Monday, July 02, 2007

The "Industry"

Most of my posts are about the Maryland horse racing industry. A great deal of those posts recently are about slot machines, needed to save the industry. Let me explain to all the anonymous commenter's and e-mailers what I mean by the industry.

The Maryland horse racing industry is not the horses in the gate at Pimlico, Laurel, or Timonium. It is not the grandstands, the barns, or the facilities at the tracks. These are the things that people think about when they hear the Maryland horse racing industry. These are just the tip of the iceberg. The slot machines I so desperately want in our state will save the previously mentioned entities, as well as jobs, open space, farms, parks, industrial sites, schools, and so on.

The process starts when the owner of a farm (maybe open space that is part of the land conservation project) sends his mare to a stallion (on a different farm). Most likely, the mare owner is going to pay a driver (an industry job) to bring the mare to the stallion. The stallion farm will have at least three people (3 more jobs) around for the breeding session. The mare may hang around the breeding farm for a few weeks to make sure she is in foal. While at the farm, she and the stallion need to eat. So someone calls the feed company (more jobs) and they put the feed on a truck (another job) to make the delivery. I wonder where the feed came from? Probably another Maryland farm (more open space, and jobs). Before the mare ships back to her owner, she is checked by a veterinarian (another job, and I wonder where he went to school? maybe in Maryland). Lets speed ahead a few months. The foal is born, it is a big beautiful colt. For the first year and change, the foal hangs around eating and playing in his field. I wonder who put the fence up around the farm, or who mows the grass (more jobs). When the fine young colt begins training, the owner may send him to a different farm with a training track (many more jobs). The colt now needs shoes (another job, and did I mention that those shoes were probably made in Maryland) (more jobs), and tack (more jobs). Lets speed ahead to his racing career.

At the track, the colt has a trainer, and assistant trainer, a groom, and a few extra hands around. They also have a security guard at the gate to the barns, and one in the barn. I would say that we have about a dozen jobs at the barn alone. Then it is down to the track for a workout. You have lead ponies, a clocker, and the gate crew (a few more jobs). Now lets go to race day.

The amount of jobs on race day are too numerous to count. You have the racing secretary that puts up the race , the jockey agents getting mounts, the jockey on the horse, a starter, about a dozen assistant starters, the stewards, the riders of the lead ponies, the announcer, the clocker, the press, the handicapper, and so many more people that I am leaving out. Over in the grandstands you have the person taking tickets, the guy selling programs, the hot dog guy the beer guy and once again so many others. Assuming this fine colt wins at first asking, you need to have a photo right, add the photographer, the printer, and a host of others to the jobs listed.

I am just scratching the surface with the jobs listed above. The industry is so much more than just horses running around a track. You need to think of all the jobs and tax revenue that are part of the horse racing industry. Adding slot machines to the equation will help to create more jobs, more tax revenue, as well as saving all the jobs mentioned above. Please think about how our state will improve with slot machines. Slot machines will create new jobs, help our schools, retain open space, and revive the horse racing industry!


libby said...

Interesting lesson in the use of the word industry as far as horses are concerned. I hope you are right about slots for Maryland, I have been reading evidence to the otherwise in other locations in the States.

Handride said...

the one job you're not including... the tax man. How the Govt collects the revenue from the slots, how that gets carved up, how the future revenue is shared, all contribute to whether or not slots can be succesful. Are you that trusting of the powers that be? I'm not, and that's why I'm against slots as an answer. Respectfully agreeing to disagree.

Anonymous said...

You forgot turf writers.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that racing is backing itself into a hole thinking slots will solve all of the sport's problems. Maryland slots may help them compete short term, but with slots in WV, PA, Delaware and gambling in AC where does the money come from. People can only gamble so much. The only tracks that would benefit bigtime is New York because you would have slots accessible by subway. Maryland should have had slots a while ago to keep their place as a premier racing state. After all, they had one of the best breeding programs in the country.


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