Monday, June 30, 2008

Heatseeking Disappointment

It's always disappointing when a good one is retired, especially when it appeared the best was yet to come. So, when I read the news that Heatseeker was retired because of a suspensory I just had to sigh. When he was scratched from the Hollywood Gold Cup it was reported that he had an ankle problem that was not thought to be serious. It's just too bad. Racing can't afford to lose it's stars. Obviously this can happen to any horse. One certainly can't blame his pedigree for this injury but it reminds us that the breeding industry needs to refocus on the aim of their endeavour. Unfortunately in the U.S. it seems that the aim of all endeavours these days is money first and true essence somewhere thereafter. The aim of breeding ought to be to breed the best horse we can. As I have said in a previous entry, to me, this means to produce a horse that can carry weight with speed over a route of ground. All three attributes are necessary to have a great horse. Even with the best intentions not all horses will have these qualities. So don't worry the sprints will never be in danger of disappearing! But they are not my favorite races and I truly dislike the creeping shortening of the majority of races written. I don't care to see a 5-1/2 furlong race and I especially hope to never see one in the Breeder's Cup! You can always watch the quarters.

I'm sure most of the industry breathed a sigh of relief when none of Bruce Levine's 41 came back positive! Finally some good news!

This weeks Final Turn column, by Robert Laurence, in the Bloodhorse is a good one. I don't necessarily agree 100% with his ominous conclusion but it must be contended with.

So, a subsidy, or we downsize to about five or six tracks, nationwide, and maybe a thousand new foals a year. I have nothing against subsidies. Lots of industries get them, directly or indirectly. But let’s be honest enough to admit that that’s what we’re doing—getting money that, if the market were left free and unregulated, would be going elsewhere. Let’s drop the smugness and sense of entitlement. We aren’t owed a cut of the slot machine take. We’ll turn the clubhouses into casinos, and run races that will barely be noticed by the players. We’ll take some of the money poured into the slots in order to keep our industry going. And we’ll hope that it will be enough.

My questions would be why? Why can't we attract new fans? Why can't we compete with the other sports? Why does a programmed slot machine have an edge over the excitement of horse racing? Answer those questions and maybe racing won't need subsidies! I know one of the answers I wrote about it in a previous post : GREED. If we don't start figuring out the answers Mr. Laurence will, undoubtedly, end up looking like Nostradamus!

1 comment:

John said...

Easy to read and coherent to this fan, thanks for the research and the post!