Sitting home, Monday night, not watching the Eclipse Awards because Time Warner Cable in Brooklyn doesn’t offer TVG, not even for a price, and because I live in a co-op, a satellite dish is a non-starter. Thanks to Ray Paulick, though, I’m keeping up.
I follow racing on the New York City OTB racing channel, not to be confused with the Capital OTB racing channel, which I watch when I’m home in Saratoga.
Good old channel 71 in Brooklyn serves a number of needs: I can watch live NY racing every day a NYRA track is running; I get the live feed from the NY tracks, including paddock and post parade shots and the in-house talent of Rushton, Blewitt, Donovan, and Serling.
That’s good. For what it is, it makes me happy.
But for what it could be, I get a little cranky.
Why, for instance, on many mornings, does the list of entries from various tracks get frozen on one race at one track for thirty minutes or more at a time?
Why is the sound so often staticky, making it nearly impossible to comprehend what’s being said?
Why must I listen to in-house handicappers from Fair Grounds and Gulfstream and Calder and Churchill, when NYC OTB won’t show races from any of those tracks when there’s racing in New York? I actually quite like hearing about the racing at those places, making it all the more frustrating that I can’t actually see the races…not to mention the blackout of Saturday stakes races until after racing New York ends.
Why, during Derby season, am I subjected, week after week, to the same replays of the same races ad nauseum? Last year, if I had to hear one more time that Pyro finished full…of…fire… in the Risen Star, I might have thrown the remote through the screen.
Why does the NYC OTB not take advantage of the varied programming offered by Capital OTB, choosing instead to show replays and out-of-state handicappers instead of importing that upstate feed?
I get that I probably shouldn’t complain, that a free racing channel is a lot more than most people have, and most of the time, I’m pretty grateful. I’m not sure that I’d love having TVG, and I do like getting the winner’s circle shots and other non-race action that other racing channels generally don’t carry.
But I also kind of wish that instead of sitting here watching claimers from Woodbine (nothing against claimers, or Woodbine), I were watching the Eclipse Awards. But that’s what I get for living in a place where the racing channel doesn’t pretend to be anything except a betting channel–which I guess is better than nothing.