I rarely watch television on Sunday morning, but early yesterday I had the TV on to the local NBC channel, and my attention was caught when I saw the meteorologist broadcasting live from the Meadowlands. In addition to giving the weather report, she was touting a food drive being conducted by the Meadowlands in conjunction with this week’s Breeders’ Crown series in harness racing. The finals are this Saturday at the Big M, and anyone who brings a non-perishable food item to the track between now and Saturday will be given free admission.
During each spot telecast, the newswoman (didn’t catch her name) would talk to someone involved with racing, and a horse named Beach Vacation was featured as she (the human, not the horse) sat in the sulky, walked with the horse, petted it. One of the horseman (didn’t catch his name, either) would offer tidbits of information about racing. For example: in cold weather, horses tend to run more slowly. As is the case with other athletes, warmth loosens up their muscles and helps them breathe a little better, so they’re not quite as agile when it’s cold. The horseman pointed out that a horse’s body temperature is roughly the same as a human’s, and that while horses prefer it a little warmer, they don’t particularly mind the cold. These spots seemed to have multiple purposes: to broadcast the weather; to advertise the food drive; to talk up the Breeders’ Crown; to educate about horses and racing.
I didn’t catch all of the spots and some of them were a little silly, but it seemed like a pretty decent promotion for this week’s racing at the Meadowlands, and it also publicized a good cause. The food drive is a nice link between the track and the community, and getting the TV time made many more people aware, I’m sure, of the Breeders’ Crown than might otherwise have been the case.
A random racing language note: As I am continually frustrated when Microsoft Word tells me that the proper pronoun with which to refer to a horse is “which” or “that” and not “who,” I am also frustrated when it wants me to change “longshot” to “long shot.” I’ve never been quite sure which is correct, but apparently, my one-word locution is incorrect, according to the Associated Press style guide. So I stand corrected, and henceforth “longshot” will be “long shot,” no matter how wrong it looks.