Information on working terriers, dogs, natural history, hunting, and the environment, with occasional political commentary as I see fit. This web log is associated with the Terrierman.com web site.
This is a dying sport?
I watched this call live. :) Oh, and yeah: It's a dying sport. Not even the premier tracks, such as Del Mar, Keeneland, Saratoga and Churchill Downs, can fill their race cards with high-quality races. Del Mar and Saratoga do OK putting butts in the seats, but people come for the party, not the races. Monmouth, where this race was, does OK, too, drawing from the Jersey Shore crowd. The Kentucky Derby draws a party crowd on that day, but you have no problem finding a great seat among all the empties any other day at Churchill.And only one racehorse in North America can draw a crowd right now -- Zenyatta. The rest of the tracks ... sick, dying or dead. The stars of the sport besides Zenyatta? No one knows them, or cares. Jockey Garret Gomez could pass you on the street and you wouldn't notice anything except that he's not very tall and is very thin. But he earned a couple million dollars last year as a top rider. The winningest jockey ever, Russell Baze, with more than 11,000 career wins, is actively racing now, but I saw him walk unrecognized through the a crowd at the California State Fair. Gambling is why horse racing once thrived. But people don't gamble on horse-racing any more. It's just too complicated compared to pulling a slot-machine handle. Not to mention: A slot machine never has to be killed in front of the crowd after breaking down.I love racing. And I hate racing. I'm a fan, a student and a follower. But I am 52, and I don't see many people younger than I am at the track. Nor do I expect to, anymore. Sometimes I'm OK with that, but mostly I'm just resigned to it.
Dumb-ass Tiger backed the wrong horse!Seahorse ;)
Yes, thoroughbred racing is ill and slowly dying. For a look at it that can be humorous, moving and horribly disturbing, check out the daily blog entry of Joe Shelton, sentimental but intrepid rescuer and re-homer of racehorses, some of whom are recent winners, consigned to the meat trucks headed for Mexico.http://www.tbfriends.com/
Everything Gina said is exactly right. I make my living with horses, and I'm completely love/hate regarding racing, too. 25 years ago when I opened my Maryland farm, the horse industry was this state's second largest industry. Sadly, it was nearly invisible, so when rampant development came to our state it was allowed to choke the equine industry. What most citizens and lawmakers don't understand is that housing is a loss-leader, and farms create surplus revenue. Also, many promises about lottery monies, etc., supposed to help protect the tracks, got funneled elsewhere, so it's a dying industry. Forget the whole slots fiasco. I'll spare y'all that tirade.As for Joe Shelton, he's a prince. I could never face what he faces every day. Even though he's in California, I send my rescue donations to him first. He's in more than deep water there, and deals with it with amazing grace and humor. A better man than me. I'd be in jail for beating the living snot out of the offenders. Not Joe, he sucks it up and keeps on keepin' on. A blog well worth reading each day, and a rescue well worth supporting.Seahorse, dismounting from soap box now...except to say Tiger is still a dumb-ass wanker. ;)
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