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Friday, December 13, 2013

In The Hunt for a Story, Mistakes are Made

I know it is hard for a publicity department to come up with interesting stories to write about and a good old stand-by is writing about a new personality who has come to town.  Sometimes though, a little research up front may be a smart thing to do before sending out that release.  It happened at the Meadowlands when a trainer was talked up, not only in a press release but also interviewed on their broadcast and I'm sure it has happened elsewhere.

The latest to join this hit 'send' first before doing research is Cal-Expo, which did a feature about  a new member to their racing colony.  Of course, this is a name that immediately rang in my head and for good reason.  This person was written about in a racing publication and to say it was not flattering is an understatement, an article found simply by using a search engine. A look at his regulatory record is not any better.  In fact, just a simple search of the USTA Pathway system shows his license status is 'Conditional' a status used when the USTA has denied membership but racing authorities continue to allow the former member to race.

Now, I am all for giving someone a chance at rehabilitation and if the CHRB and track officials have decided to give someone another chance, who am I to second guess their reasoning (It doesn't mean I have to like it)?  That being said, it doesn't mean using that person in your publicity efforts until sufficient time has passed to show they are indeed a changed person is a smart thing to do.

Update:  After the article was released, the writer learned all about this person from some who saw the press release and to his credit, he revised the press release removing any reference to this individual.  A little extra research is all that's needed to avoid these 'oops'.   As a result, I have revised my article not to name the individual in question and their capacity.

Yonkers Raceway will be racing 15 matinees on Tuesdays this year for the benefit of foreign wagering outlets.  I applaud this decision.  First of all, you can't attempt to gain a foreign outlet for your races if you don't race at a time more convenient for your target audience but in doing so, they will actually expose racino customers who only come to the racino during the day to live racing; an opportunity for them to experience racing and maybe get them to play the trotters on occasion.  This is a winner on two fronts.

Call me a sentimentalist, but kudos to Hollywood Park is in the deep stretch of its final race meet which ends on December 22.  Going out of business, they easily could have said 'Who Cares?' about the horses buried on its grounds but instead, they are moving their graves to new locations; locations appropriate for the horses. (BTW, the Meadowlands moved the remains of Tarport Hap when they abandoned the old grandstand).

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