In one of the most innovative events I have seen done, the NTRA, AQHA, Keenland, and the DRF are sponsoring a night school for beginner and advanced gamblers on the thoroughbred and quarter horse game in an effort to attract new gamblers to the sport. This is no small time effort. For forty Monday nights (it has already started), ninety minutes each, numerous websites connected to the horse racing industry will be having interactive online classes on handicapping and wagering on the runners and sprinters. Racetracks, ownership groups and Xpress Bet will be participating in this school with each of their website presenting the school.
As the Jeremy Plonk indicated, "Tracks and entities have a legitimate self-interest, but they all have a common interest in attracting new fans. I want people in each racing market to feel comfortable in going to their local track website and feeling as though the home team is taking care of them, because that's the goal."
What is the standardbred industry doing to educate their fans? Tracks like Tioga have handicapping seminars but they are nowhere as thorough as night school as on-track seminars tend to be geared to beginners. For the harness industry, with tracks in only eighteen states, the need to educate more fans is even more important if there is any hope of making headway in obtaining standardbred gamblers in any of the thirty-two other states which don't offer live parimutuel racing.
Let's see if the standardbred industry can unite so we can go back to school. All handicappers, novices and 'experts' and everyone in between can benefit from going back to handicapping school.