Funeral for a friend — So long horse industry (unless……)

November 03, 2010 | Drew Forrester

who did the right thing when this all fell apart.  They wound up saying, “F-You, I’m not losing everything I’ve worked for because you clowns can’t figure this out.”  So they left.  Good for them, I say.

Maryland deserves this.

Some of what has happened to racing in this state is absolutely, 110% connected to the industry’s own inability to market its product.

The folks who have marketed the racing industry in Maryland — and by that, I mean the people creating the advertising and promotional concepts designed to get people to embrace a day at the track — have failed as woefully as Kyle Boller on a Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Boller, in fact, might have been a tad better, if you can believe that.

The slots issue, while crucial now, was set to be the tonic 12 years ago when it was still somewhat new in places like CharlesTown, Delaware Park, Penn National, etc.  The year 2000 was when Maryland should have been a leader in the field of slots at the tracks.  Instead, our government produced nothing more than an expensive circle-jerk while those other states brought Maryland’s money into their communities and then they all laughed about it.

Last night was the last-ditch three-pointer at the buzzer that fell just short.

It was a reckless, final-breath attempt to save an industry that can only be saved with ONE touch.

New facility.


Go ahead and sell Laurel.  Sell Bowie.  Construct a golf course.  Or an amusement park.  Here’s an idea we’ve heard before: “build a museum” for horse racing.  Sell it all and build something on it.

And then, do the same at Pimlico.  That is, if anyone will buy it.

Look, they tore down Yankee-freakin-Stadium.

With all due respect to the Preakness, it ain’t Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Derek Jeter.

Tear down Pimlico.

And build a new track.

That’s it.

That’s all that can save horse racing in this state given what happened last night in Anne Arundel County.

Get some land somewhere near the 95-295 exchange, right near the football stadium, and make it happen.  And please, please don’t let me hear someone say, “well, you see, that won’t work and here’s why…”

That’s what those dumb-asses said about slots in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2008 down in Annapolis.

“Slots won’t work and here’s why…”


The answer ISN’T “well, a new track will be tough to do…” — or “it’s very expensive” — or “it takes a lot of time and red tape”.

No, no and no.

The answer is something like this: “Yes, this needs to happen. Let’s make it happen.”

Our esteemed Governor will certainly put this on his plate, right?

Get it done.

First lame excuse you’ll hear: “It takes money.”  Well, that football and baseball stadium weren’t built with coins saved from lemonade stands on the corner.

Next excuse you’ll hear (and I heard this one on Tuesday): “A certain owner of a downtown sports franchise will need to get his fingers in the pie somehow. Anything that goes in downtown that competes with his product has to have his stamp of approval.”

Abso-eff’ing-lutely NOT. He has his own scholarship program. It’s called Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the MASN network we all fund even though we’d rather not if given the choice.

Another excuse: “Who gets the credit? The Mayor? The Governor? The City Council?”

Answer: Who gives a rat’s ass…

If everyone would stop worrying about their own dash of salt and just prepare the food so it tastes good, we’d all eat a lot more of it.

Here’s how it starts:

Some state/government official with a brain (and in Maryland, that’s like looking for a freckle on one of Dolly Parton’s boobs) needs to sit down with the folks at MAGNA