CNBC about Wealthy Racehorse Owners Airs Tonight

Tonight at 9pm ET CNBC will air a show about the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  The focus will be on the Fasig Tipton horse sales and includes a segment on Team Valor International and their horse ownership group.  Here is a preview of tonight’s show.


A Better Presentation is What Horse Racing Needs

Racing needs a better presentation, TVBy Art Parker

Thoroughbred racing requires us to fight an ongoing battle, a battle for survival. I am not going to point out the mistakes we made over the years. I use the word we because I am convinced we must all fight this battle to make sure our sport not only is trying to grow, but trying its best to survive. Today the battle is to garner new faces, new blood, new fans, and preferably those in the demographic of young adults. We need to do this with an old sport.

Trying to put anything old with something new has never been easy, if it was, then teenagers would love to go see old folks on their birthday and give the real old aunt a big smack on the lips. And we know that doesn’t happen.

Besides the effort of social media and all the new bells and whistles of the high tech age, the television is still a good way to place our product before prospective fans. Justice is best served our sport when the people get its full visual effect. Watching the action of the sport can be exhilarating similar to what some folks experience watching NASCAR. But like anything else, the sale is often made not with the contents of the box, but how you wrap the package.

For many horseplayers Breeders’ Cup day is one where the action takes place at home. So many of us now play via Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) and we utilize various resources to have all the advantages of being at the track without having to go to the track.

I’m sure many of you are like me. I play via ADW and turn the television on for the non-stop Breeders’ Cup coverage, even though the television coverage is not required to get the job done. This year the television coverage was like in the past. It is not interesting enough to watch, at least for the regular player. And, I suspect it was not interesting enough to those that are not regular players.

I didn’t watch the coverage on Friday but I did tune in Saturday and paid attention the best I could. One reason I was going to watch the Saturday coverage was to try and see the presentation as if I was a novice.

All races except the Classic were viewed on the NBC Sports network. The coverage on NBC Sports was like it always is and just not too good, in my opinion.

For the most part the coverage is boring to those that do not know the sport. A novice sits there and listens to some guy talk about Beyer Speed Numbers and there is simply no way the newcomer knows what those numbers are. It’s like those of us in the know are keeping a secret. Of course, this is just an example. The bottom line is that we do not use the opportunity to recruit new players with actions and information that will make them comfortable.

But then we left NBC Sports and went to NBC for the final hour and, of course, the feature race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The presentation seemed to be very much different. It was far more exciting. My wife remarked that it seemed like we were watching the Academy Awards. There was a greater romance with the horse. It seemed different and I liked it. I’m sure much of the content was considered the same by some, but what I liked was the way the package was wrapped.

What I perceived to be a good move was that the Classic hour had the possibility of recruiting new players with just downright excitement and avoided running prospective players off with mystery information. Plus, we got the biggest Breeders’ Cup moment in Prime Time. I salute NBC for what I think was a different presentation. I encourage racing’s television partners to continue to work on new ideas that will attract more participants. I hope our television partners will attempt to make future broadcasts something the younger people will call “awesome” or “cool” instead of “something the old folks like.”


Horse Racing Deal offered on

Visiting the Gulf Coast of Florida this winter? If so, don’t miss out on this online deal. Tampa Bay Downs is back at it again on, offering discounted packages to the days of your choice at the upcoming 2012-2013 meet. They offered these deals last year and it was a great success for the track.

Choose from Four Options:
$9 for a day at the races for one (a $20 value)

$15 for a day at the races for two (a $35 value)

$29 for a day at the races for four (a $65 value)

$42 for a day at the races for six (a $95 value)

Each person receives:

  • Valet parking
  • Clubhouse admission
  • Racing program
  • $2 betting voucher
  • $5 food voucher
  • Box seats

Click here to join Groupon and then choose “Tampa Bay” for the city to find this deal.

Tampa Bay Downs grandstand   copyright


About Tampa Bay Downs (according to the Groupon website)
At Tampa Bay Downs, thoroughbred horses burst through the starting gates while spectators cheer for their picks and spend an afternoon basking in the amenity-rich premises. Visitors can wager on live and simulcast races, or wander into The Silks Poker Room and hunker down for a game of Texas Hold’em. The racetrack features numerous restaurants, grills, and bars as well as a fully-lit, 22-acre golf practice facility with all-Bermuda grass hitting stations, chipping greens, and a covered range.

Top Owner Wants Changes Made in the Racing Industry

Leading Thoroughbred owner Mike Repole thinks the industry needs an overhaul, and who’s to argue with him. The industry needs to make major changes, and it really requires the help of smart guys like the Vitamin Water founder, Repole, to help come up with and implement those changes.

“We’re the only real sport without a governing body. I’d love to tell somebody all my issues with our sport, but I don’t even know who to go to,” Repole said.

“I just know the old guard is running the sport, and the old guard doesn’t want to change. It’s almost like we’re football players still wearing leather helmets.”

Read the whole story with Repole that was featured in The Business Review.

Does Horse Racing Know Its Audience?

Gary West writes for ESPN:

Horse Racing Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

Fans at the Saratoga Clubhouse Rail

“Twice a week, Amelia and Juan Rojas journey 40 miles from Waxahachie, Texas, to Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. At the racetrack’s renovated simulcast facility known as the Bar & Book, they typically spend the entire day. Seated comfortably at their carrels, they watch the action on individualized television monitors and bet on races from New York to California. This time of year, they follow the sport from Saratoga to Del Mar, with simulcast excursions to various racing locales in between.

Some racetracks lavish thousands of dollars on popular musical performers that can be magnets for youngsters who, in some cases, aren’t old enough to bet. They might not seem very unlike many of the sport’s most devoted fans, except for one thing. She’s 102, and he’s 101.”   Read the rest of the story

Discover a Great Aspect of the Handicapping Scene

By Ross Gallo

I’ve been going to the track since I have memory.  Fell in love with this grand game of horse racing at first site, even loved the smell of the Daily Racing Form.  (I know, crazy right?)  So, I’ve been making a living playing the horses for the better part of thirty years, but it wasn’t until around 1997 that I discovered a wonderful and often overlooked alternative way to play and enjoy the races.  It is the reason I’m writing this article and it is for those of you that are either not familiar with, or have not ventured into, the world of handicapping tournaments.

Horse Racing Handicapping Tournament

Popular Bankroll-based Tournament founded by Ross Gallo

In a game that has declining attendance and handle nearly across the board.  Has tracks closing their doors.  Questions surrounding drug use by super-trainers, odds changes during the running of races, questionable stewards decisions, and a myriad of other problems; there is one cross section that is growing and thriving, handicapping tournaments.  The NTRA/DRF National Handicapping Championship (NHC), our U.S. Open so to speak, which was introduced in 2000 with a purse of $200,000, offering $100,000 to the winner; will be having it’s 13th rendition in January of 2012 at Treasure Island In Las Vegas. 

You can only participate by qualifying, which is unlike any other tournament we have and what makes the NHC so special; well that and the fact that this year the purse has grown to $2,000,000 with $1,000,000 going to the winner!  That kind of growth in a mere 13 years, and for some reason we’re not singing it’s praises to the rafters?! 

I’m not much of a preacher, but this is a worthy cause.  You love the game of horse racing like me?  Good.  Then do the game and yourself a favor and start playing handicapping tournaments.  They are eventually going to pull the game back into the mainstream of Americana.  You don’t know me, but I know what I’m talking about so take a leap of faith, you won’t be sorry.  There are so many different formats out there, I’m positive you can find one you like.  Don’t want to leave your couch?  Well there are probably, on average, 10 opportunities a week, maybe more to play online.  There are low-end, high-end and in-between entry fees.  There are even some free tournaments that offer trips to the NHC.  There are tournaments away from the NHC and its Tour as well.  So many opportunities to have fun, win money, and many times for a very small investment.  Go to or or nhcqualify or bcqualify or twinspires or drf or derbywars or horsetourneys or publichandicapper (note I stopped with the .coms they’re all .coms got sick of .com-ing) or even your local tracks website.  There are sooooo many places to get started, and you don’t have to do anything but turn on your computer.  What are you waiting for?  Go.  Play.

“…over the last decade-plus I have met some of the best people on this planet.  Men and women I consider lifelong friends.”

Okay, so I’ve hooked you a little, admit it.  Now I’m playing my trump card.  Online tournaments are great, but you know what’s even better?  Going to a venue for a tournament.  Awesome!  When I first started, there weren’t any online tournaments, you had to travel.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me, in my professional life at least.  You see there is an amazing phenomenon attached to handicapping tournaments; they attract the highest class of human beings I’ve ever met in any walk of life.  In what I call “real” life, I’d say the percentage of how can I put this? (I’m not a fisherman but it rhymes with bass poles).  The percentage of “bass poles” is really high, maybe 75%.  Hey, takes one to know one right?  But anyway, at handicapping tournaments it’s like 2% counting me. 

Allow me to illustrate further.  If you put 800 tournament players into a ballroom or two at the Orleans in Vegas for a three day event, you MIGHT be able to ferret out 16 “bass poles” if you try hard.  Put 800 conventioning doctors, lawyers, funeral home directors, bricklayers, writers, plumbers etc in the same couple of rooms and guaranteed you’ll have three quarters “bass poles.”  Three.  Quarters.  Bass.  Poles.  Just saying!

Seriously though, over the last decade-plus I have met some of the best people on this planet.  Men and women I consider lifelong friends.  Some I talk to nearly every day, others I just catch up with when we get together and others somewhere in between. 

You see handicapping tournaments draw thinking people.  Ours is a cerebral game.  Any shmoe can sit down with two cards in front of him or her and play poker.  Horse racing requires more use of the brain, and what the hell is wrong with that?  Let me tell you something else about these people.  We go to tournaments and try to beat each other’s brains out, but when we get to the point where we know we can’t win, we GENUINELY root for our friends to win.  No lie.  Find that in a poker room or your local boardroom.  I haven’t been to a tournament in ten years where a bunch of us haven’t gone out for dinner after the last races were run.  I would like to mention names, but they wouldn’t mean anything to many of you, and if I left anyone out, I’d feel like a crumb. 

The bottom line is this: handicapping tournaments are fun, convenient to play from home, can offer value, trips to Vegas and also the opportunity to meet some of the finest people you’ll meet in your life.  Eventually someone will figure out how to bring them to television in an entertaining way (YEAH I know how already, just ask me!!!) and that is when we will rejoin the “real” world, and return to the glory days of the early to mid-part of the 20th century.  If you care about horse racing, be a part of the solution while improving your quality of entertainment at the same time, and maybe enriching your life while you’re at it.  Once you go to a handicapping tournament, you’ll no never go back.