The Truth Hurts …. Doesn’t It ??

June 11, 2007 | WNST Interns

A quick disclaimer to all hardcore, devout horseracing fans …. this is gonna hurt. I’m resolved to tell you something that everyone already knows. Are you ready? Guess what …. your sport sucks. Yep, it’s an absolute disgrace and it languishes barely above mediocrity, because YOU allow it to do so.

Think about it …. on Saturday the horseracing world (does it have a name??) was presented with a golden opportunity to market itself and capitalize on a success. A filly won the Belmont Stakes for the first time in 102 years. This should be a headlining story, something that grips the entire sports world.

Instead, we’re two days removed and it’s a virtual afterthought. Look at this morning’s edition of USA Today, and the sports section’s front page boasts a photo of Jeff Gordon at Pocono. Yeah, Jeff Gordon merely accomplished something he’s managed to do 79 times over the past 13 years, and it’s still more newsworthy than a horseracing incident that last occurred in 1905.

The horseracing world (come on, does it really have a name??) is living the American Dream …. the flip side of it. We truly do live in the land of opportunity and prosperity – and, if you don’t seize opportunities the world and prosperity will pass by. This is exactly what’s happening to your industry. Can’t you look back a couple decades and see how your sport has regressed?

By the way, please don’t mention slot machines. I’m so sick of this excuse …. and that’s exactly what the slots issue has become. The last thing your industry needs is another vice for the degenerate gamblers who keep it afloat. Wanna fix the problem …. start attracting a crowd that doesn’t need to bet on the event to enjoy it. Or, better, yet, start alienating the crowd that’s dependent upon betting on it.

I have no adverse opinions regarding gambling, including horses. However, when your primary consumer is more apt to read a racing form, than a good book …. you’ve got problems. Slot machines are a common staple at horseracing facilities around the country – are they helping the sport to flourish, or just stay alive? We all know this answer.

Slot machines for horseracing are just a mitigating method of producing revenue. The sad truth is the horseracing industry (I’m still waiting on that name), in it’s current state and direction, is unable to sustain itself. Better yet, they’re just unwilling. It’s June, 2007, and the casual fan won’t give a hoot about horseracing until next May. This is a major part of the problem.

“Rags To Riches” should be making that whirlwind media tour, this week. You know, for just one day, that trailer should be pulling up to the studios of “Regis and Kelly,” “The Today Show” and “David Letterman.” I realize we’re talking about a horse …. but, it’s just one day. If you want people to take notice, you gotta push the product. Wait until Danica Patrick wins her first IRL race, and you’ll see capitalization and exploitation at it’s best.

That’s right, I said exploitation. Don’t go getting up on your high horse (no pun intended) and talk about integrity or morality, either. Exploiting a big story is part of American culture. Besides, if we’re talking integrity, the horseracing world (that name is ….) needs to just sit back and blend into the crowd. Remember, your typical customer is ducking creditors and bookies, while hoping to hit that exacta and make everything right, again.

Well, what more can I say? I’m right …. I know it. And, even if I’m off-base, to a degree, nobody will care. After all, nobody really cares about horseracing, anyway …. until May 3, 2008. And, this is the problem.