Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Notes

Worst marketed sport in the world? Possibly. The sad part is, when a group wants to actually get some marketing done to the tune of $9M per year (still not enough but a good start), alphabet organizations shoot it down.

Doug O'Neill is contesting his TC02 results. We've seen this movie before with other trainers. The bottom line is that only a small fraction of horses can fall outside the proper range, like our Australian friends learned long ago. It is fascinating going through all the Aussie tests from the last ten to twenty years. The lower percentage trainers have 30 mmol's for virtually every horse. The higher ones are envelope pushers, running around 34. Still legal though. Regardless, with about 1 horse in 10,000 to 1 in 100,000 naturally having high readings according to studies out there, it appears it would be bad luck to have one, really bad luck to have two, and 'I could get hit with lightning on the way to picking up my second winning powerball ticket' bad luck to have three. If y'all see any newer studies out there which states the old ones are bogus, gimme a shout.

Our stable owned a higher than average reader once. He was one out of something like 75 or so horses owned. I think he was a 34-35 horse, if memory serves, so never over the limit, but he was that on all tests, no matter what he was doing.

It's not often we can link two blog posts from one blogger in a day, but we will. Valerie has some harness racing ads from yesterday linked today.

It's harness racing Friday. Harnessracing.com has their weekly (free) newsletter up and so does Bill Finley at Harnessracingupdate.

Another feature at Harnessracing.com was a story on guaranteeing some pick 4's. Very good stuff for Northfield, Meadowlands and Balmoral players. The BLMP pick 4 has been kicking ass since lowering the rake to 15%. Some good branding going on.

Other than a nice email from Kate Lockhart at the USTA I have not heard much about my Twinky Cry for Help!  

Anyone watch the HBO special series on the Penguins and Capitals? I watched it for the first time last night. Bruce Boudreau certainly likes to swear huh? I worked a lot of my early life in union environments where if you don't swear it's like you are from the planet Zolton; Bruce makes my coworkers in those jobs look like choir boys. We have long been a proponent here of using this medium and this genre for racing. "Jockey's" flopped but it was on Animal Planet. It does not mean it can't work elsewhere and tweaked. And don't give me the "we don't have any money". We have tons of slot money - billions have been given out. ESPN ain't going to do it because of ratings, TVG/HRTV and HPITV can't do it because of a fractured audience and zero budgets. It's up to the industry, just like it was up to the NFL to create NFL Films. We're waiting.

I've been going through the Life at Ten report. It strikes me that we make things way more complicated than they are. Why the jock is supposed to make this decision is beyond me. If jocks or drivers scratch horses on their own, the trainers and sometimes the owner get pissed. The responsibility begins and ends with the trainer, in my opinion. If he sends out too many lame horses, he should be given a lengthy suspension. If he does not set up some sort of communication and instructions before the race, he is not doing his job. He or she is the last line of defense for the health of the horse. Tangential folks are just that, tangential.

And some thoughts on the matter are circulating about making sure in big races we don't talk to the Jock on television. That is pure insanity. It's the age of twitter, facebook, the 24/7 hockey series and NFL Films "Miked Up"; if your sport needs to be hidden (e.g. cycling etc), the problem is within the sport itself.

1 comment:

pacingguy said...

I understand their ratonale for jocks not talking on TV and this case is a perfect example.

An astute gambler at home heard those remarks and was able to cancel wagers on Life At Ten. All those people at Churchill Downs or simulcast locations that didn't have the television feed were screwed.

Of course, jocks can be instructed as to what they can or can't say.