet, I would bet there are way more people who play the jockey's only mount angle, then look for the trainer's only entry.
By these bettors a jockey's index, to simplify the research process, would be much appreciated.
IdeaRegular Player
59
8/4/2008 21:28:58Types of WagersTriple CrownLet' get real Kentucky Derby Future betting. Why limit the entries to 24 in the first 2 pools. With 300 horses the odds would 100-5000 to one on some of the horses. thats something worth advertising. Even 50 or 75 horses is better than 24. For the 3rd pool go back to 25 only 20 are going to make it to the gate anyways. 15% takeout. Your letting Vegas take all your profits and not getting anything in return.Idea10-14 YearsRegular Player
60
Marketing / PromotionsTracksMore 'open house' days to go behind the scenes at major tracks - watch workouts, tour shedrows, etc.; learn from MLB how to improve food and drink, create more 'racing clubs' of the sort popular in the UK.Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular PlayerSuperfectahttp://www.superfectablog.com
61
Marketing / PromotionsNoneChange the Marketing Focus
The message I would want to send to the general public is that the racetrack can simply be a great place to spend a day or evening. Make it luxurious, exclusive, a place where the high life is pandered to. You dont need to try and sell gambling. Racing is one of the most exciting sports there is. People wont be at a racetrack too long before they start wanting to pick a horse in each race. I think if you place an emphasis on making racetracks more visitor friendly, more accommodating, more comfortable and more luxurious you make it easier to market. Also limit the amount of the product available. The most successful tracks are the ones that run short meets. Get rid of most mid-week racing and create more boutique meets. Dont worry too much about selling the sport its actually the best thing we have going for us. It sells itself, what you need to sell is the experience of a day at the races.
Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
62
Marketing / PromotionsTV CoverageSecure Regular Television Deal That Gives Weekly Exposure With a more logical racing calendar in place it would be possible to card many of the graded stakes during a set time every week. The NFL has branded Sunday afternoon as its TV time slot. Racing could try to brand Saturday afternoon or whatever time slot they feel gives them the best chance. In Canada there is a cable station (The Score) that already carries Woodbine racing on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The Score is hardly a huge station but it is part of all basic cable packages. Also their content is just Woodbine, it would be a much better show with Graded Stakes from all over the country.Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
63
Marketing / PromotionsNoneCreate New Jockey Silks - Racing could use some sell able merchandise aside from hats and pins. I know the tradition of silks is a longstanding one but if we changed them to something that the general public could wear we have another item to market. I personally would go with a soccer jersey type shirt. It still has the glossy look of silks, it's still light but people on the street can and do wear them. Even people who aren't interested in soccer. To make this truly fly you would likely need to look at working with an existing sporting goods manufacturer like Reebok, Diadora or Puma. Also perhaps hire some freelance designers to help owners come up with suitable or marketable designs. Not all of the new "silks" would have marketability. Obviously only those stables who have big name horses would have any draw. Of course another alternative is to keep the racing silks the same and just create soccer jersey type silks for consumer purchase.Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
64
Marketing / PromotionsNonePlace An Emphasis On Fantasy Games Fantasy Games are huge and they draw a ton of interest for other sports. Embrace that, have fantasy focus shows on TVG, get Yahoo to run a Horse Racing Fantasy game on its website. Make the prizes significant initially in order to create interest.Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
65
RescueNone Breeders should be charged $50 more to register their foals and that $50 should go into a fund such as the TCA which provides money to the people who care for and rescue Tb. horses.Idea25+ YearsOccasional Player, Owner, Breeder
66
National StandardsNoneStandardize Workout Terminology Why is a breezing workout on one coast a handily workout on the other coast?Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
67
National StandardsNonePublish Penetrometer Readings For Turf Conditions - Why do we use the track condition labels of firm, good, soft etcwhen we have penetrometers that give a numerical reading of firmness?Idea10-14 YearsFan, HandicapperKennedy
68
8/5/2008 21:50:31National Governing BodyNoneWith the hint of returning as a five year old,the Jackson's have turned and pointed to the thoroughbred industry to give them incentive to keep Curlin in training for an additional year. In short, the NTRA must help bring back the defunct American Championship Racing Series. The Series consisted of designated Grade 1's in the handicap division through out the year in which horses earned points based on placement and at the end of the year the overall leader received a large bonus and the second and third place winners received a share. In 1991 the A.C.R.S. provided some great rivalries and more importantly interest in the Handicap division. Now the question is how does a fractured structure, such is the state of North American racing, come together in a short amount of time (before 2009 racing dates are set) and implement a coherent plan? Here's my plan. All participating tracks in the series must pay a fee (I'm thinking about $50,000) for each Grade 1 race ($25,000 for Grade II races) that they want included in the SERIES. This fee would easily be recouped by larger fields which increase wagering pools and profits. In addition if the series started in January and carried up to and concluded with the Breeder's Cup Classic there are about 13 or so Grade 1 races for older handicap horses (Classic Division)as well as numerous Grade II races. The fees would provide the source of the bonus money while providing for large fields. Basic math illustrates that if there are 13 Grade 1's at $50,000 and another 15 or so Grade II's at $25,000 would provide in excess of $1,000,000 in bonus money. Ofcourse points would be rewarded based on what type of graded race they ran in (ie. Finishing 3rd in a Grade 1 would be equal or better than finishing 1st in a Grade III).


This was long winded but something has to be done to bring the YOUNG (potential)fan into this sport. If we keep horses such as Curlin in training then the common folk have someone recognizable to root for.
Idea25+ YearsRegular PlayerJason Moran www.flickr.com/photos/easygoer
69
Marketing / PromotionsNoneNow if they really want to energize and mainstream the sport the NTRA could follow football and baseball's lead and provide a legitimate internet based FANTASY HORSE RACING game. TVG currently has one on their site but it is not detailed enough and is rather boring although they did mangage to snag 1900+ people to participate. They could have numerous leagues consisting of 8 people or so per league in which they have a legitimate draft and they all have a full stable of horses as well as trainers and jockeys and they allow for trading. This way not everyone has Curlin. This "Fantasy Game" could charge a small fee($10?) as well, which is dispersed to the winners/leaders at the end of the season. In additon, the tracks could participate by donating season passes (which cost them nothing)which could also be divided amongst the winners. Idea25+ YearsRegular PlayerJason Moran www.flickr.com/photos/easygoer
70
8/6/2008 13:28:38MediaDrugsJeremy Plonk is an excellent commentator. I'd like to encourage everyone to read his most recent submission on ESPN - Keeping up with the Demand, 8/5/08. I agree wholeheartedly with his viewpoint.Praise25+ YearsFan, Occasional Playergrrrrl
71
8/18/2008 16:55:20New YorkNoneI think it would be great if NYRA used the split screen display during the races. I find it extremely helpful to be able to see the full field and a close up of the front of the pack.

I've noticed that the back of the pack stands a good chance of being out of the frame (unless it's a tightly packed field) which means that we miss horses making moves/getting into position for the stretch run.
Idea1-2 YearsFan, Regular Playerdanahttp://greenbutgame.org
72
8/20/2008 15:25:42StandingsNoneImplement Point Standings -
Point Standings are essentially for the fans. Some fans parse through all the box scores to get a feeling for who is having the best season to date but the vast majority who want a quick synopsis look at the standings. In racing it's not as simple as wins and losses but standings are still a great idea and much needed to help encourage interest from marginal fans. Racing is a tough sport to follow and right now there is no concise place you can go to get a feeling for who the top horses are overall and in each division. The best you'll find are polls and opinions on who is the best. A point system is not supposed to be predictive nor does it even assess talent levels. All it does is quantify accomplishments. Sort of like what a Speed Figure does for an individual race. it attempts to take all the factors and boil the performance down to one number. A point system takes all a horses starts and gives you a measurement of what they have accomplished. Here is another benefit of having a point system.

It encourages horses to run more and in higher quality races - You get more points for doing well in higher grade races. Everyone wants our stars to run more, if we link the point standings to year end awards (explored more in the next point) we virtually force the best horses to compete more in order to earn the recognition they desire.
Idea10-14 YearsFanKennedy
73
8/20/2008 15:27:49StandingsNoneReformat Year End Awards
The Eclipse Awards need to be reformatted and redefined. Give 50% consideration to a point system standings and 50% to votes. Much like the Cartier Awards in Europe which are quickly becoming the most important year end awards on a continent where the Experimental Free Handicap system was entrenched as the authoritative method of deciding champions.
Idea10-14 YearsFanKennedy
74
8/20/2008 20:17:06Marketing / PromotionsTypes of WagersLet's allow for more than 24 entries in the first round of the Kentucky Derby futures betting. Having the option to bet 75 to 100 horses would allow for some big payoffs. Get rid of Pool 3 by that time there are only 20 contenders anyways and the rest are filler. Star the pools in Late January and allow more horses. 15% takeout.RantCasual Player
75
8/22/2008 20:06:14Types of WagersMarketing / PromotionsWhy not start a quick pick for multi-race wagers? This could potentially get a lot more money in the pools, and who doesn't like "dumb" money in the pool?

The tickets could be sold at fixed increments at the lowest allowable amount and would only be single horse per race, similar to a lotto ticket. Want more coverage? Buy more tickets. They could even be sold at 7-11's some day! I'll take a Big Gulp and a $2 Quick Pick Six for today at Santa Anita.

Idea1-2 YearsFan, Regular Playerdanahttp://greenbutgame.org
76
8/25/2008 9:56:07Marketing / PromotionsTaxesHorse racing will need to make radical changes in how the sport is presented if it wants to flourish 30 years from now. How do you attract the 30 and under generations? The race track of the future will have to run three days per week. Fri, Sat and Sun. Card 15 races per day with races running 15 minutes apart so you offer 4 races per hour. Without this fundamental change, horse racing will not survive because who do we expect to handicap and bet on the races? The age group in question will not sit around for 1 hr for 3.5 minutes of action. The format is a good place to start.

Invision a grandstand with an Imax theater that allows the audience to view horse racing in a totally different dimension. Think fantasy football and it's popularity, then think of the potential that horse racing has to offer. How about jockey cams that allow you to view the race from the back of the horse you bet on. Standing in line and exchanging paper money for a paper ticket must also change. Wagering and viewing the races must be offered through a cell phone. How about a 1.00 dollar bet and the possibilty of the big score like 1 million dollars to anyone who can pick the exact order of finish in a selected race of the day with a full field? No different than what Las Vegas has done with the Keno games all these years. No one has ever hit the jack pot but people still play the game. Eliminate the 300-1 gambling tax and let players keep their winnings. Place a .10 cent tax on each ticket sold since thier are far more losing tickets than winners. The tax revenue may actually end up being more. Why punish the few winners? I'm a long time horse player in my forties and love many traditions of the game but I also realize that big changes must occur if the greatest sport for fan participation is to survive. I have many more suggestions but will hold off for now.
Idea25+ YearsRegular PlayerRuben P
77
8/27/2008 6:24:17Breeders' CupNoneCould we please have all the important top-notch Breeders' Cup races (for BOTH sexes) on one day, as in the past ???!!!Rant25+ YearsFan, Occasional PlayerSusan Whitenack
78
8/27/2008 7:05:09Marketing / PromotionsTV CoverageWhy not put more marketing muscle into the fillies and mares? Ginger Punch and Proud Spell are two brilliant horses that ran incredibly entertaining races this month. The fillies and mares race longer and would be better equine reps for the sport then Big Brown or any of the three year old colts that retire early. The Kentucky Oaks, and the Black Eyed Susan should get co-billing with the colt races - they shouldn't be run the day before. Idea6-9 YearsFan, Regular PlayerKevin
79
8/27/2008 9:18:53OwnersNoneThe connections of Big Brown need to stop being afraid of Curlin! I want a match-up! Rant3-5 YearsFan, Media
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8/27/2008 12:51:28OtherNone Having been involved in various capacities in the Thoroughbred racing industry for more than 50 years, I am thrilled that someone has attempted to create a voice for fans.
Years ago when I worked for the American Horse Council, I held a panel of fans as part of the annual American Racing Congress. I nearly got fired for it--one of the trustees wanted to get rid of me for "wasting the time of the attendees".
Despite protestations from owners, trainers, jockeys, race track mananagers that each of them is "the backbone of the sport", the REAL backbone of racing is the fans.
Good luck with your endeavor.
Arnold Kirkpatrick
Praise25+ YearsIndustry Professional, Industry ExecutiveArnold KirkpatrickArnold@Kirkfarms.com
81
8/27/2008 17:13:54CaliforniaNew YorkIn terms of Southern California Quarterhorse PPs being included in the Western DRF, I think it should be mandatory that post position numbers are always included, which is not the case.Idea20-24 YearsFan, Regular PlayerJoel IttnerJittner@Yahoo.com
82
8/28/2008 10:20:34NTRANoneBefore the Breeders' Cup there was John Henry and the first $1 million race, the Arlington Million. Then came John Gaines and his brilliant idea to stage a day of championship racing each fall...a sort of horse racing olympics, with every race worth at least a $1 million. And the public paid attention.

Fast forward twenty-five years, after the creation of the Breeders' Cup and its more recent amalgamation with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and factor in over $1 billion invested in those two organisations by horsemen and fans...and what have you got? A sport that is so obscure today, its major event is not even broadcast on a terrestrial TV station anymore. And for fans not subscribing to ESPN, races like the Arlington Million and Travers are just distant memories.

So who is to blame for this dreadfully sad state of affairs, where racetrack promoters seem to have no solotion that does not include slot machines?

Well, to start with, the custodians of Mr. Gaines' dream, Ted Bassett and D.G. Van Clief, should be ashamed of themselves for appointing fools like Rick Baedeker, Tim Smith, Alex Waldrop, Keith Chamblin et al, whose collective knowledge of racing and appreciation of fans could be enscribed on the head of a pin. These men have let down horsemen, betrayed fans and ultimately destroyed horse racing in North America.

Until these people are fired and replaced by people who do know something about the sport and do care about its future there is no chance that anything will change.
Rant25+ YearsOtherRobin Dawsonrddcan@sympatico.ca
83
9/1/2008 19:57:51TV CoverageNTRAAnother Saturday without any nationally televised horse racing coverage of two Grade I races (Woodward and Forego) from Saratoga. Especially when the Breeders Cup is eight weeks away. I don't understand why they don't use Saturdays (like the Game of the Week in Baseball) to schedule a time slot. East Coast races (the big ones go off between 5 and 6 EST typically) and West Coast between 8 and 9 EST. I found the ESPN coverage from Del Mar during prime time last weekend for the Pacific Classic to work just nicely.Rant3-5 YearsFan, Regular PlayerG Kershnerhttp://equispace.blogspot.com
84
9/2/2008 0:27:31New YorkTracksGo back to 9 races a day. I love Saratoga but the 11 and 12 race cards there this meet are way too long.

Today on closing day we had 11 races, a day that begged for 9 races. The day will be quicker, fresher, easier to follow with 9 races.
Idea- Select One -Fan, Regular PlayerRoberthttp://saratogatrack.blogspot.com/
85
9/3/2008 8:09:13TV CoverageOtherI am perplexed why DirecTV does not pick up HRTV and is exclusive to TVG (and probably the vice versa on Dish Network). Why isolate the fan base from various tracks in both cases? At least give us a choice to pick it up with a fee?? There is revenue to be made (by the satellite companies and the tracks/ADWs) out there with additional platforms available to bet, watch and increase visibility for our sport. Why can't the NTRA get involved with the negotiations?Idea3-5 YearsFan, Regular PlayerG Kershnerhttp://equispace.blogspot.com
86
9/3/2008 9:18:13Breeders' CupNoneAllow the decision for where to hold the Breeder's Cup to be made by fan/writer vote.

Weight it however seems best but why not allow the fans and turf writers...oops, bloggers, to make the decision of which track gets the highest rating and award the BC to it.

Each track that wants a chance to host the BC throws their hat in the ring and this gets voted on by fans, horsemen, and writers. Create some metrics for what should be voted on-fan accommodations, handle per live attendance(per capita weighting), or whatever else seems best. Fewest breakdowns, best drug enforcement, etc.

Something that doesn't allow the bloated and obstructionist powers-that-be to drag this game down with them.
Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Ownerwinstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
87
9/3/2008 15:56:34Marketing / PromotionsNoneWhat if purses for older horses were supplemented with fees for horses that ran in the Triple Crown the year before. In addition to having a TC for older horses-Met Hcp, Suburban and the other one, add an incentive for a horse that ran in the TC the year before or at any time. If that horse wins then he gets the money but if not, then that bonus could carryover to the following year. It could eventually grow to ridiculous amounts and you would guarantee that 3 yos would stay in racing.

Also, make some portion of the TC purses contingent on the horse making a start in the TC for older horses.
Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerWinstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
88
9/6/2008 21:59:46Charts / Past PerformancesMediaCreate an iPhone application similar to MLB's that includes access to past performances, charts, workouts, videos. Racing fans want data in one easy to use and engaging format... not strewn about 20 different places in varying formats.Idea1-2 YearsFan, Regular Player
89
9/7/2008 7:42:16Customer ServiceNoneSuggestions for Change


Change the Triple Crown: stop clinging to traditions that do not help the sport; leave the Belmont at 1 � miles but schedule the races four to six weeks apart. Right now unless a horse wins the Derby and the Preakness, racing is in the public�s mind for three or four weeks. Stretch out the series to keep the public interested over a longer period of time.

Change the Breeders Cup: break up the series to be run over a period of three months (September through November) once again creating more time for exposure and fans to develop.

Change the current business model for ADW: develop one uniform platform for ADW wagering that is available on all ADWs while easy to use and learn. Make betting appear seamless to the bettor no matter who the ADW company is.

Change the way racing is presented on television: develop one consistent format, one channel like ESPN, one place to go. Insure that racing is available on basic cable everywhere, everyday.

Change the ways race track operators compete: urge cooperation for the benefit of the fans (and themselves). Stop scheduling major triple crown prep races on the same day and time and forget about running the Breeders Cup races on a Friday when fans work.

Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular PlayerJohnhttp://theraceisnottotheswift.blogspot.com/
90
9/7/2008 13:35:22Charts / Past PerformancesOtherCreate an iPhone app that displays results from any track, final times, fractions, odds, chart comments, and video highlights, as well as historical data on horses, jockeys, trainers, etc., and simple stats.Idea6-9 YearsRegular Player, Industry Professional, Media
91
9/17/2008 2:04:44OtherNoneI have planned to submit some ideas for quite a while, and unfortunately, this is a watered down set of them.

Breeders' Cup: Colored saddlecloths! Pipe in some "fan sound" like they do at Arlington Park. One day of 'Super Bowl-like' racing. Have ESPN use Trakus. Have ESPN's producers eliminate the use of multiple cuts (shots or takes) as the field enters the first turn, the run on the backstretch, and the turn for home. Their producers and directors are ruining the races with the 2 to 3 second takes. Have jockeys required to speak to ESPN FIRST, then let them go speak with the trainers, et al.

Account wagering: This is a circus! Churchill Downs appears to have a good video platform, but how would I know? They apparently do not allow a trial period of viewing without wagering. Fans can flock to Youbet.net and TVGFree.com, but really, how many know of these Internet crevices (sites)? How many ADWs exist? Dozens? It's fractured and bewildering.

Technology: Read the Breeders' Cup item about Trakus and appropriate camera use -- again! Develop an APP for iPhone and iPod Touch --- as in tomorrow!

Data: Why can the die hard fans flock to trainers' Web sites and get free access to PPs? Well, it's terrrific! The days of paying for data in the form of programs should end. You wager $5, okay, $10, you get a free program. The takeout from the bets will pay the printing and paper costs. It's also worthwhile for the DRF to partner with the Saratoga Special folks. Let's see the PPs INSIDE an issue of the Saratoga Special?

Race Replays: Major tracks should have them up on YouTube. The Race Replays site is good, not great. Why? They do offer free video to tracks such as NYRA's, but the mainstream is using/watching YouTube.

OTBs in NYS: End this crap! There is no need for several jurisdictions.

Stewards' rulings: Well, I heard the NFL's Ed Hochuli say, "The ball will be placed on the 10 yard line because of an inadvertent whistle" following a review in the closing seconds of the Broncos - Chargers game. The ref's call was wrong, but the rules are rules. We may not agree with every stewards' ruling, but let's be serious, provide the ruling to a race result on camera and orally state why the ruling was made as it was!

General: Let me see, I can attend a Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sale (Saratoga 2008) and literally touch a horse that is going to be sold in the imminent future for over $1 million, but I can't walk across the street the next day and watch a half-brother or any other horse for that matter on the Oklahoma Training Track? That's right, offer civilized and ardent fans to get closer to the action. For that matter, let's see NYRA allow a "select" number of patrons, say 200 or more, to watch the finishes of grass races along the outer rail! NYRA thinks they discovered the greatest thing since sliced bread in their Restaurant Row, but they need to cater to regular fans better. There should also be a requirement that any horse working out has to have a saddlecloth with its name on it so fans can know who they are watching. This is a general response on Saratoga because NYRA can make it better there. Anyone working in marketing there, especially for Curlin's Woodward Day, should be fired. Attendance was not exceptional and the day's weather was pretty nice, and the reigning Horse Of The Year ran. Actually, according to the way horses are rated worldwide, he is the best horse on the planet running.

One last item: There should be an online database offered of which horses have been retired, reasons for the retirement and the day retired, and also an equal list of which horses are out due to injury. How am I supposed to know that a horse I liked is out with a chip in its ankle? That is of course, if the racing writers don't report it.
Idea10-14 YearsJim
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9/20/2008 13:16:46OtherNoneDesignate a definitive season for Alw+ horses. Jan-October culminating with the Breeder's Cup. Nov and December are off-season except for claimers.

Starting January, card Alw races for Nw of graded stakes or two ALw races since September, letting horses get back up to speed.

Shorter meets, smaller cards and smaller fields. A 10+ race card is obnoxious. Seven or eight is ideal.
Idea- Select One -Fan, Regular Player, OwnerWinstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
93
9/23/2008 11:14:04Marketing / PromotionsNoneHave the NTRA sponsor a fantasy game like Digiturf or whatever with the winner's prize a partnership in a real stable.Idea- Select One -Winstonwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
94
9/23/2008 14:39:11Marketing / PromotionsFan EducationI think a larger percentage of race track promotions should actually encourage a wager. Hollywood Park's recent $10,000 buy in handicapping tournament added over $500,000 to the wagering pool before they even started the contest wagers (A huge success!). Still, at Hollywood there was no media coverage, on-track or elsewhere to let anyone know who won, what horses the contestants picked or what handicapping methods they used. The Breeders' Cup had a national on-line contest, which had no...not one poster at Hollywood or ad in the So. Cal. programs. I think we need local and national contests for most race tracks on a daily basis. Tracks just send their signal out there and hope people bet on it...give us an incentive to bet your track and we will spend the time and effort. We need to do a better job of working together as an industry. Instead, tracks try to hoard what is left of the industry crumbs. We should support each other's promotions, look outward to get new customers and promote new products and ideas.Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, Industry Professionalcraig petersonpacepals.com
95
9/24/2008 21:21:03RetirementBreeders' CupBy popular demand....here's Part I for keeping top horses in training:

Reduce or waive Breeders' Cup nomination fees for the offspring of stallions who have competed in the event (or other BC-sponsored races) for more than one year.

Or, framed as a penalty:

Charge considerably higher Breeders' Cup nomination fees for stallions who retired to stud before the end of their 4-year-old year.
Idea25+ YearsFan, Occasional Player, OtherSuperfectahttp://www.superfectablog.com
96
10/19/2008 21:20:12Charts / Past PerformancesMarketing / PromotionsGive away free past performances for all $1 million+ pick six carryovers and all guaranteed exotic wager pools. Maybe add an online contest component where players could enter their picks (straight -- nothing complicated) and win something like lunch at the track or a DRF subscription for going 4-for-4 or 6-for-6. Encourage more people to handicap and get in on the fun.Idea6-9 YearsFan, Regular Player, Other
97
10/24/2008 10:40:56OtherNone
With the Breeders� Cup, we celebrate a great sport, one that deserves a central, lasting place in American culture. And yet, every October, I have a recurring nightmare: racing could disappear.

Public opinion about horse racing is increasingly driven by the perception that all animals are pets. And a pet is family; a pet is self. This applies whether the animal is actually owned, like a dog or cat, or watched on television, like horse. Animal rights groups like PETA are moving closer to centrist opinion because of that empathy. And as we saw in the aftermath of the Eight Belles tragedy, the identification is profound. It could crush horse racing.

I believe racing can only move back toward the center of American sports culture with a new emphasis on the horse � its beauty and power and well being. Racing has to demonstrate its own empathy and move sharply away from an emphasis on money: gambling, auction prices, purses, and stud fees. Strides made in veterinary medicine, better track surfaces, and in the growth of thoroughbred retirement programs are important steps. There have to be many more, all focused on love of the horse.

I don�t think racing yet realizes the danger. True, articles bemoaning its plight are becoming a genre, but the fragmented, feuding, shrinking industry is doing too little, and that often grudgingly, under pressure. I want horse racing to prosper, and the Breeders� Cup is a joy - I wish the whole country would turn off football and Nascar to watch. But the nightmare remains: racing could disappear, banned by state and federal law. It is not unthinkable.


John J. Ronan, President
American Storyboard
Rant25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, MediaJohn J. Ronanhttp://theronan.org/storyboard.htm
98
10/26/2008 16:59:57Marketing / PromotionsNoneFollowing up my Marketing Powerpoint, click on the URL indicated in the box below to see a real example of
how racing can be promoted using social networks.
Idea25+ YearsRegular PlayerDavehttp://horsingaround.ning.com/photo/photo/show?id=1525
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10/28/2008 8:45:22Breeders' CupNoneIf the 2 day format will continue then split the days according to age. Run the juvenile races on 1 day and the 3+ on the second day.Idea25+ YearsFan, Regular Player, OwnerMichael Nwww.blackwatchholdings.blogspot.com
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11/4/2008 2:39:51Breeders' CupOtherI posted before for racing as a whole, but I'd like to now post about the BC.

Saddlecloths: please, let's see multi-colored cloths like they are used at all tracks. Do we need the words "Breeders' Cup" on them versus seeing the name of the horse in big, bold font? Let's see the name of the horses! Use the logo of the BC on the saddlecloth instead of the words "Breeders' Cup."

Promote racing: give novice fans better insight. Let's eliminate the time wasted with Kenny Mayne and Hank Goldberg. Let's see Jerry Bailey on horse back (!) for one of the days. JD can split his time from sitting at the set, which is near the track, to sitting on horse back and assessing the horses warm up as well. We need to see a major reduction in racing days across the country, but we need to see novice fans be taught the multitude of details which go into racing. ESPN owes every hard core racing fan for having to suffer through their empty coverage -- every "Win and You're In" race should be shown on ESPNews in HD. There needs to be a further reduction in "Win and You're In" races and days. Let's see a tiered point system! It could entail at least two races participants have to meet. This would help to regionalize areas of East, South, Central and West.

I am surprised that PPs are not free for the Breeders' Cup. After all, Churchill Downs is offering free PPs for its fall meet through Brisnet. This is a further area of concern. Race fans have to pay a lot to just get into a track in order to pay again (wager). We need to see free admission weekends throughout the country at major tracks during the summer and early fall.

Wagering: NYRA has developed a terrific program for PDA and Smartphone platforms. This is not the future anymore; it's the present. The BC does not necessarily have to develop this, but an application such as MLB's At Bat is greatly needed. We need to see a collaboration of ADW companies. Youbet, TVG, Xpressbet, Twinspires, et al, have done a disservice in terms of creating a lot of headaches. Then again, it's the tracks that have done the disservice.

Governing body: there is one. It's called Major Breeding Farms. Look it, we need to see one body govern racing. We need to see suspensions served quickly after they are rendered. Let's take a look at the NFL -- several players have had to serve one game suspensions this season. The team or the league renders the terms regarding the suspension and the player serves it. It's not right that a jockey can serve a suspension whenever he/she sees fit. The same for trainers. If Steve Asmussen or Todd Pletcher for that matter played in MLB, they would be facing the dreaded "death penalty" if they were nabbed again for drug positives.

TV coverage again: ESPN has to eliminate showing odds on the left side of the screen as odds are displayed for horses about to run at the top. This confused the heck out of me and I knew who was running in which race. Let's see Trakus employed and make it a part of every major race day. The sound effects can be eliminated, such as the "whoosh" sound when a fractional time was taken off the screen. Let's see a running clock. It never affects the coverage of Olympic downhill or slalom skiing. Could to see the "miles per hour" of each horse was not used.

Announcer: Sorry, but Tom Durkin is sorely missed. Maybe they could use him on one day and Denman on another.

Race selection: Sorry, but Steve Crist, like he usually does, is spot on. The specialists should see their day on Friday, then the marquee races on Saturday.

Listen to people: Face it, there was NO Dirt Mile this year. Anything on synthetic is not dirt. If the BC can not only consider synthetic for its Super Bowl day of racing, why can't they listen to fans who follow this sport on a daily basis. It seems as if tracks are looking only for whales or people that will wager at least a grand a month. Who wins those Pick 6's in NY? I'd like to see a list of "Average Joe's" and their $20 or less Pick 6 tickets hitting them. Joe The Plumber was the gimmick of Presidential Election 2008, but it's Joe The Plumber who is probably showing up on many weekends at your local track or OTB.

Idea- Select One -Fan, Occasional Player, Casual PlayerJ
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