It’s a sport desperate for new fans; they’ll try pretty much anything at this point.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
I am constantly shaking my fists in the air at racing’s inability to connect with the rest of the world in the 21st century.
I do have 40,000 logistical questions after reading the article. Curious to see how this actually works.
I’m actually a little bit sad I no longer live in Nashville. I was very active at Kentucky Downs during my 11 years in Tennessee. There’s no way I would have missed this!
I thought this article was from the Onion. Then I read Paulick Report.
In returning its best horses to compete month after month, year after year, the NTL creates long-term stars, like every other sport, rather than immediately retiring top performers to breed.
Ummmmmmmmmm… Yeahbut when your fav footy player does a hammy in the lead up to Origin, you send him pictures of glue sticks as a joke, and tell him not to get too comfy on the couch. We don’t typically have to shoot our players when they fall over on the field and let the opposing team win.
Hands up - who here reading has ever bought a horse and thought, “Yes, this is my long term horse” and then said horse / God / fav deity / Lord of Irony has gleefully rubbed its hands together and said, “sucker…” ?
Me. Me. Got two in the paddock, one in the Green Fields of Heaven.
I have other questions. Are we talking sprints, mids, stayers, milers? I mean, nobody is going to race Winx, Black Caviar, and Makybe Diva in the same race ever. Yet each of those mares was Australia’s darling in their time. What type of race will this league choose? You run the risk of missing creating a fantastic long-standing rivalry between horses / teams simply by running the wrong distances. i.e. All races are 10f, so you never get the Divas or the Caviars on your team.
Racing in England and Ireland seems able to connect with the rest of those countries ’ societies.
Unfortunately America seems unable to follow any other countries’ model, and just comes up with its own ideas.
Pop quiz: how did the current models of racing in USA v. England and Ireland come to be where they are today?
Because that’s not exactly how it happened.
One hundred years ago, our racing scene was wildly popular. It was also nearly identical to today’s racing. That’s the problem-- we came up with a good idea, but were unable adapt with the times.
The frustrating part is racing will absolutely change when there is a direct and immediate benefit. But “we” racing people stink at the long game. So if we can’t see an immediate benefit, we dig our heels in and refuse to change.
Do I think this team idea will work? Probably not. Look at how many sports leagues fail. But its worth a try. And the more I mull this over, it is a brilliant idea in the sense that it uses our existing infrastructure to create something new. If they go about this smartly, no one is going to lose their hat trying this out. The tracks are already there. The horses and horsemen are already there. The “game” is already there. The idea of a racing league is just a new way to invite the public in to the existing game using a modified format that is easier for the general public to understand.
Cant hurt to try. But you cant force ownership decisions on where, when and how to race their horses. You can make some choices more lucrative then others. Can’t see the top performing breeding prospect superstars staying active longer but perhaps the more mid level types could benefit from more races and a longer career? Maybe track attendance can get a needed boost?
These days people can gamble from their couch with no interest in anything other then odds and statistical data in any sport, no need to ever be anywhere near the actual competition.
I don’t know about that …
Only a few cities have tracks. Does this League imagine that other cities will spend millions to build a facility that will attract gamblers? When some existing tracks are becoming more about gambling-in-general than just horse racing?
I lived in Bham when their track changed to dog racing from horse racing after only a very brief period of horse racing.
Did you read the article? All of this is answered in the article.
This is how I would envision it (and I have no insider information):
You don’t make a team for top blacktype horses. You use regular runners who would qualify for allowance/claiming conditions most places.
You adopt a format similar to wrestling, track & field, or even ISHA horse shows with a race day card made up of races that are the same conditions every time. Maybe $50k open allowance 3yo and up at several different distances: 6f, 7f, 1 mile, 1 1/8 mile, 1/4 mile. I’m just throwing something out there-- hopefully you get the idea.
Then each “team” fills a race with the best runner from their stable. You award points based on placings. Then at the end of the day, the points tally determines the winner.
A few weeks later, you move to the next track/city and do it all over again.
If your best 6f sprinter is injured or can’t race, you could do a few things-- you could claim/purchase another in the weeks prior to the next league meeting. Or you could just skip that particular race and be at a points disadvantages.
You could still operate pari-mutual wagering on the races, but they would be written so they are only open to league horses. So you don’t lose a day of racing.
And it sounds like half the idea is creating an event for the fans-- tracks already try to do all sorts of festivals and events to bring in fans. This is just another branding of that. But hopefully by branding it as a “team” or a “new sport,” there is a draw that wasn’t there before.
I read the article touting the backing of “Financiers and entrepreneurs”, festival weeks around the races with food, music, fashion and celebrities. Endorsement of a few BNTs. No owners/ownership groups pledging to send their horses with said BNTs.
Not a bad idea but without major players sending their A horses and top tier tracks participating? Sounds more like a pitch to investors then a solution to potential superstars running only a few times, only at major tracks retiring to the shed early.
Sounds like a County Fair type atmosphere, which there is a place for. Just not a lifeline to racing. IMO.
Never mind…the “Nashville” race IS in Kentucky at the Mint Hill Gaming Center and track so Pari Mutual should be there.
I worked at Kentucky Downs for 11 years. They are a pari-mutuel track.
OK. Enough already. It’s pari-mutuel.
I can’t see new fans coming out to see any but big name horses racing. Most non-horse people don’t know anything but the Kentucky Derby and maybe the phrase “Triple Crown.” But they don’t know what the latter means. Heck, even some horse people, including some COTHers, use “Triple Crown” incorrectly. If racing were televised here in the US as it in in the UK, maybe more people would watch it to bet; maybe not.
Is every big city without a track expected to build one? And an equine hospital?
Racing is televised here. Nearly every Saturday on NBC in the summer through the Breeders’ Cup.
In the article, they clearly name the participating cities and the tracks they will be utilizing. No one is building anything. I don’t know how you could come to that conclusion after reading the article.
Another article that was linked in another thread:
So a lot of what I speculated was spot on: allowance level horses, 3 NTL races on the track’s regular card with a horse from each of the 6 teams in each race.
NTL horses are limited to NTL races.
NTL sources the horses and the teams “draft” them: this part is interesting to me. I think this will end up being tweaked because… horses. It’s very optimistic to think you can buy 36 horses and they all pan out to suit your purposes. They say they have a plan to use supplemental drafts to account for this, but still.
There will be wagering but they are hoping to create their own wagering options to simplify it and factor in the team aspect.
It’s exciting. Will it work? Who knows. But I feel like everyone is hung up in the negative without considering the fact that this is something new that is very easy to try in the grand scheme of things. No one is building anything. You are just organizing some horse racing events using existing investors and infrastructure.
Six teams with 6 horses each - IMO the League would do well to plan on buying more than 36 horses. I think there’s a better chance of success if each team has a “second team roster” when the inevitable injuries occur.
They may well be considering that - I’m just speculating.
Unfortunately NBC itself does not broadcast racing every Saturday, Fox does on FS 1 and/or 2 unless NBC has rights to a bigger race and even then its rarely on the broadcast mothership but USA or CNBC. And theres Fanduel.
The Belmont will be on Fox this year. The decision was made well before the current series of breakdowns.
I thought the phrase “nearly” indicated it wasn’t every Saturday.
I didn’t realize the time had come to move yo Fox, thanks. I remembered hearing about their deal with NYRA but didn’t realize it had happened.
The BC challenge series races are on network, regardless.
The TV rights to these races are generally set years in advance.