POINT TO PONDER
In the wake of what had to be considered a disconcerting
start to the sales season it’s time seriously reflect
on just where we are really going.
First and foremost there’s this nagging little question
that when you think about it is both simplistic and maybe
even unanswerable under the current spectrum of contemporary
life and how it has evolved.
And that question is: Why on earth would anybody purchase
a racehorse unless they were already so fans of horse racing?
Racehorses are what we manufacture and all the green space
rationale won’t mean the proverbial hill of beans
if we cannot attract some spectators to watch these horses
Horse racing is a spectator sport.
Horse ownership is the participatory proprietorship of
a racing horse that ultimately performs to the satisfaction
of spectators—who in addition to observing are expected
to gamble on the outcome.
It is the revenue derived from this gambling that ultimately
is distributed to racehorse owners in the form of purses.
Of course in many cases horse owners are often racing for
their own money seeing as how so much of stake purses are
derived from nomination payments, sustaining payments and
starting fees but that is another issue for another day.
Therefore it stands to reason that horse owners must at
one point either have been spectators or aficionados of
the sport of horse racing in order to accept the financial
burden that accompanies horse ownership.
That being said why would anybody purchase a racehorse
unless they are a first and foremost a fan of horse racing?
And if this axiom is even remotely accurate it would seem
that the most pressing issue facing THIS horse racing industry
is NOT the so called genetic integrity of the breed or any
of the other noble but back burner topics currently being
bantered about. The most compelling and most immediate issue
is the restocking what is so evidently an eroding pool of
owners who first and foremost of course were also fans.
And that is not likely to happen unless harness racing
reinvents itself as a spectator sport with all the inherent
modifications therein and ceases acting as a private playground
with a holier than thou attitude in which the spectators
are treated as necessary evils instead of valued customers.
Fortunately there will be some temporary subsidization
generated by slot and simulcast revenues but that alone
will not attract owners without a comprehensive effort to
re acquaint lost generations with the pulsating excitement
and sheer joy of horse racing as a sport and participatory
endeavor in the hope that from those ranks, the usual percentage
will gravitate to potential horse ownership.
Therefore it seems so incumbent upon the industry movers
and shakers to put some collective brainpower together and
utilize the windfalls derived from slot revenues to implement
meaningful marketing programs designed to attract fans and
Noticed that Western Ideal placed four different individuals
on the weekly top 10 poll conducted by Hambltonian Society
and HRC. They included Rock N Roll Hanover, Cabrini Hanover
and American Ideal from his first crop and Wilson winner
Western Ace from his second crop. Might be the first time
so young a sire has placed so many on this list from just
We’re sending four outstanding Western Ideal’s
to Harrisburg including DIMATTGIO (Mattaroni) ARTRIVERDERCI
(Roman Art) WESTAVERDE (Paulas Promise) and WEST INDIA (Steamy
Sharp win by Miss Wisconsin in the American National on
Thursday and intriguing runner up for Double Player making
his first stakes start versus divisional leader CHOCOLATIER.
Miss Wisconsin and Double Player are both Muscles Yankee’s
and we’ll have a nice full brother to Double Player
named TORREOGRAPHY (Flirty Two) at Harrisburg in November.
WATCH OUT BOB McARDLE
From your namesake stallion McArdle will spawn such additional
namesakes like Old McArdle… General McArdle, McArdles
Farm and maybe McArdle Park.. And that just for starters.
The first McArdle foals have hit the ground and are collectively
an impressive lot.