Retirement Times Deux

It is not going to be too shocking to those horseplayers who participated in the discussion here since last spring - but it is official, Rachel has hung it up. She is off to broodmare land. Most of you have watched her and know horse racing and horses, and knew she was simply not the same. It was the right thing to do, and I am very glad they did it.

Watching a prize fighter who is past his prime, or a hockey or football player, is never fun for fans to watch. Watching her lose to fields that she should beat with half her hooves tied behind her back was not fun at all.

She was quite the racehorse. Quite the racehorse indeed. To think now, she gets to just be a horse. That's awesome.

In other news, Bill Christine of HRI wants to retire at least two people from the California race horse board - Chairman Keith Brackpool and member David Israel. As everyone knows, it was these two, among others, who were the impetus behind getting the takeout increase passed. Most watchers found that in a word, insane, and their comments trying to spin it did them no good at all.

Christine: "I'm ambivalent about two of them, Bo Derek and Richard Rosenberg (it's very hard to be ambivalent about Bo Derek), but it's definitely time for Brackpool and David Israel, the vice chairman, to move on. They are supposed to lead racing out of the wilderness, but they can't see the thickets for the shrubs."

Israel, who I think works in television, said "People often say we're competing with the casinos. I think that's shortsighted and wrong. We're not competing with casinos. We're in the entertainment business. We're competing with the Dodgers and the Giants and the Angels and the Lakers, and we're putting on a show."

We all know if he ran a racetrack without betting, the purse money would probably consist of a $30 Wal-mart gift certificate and a free meal at Dino's Rib House. It was a completely bizarre comment.

Brackpool added this about the takeout increase.

"We offer in California the premier racing product on a year-round basis,but we were offering our first-class product at a discount price. We’re changing the pricing model."

OK, folks, raising prices is now called "changing a pricing model". When you go into the supermarket tomorrow and the price of salami goes up to $1.25 a pound, dontcha know it is a "changing pricing model"

People in charge have treated customers like this (i.e. stupid) for far too long. Memo to racing - if you are going to raise prices on your customers, and kill our bankrolls and betting handle, please tell us straight to our faces. Don't treat us like we have the IQ of a gnat.

Regardless, horseplayers are, in a word, pissed. The thread is hopping.

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