Friday, July 27, 2007

Guess Who's Back? (Tell a friend)....

It feels good to actually take some time and blog again. Let me take this moment to welcome myself back.......

Ahhhh, much better.

I haven't really missed too much, as I have been following everything going on lately. From opening day at Saratoga, to Polytrack theories on the west coast and CEO's chatting with fans....oh, and what's this? A new addition to the horse racing blogosphere?

"...In the meantime, I was beginning to read the numerous racing blogs that have emerged in recent years. They're no substitute for actual journalism and some of them are simply dreadful..."

Yes, I know most everyone has read that already. However, this writer, contributor, and fan will have no part in any defensiveness, anger or tit-for-tat regarding Mr. Crist. W eare fully aware of the quality of blogs out there (including our own Avg. little site right here). However, I will post this video (short, only 2 minutes) that is a good companion piece for Mr. Crist's inaugural blog post:

Click here for the video via RSS.

-Buried in the comments section of Left at the Gate was a great fan link to some opening day SPA photos. Gee, didn't see too many like these (from a fans prospective) in the MSM... (ok, that's it no more cheap shots from me. I absolutely love the MSM and all they offer the world. What, with all of their fact checking and copy editing...what's not to love?)

Click here for some very cool opening day SPA photos (photos courtesy of "Jim L." via Left at the Gate)

-Breeders' Cup CEO Greg Avioli spent some time answering questions on the Bloodhorse's weekly chat session. Kudos to him, as well as to my man Ray Paulick for getting BCCEOGA (nice initials, huh?) to show up and field some queries.....

...Mr. A did mange to make me shout out loud at the computer screen with this little beauty:

Boston, MA:
Will we see the Breeders' Cup go to colored saddlecloths? You can't see your horse on TV, and everybody else has gone colored in the last 10 years including the Triple Crown.


This is a tough issue balancing tradition (what makes Breeders’ Cup different from other days at the races) and customer convenience. I think much of this issue will be solved with broader adoption by tracks of the Trakkus system or comparable computer/gps systems that allow real time tracking of horses on the track with colored “chiclets” on computers, television or infield jumbotrons.

Now, please tell me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't the answer above completely contradict (or run against) an answer given later on in the chat:

The hardcore racing fan, like those reading this chat, generally understand the nuances to our season and how, say, the winner of the Whitney was very likely to be a contender for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But if there are 40,000 people at Saratoga this Saturday, under the old system I would guess that about 80% would have no idea of the link between the Whitney and the Classic. With the Challenge, that link is direct and meaningful in a way that is easy for casual fans to understand and appreciate. It gives us the chance to start telling the stories of the Breeders’ Cup contenders sooner, and it gives Saratoga the chance to link directly with our event and garner marketing benefits and television exposure by doing so.

Seems, like the majority of these people might enjoy actually FOLLOWING THE HORSE THEY WAGERED ON during the biggest day of the year, no?

Instead of relying on some private company selling their multi-million dollar technology to individual tracks, JUST CHANGE THE SADDLECLOTHS!! (BTW, I submitted the exact same question as Boston, MA regarding this issue)

And...not to knit-pick,(and who knows who was actually typing Mr. A's words) but if you are going to ask companies (i.e. racetracks) to invest millions in a product, you might want to start by spelling said product correctly - only one "k" in Trakus.

-Finally, I subscribe to a "newsletter" called "The Lefsetz Letter" written by Bob Leftsetz. It is a music industry blog/newsletter and Mr. L. enjoys writing multiple "posts" each day which then wind up in your inbox via free subscription.

With each of his posts, I become more and more amazed at the many parallels (that I can see) between the music industry and the racing industry. Mr. Lefsetz does a great job breaking down the hits and misses of the music industry on a daily basis. Here's a tidbit from the other day which I thought had some resonance for our little industry:

...He (Paul McCartney and his recent Starbucks release) wanted to know how he could sell the most albums, he didn't ask how he could get his music in the most hands. Asking this latter question is going to lead to the answer. Prince asked this latter question and came up with an innovative solution that worked for everybody (except the old wave businessmen).

Instead of an ever-diminishing music business, instead of labels encroaching on touring and merch income to make their bottom line, acts and labels have got to think how can they get music in everybody's hands.

Computer companies did it. Dell lowered the price, the Net blew up, and now many people have multiple computers.

I don't know anybody without a cell phone.

And everybody didn't acquire an iPod until you could get one for under a hundred bucks.

What don't the labels get here? You lower the price and you increase the volume. That's the formula, not raising the price.

To sample Bob Lefsetz writing click here
To subscribe to The Lefsetz Letter click here

Sunday, July 08, 2007

If you've seen this guy at your local track or OTB, please alert the authorities immediately. Do not approach. Subject may offer you hair-brained handicapping theories and/or techniques. (there were no horse t-shirts available)

Another GREAT promo by The Simpson folk. Go here to create your own Simpson's avatar.