#1) Take away the jockey whip! Many perceive the whip as cruel and unusual punishment heaped upon a horse who’s running his heart out. Although it’s main use is to urge, it is also used to direct the horses’ path. Although it doesn’t actually hurt the horse, it does look bad in these politically correct times.
#2) Shorten the time between races from 30 minutes to 20 minutes. Most athletic events take place in a 2 to 4 hour span. A “Day at the Races” has become almost that – a day. With 9 to 12 races on the half hour – it puts the total time between 4 1/2 to 6 hours for the event. That’s a lot of time for just the actual 12 to 15 minutes spent racing.
#3) Let’s do away with most of the different lengths of the races. Sprints should be limited to 5 and 6 furlongs and route races, for instance, a mile and a mile and an eighth and a mile and a quarter. This will give the average fan an easier way of comparing the horses’ times at the same distances – it’s hard to compare a 4 1/2 furlong with a 6 1/2 furlong sprint or a mile seventy to a mile and 3/16. This would simplify the math especially for the new fans who’s main complaint, in a recent study, was… it’s too complicated!
#4) Do away with the “Inner Turf”. It’s hard enough at some race tracks to see the action on the regular turf course but the inner turf is so far out of sight and out of ear shod it looses it’s appeal. It’s a poor presentation of horse racing.
#5) Reduce ALL betting takeouts by 50 to 70%. Run the dollar part of racing like WalMart. Cut the profit in half and do twice the volume! That’s how a business grows. Some of the low pay outs at major tracks across the country are not even worth the risk, in fact, it’s a shame.
#6) Put a dress code/appearance code into effect for the main area of the race track grandstands and police the area to get rid of drunks, perverts and slobs. Many people don’t go to the track because of WHO is there. Make it a pleasant place to take a date or your wife without having to apologize.
#7) Move the allowable weight of the jockey up 10 to 20 lbs. so these athletes can do their job without purging or starving or being so weak at times they could be dangerous to themselves or to other riders. A 10% to 20% increase in weight would not be that noticeable to a 1,000 lbs. mass of muscle.
#8) Work harder to get more racing on TV. It’s irritating to flip through the channels in the evening or on weekends and find Australian football, Cricket, La Cross, Volleyball or Bowling but seldom a horse race.
#9) Keep coming up with new ideas to promote the sport like the currently popular night racing, concerts, contests, etc. Make the race track the place for fun and “The Place to Be”.
#10) Organize, organize, organize! Create an organization that gives horse owners, trainers, jockeys, owners and fans an equal say in the promotion and improvement of the great Sport of Kings. A platform for ideas and discussion for the betterment of all facets of the sport. The sport of thoroughbred racing needs a vision and goals to bring aboard a new generation of horse enthusiasts.
If you disagree or have your own idea feel free to send us your comment!