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HRN Original Blog:
The Weekly Tout

I Need A Hero

Secretariat 615 X 400

 

Hello, sport fans, Johnnie Carrier here with today’s Old Time Radio Horse Racing Report. With interest in racing as low as my mood in January, some folks are wondering just what can be done to fix the problem, the problem of whinnying interest. Let’s say it’s true. Let’s say that casual interest on a sporting level is down, but why? What is the answer? Well sport fans, the answer is not at the betting window. It has nothing to do with the race tracks themselves. The answer cats and kittens, is at the earliest, three years away.  That’s right, this sport needs is a megastar to be born. A Man O’ War, Gallant Fox, Seabiscuit, or Secretariat is what will electrically enhance the race game. Sport fans, we need a comet to burst on the scene with a fiery mane and tail. A horse that explodes with speed, one that can handle the pressure with a champion’s ease, a winner. That’s what will promote this sport to the next level once again.  That’s right mom and dad, we need a horse who can work a crowd like Secretariat, grow as big as Man O’ War, and become as popular with the kids as Seabiscuit. 

 

We need a majority owner of one who has the courage to run this equine of Zeus for a full four or five year period. That’s right my fellow babies, we need the stars to align, a super nova to burst from the bluegrass fields of Kentucky or the green grass, rolling hills of Ireland.  Horse farms from New York to California, all are hoping they have that budding Savior grazing in their picturesque white fenced pastures soon. Like Bonnie Tyler, racing needs a hero.

 

In the glory times of sports, 1920 was more than the year my father was born. It was the year that Babe Ruth saved baseball after the Black Sox scandal and Man O’ War charged up a bored racing community with his power, speed, and beautiful red coat. No, I don’t have a red coat but I have thrown a shoe a or two.

 

They were not afraid to run the horses back then. They called it a campaign.  And once a generation, one horse comes along and sets the world on fire. My father talked of the ‘Biscuit frequently and how in the Depression era, there was nothing bigger than a Seabiscuit race on the radio. Can you imagine how fast the world would follow the runnings of that special horse now? Why with the smart phones, the Internet and other technologies, the racing business would explode with things like the barn cam, so you could watch your hero while he chills in his stable.

 

So Daddyo, if I were you, I would look towards the eastern sky for a sign. A signal suggesting that a Savior has been born unto us. A championship quality horse that can win the Triple Crown in the spring; survive a tough race in Saratoga or Del Mar during the summer and impress the heck out of people with a huge win in the Classic in the following fall. Yes kids, we need a Babe Ruth to come along and drag the rest of the world with him. And that’s it from me sport fans, Johnnie Carrier with the Old Time Radio Horse Racing Report.

     

 

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Older Comments about I Need A Hero...

Just so you all know, I'm working on writing a horse racing book called "Total Eclipse Of The Track" I'm not close to finishing, but I really want to publish it and do a series. Maybe I could help out? I've been told I write well.
I had my Fifty Proof, and I have Mucho Macho Man. Good to go here.
Crown ,i have been saying that forever.Look at the coverage on NBC this past triple crown.They neglected to show 2 Graded races ,so that they can run a feature on Rosie for the 3rd time that day.When it comes to airing on TV,all NBC or anyone else cares for ,are the ratings.They know that the core fan,who is not out at the local betting establishments on that day will be tuned in.So they fabricate nonsense features to attract people who really could give a hoot about racing. The racing heads are on board,after all the more succesful the ratings.The more the channels have to fork over to the racing industry.
  • ChantalSmithless · I couldn't agree with you more!!!! I just HATE NBC coverage of horse racing, Especially when they fawn over the celebrities in attendance (especially at the Derby) and everyone's STUPID hats! · 326 days ago
The only way you will get a TC winner to race after the three yr old season these days is if he is a filly or a gelding. By the Derby point system, a filly will be only able to start in the Derby if she wins major races against the boys which will be hard to do.
That should be Walter Farley, apologies to his fans.
The sport needs a true super horse 3 yr old that can win the triple crown AND continue to race healthy through his 4yr old season and hopefully 5. As great as Dan is or Zenyatta, I think the American public views 3yr old dirt racing as "horse racing" and all the rest of the events are like an undercard.
100% agree with this article.
Cocoa raises a very good point. But the problem is more extensive than this. Years ago we had CW Anderson, Maguerite Henry, a William Farley etc. Writing about horses and horse racing. Who are their heirs in today's children's literature? There were many movies where horse racing was featured prominently. We don't have that today either. On TV, there were kids shows like Fury, etc. Or Disney productions like the Hirse with the Flying Tail or The Tattooed Police Horse etc. Most sports columnists knew a great deal about horse racing and chronicled the sport. While print papers are becoming a thing of the past, previously the Daily News and the Post had expanded racing coverage. No more. The Post got rid of most horse racing and barely has the results anymore. And other than harsh stories on horse racing, the NY Times barely has any press. Lacking writers and proponents of the sport in print, books and TV or films definitely harms the sport in its quest for new fans.
Let's look at this: Who was Secretariat without Nack? Seabiscuit without Howard? Gallant Fox without Hatton? Zenyatta without the Mosses? Sure they were great horses but not one of them would've been as popular as he is now without a campaigner. Look at Lava Man; same story as Seabiscuit really, but he got little press and therefore a little following. All you need is to advertise!
You've gotten plenty of heros. What you need is an advertising campaign.
With all the horses retiring and/or being sold at auction right now, this is the time when we all feel the need for a new star.

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Meet Johnnie Carrier

 

With 10 years of writing a humor column for his home town paper under his belt, Johnnie Carrier has decided to try something different. He is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College Class of 1977 and traveled the West with Circus Vargas in 1979.

 In the 80’s, Carrier lived in New York City and Boston, but he settled down however in the smallest city in Massachusetts late in the decade and married Dawn Luskin in ’88. David was born in 1991 and has been blessed with his father’s sense of humor, but luckily his mother’s good looks.

 Racing has been more than a casual interest having lived so close to Saratoga. He started going to the track at a very young age with his parents and has tried to instill that passion into his son by taking him at the same age. In 2003, Carrier started to write as a freelance writer with the North Adams Transcript and can be followed there at the paper’s website.