Football has fantasy football. The Super Bowl has magic squares. The NCAA's have bracket madness. All of these spinoffs help their respective sports.
It got me to thinking. Can we create some racing "games" to help push the sport like those sports' do? I put my thinking cap on and came up with a few. I hope you like them, because I think they're the bomb.
1. The Todd Pletcher Derby Press Conference Game
It's Derby Time, so why not jazz it up a little bit with a drinking game? Each time Pletcher says a quote, we drink a shot of Jagr.
"He worked great, we're happy"
"I wouldn't want to be in anyone else's shoes"
"He's perfect right now"
You lose if you think he says something interesting, because you've had way too many shots.
A game like this can get you energized for the Derby, and it can keep you up to date on all of Todd's Derby stock that you probably aren't going to bet anyway. I think it's a winner.
2. Pin the Tail on Joe Drape
Players are blindfolded, and spun around. They then have to pin the tail on Drape. Whomever is closest wins a subscription to the New York Times.
This is more of an insider game, but since Joe Drape hasn't written a racing article in awhile it can keep the anti-Drape fires burning on backstretches and shedrows until he does.
3. The Mike Repole Pinata
Create a Mike Repole paper mache head and let the fun begin!
This can possibly (if they want to I will let them steal the idea) be a great initiative for the Jockey Club and America's Best Racing. Repole is loaded, so get him to bet hundreds and hundreds of betting tickets, stuff them in his paper mache head and bring it to local schools. Let the kids swing, and collect the tickets. They will likely want to go to the track to cash them, and when they do racing's demographic immediately gets younger.
The NFL has the United Way for community outreach, the Mike Repole Pinata one ups them, because (if Repole picks the right horses) it gives away cash!
4. NYRA Apologist Word Association
A disaster that happened is placed onto NYRA's shoulders, and the NYRA apologist must quickly come up with someone else to blame, or to deny there is a problem to begin with. This is a fun game for NYRA supporters, allowing them to sharpen their skills.
"Boy NYRA should've hit the switch on that takeout reduction"
"It was the State's fault!"
"NYRA is responsible for Global Warming"
"I can't believe how cold this winter was!"
5. Richard Grunder's Word Find
This is great on planes, or when you are sitting around with nothing to do. It's very challenging because you have to find great historical horse names, but they're listed as only Richard Grunder would say them. For example, if you are looking for Affirmed, you would have to find Affirmation. Favorite Trick might be My Favorite Truck.
At times, Grunderisms like "in the shadow of the wire" or "heads apart" are sprinkled into the match for bonus points.
This yearly occurrence happens on Halloween in California.
Kids, dressed up as Batman or Winnie the Poo enter homes of TOC and CHRB members where they are given four pieces of chocolate. Before they leave a man dressed as Mike Pegram jumps out of a closet and takes one piece back saying "you got to pay to play, kid!"
This is an education program for the children, so when they are old enough to bet they can handle increased takeouts at all Calfornia racetracks. They'll probably have fun too, because hell, TOC masks make for a frightening (and memorable) Halloween!
Those are my six. I am biased, but I think all of them are huge winners for the sport of horse racing. Enjoy!
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