I often am envious of the harness racing industry in Ontario. Whereas in the lower forty-eight, it seems the only thing the commissions tend to do is set rules and regulate the industry, the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) actually attempts to do something unique; build attendance and increase wagering.
The ORC has put out a request for proposals (RFP) asking vendors to come up with proposal for increasing awareness of the Ontario Sire Stakes. These proposals are supposed to include developing marketing strategies to increase awareness and participation. What is considered increasing awareness and participation? Increasing the number of broodmares which reside in Ontario, increasing awareness (media exposure), and increasing participation (new gamblers and increased wagering). Marketing efforts should include cooperative advertising with the various racetracks so as to increase awareness of the individual racetracks in Ontario.
The ORC, not only regulators but partners in the industry. Wouldn't it be nice to see that here?
Dean over at Pullthepocket has a column where he discusses some interesting ideas to bring harness racing to slot players. They are worth considering. After all, slot players are not interested in having to work (handicap) to collect a win ticket. If they want to buy a lottery ticket, it may as well be on harness racing.
What's wrong with harness racing? This article in The Detroit News sums it up in a nutshell.
It was 30 years ago that the great French super horse Ourasi was born. Many Americans remember him from his second place finish in the March of Dimes Trot at Garden State Park or his appearnaces in the Roosevelt International and Challenge Cup but he was the winner of many stakes race in Europe. In tribute to Ourasi, here is a clip of him winning the Oslo Grand Prix back in 1987.