Friday, September 22, 2006

It's a Rich Mans Game

As it often does, today's water cooler talk turned to horse racing. A co-worker and I both enjoy the ponies, and find a way to turn any topic into a discussion about racing. A third co-worker chimed in with the comment "Horse Racing is a Rich Mans Game". I thought for a few seconds and asked....."Are you crazy"?

I know that a lot of people feel that horse racing is a game for the rich. They hear about $16 million yearlings, and the famous people that are buying horses. No one ever points out that you can by a nice horse at action for as little as $1000. Some you can buy for less behind the sales pavilion. When they think of Stallions, they think Storm Cat and AP Indy, not the local talent that stands for $3000 or less. I have even encountered wealthy people that think you need many millions to buy into horse racing at even the lowest levels. The general public views horse owners as "sliver spoon" snobs.

I responded to my co-worker with a few questions? How much is the least expensive ticket for a Ravens game? The answer, $85. I told him that it was $2 to get in to Laurel Park, and that parking is always free. I asked if he had and friends that owned a sports team? He then smirked at me because he knew where I was going with my questioning.

We as fans need to help change the views of the general public. The public sees Merv Griffin, Jess Jackson, B. Wayne Hughes. They do not see the working man who bought the $1200 two year old, or the $3500 claimer.


Alan H. said...

Racing seems to get squeezed between the "Sport of Kings" thing that you discuss here and the perception of the OTB degenerate spending their last dollar on a bet.

The rest of us "in the middle" seem to escape the consciousness on the non-racing-fan. Here, where we are, is the sweet spot for growth.

Tote Board Brad said...

Exactly! I paid in the mid-to-low four digits for Movement, and she just came in 2nd for a 20k tag. It takes some luck, but it can be done.

Anonymous said...

ur post is the way racing needs to advertise itself. the tracks need to accomadate owners instead of trainers. so many things could be done cooperatively--riders, trainers, feed, hay, vets. all these cost a premium for lack of cooperation. of course, since all the tracks are close to bankruptcy, maybe im asking too much.


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