Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Morning Notes

The Saratgoa Race Track today will get no break again this Saturday 08/02/08-with showers and heavy thunderstorms forecast as coming in. This will no doubt keep the numbers down again. The Grandstand only seats about 8000 with most people staying outside. The weekend attendance figures particularly get hurt by bad weather as Saratoga has a large "backyard contingent" that picnics in this area with many locals coming for the day. However if you have ever had a picnic in the rain, it sucks, and people stay home. In contrast, yesterday, Friday was sunny up at the track and Constant Companion MBA and I felt a nice breeze. The place was pretty lively and 19,435 came out for a non-twilight racing day.

In todays feature at the Spa, look for 3 year old filly, Indian Blessing, currently # 3 in the TBA standings to move up the ladder with a win today. Maybe bet her in a late double with a horse in the 11th race to pick up some gas money. If you don't feel like getting wet you can choose online horse racing

Over at the Paulick Report, you can find an article on CNET founder Halsey Minor, who is interested in buying and restoring Hialeah Racetrack in Florida. What caught my eye is this quote from Minor:

"The number one thing I’m going to do is work on putting fans in the stands. Everything I do is going to be designed to make the day more interesting. The day’s got to be shorter and faster. You’ve got to find ways to help people figure out how to bet and without looking at complicated forms."

This frank talk is what I find refreshing and needed in the sport. First of all make it a sport with gambling not just gambling. Encourage fan education, promote standings like the TBA standings on the right side of this column and keep it simple. How many of us after years or reading the form, still get confused when looking at it. It is great for the expert handicapper that goes to Saratoga and bets all those races plus the simulcasts all day from Monmouth, Arlington, Delaware Park and Finger Lakes but the hodgepodge of numbers and inside terms scare away most fans who just end up picking favorite #'s or cute names because the program/form/whatever is so damm confusing to them.

If you want to sell a car the old adage is always KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). Why can't we do the same with racing?

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