Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stakes Season Begins; Twinkies & the Changing Business World

The Burlington Stakes Divisions were drawn today. As usual, they are good tilts and could set the stage for the Cup elims next week. Of particular note to me is that Art Colony is NOT being driven by Randy Waples. Why, I have no idea. Was he lifted? Is it because he will not be driving at the Meadowlands? All I know is that Randy is one of the best drivers in North America who never seems to get stakes drives. It is truly bizarre.

I am back (for awhile) from a whirlwind 72 hours at the annual Search Engine conference in Toronto. I pretty much jammed 365 days of learning into those hours, not to mention some socializing with like-minded folks, which is always welcomed. Following racing in the way that I do, and then having to shift gears to my real job is quite the juxtaposition. On the one hand speaking of changing the status-quo in racing (like we speak of here on the blog many times), is met with a blank stare from most in our business, while in my real job the status-quo is yesterday's news, and not even considered an option. I could not be involved in two more diametrically different businesses.

I did learn a great deal this week. New sessions on what's next for Twitter, and social media, filled with real life examples was quite good. I think there is an opportunity for racing with many of these platforms, but we have to be smart about it. For 100 years we have had the "if you build it, people will come" mindset. Being a monopoly for so long breeds that I guess. However it can not be done in the new world. What some companies are doing each day to get customers blows ones mind. Speaking with many sharp entrepreneurs, one gets to realize just how hard they are working, and just how hard they try. We have a great deal of work to do, and despite some movement by NYRA and the NTRA (in harness most of this is not even on the radar yet), I have a feeling we are going to stay very far behind many other sports and businesses. We are simply not close to doing enough.


That Blog Guy said...

While we can celebrate the start of stake racing (don't forget the Art Rooney and the Lismore at Yonkers on Saturday), we can also mourn the introduction of a race for $7,500 claimers at the Meadowlands on Thursday night. Remember, when the Meadowlands first opened as an unknown quantity, the lowest class was $10,000 claimers.

BlueJay12 said...

It was also only a few short years ago that the Meadowlands typically scheduled a total of one overnight trot race on their Friday and Saturday night cards combined. On Friday's program you would find the Open Trot nestled in amongst 11 or 12 full fields of quality pacers. And on Saturday nights it was wall-to-wall pacing affairs in which you could make a legitimate case for at least 6 or 7 of the entries. It was a value player's dream come true as horses that should have been 4-1 or 9-2 would regularly light up the toteboard at 6, 7 or 8-1.
There was nothing quite like having a few dollars on the winner when John Bothe deployed his trademark "zoooooooo-ming by" call to identify a horse absolutely flying late in the final desperate strides before the wire.
I often wondered if Bothe also had a few dollars on the winner if he delivered a particularly animated call!

JLB said...

The Meadowlands has turned into a Vernon Downs type of track, overloaded with trots for young, developing horses. As a longtime fan, the racing at the moment is pathetic, and it is my understanding that, in addition to those who have already done so, at least one top driver has expressed an intention to abandon the Big M during the week for driving assignments at Yonkers when Chester is not racing.

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