Racing needs to attract the younger generation for racing to prosper and we miss the boat completely when it comes to presenting our product. Our target market is enthralled with video games which send them visually into sensory overload. Yet, for the most part, we still show our races the same way we did when I first started to follow the sport with only the split screen to show a close up on the backstretch the only innovation. For 99+% of our races, it is still the camera shot from the grandstand the whole way around the track. Our racing product is visually unappealing to a generation weaned on video games; there is no way to emotionally get them involved with the race. To the younger generation, watching our races is like watching the keno board at a casino. Hence, we lose the opportunity to attract a younger generation of fans.
We need to 'NASCAR' our video presentation, making the fan part of the race. I am not suggesting putting a camera on top of a driver's helmet (though on occasion it could present an interesting view), but we need to show the race from different angles to make the spectator part of the race.
Dean over at Pull the Pocket on his latest blog entry has the video from the Arc de Triomphe (runners) and the Kentucky Futurity. In addition, I have taken a random French trotting race for your review so you can see how a harness race is typically shown in France. The camera angles they use allows the fan to become part of the race by showing the race from different perspectives. If you are trying to attract the younger generation to your sport, which presentation will engage the fan more?
We need to get the younger generation involved if we want racing to prosper in the future. Before we can get people wagering on our races, we need to get them interested as fans first. Changing the way we 'view' our races will be a step in the right direction.
Tuesday starts the second week of racing at The Red Mile. Once again, two year old filly trotters are being showcased with the International Stallion Stakes. With a lot of these horses now having at least one start over the The Red Mile oval, form should be a little more evident.
The second race is the first division of the ISS. Impressive Kemp was very impressive in her Bluegrass split winning by 8+ lengths last week after making two moves in her second lifetime start; will be odds-on. Behindclosedoors finished second in her split with a :27.3 last quarter; more racing experience appears to be only advantage she has against the favorite. Nannina has shown signs of ability at times, may land third. Glide By shows one good start in Peaceful Way elim, completes superfecta.
Fashion Feline is the top pick in the fourth race. Has six wins out of nine starts and she won the PASS championship for 2yo filly trotters. Barham Hanover has been knocking on the door, finished one length back in last to top pick. Finished third in Goldsmith Maid; completes chalky exacta. Secret Magic is the pick out of the local horses finished second in the Bluegrass; lands third. Bar Slide disappointed in her last, can redeem and complete superfecta.
In The Mean Time is a tepid pick for the third division (sixth race). Was racing very well but quit in the stretch in last race. Can bounce back but be wary if odds-on. Boinga is an upset selection. Finished fourth in first start at Lex; prior start was an impressive second in Helen Dancer at Freehold. Should improve with first start over the track in last start. Religulous has been fringe player since meeting open company. Don't see her at 9-5 but may pick up third spot. Full Tank has been racing well prior to last start; can bounce back to complete the exotics.
Perfect Chance leads the fourth split of the ISS (eighth race). Was parked out the whole mile in Peaceful Way final finishing third; any trip relief clinches the race. Tequila Slammer won her split of Bluegrass but faltered in Peaceful Way before; pick for second. Spicy Wings was a speedy winner in last but showed little success before last start; completes trifecta. Ultimate Cameron is best of the rest.
Southwind Samurai is the pick to shock the final division (tenth race); lightly raced but improving. Being favorite will be overbet, she may be worth the risk. Poof She's Gone is the logical selection but at a likely 2-5 or less, not worth the wager. Crown Laurel is lightly raced; lands part. Munis Blue Chip is best of the rest; tries open company.