I'm pretty excited about the number of comments that my Blood-horse post on Why Can't Racing Generate America's Next Hero? has generated and the thoughts it provoked regarding what it's going to take to get our sport back into the forefront of the national sports scene. It's been there before, and it can get back there. It has some momentum, that with the new Jockeys series on Animal Planet, and the Triple Crown season starting to build. The key would certainly be a Triple Crown winner and how the ambassadors of the sport could market that to promote it to its fullest. I'm sure I put the cart before the horse here, but should we gain that elusive TC winner anything is possible.
Ernie continues to throw out great ideas: "We need a Gates or a Trump or a Mark Cuban---we need to turn those guys on---to finance huge events to keep horses in training for their four- and five-year-old years. Half-time of the Lions game on Thanksgiving, halftime of Knicks game on Christmas, a bonus for running in both, a HUGE bonus for winning both." Man, The Donald has casinos, he'd be a natural to promote something like this.
Some folks misinterpreted the thought process of the post regarding the Thanksgiving Day race, thinking a match race between Curlin and Big Brown would generate the buzz, a match race is not what we were thinking, on the contrary. The thought was to have them featured in a big race with other quality foes on a huge TV viewing day (what better than Turkey or Xmas Day)...
Some major themes in the commentary was keeping the horses running past their three year old campaigns and regaining national TV exposure (a la the old Wide World of Sports Days with Jim McKay). Kevin's "Take Back Saturday" concept wasn't mentioned specifically, but this was the theme that seemed to reverberate from the readers.
Hey, I know it's not easy and I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but I wasn't a fan of horse racing 5 years ago, and now I write a blog and am passionate about this sport, why can't it happen to others?
Speaking of Jockeys, Dana over at GbG has a great post about why there isn't any cross advertising (silly networks) happening during the weekly hourlong reality broadcast on Animal Planet. Here's a preview for tomorrow's show...maybe one of these jocks will ride the next Derby or TC winner and end up on a cover of SI...which would be the first step on the road to national acclaim...