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An Attitudinal Sea-Change on Marketing & Racing Under Saddle

I watched an SC clip with interest this week. The questioner asked dozens of trainers and participants "What Percentage of the Purse Pool Should Be Taken Out For Marketing"

This question was asked 5 years ago - before slots were taken away - through the development of the Racing Development and Sustainability Plan. At that time, I did feel there was grassroots support, but this was none echoed by the alphabets that represented them. The plan was never passed, and was placed in the dustbin; where plans tend to go in horse racing.

This last week, I was a little surprised at some of the numbers thrown around. From the 1% or 2%, to the "25%" or "as much as we need to give."

This is a sea-change, quite frankly (the original RDSP called for 5%, most of it out of slot dollars).

Here's the clip

We're probably seeing similar with Racing Under Saddle. The old guard is wary of using purse money for this type of racing (despite it being the same horse population, and trainers supplying the racing stock). It's new. To some, it's not an enhancement to offering a new live product to patrons, but a type of competitor.

Racing under saddle has driven handle when it's offered. At Flammy last week, $13,000 was bet on the under saddle race, which is a big amount, especially for something brand new to the wagering public.

We're seeing a change in the way harness racing - and throughbred racing too - operates of late. The protectionist and confrontational older guard - those who fight for higher takeout, lack of change, lack of experimentation, all to protect the purse money the sport has at this very minute - are losing their grip a little bit.

It's a realization that if harness racing was doing things right, it would be popular. Since it's not, maybe some new things, and a new direction, is in order.

Enjoy your day everyone.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Keeping the old with a slight twist of lime and a spoon of sugar ;o) They are trotters all the same and the horses well they I think still believe there is a bike behind. I think it looks awesome because they do practice what was preached to them as a harness racer. RUS does add a mix and it is a good mix.
Anonymous said…
Horse racing as a whole isn't doing things right and using Racing Under Saddle as a bench mark for success is seriously flawed. RUS it self requires better leadership and more innovative individuals to ensure its success. Right now it is a glorified pony club with a dozen girls. It is not at all inclusive or accommodating to others. RUS proves that if you provide an alternative to wagering people will bet. That's all, it shows us that the public has an appetite to gamble on almost anything. Even a horse race that's spread out 20 lengths front to back.
Pacingguy said…
My understanding is WEG didn't have wagering on RUS events because of the old farts in COSA.