The NYRA board, the CHRB board, and various other boards in racing seem to have the usual mix of participants: A political pal, a guy from a University, a trainer maybe, and the other ubiquitous "stakeholders". It's a hodge podge of folks from various walks of life.
One person that is never on these boards is a guy who has a tie to the customer - the person who contributes billions upon billions in some form each year to racing.
That, to me, has always been a head-scratcher. With so many talented people out there who know the game inside and out from all perspectives, including gambling and betting and handicapping, why are they never appointed?
If I was someone that truly cared about the future of horse racing and I was looking for a board member, I'd look no further than a Barry Meadow.
A snip from a biography here for those of you who do not know him:
A short review of the life of Barry Meadow reads almost like a scam – Vietnam veteran, professional gambler, sitcom writer, player in the Indian tennis circuit, stand up comedian, publisher, successful handicapper and journalist.
In 1967 he wrote “Success at the Harness Races” which led to a career in editing a racing magazine. He continued to earn significant income from his handicapping, and during the 1980s it served as his only income for about five years.
From his time as a handicapper he was able to author “Professional Harness Betting” in 1987, which was a successful and well received publication. In it Meadow laid out the plan for anyone to follow in order to become a full-time gambler, and earn a decent income from their efforts.
Only a year later he published “Money Secrets at the Racetrack” which is the perfect companion piece to the earlier publication as it shows players where and when to place the most effective bets, how best to manage their gambling capital and financial resources in order to pursue the pastime as a career.
While perfecting his money making skills with handicapping at the horse racing track, Meadow was also analyzing the casinos and games that are frequently played in them. He authored “Secrets of the Pick 6”, a booklet that is backed up by the author’s own success with game.
Barry is retired from betting and enjoying life in Southern California. he would probably say "no" if anyone at the CHRB or the Governor's office asked. However the real story, in my opinion, is that people like Barry never get asked in the first place. That is a great failing of this sport from the highest of levels throughout its entire history.