I've been perusing the Gulfstream Park DQ story (which keeps getting stranger it seems) and came across an article by Paulick titled "Controversial Calls: Stewards’ Rulings Need More Transparency, Accountability." This was a mainstream article, that had no real controversy (I think most - inside and outside the industry - would agree with it.)
However, sometimes in the comments section you learn something.
A commentor, Kcollinsworth, wrote a pretty neat bit of prose about the business.
- Mr. Paulick, you list those who have a vested interest in horse racing, and, last on your list are the horseplayers. This comes as no surprise, not because the horseplayers deserve to be in the back of the bus, but because despite decades of lip service, at the end of the day horseplayers are taken for granted, disrespected and sadly enough at some tracks, ridiculed by low to mid level track employees who ought to know better, since their paychecks are made possible by the horseplayers that they look down upon. The two best days in my 41 years of betting racehorses were (A) When ADW wagering became legal in my state, so I did'nt have to go to the overpriced, run down tracks in my area to make any bets any more and (B) When I started betting with a legal rebate shop that provided people who wager 6 figures and up a year a fighting chance to make a steady profit at this game....
This, as far as I can tell a first time commentor at the PR, and his meme is not too different than what we discuss here from time to time, or what you may read on customer blogs. He thinks customers are not respected, takeout is way too high to hold his interest, and the customer experience in horse racing is not up to snuff.
What was a little different, was the popularity of this comment.
- It's the most liked comment at the Paulick Report.
- I tweeted this comment out yesterday and it brought 11 retweets, or shares.
- It spawned some conversation, from people I have never spoken with before.
-It got passed around quite a bit.
Racing executives, at times, will say "customers don't seem to mind I did ______ , I never hear from them." This is true for the most part (not hearing from them). I don't think I've seen another business where people who are so engaged to be a customer, can leave so quietly, with nary a peep. A lot of horseplayers are solitary creatures; they rarely ask for marching bands.
Their silence does not mean they were happy with you; they just left and don't care anymore. Sometimes the silence is broken in a unique and interesting way. I think that person's comment - and the reaction from the almost-always-silent - is an example of it.
Notes: The 32 page Horseplayer Monthly is released. I help out a little with it, so I am totally and completely, 100% biased, but I think it's a fantastic issue. If you download it, you should save it to your hard drive, because it can't be read in one sitting. Remember it's free.
Have a great day everyone.