Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pissed at Oaklawn..another example of racings shortcomings

So I have been filling my day (a dry, sunny, brisk winter Portland day) doing some chores and e-filing my taxes. Everything was "hunky-dory". I had read earlier a post over at LATG, and Alan talking about Rockport Harbor and the Essex.

Alan hit it right on the head by call RH "Rocky". This is all a fine example of how the internet is helping to expand horse racings reach. Alan completely stoked my flame of interest with his post, therefore raising interest for the sport in me (not too mention how many others?)

So I finish my taxes and go to Oaklawn's site where they offer:1) Live Audio and 2)A still webcam that refreshes every 10 seconds.

Being used to NYRA's audio cast, I don't mind much listening to race calls, understanding that there ae probably some heavily worded contracts that prohibit certain tracks to broadcast ter races live on the web.

However, as the post parade began, I realize that for some reason the live audio feature was not working, there is NO webcast, AND does not even show the live tote!!

Here's what I decided to do next:
(this letter was submitted to Oaklawn’s feedback dept. on their site. Who knows if anyone will read it, or even care, but I needed to do it).

To whom this may concern:
It is unbelievable to me how non-interactive, non-inclusive your website is.

Here I am in Portland, OR extremely interested in your feature race and not only does your live audio feature NOT work, but you do not even supply current live tote updates. So even if I planned on betting a specific horse, I wouldn't even know what he/she is going off at-thusly making it rather difficult for me to make a bet (thusly leading to lack of handle for you).

Why would your website make it more difficult for me to enjoy the races you put on?

I understand you may have some contract requirements regarding live video of the races (although some tracks do provide free, live coverage on their sites) but to not even provide a decent audio link? Or tote updates? What the heck am I going to do with still shots from a webcam that refreshes every 10 seconds?

This is one of the major reasons why horse racing is losing its foot hold, prominence and profitability with Americans.

I am fairly internet savvy and am also a member of the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance. If someone like me can't obtain easy access to your product on-line, then it is fair to say your are losing out on HUGE potential audience that has money to spend.

Shame on you.

Feel free to check out the only future that horse racing has on-line here:
and here:

I feel a little bit better.

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