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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hold that Press Release

Is harness racing's most famous feud damaging racing?  While the person or entity who gets attacked in the media needs to respond in kind, these public spats need to stop.  As an example, do we need this blog entry in Meadowlands Matters?  Fortunately, this blog entry didn't make it into the newspaper but often they do.

What benefit would it be to racing for this story to make it into the newspaper?  If you were John Q Public after reading this article, how quick would you be heading down to a racetrack or wager on a computer?  The headline is enough to stop someone from going to the track.  Wha does Mr. Public know about liquidity in mutuel pools?  Odds are from the headline alone they are going to think large bettors get special treatment which means the little guy gets hosed; no sense in going to the track if the odds are stacked against you before you show up.. 

But this goes beyond feuds.  Everyone so inclined to send out press releases continue reading....

Racing gets enough bad press without throwing ourselves to the wolves by writing accusatory articles and sending them out in press releases only to be followed up by the obligitory rebuttal.  Using an issue to feed your personal agenda and grind your axe is only going to harm us all; yourself included.

This is not to say controversial issues shouldn't be discussed.  In this new world of ADWs, account wagering, and small pool sizes there are legitimate issues which are open for an honest examination.  But if you are so inclined to discuss an issue you feel there is a problem with, see if one of the industry trade journals will write an article about the issue with them examining both sides of the issue.  Failing that, write your own article for Hoof Beats, Trot Magazine, ot The Horsemen and Fair World, etc. and discuss it in an academic manner.  Or if so inclined, start your own blog and post it there.

Whatever you do, don't send out that press release. 

I have been discussing Running Aces' problems in Minnesota with Canterbury Park.  Since I have been discussing this more than once, it is only fair to hear the other side of the story from the head of the Minnesota HBPA. 

Racetracks are no longer just for horses nor should they be.  Colonial Downs has applied for permission to hold an AMA event at their track.  For those who don't know, AMA stands for the American Motorcycle Association.  This one day motorcycle race will bring Colonial Downs $200,000 in revenue; money which can go towards paying for the operating expenses of the track.  In addition, these alternate events brings new people into the facility.  Concerts, racing, and other activities; all things which can improve the bottom line.  After all, expenses don't stop when the racing season ends.

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