JC / Railbird

Hello Race Fans


There’s a new section on Hello Race Fans, and it’s stylish.

Make Yourself Welcome

Dana Byerly, aka superterrific, is this week’s Breeders’ Cup Forum subject on the Paulick Report, talking about Hello Race Fans. The whole Q&A is great, but I really like this point:

So much of the material that’s out there for new folks who want to engage more deeply with racing assumes that everyone’s goal is to become a serious, long-term player who must show a profit. That can be off-putting for folks who just want to spend some summer afternoons at their local track, having a good time whether they come home with extra money or not.

Maybe those folks will eventually want to get serious with their game or maybe racing will be an increasing part of their entertainment budget with no expectation of getting a return. I guess the short answer is “create a welcoming environment for people to learn about all aspects of Thoroughbred horse racing.”

I’ve always been pro reaching out to all segments of potential fans, regardless of whether or not they’re likely to become dedicated bettors, because without a broad base of people who associate going to the track with a fun afternoon or a delightful family activity, horse racing will struggle (more than it does) with popular support. We need the casual fans as much as the hard-core horseplayers, and we shouldn’t underestimate the interest of those more casual fans in knowing something about the game. Everyone likes to look smart at the track — even if they’re playing $2 to show.


No, not for frog juice. (I’ll leave the negatives for another day.)

Grantland published a terrific interview with musician-chartcaller-reporter Bob Nastanovich that includes this great quote about why he’s working in racing:

So I started working thinking that I could make a positive impact on the sport at different levels, just because I love it so much.

Love the attitude, Bob.

Also praiseworthy: The Breeders’ Cup and Hello Race Fans, two organizations I believe are working in horse racing’s best interests (and not just because they both pay me), are partnering up on fan education. Nice work, all.

He Was the Best

I’m heading up to Saratoga for the Whitney Handicap, which is a Breeders’ Cup Classic Challenge race and a stakes I best remember for 2006, the year Invasor won by digging in and outlasting Sun King by a nose. There is no Invasor in this year’s field, but the winner will get a guaranteed spot in this fall’s Classic, a race Invasor also won in 2006 at awesome odds of 7-1. If I’m missing, just a little, a horse retired more than four years ago, it’s probably because I recently wrote a profile of Invasor for Hello Race Fans, which includes several replays from his career, including — of course! — the Whitney.

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