It was the Best of Times. Here we are at awards season and people are talking about who will win what award, and the SBOANJ issues a press release that Big Jim's first parimutuel start likely occuring in the NJ Classic which is sponsored by the SBOANJ. No doubt a big thing for the SBOANJ who sponsors the race. Reading stories like this suggest evertyhing is wonderful in the racing world. Before long. horsemen will be getting together in Florida congratulating the division remembers. Slot money is coming in, making racing profitable for many owners. Everything is beautiful.
It was the Worst of Times. The Harris Poll conducted a poll asking Americans what their favorite sport is. Horse racing gets 1% of the votes down from 4% in 1985. But there is good news for "Not Sure", fans, they move ahead of racing by getting 3% of the vote. If there is any good news here for horse racing fans, we do beat Women's Pro Basketball, Women's Tennis (Despite Maria Sharpova still competing) and Women's Soccer. Granted, it is years since racing has been popular but when you fall below "Not Sure" things are not good. Less gamblers are playing racing either giving up the game, betting less or chosing alternative gaming options. Whether people are in the grandstands or sitting in front of the computer, it can't be disputed that the handle is decreasing.
People are asking me why St Elmo Hero's twenty-two straight wins is not getting any interest from the mainstream press. I think the Harris Poll says it all. Why is any newspaper or sports program going to take note of a horse like St Elmo Hero's when the sport gets so low of a rating. I assure you if harness racing was separated from thoroughbred racing we probably would have fallen below the three women's sports mentioned.
I just wish people would spend more time trying to fix the sport than promoting the anticipated race schedule of a horse racing in four months.