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Beyer: Racino status quo is unsustainable

At a time when the horse racing business has suffered serious a decline, one segment of the sport is enjoying a bonanza. These are great times for horsemen in states where purses are subsidized by revenue from slot machines.


Owners and trainers at Parx Racing — the former Philadelphia Park — must think that they have died and gone to heaven when they run a bottom-level $5,000 claimer in a race with a $25,000 purse — plus a bonus if the animal was bred in Pennsylvania. Horsemen at minor-league tracks such as Charles Town (W.Va.) Presque Isle Downs (Pa.), and Zia Park (N.M.) regularly compete for big-league purses because of slot money.


These windfalls exist because many states, when they legalized slots, opted to install them in racetracks and decided to aid the sport by earmarking a certain percentage of revenues for purses and breeder awards. But what the state gives, the state can take away, and many are taking a fresh look at their largesse to the horse business:

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Older Comments about Beyer: Racino status quo is unsustainable...

Not wild about poly track either but Woodbine has the most consisten artifical surface I have ever followed and that is one of many reasons why I ply it daily
Icy. You are correct in everything you have said. Sadly the great Secretariat started the race to the breeding shed. I realize that Penny Chenery had little choice in the matter. But still his not racing at a four yr old hurt racing. If horse racing would clean up the drugs and make a better effort to prevent breakdowns and do more for aftercare of race horses it would help with the fans. Also the powers that be need to promote the horses. Fans come out to see Zenyatta, Rachel, Rapid Redux and others. Look at the popularity of the book Seabiscuit. Fans will come if you promote what is intrinsic to racing
agree with larooski, accidents at the track, especially during a race, definitly drive away fans. HRTV & TVG will usually not replay a race where a horse goes down.
Think about it. Would football be the #1 sport in America or Soccer the #1 sport in the world if a player died every now and then? Hell no.
Travel_Vic..Yes i hate the polytrack..I should have mention Beyer totally change what he said on another site to what is on this site,he didn't say anything good about woodbinne..I think your right ,slots are the worse thing that's happen up here.I don't know how many people lost there house's ect:Here it's not run like in Vegas,it's srew the people as fast as you can..I would like to tell you,but the like putting a head bounty out on my head.Well i hope you have a great day..cash some good ones..i post 2horse that are running at Santa in the same race ..
I think horse break-downs is the #1 reason people don't like horse racing more. I know when I bring someone knew to the track or a new group of people the first thing I hope for that day is that they don't see anything bad happen. If they do they don't like it and won't come back. I honestly don't blame owners who retire their horses after their 3yo season. Too many things can go wrong. The participants sometimes die. That's why more people don't like horse racing. I bet a bunch of would be race fans haven't watched a race since the 2008 KY Derby when they witnessed poor Eight Belles die. If that doesn't drive a would be fan away I don't know what does..
Sounds like marriage on the rocks, the government wants more, the owners won't run good horses past the age of three and when younger fans attend a racino it's a lot easier to play a slot machine (takes 0 seconds to learn) than handicapping horses. Zenyatta brought in fans, Rachel brought in fans but if a new fan comes to a site like this they think their reading comments written by venomous lunatics the way some horses are degraded. Can yo blame them for leaving? To the point, the short sightedness of the industry killed it along with everyone's greed and more competition from other sources. Actually the short term cure was the poison that's killing racing, that being slots.
Racing ON THE WHOLE, does not give a good GD about new fans as they have almost universally doen nothing to get them out except at three venues across the US with Woodbine being the besst in the busines with thier TV show Bet Night Live
typical ploy:attack the messenger especially when he hits the nail on the head. Beyer pointed out, if you actually read the article, that he believes Woodbine was the best model in the business.
Travel _Vic..I don't like what Beyer said and i gave him a blast,he came up to woodbine to do a seminar,and when a guy with his back round in racing should be helping the game not screw people..Woodbine has put so much back into the Game..I would never paid beyer a cent to come to my track..I said straight up ,if your going to bull-shit the people how will racing bring in new fans..If anyone ask for help with the racing form i go out of my way,Well i think we were on E-ponies way back ..not sure..Best to you,and thanks for all the information..Great Help..
Is anyone else disappointed when the TV announcers exclaim WOW, )$*($ horse got a 93 Beyer speed rating? 93? Below 110 is not much.
Instead of promoting racing, the dullard MBA's saw the golden goose and poured mone and attention into the big money amker Slots and continue to make a concerted effort to kick out racing.....It was obvious from the start that this would happen.
Beyer made the correct observation aht the Woodbine model was, repeat WAS, the best model in existence until the gubbment wanted MORE than the 75% they already receive
Beyer made the correct observation aht the Woodbine model was, repeat WAS, the best model in existence until the gubbment wanted MORE than the 75% they already receive
I'm just a casual horseplayer, particularly in season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AR. So I certainly don't know most of the goings on at all the tracks and racinos around the county. But it certainly appears that Oaklawn has found a winning combination that uses slots (or what passes for slots in a "no games of chance" State. From the middle of January through the middle of April, racing is king and the year-round slots benefit racings purses. Of course, Oaklawn is family-owned. It's the mega-corporations who are driving racing into the ground.
Slots help in the short term. They stop the bleeding and allow racing to right the ship. The problem is that slots revenue allow horsemen in the states where it enhances purses and breeding to develope a false sense of security. In each of those states that you mention, Indiana, New York and Pa, the govs of those states can't wait to get their ands on slots revenue to help the red ink in their budgets. Look at what has happened in Ontario, tracks are closing because the slots money is being removed. Horse racing NEEDS to develop a racing plan to promote racing. Use slots money to help finance this. And bring improvements to the racing facilities as far as better restaurants, fan facilities, etc.. The problem is that all tese states are getting slots, pretty soon it will saturation of the market and people won't go
Slots do help. I know because my Kentucky tracks are losing horses to surrounding states that have purses supplemented by slots. Slots help big-time and if we don't get them soon in Kentucky we will lose more and more horses to tracks in Indiana, West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. In Kentucky we're feeling the effects of not having slots.
When is the racing industry going to wake up and realize that slots don't help?

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