Things That Make You Go Hmmmm (3)

Probably doesn’t matter who gets credit for the Breeders’ Cup tax-break legislation in Kentucky, because it remains unclear how big a role it played in bringing the World Championships back to the Bluegrass State in 2011 given turmoil in California and New York, but if you’re wondering why horse racing fails to gain traction with Kentucky legislators, look no further than the politics of the most recent situation. … Remember, we still have a struggling industry that needs a lot more help than a two-day Breeders’ Cup can give it, and trying to get more people on the same page wouldn't hurt.

More Kentucky politics: In a June 10 article in the Lexington Herald-Leader about ongoing efforts to allow for bourbon tastings at the World Equestrian Games later this year, Gov. Steve Beshear was quoted as saying: “I think it would be a shame if Kentucky’s signature industry, the bourbon industry, couldn’t have that kind of presence at an event that is going to bring people from all over the world into Kentucky.” … Wait a minute. Hasn’t he said on multiple occasions the horse industry is Kentucky’s signature industry? … Maybe he meant “one of” Kentucky’s signature industries? ... And by the way, what the heck happened to Instant Racing?

The price is wrong: On recent trip to Jersey, it became more apparent the industry needs to do something about how it handles sale of its past-performance data and the information it provides. At Atlantic City Race Course, I was charged $3 for the Daily Racing Program simulcast book; at Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack, it cost $4; and at a news agency in South Jersey, a larcenous $6 plus tax. … At Freehold Raceway, they got me for $4.50 for the New Jersey simulcast program, which 15 miles away at Monmouth costs $3. … It’s obvious I got ripped off on a couple occasions, so the question is what really is the price of these programs? … And the DRP, which many tracks now use as their simulcast program, still refuses to italicize return winners in its PPs even though Equibase provides that information. (Equibase is half-owned by the tracks.) That information, of course, is available in the Daily Racing Form, which costs $2-$3 more.

Why is it horse racing on television makes you cringe? As TVG scrolled a note June 5 that it couldn’t show stakes live from Belmont Park, ABC—the network with the contract to do so—blew off the grade I Manhattan Stakes, meaning no one saw it live on TV. … Is this a bad joke or what? C’mon, folks, please get your bleep together. If the networks want to show interviews rather than races, let TVG and HRTV have them.

During a recent visit to Charles Town Races & Slots, Sam Huff, president of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, said there’s no way the $1 million Charles Town Classic, run for the second time this year, will receive graded status. I told him I thought it would, and the results of the Lone Star Derby (gr. III) offer more support; the one-two finishers in that race ran third and second, respectively, in the Classic. … Seems to me the biggest threat to Charles Town getting its first graded stakes is a potential policy by the American Graded Stakes Committee that only tracks accredited by the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance can have graded races. … Have a feeling that may happen sooner rather than later.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium issued a release June 11 mentioning a “recently published report” that “seemed to indicate there was little support for proposed changes in the recommended threshold for phenylbutazone due to a lack of participation” for a panel discussion at a horsemen’s convention. … The article appeared on BloodHorse.com and was written by yours truly. The hook—National HBPA can’t line up speakers who support the Bute change—was designed to spice up a typically mind-numbing topic. The headline may have been misleading, but nothing in the story suggested there is no support for the change. The article noted how it was approved by the RMTC, which has about 25 member organizations that vote. … Whatever the case, it seems old Bute is a mighty sensitive topic.

A little less than 10 years ago, Frank Stronach held his first and only “industry summit” at Gulfstream Park, which his company had just purchased. During the event, he basically said he couldn’t wait to tear the track down, rebuild it, and move it into the future. … We won’t get into the pros and cons of the new Gulfstream—personally, I have no problem with it—but the comments of early 2001 beg a question: How long has Stronach been waiting to blow up Oak Tree? … Surely this debacle can be resolved, most importantly for the long-term benefit of California racing, which sorely needs stability, not theatrics, at this time.

That “industry summit” was one of the more intriguing meetings in racing; it’s a shame the chairman of MI Developments didn’t have any more after that one. It was loaded with great comments, including one by owner/breeder Don Zuckerman, who complained about unsafe track conditions, short fields, the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup, and advance deposit wagering providers. … “Stop making it difficult for me to lose my money,” Zuckerman said. ... Some things never change.

 

53 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Dianne

I, too, am sick of network broadcasts. While I have total respect for the people in the horse industry, I think the "human interest" stories are excessive. I would like to see the program focus on the horses and get away from the tear-jerker stories. I''ve reached my limit in watching 50 minutes of interviews and 10 minutes of racing. There are wonderful human moments that should be shown but most of those are spontaneous (the Frances Genter-Carl Nafzger hug as Unbridled won the Kentucky Derby) but those are so few and are to be treasured.

14 Jun 2010 3:47 PM
spitting the bit

I am so with you on the Manhattan. I couldn't believe that they didn't show the race, and as you said neither TVG nor HRTV could show it. I watch the races to watch the races! Some human interest stories are fine, but the undercard on a day like Derby, Preakness, and Belmont are superb. But I am thankfull that ABC/NBC and ESPN had some coverage!

14 Jun 2010 4:28 PM
DBH

The network broadcasts have been horrendous. I do not mind a little human interest stories here and there, but the calling and video footage of the actual races has been awful! They are done by folks with an obvious limited knowledge and interest in racing.  

14 Jun 2010 4:41 PM
John

The lack of racing broadcasts on regular television is a major contributor to the struggles we face. I am privy to some information. This fall there will be an hour of live horse racing each Saturday and Sunday afternoon on a regular cable network. Currently this network reaches 20+ million homes domestic. Please be patient. Oh yeah, very little talking heads.

14 Jun 2010 5:31 PM
Ken Woodall

IMHO, as long as horsemen, states, and tracks believe it is their best interests to keep horse racing geographically fractionalized in all matters except graded stakes races, many problems will continue and there will be only 5 big days in racing. People need to understand that handle=sales, takeout=tax, that the DRF has the biggest inroad into the general public (outlets), and that in addition to a true national PR office, racing needs to promote horses and connections much more. Promotion, publicity are just as fractionalized geographically and/or sector-wise. IMHO there are no national/international leaders who have real influence to move things forward.

14 Jun 2010 5:40 PM
okie girl

I am so glad someone has finally said something about the Manhattan Stakes not being shown on TV! What a BAD move by ABC/ESPN. I kept waiting and waiting thinking they would cut to the race when my program on twinspires.com said it was post time. I was so upset! They had plenty of time to show interviews/storylines and show a wonderful GRADE 1 race. Shame on the network for not allowing HRTV or TVG to show it live.

14 Jun 2010 7:18 PM
sibemom

How is it that Magna Corp. which is bankrupt can have 4 Breeders' Cup races in a row? There are other tracks around which deserve the chance of having a Breeders' Cup races.

14 Jun 2010 7:32 PM
MRO

I'm glad I wasn't the only one upset about the Manhattan. As post time neared, I saw the horses walking to the track behind the announcers, who were repeating the same boring stories about the Belmont field. The stories were interesting enough at noon, but didn't need to be repeated at 3:00 & 5:00. Those who cared would have already seen them. I kept waiting for them to break away to go to the race, but there were nothing but commercials & interviews. The Manhattan is a great race. The TV coverage stinks.

14 Jun 2010 8:28 PM
David

There are only three properties in racing that garner rights fee from national networks – Derby, Preakness and Belmont. Forgot the Breeders’ Cup you say? Not really. Fact is any race other than the Triple Crown must buy its way onto the air. ;The Belmont barely qualifies and only a Derby, Preakness winner makes for any significant revenue. The BC must come to the table arm-and-arm with sponsors willing to buy-up most, if not all, available ad spots within the broadcasts. The networks play the same game today ESPN played years ago. Then, a track would sell its soul and place put-ups on the table including cash and assurances the race would be exclusive to ESPN at the expense of local affiliates and cable trade entities like TVG and HRTV. The real killer in so many of these deals was that a soccer game would invariably run over and the race would have to be delayed! I agree, don’t cut the trade media out; it actually hurts the industry in the long run.

14 Jun 2010 8:33 PM
Rondo

Thank you for the comments about NOT showing the race. I am sure HRTV and TVG would have loved the chance to air any of the races. The major networks are oblivious to the people who actually wager on races and THEY are the real reason races are run!

14 Jun 2010 9:03 PM
wons

Great article! The track executives stress getting new racing fans, with all the hype and talk. They forget that they make money from people BETTING MONEY.

The seasoned bettors are ignored!

It also seems that TVG has lost a lot of major tracks recently to HRTV. They will lose more patrons if they don't change some of their actions. They cater to people who bet California tracks. If 2 tracks are nearing post time, they always will show the California race first, and tape the other track. When 2 east coast tracks go off together, they show them both at the same time on a split screen. The analysts talk and talk before the races go off. Most of them are still making comments when the horses are being loaded, and even when the starting gate springs open. I think part of the experience is hearing the chatter in the gate and the announcers opening comments. My mute button is overworked when I watch TVG. If you are an experienced bettor, are you really going to play a $96 pick-4 given out by these guys?

14 Jun 2010 9:35 PM
L.Stein

I was extremely frustrated with the networks coverage of the undercards to the triple crown races. Once we knew there was not going to be a triple crown winner, who do they think was watching on Belmont day. For all three undercards I don't think I saw a post parade except for the big race. This is really pathetic to the fans and the people who wager. Something needs to change. Leave the races to the horseracing networks if the big ones can't do a better job.

14 Jun 2010 9:53 PM
Lmaris

Ken, your takeout = tax is a bit naive. Tax receipts are collected by merchants and forwarded to the governmental body. Takeout includes track operating expenses and will be in part returned as purses. To label it as just tax is as misleading as ignoring it completely.

14 Jun 2010 10:05 PM
Sarah

I agree. Where I am at they don't show the races much anymore. I only see the KY Derby, Preakness, Belmont and the BC races.

14 Jun 2010 11:24 PM
goodwin

They did the same damn thing before the Preakness, I forget what the stakes was before the Preakness, but instead NBC, this time, gave us an interview with the gold medalist in the Olympic Women's Downhill. I wrote NBC a scathing email, because of that and the Al Roker/cooking segment during their coverage of the KY Derby. I asked them, would you be doing a cooking segment before the NBA finals? The 7th game of the World Series? No?

THEN DON'T DO THAT TO HORSE RACING!!!!!!!!

Grrrrrrrrr!

15 Jun 2010 12:26 AM
CARL

Thank the stars for TVG! If not for them, I would not have seen the great Zenyatta make history.

Can someone explain to me how the current horse of the year (Rachel) gets into a race with 124 lbs facing nags, and the horse not good enough to be 2009 Horse of the year (Zenyatta) has to carry 129 lbs against a very high-quality group of mares and gave the second horse 9 lbs???

St Trinians ran her eyes out, and Zardana beat Rachel last time they faced each other. What is wrong with these people? Do they want Zenyatta to get beat? Help me understand.

15 Jun 2010 12:28 AM
Mustang5

Why is it that TVG and HRTV are not included on so many cable TV providers? I would much rather watch them than any coverage on any other network channel. They at least know what they're talking about and show all the races.

15 Jun 2010 2:39 AM
EMD

So many things here to take issue with, but let me concentrate on the one closest to home -- Gulfstream, my home track. We will NEVER get Breeders' Cup, because of how FS rebuilt our track. It is a casino-shopping mall -- with no grandstand. The perfect weather for Breeders' Cup. What was he thinking?

15 Jun 2010 5:14 AM
pasturelands

That's why it's called HORSE -racing, coz the HORSES are the superstars... funny, how people still couldn't get enuf Reality TV, or American Idol. I am based in Dubai, yet here I see more horse races on TV where they show horses, NOT the trainers/staff/owner/fans/local-donut-shop-boy yakking about horses... etc. HRTV should really get some SERIOUS horse people to do their horse racing shows. Less humans, more horses. That's why it's called HORSE RACING.

15 Jun 2010 7:05 AM
Ktaylor

Didn't read all the comments but agree with most I did. A few other beefs-Why are all 3 year old races before the first Saturday in May a 'Derby Prep?'

I believe it was the Lexington-only 1 horse could possibly get into the Derby, if he won-but it was still a Derby prep. Most of these races are graded stakes-provide black type for horses that finish in the money but the media has everything focused on the triple crown. A noble cause but not the only races worth aiming toward.

Another beef that comes up often. Why do we try to get our champions beat? The general public doesn't understand putting extra weight on a horse in a handicap nor do I.

Why should a lesser horse get the money and the win for some foolish notion that we need to bring the horses to the wire together-which never happens anyway?

Zenyatta deserves her wins-she is the best-why should she have to carry so much weight-handicapping our athletes is ridiculous.

Weight for age is understandable.

Oh well, finished for now.

15 Jun 2010 7:23 AM
Jennie

What, no commentary on Pennsylvania's racetracks? I am disappointed and hopefully in your next blog post you will take aim at Penn and Philly ...

15 Jun 2010 9:25 AM
MikeM

It would be nice if the horse's pedigree was listed and perhaps some background on his/her family. I think it also would be interesting to know how a horse progressed from yearling to racehorse.

15 Jun 2010 9:59 AM
Swale1984

Carl, I thought the SAME THING about the weights assigned to Rachel @ Churchill and Zenyatta @ Hollywood. Before the entries of Zardana and St. Trinians, I was being reminded of all I'd read about the great Man O'War, who routinely gave 10+ lbs up to his opponents.

Rachel was UNDER-handicapped in that race, and, for that reason alone, I'm not 100% convinced she's back in form.

As for the network coverage--I don't mind ABC/ESPN's coverage, but NBC's makes me cringe.  

15 Jun 2010 10:12 AM
Dawn

Like many others here, I was seriously steamed at the lack of Manhattan coverage. Contractually obligated?! Well I didn't see any other stations (cough--ESPN/ABC--cough) covering it. >:(

And interviewing some other non-racing athlete? Huh?

Thankfully the BH has videos and has redesigned their home page so as not to have too many spoilers. Wonder if Goodwin will ever get a real, written by an actual human, response to his email?

15 Jun 2010 10:22 AM
Somethingroyal

Carl & Swale,

I've been thinking the same thing with Quality Road's124 Ib weight assignment in the Met Mile.  

15 Jun 2010 12:42 PM
Aleine

I'm with Goodwin, Cooking segments?

A couple of years ago ESPN's Mike and Mike were at Churchill Downs sampling Ky Derby fare during their pre-race coverage. Who cares if they like the Cajun shrimp better than the hushpuppies? Mike and Mike should stick to their usual stuff. The human interest stories should go the way of the soap operas--endangered species of our time. (thankfully).

I want to see ANYTHING related to the HORSES the week of any major derby-triple crown stuff. They can put all the Al Roker cooking shows and Mike and Mike food tasting on the Food Channel.

Let's force them to stick to the basics. That's what the true fan is there to see on the tube, not the casual fan who might enjoy watching Mike and Mike chow down--who cares.

So if Charles Town can't get graded stakes races are they all going up to Mountaineer? I'm still waiting for the day that Colonial Downs will sell the track and/or lose their graded stakes races--but they apparently have their connections in order for the time being (and I love seeing the big-name jockeys at the track annually for the VA Derby).

15 Jun 2010 12:48 PM
Carl

Thanks to those folks who commented on the Rachel/Zenyatta weight assignments. I have nothing against Rachel, I just don't see the fairness.

An even bigger question for me will be, if and when they finally meet in a free-weighted handicap race, who will carry more weight: Rachel Alexandra because she is the Horse of the Year, or Zenyatta, because she has never lost to any horse? I promise you, when they meet, Zenyatta will have to give Rachel weight, even if it's only a pound.

Final thought, if anyone tried to put 129 lbs on Rachel Alexandra, they'd have to go into hiding for fear of their lives. May the great ladies meet, both under 125 lbs and may the best horse win!

15 Jun 2010 1:02 PM
Vanna

I'm so glad to find other racing fans that were outraged by ABC not showing the Manhattan!! Gio Ponti is a dual Eclipse award winner for 2009 for pete's sake!! Why doesn't he get any air time? National broadcasts focus too much on the 3 year olds and their journey through the Triple Crown while all around is great racing from the older horses, too. Casual fans won't know who to be interested in if they aren't introduced to the big names dominating the older divisions. The Triple Crown is exciting!!  But let's remember to introduce fans to our sport's other stars, too!!

15 Jun 2010 1:05 PM
IDavis

Regarding weight assignments, Rachel is a younger horse than Z, therefore the lower weight assigment..Z being 6 yrs old, undefeated; Rachel, 4 yrs old, defeated twice before last Saturday. With regard to the race, Rachel had a 108 Beyer, almost topped the track record...again (a thing she does often...breaking records) while Z had a 103 Beyer. Also, Zardana did not beat Rachel last time out...I was there...it was 4/30, day b-4 Derby, and Rachel lost by a nose to Unbridled Belle....and Zardana came in 5th, I believe....many horse lengths behind! Z is a great horse, but much older and experienced than Rachel.... you folks need to get your facts straight. BTW, Z remains in CA for her next race, another same old, same old...one she's won previously, while Rachel will venture away from her favorite track to Saratoga....where there are two races there for fillies in which Z could run against her. WHY don't the connections of Z let her race at the historical Saratoga track against Rachel?? It can't be because she doesn't do well traveling because she has traveled and came back just fine.  'm a Rachel fan, but love Z and would like to see her before the Breeders' Cup, running in the east against Rachel. Why can't anyone make this happen?? It would be great for racing!! To have this occur this summer, before the Breeders' Cup hype. Perhaps it would draw more fans to attend or at least follow the BC races. It would be a great marketing tool for the sport.....I just can't understand why "they" who have the power to make this happen "don't get it."

15 Jun 2010 3:46 PM
Chris

Frank Stronach has been a horrible influence on the horse racing industry. In my opinion the bankruptcy judge should have thrown out most of MI's claims and made him sell core assets. Santa Anita and the Oak Tree meets used to get a large portion of my wagering dollars but with the surface fiascos and small fields I look elsewhere. I'd love to see his strong-armed tactics he's using on Oak Tree leave his track empty during that time and move the meet to Del Mar.

15 Jun 2010 4:00 PM
harryo

Something I'd like to see ... Atlantic City Race Course host the Breeders' Cup.

15 Jun 2010 4:31 PM
sleeping fish

I still enjoy going to the races and trying to put it together. Some places you pay for parking, others you don't. I still go and handicap. Some places have free admission, others don't. I still go and place bets. Be it Saratoga or Mountaineer, I still like watching a stretch duel or a run-off winner. What I'm trying to say is a person is "into racing" or not.

15 Jun 2010 6:30 PM
Slew

I wonder why the national networks don't watch more HRTV before the race. Bloodlines mean a lot...and no national network has bothered to mention any sire or dam in all their presentations...and heaven help us...please don't give any coverage again to BRAVO....their production was nothing more than a promotion of all their lackluster reality rip-offs. (I do believe they are an NBC affiliate.)

15 Jun 2010 6:46 PM
Virgil Fox

Nice work Tom.

I appreciate this opportunity for the fans to voice their displeasure on these basic, yet core issues.

The Zuckerman comment really says it all.

- Peace

15 Jun 2010 6:51 PM
UCLinden

Gracious amigos ... no matter what the subject on horse racing, we all "chip in" and give our opinions. What's amazing is that no one listens to any suggestions or opinions from those who are the true racing fans ...

YOU !!!

I too am so, so bored of listening to all these "fill -ins" prior to a big race, so bored that I just tune in maybe 15-20 minutes before race time.

If any of you watch basketball, you all know, all you have to watch is the last 15 minutes of the game to see the end result.... the same with horse racing.

And someone had it right about these weights ...here you have HOY (RA) getting LESS weight than Zenyatta ... hello out there, both horses are FEMALES .. why aren't they given equal weights?? It would be soooo very interesting to see the weight assigned if they were in the same race. When you think about it, when two boxers step into the ring and one is the reigning champion, the boxing gloves weigh the same for both fighters.

As far as the past-performance data, why should anyone have to pay ... give it to the patron FREE of charge ... maybe if people had the appropriate information available to them, they just might wager more. You have to get your patron thru the door first still having money in his pocket to wager with instead of being nickel & dimed before they get to their seat. Also, unless you are using valet parking, why do you have to pay to park???

Can someone please direct me to the suggestion box ... oh that's right ... you have to put a token in first in order for the slot to open .... ha ha ha.

15 Jun 2010 7:33 PM
NJTrotter

Carl, relax. The west coast princess is 17 hands so 129 lbs shouldn't be a problem for her. That's why they call it a handicap. It's not meant to to get the great ones beat, it's to level the field. And it did. The princess won by a neck. Do some research and see what John Henry, Dr. Fager and Forego carried.  

15 Jun 2010 8:26 PM
tvnewsbadge

If the horse racing community is unhappy with the way networks cover the sport, they only have themselves to blame.

With the Internet and cable tv there's no excuse whatsoever that the sport has to be inaccessible to the vast majority of the American public.

15 Jun 2010 9:36 PM
Rondo

I aree with several comments about the weights carried by Zenyatta. I thought that was a excessive. Rachael's weight while not as much carried only 2 lbs. less than Blame (pretty sure he carried 126?) and ran almost a full second faster time. She would have won the Stephen Foster by 2 or 3 lengths. Blame will surely take a lot of money in the Classic this year...if he makes the gate. How can you still question her performance? I just hope the super filly meets the super mare. Bet major networks still wouldn't show the undercard though ;)

15 Jun 2010 10:19 PM
Ktaylor

To Swale 1984, Carl & Somethingroyal,

Why do we handicap them at all? May the best horse win.

I don't know your ages but could you imagine putting extra weight on Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt so the others in the Olympic fields would have a better chance.

Seabiscuit got beat by a whisker by a horse with a feather (30 lbs less) on his back in the Santa Anita Handicap. why should a horse not as good be known as the winner when the Biscuit gave his all and was much the best?

15 Jun 2010 11:31 PM
Pinnochio

Espn regularly covers such sporting delights as spelling bees, lacrosse, poker, bowling, billiards, cheerleading and scrabble.

How can any reasonably sane person believe horse racing can compete with the above named excitement for market share.

Come on folks, admit it, deep down you know you'd rather watch people exercising their rumps playing poker than sleek horses running at 40 mph.--right?  

Anyone for lacrosse?

15 Jun 2010 11:37 PM
Rolly

Tom:

Regarding ABC and the Manhattan...The ratings for the Derby or Belmont undercard on ESPN are usually about 1.5. The rating for the show on ABC was 3.1. The audience grows exponentially and those viewers don't care about the Manhattan.

Is it a failure of the networks that horse racing is a niche sport?

The game is what it is, but it's not because television networks don't show the Manhattan or the Dixie.

And which is worthy of more outrage? That ABC didn't take their focus off the Belmont to show the Manhattan or that no one in racing had the power to televise Zenyatta's historic run Sunday night?

16 Jun 2010 12:03 AM
JerseyTom

harryo: Atlantic City not big enuf to host the BC, not to mention all the work that would need to be done to bring the place up to speed. ... The best that can be hoped for--and this is a lot--is a track with a couple boutique meets each year and a year-round training facility to complement Monmouth Park. NJ now has it's best opportunity to do something good with Thoroughbred racing, so let's hope it gets done.

rolly: Thanks for your TV perspective on televised racing. Though I still think a less-than-2-minute race can be shown live, I think you made your point about the industry having no clout to get the Vanity covered.

UCLinden: I don't mind paying for PPs, but I want a decent simulcast program with the standard information we have become accustomed to. What seems to have happened is tracks have given away their program business to save money, and they're not keeping track of the product they now offer. ... The NJSEA tracks, Keeneland, a few others get it. Many now don't. We shouldn't be losing program information, we should be getting more of it at a decent price.

16 Jun 2010 8:24 AM
Dawn

Rolly--

What bugged me about the Manhattan was that NO ONE showed it. I get both HRTV and TVG and was it on either of those channels?  Nooooo.

Sounds like Bravo laid another egg as far as the Oaks goes. Not wanting to subject myself to the torture (where's Amnesty International when you need them?) that was 2009's Oaks coverage, I watched the race on the Blood Horse once I got home from work.

16 Jun 2010 11:47 AM
Rolly

JerseyTom: it's more than just 2 minutes. If you show it, you have to do it right. It's a Grade 1. That means getting viewers up to speed on the storylines, showing the post parade, some past performance video, interviews, etc. Now you're spending 8 minutes. Now you've shoved commercial breaks around. You've squeezed your coverage of the main event and confused the passing viewer with a race that means nothing to the Belmont. Producers would rather focus on the main event, get as many commercial obligations out of the way and clear the decks for as much live coverage of the big race. Remember ESPN/ABC paid for the right to put on this show. They get nothing from handle on the Manhattan. They also get nothing if they send a chunk of the viewing audience to a competing network where the race is being shown live.

So the move isn't made out of ignorance. Showing the race was weighed by the Emmy-nominated and Eclipse Award-winning producers and they chose to focus on the Belmont Stakes. That's the reason we were all there.

NYRA could have helped. Rather than blindly placing the Manhattan before the Belmont Stakes just because that's the way it's always done, they could have moved one of the early allowance races into the blackout spot. The full field perhaps could have augmented play on the pick 4 and pick 6 and the Manhattan could have been shown on ESPN's undercard show.

16 Jun 2010 2:06 PM
Janet

I was livid when I realized ABC was going to blow off the Manhattan. If they weren't going to broadcast it why did they block the racing networks from showing the race? I agree that they provide no information about racing, just human interest junk ad nauseum. Why can't horsemen have some input on what the networks broadcast? They obviously don't give a darn about horse racing.

16 Jun 2010 3:32 PM
JerseyTom

More on the CT Classic: Maybe action by the AGSC on future mandates is later rather than sooner. ... so in that case, graded status for 2011 may be worth a bet. ...

17 Jun 2010 8:25 AM
sleeping fish

To UCLinden

I pay to park because some tracks charge to park in their lots. Pimlico is a pay lot. Saratoga has paid parking. I feel my vehicle is safer in the Pimlico lot than on the street. It is a much shorter walk to the entrance also. I have put on a few years and pounds and don't move as well as I used to.

23 Jun 2010 3:18 PM
Rondo

Rolly,

My friend...be careful, you almost sound like a pompous arrogant muleheaded t.v. executive? You are SO missing the point. The "bettors" (like me) had pick 3s and other bets culminating with the Derby, Preakness and Belmont. So then you have to wait for B.H. to post a clip of the prior race killing the adrenaline rush (why most of us go in the 1st place) of a winning ticket. AGAIN, without the BETTORS...they will not run the races, I'll guarantee that buddy boy.

24 Jun 2010 12:04 AM
UCLinden

Parking commentary : This particular article had made mention of " the price is wrong" as it pertained to PPDs. My point was why are patrons nickled & dimed before they get to their seat and this includes parking fees. If the property belongs to a particular track , the patron should be able to park their vehicle free of charge. The track should welcome every racing fan with open arms. If the patron decides to use valet parking , then I agree with a parking fee.

Why leave your money at the parking lot when you can leave it at the betting window ???

24 Jun 2010 5:53 PM
Bellwether

PLEASE...TELL EM TO STEP OUT OF THE BOX ONCE & FORE ALL...BACK...BACK...BACK...U NOE THE REST OF THE STORY...ty...

30 Jun 2010 6:56 AM
Ann in Lexington

Frank Stronach should have stuck to breeding, where he does a good job. As a track owner, he has been incredibly clueless. Remember when he first bought Santa Anita? He wanted to get rid of the signature feature of the turf track, the downhill course. Only local outrage stopped him. In fact, he pays no attention to what fans or others in the industry need or want, only to his own judgments. Look at his recent attempt to throw out the Oak Tree meeting, because he wanted to run his own meet in October. Thank goodness the CHRB wouldn't be bullied.

01 Jul 2010 11:38 AM
UCLinden

As of July 1st, Verizon took BOTH TVG & HRTV off the air. If you want them it'll cost you $50 extra!!!

04 Jul 2010 3:23 PM
morris stiles

at 62 years young, i now have the best access to horse racing news that i have ever had. the computer,and blood horse mag. horse racing was covered by radio, a whole lot better than it ever has (or ever will be ) by tv. this is another one of the new world's deficencies.

06 Jul 2010 12:17 PM

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