Sunday, March 14, 2010

When will horse racing get it right?

Yesterday was a special and unique day in Thoroughbred horse racing. And the only people who knew it were hard core fans trackside across the country, online handicappers (bloggers included) or someone who just happened to see Zenyatta win while looking for the latest college hoop score on Sports Center on Saturday.

Why so special?
  1. Reigning and historic Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra made her much anticipated return
  2. Zenyatta in her first race back, since a short-lived retirement following her historic Breeders' Cup Classic win last November, going for 15 straight wins
  3. If you missed the debate on last year's Horse of the Year and don't know about the possible Apple Blossom Stakes pitting the two famous and fabulous mares against each other, well you're just not a fan...yet.
  4. Last year's two-year-old champion colt and early Derby favorite, Lookin At Lucky made his return to the races
  5. For added measure, another Derby prep (for both Kentucky and Santa Anita), the San Felipe was on tap
Has there been a day like this in Thoroughbred history? Maybe, maybe not. But the point is this day went unnoticed by most sports fans. I have already given yesterday's races/stories more space than Sunday's Boston Globe.

What could have happened, if there were some centralized brains and creativity in the horse racing world - "Hello, NTRA, anyone home?" - the four races listed above could have been stacked within 10-15 minutes of each other and shown within a one hour or 90-minute long telecast. The stories abounded and the races thrilling and a champion fell. Instead of the sappy, human interest stories millions of sports and horse racing fans get each Kentucky Derby day, we could have seen a showcase of today's finest equine athletes - one right after another.

Instead, all the action was limited to fans and bettors of HRTV, TVG or Bet America or those visiting their local track or off-track-betting facility. Sadly, the only nationally organized body behind Thoroughbred horse racing (NTRA) doesn't have a clue or a thought to put such a telecast together. Heck, the NTRA couldn't even get their own act together to show the races on their website.

Finally, how about this: why doesn't a national network (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or ESPN) get together with an Internet Account Wagering company and put together a telecast concentrating on horse racing wagering. You know, how to bet, types of bets, betting angles, etc. A racing publication like Daily Racing Form or Brisnet could get involved. Advertisers for such a broadcast could try shilling their product at a cut rate. C'mon wouldn't this net local and national broadcast television stations more than a half and hour infomerical on an absorbent towel or blanket-jacket?????

Someone, anyone with the know-how...please....

1 comment:

  1. The NTRA is seriously missing the opportunity of a lifetime every time they fail to big-time-promote races like we had this past weekend.
    Zenyatta, Lookin At Lucky and Odysseus all gave some of the best performances in the history of their respective races running’s. Even the general public and fair-weather fans would have been able to recognize their greatness had they been watching.