Fox Hill Farms Beef Is Not Out of Bounds & Thankfully Doesn't Happen Often

I read Rick Porter's post last night about the trouble he and owners have had in getting seats or what have you at the Kentucky Derby.

Frankly, I was floored. Days like this, especially with grade one and two stock with investors who put their money and heart on the line, are sacred. This is where the sport needs to cater to them, because it's their Super Bowl; it's where losing 50 cents on every dollar invested in horseflesh is buttressed to some degree; it's where a perk or two - with a good result on the track hopefully - eases the pain of the other days. It's where people who invest in horseflesh feel alive, like its all worth it.

There's a lot wrong with harness racing, just like there is in Thoroughbred racing, but one thing harness does well is treat the owners right, especially for big events.

I remember our stable had a horse in a big event several years ago. We were three nobodies - me, a guy who works for the government and dabbles and a professional bettor - and we learned we could head upstairs for a spread of food and drink, just for supporting the event. We stayed outside at the rail, but that was beyond the point. We actually felt we were wanted there.

Woodbine Entertainment, formerly the Ontario Jockey Club, is one of the best at making people feel at home if they invest in horseflesh. Own a horse there, especially for a big event, and you are made feel extremely welcome.

Even bettors there have felt welcome the last several years. I remember getting an invite on Queen's Plate Day with a reserved seat and a free meal paid for by the track. My better half, who looks good in a hat, unlike me, went and we had a great time. Why did I get the invite to these great seats? Because I bet there. Nothing more. I didn't even own a horse.

The Meadowlands in Jersey is another example. Their owners lounge is fantastic. As Justin said today on twitter:

There are countless other examples in our sport, even on big days like Hambo Day.

 Look, you're not speaking with Karl Marx the Pocket here. I fully understand that Derby Day is in demand and CDI is not a charity. However, if you can't treat a guy like Rick Porter right, it makes you wonder.
Harness racing has no such issue, most other tracks and days don't have this issue, and they should be proud they don't. If you can't treat your suppliers right on big days like this, why do you even own a racetrack?


Anonymous said...

I am going to have to flat out disagree with your statement about WOODBINE treating owners right. I am an owner and have never received any of those perks you speak of....I find my own way to Champions Bar and pay for my own food and drink. Valet parking is for slots players only and in FACT the food in the slots parlour is offered at nearly half the price in some cases. It is a slap in the face to horse owners & horse players to charge more for food in the racing side of the building than the slots side...

If you are talking about the Turf Club buffet for Stakes runners, that was squashed last year. Upon hundreds of complaints, they have re-instated the "free buffet". But only after some serious whining.

Am I missing something??

Longtime Local Owner said...

Assessment of treatment of owners at Woodbine isn't true for local TB owners.

Cancelled lunch for runners in stakes in 2013. Try taking guests into the backside to see your horses, or have guests arrive early to new Woodbine Club and not be allowed access to the bar to wait for you.

They have treated out of town owners like royalty for years but treat locals like dogs.


Carryovers Provide Big Reach and an Immediate Return

Sinking marketing money directly into the horseplayer by seeding pools is effective, in both theory and practice In Ontario and elsewher...