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[Fans!] Dateline: 09/25/97

Poll Results: How Did You Get Involved in Racing?

Here are some of the more interesting comments in the order received:

Comments = I work in the racing industry and am prohibited from wagering in my state. As my job is overseeing OTBs, I see far too many televised races for my part. Every opportunity I get, I go to the races at a track. Such as on vacation this past summer back east, I made 10 trips to the track in a 21 day period.

Comments = I gained an interest from riding ex-racehorses as a child--as well as from the books of Anderson, Henry, and Farley. My current primary exposure would be all of them *except* simulcasting. I'm in this for the horses a lot more than the wagering.

Comments = I go for the live racing. Simulcasts to me are a convenience I like to have. But if I'm just betting simulcasts, I can do it from the comfort of my home just as easily as at any OTB or track.

Comments = I was introduced to televised horse racing at a very early age due to my family breeding thoroughbreds for the commercial market. My vocation is still the breeding of thoroughbreds for the market. Although I still enjoy going to the races, I go primarily to watch horses that we have bred. I watch televised racing whenever I can.

Comments = We have limited live thoroughbred racing here in Houston. If there was more, my percentage of simulcast bets would decrease. I don't think you considered that scenario above.

Comments = Live is better anytime ... the ambiance of a racetrack is invigorating to me. I love early mornings on the backside especially ... the scenery is breathtaking as a rising sun appears. The sounds are magnified .. hooves rhythmically pounding the earth, each breath clearly heard as horses stretch out ...... in the afternoon the pageantry and excitement is magical.

Comments = The opportunity to view and bet on live racing in the home, if not encumbered by transaction fees and winnings surcharges ( as are being contemplated by ODS }, will be the salvation of the sport and industry. Conversely, if in-home wagering comes with charges added onto the bettors' already stifling takeout levels, you can call the coroner.

Comments = Saratoga is about the only remaining race course that is worth the experience versus simulcasting.

Comments = I think the future is more simulcasting, less live racing everywhere. There will certainly be more Arilington Parks but there will also be more Lone Star's as well. The past is the past and the future is the future. Horseracing and handicapping can surely survive and prosper but that doesn't mean that every track and/or every individual in the business now will necessarily be there in the future. The internet is the most exciting thing to happen to horse racing in a long time IMHO. I am better informed, enjoying racing more, and doing better at it financially than I ever have. I am very optimistic.

Comments = FOR RACING TO SURVIVE A UNIFORM BODY WITH TEETH NEEDS TO BE ESTABLISHED! BIG-EVENT RACING IS BEING DESTROYED OVER THE COMPETITION FOR HORSES TO FILL THESE RACES (eg.-TRAVERS VS. HASKELL) THE FUTURE IS SIMULCASTING, VIA A NATIONAL RACING CHANNEL, BUT IT IS INCUMBANT ON THE SPORT TO SELL THE LIVE PRODUCT; THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A DAY AT THE RACES!

Comments = I was introduced to racing when my mother ponied a horse at Del Mar the day before I was born! And if live racing disappeared from the area I live in (as it might), I would move. But I'm in a huge minority.

Comments = I and many of my friends who are racing fans were drawn to racing as youngsters by reading about racing on the sports pages, and looking over the charts of the races. We talked sports with our Dads, and racing was one of the sports we talked about. Racing had good PR with the papers. Stories about the outcome of the previous day's feature race, and information about a rivalry in an upcoming race were common. We would go over the charts and try to spot longshots that just missed and then see how they did next outing. We got familiar with the runners, riders and who the winning trainers were. We then urged our Dads to take us to the track, and then to put a wager,( 2 to show) if one of our "prospects" was running. It was a charge when one of them would come through. For some reason, they were almost always stretch runners, which made it even more exciting when they got up. Usually, they did not make it, but it was really fun to get down by the rail and scream like crazy when we saw them come out for the drive.Sadly, racing is not a very big deal for most sports pages any longer.

Comments = My grandfather took me to the race track at a young age. I then started watching all the big races (Triple Crown, etc) on the network broadcasts. And I begged my parents to take me to our local track. My mom tells me that's all I wanted to do for my birthdays!

Comments = I do not have access to either live racing or simulcast. I have to travel to KY, LA, FL or IL for live racing. If I ask for a racing form at an Atlanta news stand, it most likely has a picture of Dale Earnhart on the cover. I love horse racing!

Comments = WHEN THE NTA OR ANY OTHER RACING ORGANIZATION IS ABOUT TO MAKE A DECISION, THEY SHOULD ASK ONLY ONE QUESTION. WILL IT HURT THE RACE FAN? IF THE ANSWER IS YES, THEN DON'T DO IT.

Comments = Cindy, I don't go to live racing that often, maybe a couple of times a year for big-name horses (MassCap), and have been trying to find time each year to get to Saratoga. The email to the list are exactly why I don't go that often. I know that racing as an industry is dependent on people who don't give a damn about horses and are only there to bet, but there has to be another way. If the track could pull more people in of my type (when I go, try to bet every race, but betting isn't the only reason I go) they would have just as many bettors and they would have bettors that gave a damn about the sport as a whole.

Comments = The thrill of watching live racing is what this game is all about. When you become a seasoned handicapper you need simulcasting to find good wagering opportunities. I love live racing but often its the big races from around the country that draw the crowds.

Comments = I attend live racing daily when the local track is running (about 3 months out of the year). The rest of the year is simulcast time, maybe once a week or less.

Comments = If presented correctly (i.e. well-ventilated, clean, nice video presentation), I believe simulcasting can draw new fans. It might be better for industry though to go straight into people's homes.

Comments = Race tracks have got to start being more perceptive to the way quite a few of thier employees treat the average bettor and stop giving all the perks to the high rollers.

Comments = I was always interested in horses - and horseracing provided a chance to watch them. I love the sport and I don't remember when I didn't. I usually try to go to simulcast for the big events- BC - Triple Crown races etc. But I always find that I love the live racing more and I get all caught up in it and forget about what is going on somewhere else!(except for KY Derby day -but then Sunland doesn't have live races for most of this day)

Comments = IMO thoroughbred racing should concentrate on the entertainment value of live racing. Simulcasting at tracks during live racing should stop. It reduces the ambiance (and the handle) of live racing. Simulcasting, like watching the NFL on television, is a good sustitute when you can't be there in person.

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