Sunday, March 14, 2010

What we learned

The NTRA needs more bandwidth: After advertising they were broadcasting both the races of Rachel and Zenyatta they experienced and apparent system crash. Going by the Twitter comments not only were no videos of either race broadcast but the NTRA was able to cultivate an overabundance of irate fans. Way to go guys, way to show the sport. Ok stuff happens but next time you purport you’re broadcasting then make sure you’re ready for the traffic.

Rachel wasn’t ready: According to Bloodhorse Jess Jackson has decided not to run Rachel against Zentatta in the Apple Blossom. He was quoted as saying “Yesterday’s race while a disappointment, helped us define Rachel Alexandra’s racing condition. While she is healthy, just as I had anticipated she is not in top form. Therefore, I decided today she will not be going to the Oaklawn Invitational on April 9. Steve and I discussed this fully and we now regret we tried to accelerate her training in order meet the Apple Blossom schedule. We have a whole season before us to help define her greatness. She will tell us when her next race will be.” She was not in “top shape” yet she still ran a 100 Beyer. Calvin Borel stated he wanted to let her run but was instructed not to. Maybe next time Steve will listen to Calvin and let Rachel do her thing.

Every little thing she do is magic: Ok, how many adjectives could be used to describe her. She danced, she pranced, she was magic; blocked in she worked her way through glared at Dance To My Tune and blew by on a hand ride. Watch the race again and analyze for yourself how she looked at the other horses. In the vernacular of horses she was telling them there is no damn way your getting past me. Simply put she is something special. And I can guarantee in the near future there will be no end to Stallion owners wanting to “call her up a thousand times a day…”.  

Friday, March 12, 2010

The entire racing community will be watching…but will anyone else?

I don’t have to tell you that March 13th will be a big day in Thoroughbred racing. With the prep races of Rachel Alexandra running in the New Orleans Ladies and Zenyatta in the Santa Margarita it will be a VERY big day for racing.

I don’t have to tell you these races will be the lead up to biggest showdown since Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral, since Alydar vs. Affirmed, since Wyatt Erpt vs. the Dalton Gang. I don’t have to tell you these races should bring a national spotlight upon our sport. I also don’t have to tell you NONE of the major networks are covering the races.

Although my point of view is tainted due to my love of the sport I am mystified as to why none of the major networks deemed these races worthy to broadcast. Where are our marketing representatives those who claim to promote and market the sport? Those who charge membership fees under the guise of promoting Thoroughbred ownership and breeding.

Did they fight to get these races televised to a national audience? I look at TOBA’s web site and there is no indication that they even tried. If I’m wrong then show me I am.

Marketing this great sport should be a privilege it should be undertaken with zeal. Not a place to show up for eight hours a day and collect a paycheck. If you truly want to promote ownership, if you truly want to promote breeding then promote racing.

A full court press should have been undertaken to get these races televised. A blow by blow description of marketing strategies and their outcomes should have been posted on their web site. Their members deserve that. They deserve to know their membership dues are being used for something other then under attended seminars.  

At least the NTRA has taken a pro-active stance and will offer free live video streaming of the races. Yes, one can rightfully argue they should also be involved in marketing the races. But at least they are doing something to promote our sport by televising the races to those who don’t have satellite services.

Our mantra should be “if you want to grow the sport then show the sport”. The sport will sell its self. Introduce the excitement and joy of racing to the uneducated and ownership could skyrocket. Do nothing and watch the numbers plummet.  So the question begs to be asked of the two which is better. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Consistency AND Value

When looking to breed those are words everyone wants to hear and Indian Charlie delivers both. Standing at Airdrie Stud at a fee of 70K, or 63K, if paid before November 1, 2010, he’s worth every penny.

Look at his progeny: which includes 4 Champions, Grade 1 stakes heroes Indian Blessing, Fleet Indian and Pampered Princess, and 76 stakes horses with over $26M in earnings through December 2008.

His recent stakes performers include two time Champion INDIAN BLESSING, a multiple Grade I winner in 2008 as well as the jaw-droppingly fast Mr Nightlinger, a multiple graded stakes winner that is widely viewed as the nation's top turf sprinter. Siring an Eclipse champion in each of the last three years, Indian Charlie has arrived as one of the nation's most important proven stallions at stud (Aridrie Stud web site). Much like him his prodigy posses both speed and attitude (he’s bit me several times).

Look at the numbers: last year his yearlings sold for a total of $5,346,000 and average of $121,000 and a med of $85,000 with a 2008 fee of $50,000. Simply put he’s money - and when looking to breed your mare you just can’t get much better than that.

Look at him: physically imposing possessing both a well muscled and balanced body he’s a very nice horse. If you go see him I can guarantee you’ll be impressed, but don’t forget the peppermints he can get a little testy otherwise.