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Friday, September 25, 2009

Let the Other Guy Do It

The Little Brown Jug was not the only race of note on yesterday's Jug card. Among the races of interest to the national audience was the Winbak Pace where Won the West defeated Mister Big in 1:50.4. Mister Big pretty much controlled things until David Miller made a move to engage Mister Big after the 3/4 pole and the two of them hooked up for a stretch duel down the stretch. I have included the replay of the race in case you missed the race. This particular replay is long (actually the race is at the beginning); if you have never seen the Little Brown Jug simulcast, you should watch the entire replay to get an idea how all tracks should handle their daily simulcast program.

What is significant about this race is that only four horses entered. I realize while the purse ($50,300) is very good for a fair meet, the purse alone is not enough to induce stables to send their best pacers to Ohio. Despite the routine nature of the purse, on one of the biggest days for racing, it would have been nice if more of the aged pacers could have shown up to compete in the Winbak to put on a show for the fans in attendance as well as those watching via simulcasting. While I would not expect someone to ship in just for this race, couldn't some of the top stables already shipping in to Delaware, been able to bring one of their better aged pacers along to race and help promote the sport?

Elsewhere it has been commented that it is not the owners' responsibility to help promote the sport so it is unrealistic to expect an owner to ship their horse to Delaware to race. There lies the problem, the attitude of 'Let the Other Guy Do It'. Each group of the industry stakeholders wants one of the other stakeholders to step up to the plate and make the sacrifice to help promote the sport. Racetracks need to spend money to promote their races and make the harness racing experience more entertaining. Drivers and trainers need to make themselves available not only for interviews but need to involve themselves in their communities. Owners need to enter their horses to race to help make each race on the card competitive. For those fortunate to have VLTs, all sides need to contribute a small portion of their slot revenue to help fund initiatives to not only promote the sport, but to make the races a better wagering proposition.

Waiting for the other group to 'do it' is like watching two outfielders waiting for each other other one to catch the fly ball; it drops to the ground. Racing can't afford to drop the ball.

Andrew Cohen is Back. The Red Mile has announced that Andrew Cohen returns to write an online column reporting on what is going on during the grand circuit meet. Make sure you visit the Red Mile's website during the meet and see what Cohen is writing about; it will give you a feel for the Lexington experience.

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