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Article: Horse racing is not about social frivolity – Del Mar Times | Del …

Home » PTS Blog » Uncategorized » Article: Horse racing is not about social frivolity – Del Mar Times | Del …

Jim Donovan really lets the Del Mar Times have it, and I think he’s highlighted a general misunderstanding of what the game is about and who really funds it. Hint: It’s not the twice a year tourists in the big hats…

Horse racing is not about social frivolity – Del Mar Times | Del …
http://www.delmartimes.net/2011/07/29/horse-racing-is-not-about-social-frivolity/

I have been offering my many decades of racing and marketing experience to the cause of racing’s alarming decline, primarily in the industry’s weekly newsmagazine, ever since it became the industry’s No. 1 problem, which in many ways is a different situation than at a major beach resort during the tourist season, that being Del Mar. Although I have given up on my efforts at the national level, I must comment on your lead stories of July 14, addressed to opening day and the season to follow, because what they said and didn’t say are reflective of the problem at its root.

Your stories totalled approximately 1,000 words, yet only about 100 directly concerned horse racing, with most of those of little value to the knowledgeable racing fan. Dominating the stories was the annual hat contest that, combined with other social attractions, accounts for an attendance of approximately 45,000 because, as one of the story’s subheads says, “Opening Day is the place to be.”

Yes, the place to be, to see and be seen, to socialize and dine and drink and virtually everything that people in search of social frivolity do. Plus, on 10 days during the season a live concert by groups such as Ziggy Marley, the Weezer and the Tantrums (schedule was prominently featured on page 1). Such non-racing attractions have been producing annual increases while other racetracks have gone into bankruptcy and more are on the verge unless their state allows them other forms of gaming, meaning mindless games like slot machines. Churchill Downs, the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, has made it clear that it cannot survive with horse racing alone.

(via Instapaper)

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