Bill Finley has written a worthwhile article about reasons to be optimistic in the midst of the doom and gloom going on in thoroughbred racing.
Reasons to be cheerful
It seems that all we write about and all we talk about anymore is the bad stuff. Gloom, doom, more gloom, more doom. OK, so maybe the sport of horse racing is going through a brutally tough, immensely difficult time, but personally, I need a break from this before my head explodes. I'm taking the week off, at least when it comes to being a purveyor of doom and this column.
This week's theme: Don't worry, be happy … or nine reasons to feel good about horse racing, still the greatest game there is.
1. Monmouth Park: The 50-day, $50 million meet has been wildly successful. Total, all-sources handle has risen about 118 percent as horseplayers have responded enthusiastically to the great racing and big fields that have made Monmouth the best betting game out there. Even attendance is way up (by 44.5 percent), which never happens anymore.
As racetracks everywhere are searching for solutions to the myriad problems, Monmouth is providing the answer. Now all the rest have to do is follow the blueprint. If enough tracks convert to short meets with big fields and rich purses, the sport will be considerably better off.
2. Saratoga is upon us. OK, so maybe they shouldn't have expanded the meet, but Saratoga will still be Saratoga, which means terrific racing in an atmosphere unparalleled in the sport. It's one of the few places left where a day at the track remains a special experience. If nothing else, it will allow New York racing to forget about its problems, more or less, over the next six weeks.For the rest of the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=finley_bill&id=5392855#