I received a hot text on my Blackberry from Cub Reporter late last night.
Cub said, "The racing braintrust was reading twitter last night and they believe they have, and I quote, ' lost the horseplayer'. They called an all-hands-on-deck meeting to see if they could find a way through this. I text you because a lot of it was focused on your buddy ITP and a few others you know. As usual, don't pass these details around. This is confidential."
"OK" I typed. "My lips are sealed"
Now, I'll share what he wrote me.
"Attention, attention, I need your attention," said Chair Scott Daruty. "I think many of you have read the twitter tonight, and I think it's time we finally admit it. A lot of customers just don't like us."
"It's just that ITP guy!" said Todd Schrupp. "Yes, he doesn't like our tickets." said Dave Weaver.
"Dbag" added Rachel McLaughlin.
"No it's more than that, they don't seem to like us. I can't figure it out, but they don't." Daruty added.
"I hear you, it's not nice to be not well liked, we must do something," said Bob Baffert.
"Who let Baffert in," grumbled someone.
"ITP is a catalyst, but the others are getting boisterous", continued Daruty. "They're all speaking up now. They want things like better pricing, us to compete with sports betting, drug rules, they don't want split samples to be lost in the mail, things like that."
"They even want us to be consistent," added steward Scott Chaney.
"I believe we need a new bridge to the customer. We need to find someone on our side to bring them around. To set them straight. Any ideas?"
"Buck Swope on the twitter is a great guy," said Andy Serling.
"What about that new kid, Ryan Willis. He's a celebrity handicapper that everyone is talking about and he's like 30. A unicorn," said Belinda Stronach.
"Mike Maloney? I like Mike", offered CDI's Bill Carstangen.
"They all seem to like Jason Beem", said Ron Nicoletti.
"No, no," said Daruty. "Buck Swope wants better drug rules, he's tweeted he doesn't love the NYRA calls on herding, and he sometimes tweets about porn which could hurt the horse racing brand. Willis in his DRF Harness piece said he wanted lower takeout and hates jackpot bets. Maloney wants lower takeout, too."
"Those three are dbags anyway," said Rachel.
"And Beem? He's the announcer at Grants Pass, Colonial, Tampa Bay, has an awards show, plays on twitter, does like 12 podcasts a week. Plus I think he wrote a book where he said he doesn't even bet anymore."
"Hold it," said Todd Schrupp.
"Are you saying these people just want us as analysts to help people win more money, that lower takeout would be better than what we have in the new sports betting world, that we need consistent judges that call rules unformly from coast to coast, that we need drug rules that punish cheaters swiftly and things don't get lost in the mail, and that we need to get better data at an affordable price into the hands of customers?"
"Yes," said Daruty.
"Well I am all for that," said Schrupp.
"Me, too," added Weaver.
"Damn, I am for that," said Serling.
"Me too! Well, except the lost in the mail stuff." said Baffert.
"If I really think about it, most of this is not really that dbaggish" said McLaughlin.
"Is it possible we can make this happen for our customers?" asked Daruty.
"Probably not", said Carstanjen. "We like the way it is, and our share price says Go Baby Go."
"No. We love jackpots and high rake is good for the betting teams so they can crush the little people", added Belinda.
<In walks Ray Paulick, armed with his hits count for the Paulick Report website for January, which is a new record>
"Listen to yourselves", boomed a fired up Paulick. "You want everything the horseplayer wants, but you do nothing! You just waddle along with the status quo, blaming them for your problems. Wanting everything to stay the same in a changing world. You, you must do better, you must make change! You must be the catalyst to turn this ship around! I could go on with a harsher critique, but most of you are advertisers."
"Paulick speaks truth," said Daruty. "But let's face it, we're not fixing this today. Let's table this for say, what, next year's meeting? Let's get out of here and get some grub."
"Seconded," said Baffert.
And that's the way things ended. The status quo once again looks to prevail, despite the efforts of the newest insider horseplayer advocate Ray Paulick.