I read other blogs and today, I noticed the following on Equidaily.com, "VIDEO: Wacky, over-the-top pageantry surrounding the Prix d'Amerique 2012 - plus race and post-race footage". When you click on this link, you get the following video:
Now in general, I like Equidaily. It is easy to navigate and while it is primarily a thoroughbred website, they will cover the standardbreds as well if they feel it is relevant. I am also very happy that they found the time to cover the Prix d' Amerique with a story about the race and the replay besides this 'Wacky Celebration'.
Granted, this type of celebration is unusual for Americans. But maybe what Equidaily calls "Wacky" is what racing needs. At many tracks, winning a major stakes race is treated the same as winning a race for $2,500 claimers. Certainly considering the Prix d' Amerique is a thank you to America for its help in World War I and it is billed as Harness Racing's World Trotting Championship (it technically is not a European only event; remember Moni Maker?), what is wrong with some pageantry? When I see TVG's coverage of major Japanese thoroughbred races, they have bands and pageantry as well. What do these tracks have in common? They are full; to the gills..
I realize it was called Wacky because it is so strange to us Americans and maybe that is the problem. No, I don't expect every track to put on such pageantry or for every race day, but maybe if horse racing in general did go a little over the top on special days, our big races would draw full grandstands and maybe more full on the other days.
In the meanwhile, the next over the top racing day will be in May. Not the Kentucky Derby, but the Elitlopp in Sweden. Maybe those 'Wacky' Europeans know something about promoting horse racing we don't?
Pick 5 Players - Starting this Friday night, the Meadowlands will be offering a guaranteed $20,000 pool for the $.50 Pick-5 which starts with race one. It seems guaranteed wagers are the way to go in the racing industry, but is it good for it? We will talk about it tomorrow.