Wishes for the Decade Ahead

By Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA   

It's the time of year when people like to make a wish list for the upcoming 12 months.  We are on the verge, though, of completing not just another year, but a full decade. So in that spirit, here's my list of wishes for the Thoroughbred industry in the 2010s.

  • More stars like Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta;
  • Lower takeout for all bettors;
  • Higher attendance, handle and revenue for track operators;
  • Bigger purses for owners;
  • Safer racing environments for jockeys and horses;
  • Increased uniformity in medication and testing rules for trainers;
  • An interstate compact for everybody who wants tougher, more uniform regulation without cumbersome, expensive federal intervention
  • Fuller fields for racing secretaries (and bettors);
  • Improved education and development efforts for new fans;
  • More homes and second careers for retired racehorses;
  • A plethora of buyers for breeders and renewed investment in our game on all levels;
  • Elimination of tax withholding for players;
  • Lower prices on important goods and services for tracks, farms, horsemen and fans;
  • Innovative wagers and promotions for marketers;
  • Expanded Web-based collaboration for tech-savvy players;
  • Better working conditions, including affordable medical coverage, for backstretch and farm workers;
  • Improved laboratory and drug testing standards for racing regulators;
  • Effective wagering monitoring technology for tote companies;
  • Better injury reporting data for equine health and safety researchers;
  • Great story ideas for turf writers;
  • More advertisers for the trade press; and
  • A renewed dedication to safety and integrity for all who participate in the horse racing industry.

Don't worry.  We at the NTRA are not waiting for St. Nick to deliver this assistance like gifts under the Christmas tree.  We are dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred racing in all these ways and more. From our Safety & Integrity Alliance, to our industry-wide marketing and legislative initiatives, to our Advantage program, we work hard in many different ways to improve the economics of Thoroughbred racing.

The months and years ahead are pivotal ones for horse racing, and we are determined to do all that we can to build new enthusiasm and deliver results.  We hope you will join us in that effort.  

What's on your wish list for racing?  Let me hear from you.

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