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Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Does Everyone But Horsemen Recognize the Fact?

Andrew Beyer, in the Washington Post wrote an article claiming the only way to save racing is to cut the number of racing days.  He talks about how the state is allowing for the next three years slot money to be diverted from capital improvements to operating expenses to keep Pimlico racing.  However, how long in the new world are states going to allow money to be invested in an industry that many people don't care about when there are more pressing places where the funds can be used.

Beyer's answer is to set up a racing circuit in the mid-Atlantic region to allow tracks their chance to run boutique meets with full fields as horse shortages are killing the tracks.  Turns out Delaware Park had to cancel last Tuesday's meet due to a horse shortage; this track being a racino.

This is something I have been arguing for for as long as I have been writing this blog.  There are two many tracks operating in the tri-state area.  You have Yonkers, Meadowlands, Freehold, Pocono Downs, Chester Downs, Dover Downs (at least the higher classes), Harrington Raceway, and soon to be back Rosecroft all racing using the same horse population.There clearly is not enough horse population to support five or six tracks racing at the same time.  There is a need to race shorter meets as there are not enough horses available to support these tracks.  With the exception of Yonkers and Freehold, who are in a universe of their own, each of these track are hard pressed to put on full fields with the other tracks racing at the same time.  To maximize the profitability of each of these tracks, we need each of thee tracks to run two short meets  A meet of one or two months which would be their top open company races and perhaps another month or two restricted primarily for their own state breds. There is no problem if two tracks raced at the same time, but once you ahve more than two tracks racing in the same region, you are guaranteeing short race fields.  Track management realizes this needs to happen; horseplayers recognize this .  Why do horsemen  refuse to accept this fact?


1 comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

Not only are there too many thoroughbred tracks in the mid-atlantic, the dynamics of harness racing in the same region has also changed over the past 20 years.

Racinos like Chester, Pocono, Tioga were not presenting competition back then. Coordination of the racing schedules should be required for both breeds moving forward.