Thursday, December 30, 2010

The 747 Turns

I was on a round table in racing several months ago. Hugh Mitchell, former Woodbine dude and now President of WFR slots and racetrack said one thing that stuck with me (he said a lot of really good things, but I remember this line vividly). When speaking about racing making a change he said "it is like turning around a 747 on a tennis court". I think we all believe that accurate. However, there is evidence out there that when change is forced, it can happen in a jiffy.

Kudos to the New York Racing Association for swiftly and with alacrity getting video allowed on their platform after the closing of the OTB's.

Living in a State where bureaucracy reigns, kudos must go to NYRA for overcoming the nonsense that is New York State Legislation. After the demise of the New York City OTB, NYRA has moved swiftly to finally receive approval allowing live steaming video on their ADW site(NYRA Rewards).

If a time traveler from 2154 came to 2010 they would probably say "tracks in 2010 asked people to bet and not watch the race? Who was running that business, a chimpanzee?" But it was the case, with the politics. However, decent management (and in my opinion NYRA has better than average management) with a will to succeed can overcome bad politics.

On the flipside I was shocked and stunned at this: Yesterday Santa Anita had a three horse field and..... wait for it..... they allowed trifecta wagering. We spoke yesterday about how we feel we need more watchdogs for CA racing. We have our first one. The Big Event Blog said it best, so there is no need for any prose from me.

I don't know what is happening with Cali racing, but the press sure is bad. Regardless of what is going on, there is no denying that people expected huge numbers from SA early this meet. The switch to dirt and the massive marketing should have had this place rock. As a sharp dude in CA said on the Christine blog before opening day: "The track is doing massive marketing on the return to dirt, and do y'll think this is going to deter the player from sending (money) in with both hands on opening day? Some players won't even know of the takeout hike, or won't care. It's Santa Anita, the Great Race Place. That's all they hear, calendar, Santa Anita. "

For whatever reason (pick one or twelve) that has not occurred. Handle yesterday, standardized and even with the "American Pickers" marathon on History Channel factored in, again was horrid.

There is an article on NJ.com about Gural and the Meadowlands. I have some optimism for this place with him there, and like NYRA and the video thing, their backs are against the wall, so forced change is needed. Give the article a read.

1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Sharp Dude at HRI wrote:

Santa Anita’s product will be very strong for the first 3-4 weeks. Let it play out and then act accordingly. You will not have full effect boycotting from day one because too many horse-players have been waiting for this for too long.
___________

Way off the mark. I wonder if he was selling something? :P

Ancillary businesses must also be taking a hit during the early going in SoCal.