JC / Railbird


What CMO Peter Land said during a Blood-Horse chat when asked about using standard saddle cloth colors in the Breeders’ Cup:

There are some within our organization that support your point of view and others who believe the tradition of the purple saddle cloths is one that separates us out from every other event and is core to our identity. Frankly, the solution is Trakus, which would allow the wagerer/fan to track the horses without worrying about the color of the saddle cloth.

What Brooklyn Backstretch said in response over on Green but Game:

Frankly, the solution is the end of your relentless and ineffective self-promotion at the expense of race fans’ most basic and fundamental interest: where their damn horse is!

I couldn’t possibly improve on that statement, although I will admit that I agree with Land that to have Trakus would be tremendous. Too bad Santa Anita doesn’t have the system installed, though, so using Trakus isn’t an option next week and fans will have to suffer through yet another year of purple saddle cloths. Frankly …


And hey, I’m a big fan of Trakus … but in the absence of this high-tech development, the old-fashioned, low-tech, time-tested multi-colored saddle cloths seem to work pretty well …

Posted by Brooklyn Backstretch on October 17, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

Especially at Santa Anita, which has such great saddlecloths. It’s been two years since they introduced the cloths with sharp, chunky legible type and I still marvel at how easy it is to catch those numbers as the horses run.

Posted by Jessica on October 17, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

I’m color blind. Also Never have even seen one Breeders Cup……But I can imagine tracking the horses will be much like last week in The Arc….
I turn and ask the Wife, “who won”.

Posted by pete on October 18, 2008 @ 7:24 pm

I posted my comments about Trakus on Green But Game, but I will reiterate here: I hate it.
As to Pete’s comment: It is ridiculous the angle they shoot the Arc at — the same miserable technique used in the Dubai World Cup. What is the point if you can’t identify any of the horses unless you’re a hardened junkie? American racing understands that stuff is a joke. We proudly give our racing fans a perfect side pan shot (and obstruct it with an infield Jumbotron). Cest la vie!

Posted by John S. on October 19, 2008 @ 2:59 am

What the heck is wrong with Trakus?
It’s a problem when it reduces the viewable screen of the horses to half the screen, but if you’re on a widescreen big screen then it looks fine.
I can understand not wanting to watch chiklets on a screen, but the ground loss info is invaluable.

Posted by EJXD2 on October 19, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

Because a lot of the screens aren’t widescreen big screens.
Use Trakus on the replay, but NOT during the live running of the race.

Posted by John s. on October 19, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

Even with last year’s mud at Mommoth AND the purple saddlecloths I just watched and let Trevor tell me the race order, no Trakus needed.

Posted by Bob on October 20, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

Wow, I just caught up on the great conversation re: Trakus, handicapping, and elitism over on Green but Game. All I’ll say about Trakus is that while I’m no fan of the ping-pong balls bouncing around half a screen, I appreciate Keeneland and Del Mar sharing the complete order of running (instead of just the top four) the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t interfere with watching the horses (I usually follow by saddlecloth or number) and can be helpful when a field gets all jammed up.

Posted by Jessica on October 20, 2008 @ 11:19 pm