Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Solution

We all lament from time to time about the lack of popularity of our beloved sport. Many ideas have been floated to increase interest. My brother and I like the angle of marketing the jockeys and trainers but there are a lot of great (and not so great) initiatives out there for growing the sport.

As I researched the situation with the proposals for the New York franchise, I had one of those "Eureka" moments today. RUN THOROUGHBRED RACING AT NIGHT. There. I said it. Protecting Harness Racing in New York has been a sacred cow (or horse) for a long time but it is time to slay it. New York State racing law states:

"Races conducted by a non-profit racing association incorporated in
accordance with section two hundred two or two hundred two-a of
this chapter shall be permitted only between sunrise and sunset."

This time of year, when I get home from work, I eat dinner, spend time with the family and then settle down to watch baseball. If the Saratoga or Laurel races were running at 9pm, I would be watching and betting. I guarantee that others would too. There would be no more sneaking a peak at Equibase from work computers during the day and you would be able to actually enjoy watching the races live.

So New York Legislature, as you look at the proposals of the bidders for the franchise, please consider how great it would be to run thoroughbreds at night. I am watching the Red Sox v. Tigers game now on ESPN. I would much rather be watching a 2-year-old maiden race at Saratoga. Or you can just continue with the bobblehead givaways and hope for the best.


Tote Board Brad said...

Are you guys going to any night racing during this quick Laural meet? let us know if you scope it out. I think it's a great idea. we can do it cali, but it's rare. they do "friday's alive" specials at bay meadows, and concerts at Hollywood & Santa Anita. they don't schedule any other cards at night.

Baloo said...

The horsemen of Maryland past a resolution earlier this year lifting the 6:00pm rule (Thoroughbred by day, standardbred at night). That is why they are trying the twilight mini meet at Laurel. They also raised the purses for this 8 day meet. Alan, you may be onto something here. Yesterday at Laurel (3:30 1st race) they had 4400 people through the door. The average for a Wednesday has be about 2000. As part of the twilight promotion, they had $2 margaritas, and 2 for 1 beers. I know it is only 8 days, but $30,000 maiden 2 year olds and half price beer. Sounds like fun!

qq said...

Welcome to West Virginia, fellas! The only day race of the year at Mountaineer is WV Derby Day.


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