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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

A Different Perspective

For the die-hard "old souls" who have endured through the decades, only one word echoes - Sentimentality.

One can say that moving forward and embracing change is always a good thing.

Shine it all up. Make it fancy and futuristic. They will come.

Will the new generation of young fans put down their iPhones and Gaming Systems and flock to the race track now? Will they skip school on a Tuesday and buy a racing program instead? Will they study? Will they grasp the meaning of it all?

The newest idea for bringing the younger generation into a sport that has been around for centuries is through "social change."

Using social media to attract a brand new sector of gamblers who are enamored with sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Shine it up. Make it fancy and hip. They will come.

As the old saying goes... Be careful what you wish for.

When was the last time you made a trip to the Preakness?

Changing horse racing through social media to attract a younger crowd is the opposite of what drew us, the die-hard fans who are still around today. Horse racing is an entirely different structure from other sports.

Through the decades, it prospered through elegance and sophistication, with an introduction that usually was passed straight through the generations through family.

It was through tradition. It was a day to dress up. Sit at the clubhouse enjoying cocktails while learning the Daily Racing Form from the old-timers who knew a thing or two about handicapping. That's how it clung to your insides with a never-ending dedication.

It was through them. We should all resolve to take that mantel.

This photo depicts horse racing. A respect for the horses, the trainers and the grounds. No social media. It was simply a daily event. The men hanging on that rail are the ones who seated their wives in the stands and perfected their angles as only they could. They are the ones who brought us into the magic of this sport and the reason we will never let go. They are the ones who taught us.

The elegance of the race track is gone. Wearing Sunday's best after church to a day at the races is no more. No social media campaign will bring that back.

The new Belmont Park race track reminds me of the old dated hotel, The Contemporary. It was once the crown jewel at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Back in the '70's, the futuristic expensive hotel was a favorite for the parents, but for the children, not so much. I recall the first week long vacation as a 7 year old with family at Disney and we stayed there. I do recall having to sit through a Bobby Vinton performance at the restaurant one night. Us three young ones were not as impressed. We wanted Mickey.

Now, the Contemporary Hotel is an eye-sore among the other park hotels that cater to the true clientele of Disney. The kids.

This is the same for racing. The true clientele is not the kid on social media with an Xbox at home. It is the older generation that craves a respite from the outside world. To exercise the craft of handicapping and to introduce this magnificent sport to their kids and grandkids in the tradition that it deserves. A place where they are safe to bring the young ones and to show them what it is supposed to be. What it was once all about.

Belmont Park was gorgeous. It had a certain mystique to it. Most of all, it was drenched in history. A good investment into an air conditioning system, stricter dress codes and a couple of good restaurants may have been an idea to try first.

The wings of change are inevitable and so we embrace it and move on to the next chapter. We can only hope that there is one.


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