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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Great Night and a Special Event; Why Not in North America?

The Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star Trot being contested at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 22 is looking to be turning into a stellar affair as Corey Callahan will be heading to Australia to compete in the $400,000 trotting event, joining Chantal Sutherland-Krusse who will be riding in an Invitation Riders Monté race that evening as well.  Also on the card is the final of the Lyn McPherson Memorial 'Breed for Speed' Trotting Sprint Series (Gold, Silver, Bronze divisions) in addition to an Invitation Drivers FFA Trot.  All races will be at 1720 meters (approx 1 1/16 miles).  Other foreign drivers are expected to be invited to compete.

So what is the Great Southern Star Trot?  It is a race which will have two AU$50,000 eliminations that evening with the top three finishers of each division plus the remaining four fastest finishers from the two eliminations combined returning for the $300,000 final.  Berths in the eliminations are determined by winning one of the Australasian Master races or one of 12 additional Group 1 Australasian races contested in Australia or New Zealand.   The winner of this race has the option of racing on the European Grand Circuit.

As typical in other countries, the March 22nd meeting has been labeled as "Girls Night Out" with many events scheduled for the evening besides racing.

An advertisement promoting Girls' Night Out at Tabcorp Park Melton.
What I don't understand is why in North America we don't have themed nights to attract people to come to the track.  In this case, activities at the track are focused towards raising funds for Ovarian Cancer, something which may get people who normally would not attend the races to show up.  In addition to getting new people to the track, the tracks build good will with the local community.  If there is one thing tracks in the United States can use is good will in their communities.

Perhaps American tracks can learn something from Australian tracks.

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