Monday, December 24, 2007

Frank and Vic

Forgot to mention a couple of weeks ago, the Gulfstream Park news. They are cutting slots from 1200 machines to around 500. It appears the slot landscape is getting saturated. Also of note, they have changed some of their business plan to make GP a family destination, and have set up boxes for racing just for players with betting machines and access to Internet and phone wagering. They have also applied for a night club. It seems they are trying to be like Vegas. Vegas reinvented themselves too! One thing Vegas learned, though, that we are still waiting for? Churn. They have slot machines with low takeouts. When will racing address that? I fear they won't.

Regardless, Gulfstream is evolving and working hard. Maybe Frank gave them a couple of cases of his energy drink.

Below I mentioned the Donato Hanover story and the price of a share to breed to him. I said I did not like news of this nature as it only encourages horses to retire early. I said it should be a task given to a commissioners office, too. Vic Zast agrees saying "pity the fans" and made it a point in his best and worst of 2007 column. Hear, hear Vic. Keep the drum beat drumming!

The early retirement of stars reaches epidemic proportions. The only reason a sire-quality 3-year-old runs as a 4-year-old is because he is injured before he can optimize his stud price. Only ownership problems have delayed Curlin from joining the breeding ranks of Street Sense and Hard Spun. The situation has caused near extinction of handicap racing at a top level.

.....this is the type of dilemma that could be solved by an independently-operating national commissioner’s office. What a shame that racing’s own backward thinking emasculated the NTRA. Pity the fans who suffer from the myopic opinions of the breeding industry.

If I run a Best Buy store, my customer tells me what I do with my product and my prices, not my supplier. Racing needs a business lesson. And it needs it fast.

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