Bits and pieces of news, in no particular order…
Louisiana Downs race-caller Travis Stone, along with Mark Midland and Mike Shutty, have launched Horse Racing Nation, a “free, wiki community focused on racing information, insights and discussion for passionate horse racing fans.” According to the site,
The “Nation” for the first time, provides a place where racing fans from around
the world can share their love of horse racing with their fellow community
members. The information, stories, photos, videos and comments on Horse Racing
Nation are all provided by horse racing fans and organized for logical and easy
So check it out if you’re interested in both consuming and contributing to racing news and information.
Racing writers Dana Byerly of Green but Game, Jessica Chapel of Railbird and Raceday360, and Kevin Martin of Colin’s Ghost have created Omnisurface Stars, a site devoted to highlighting the horses who are successful on grass, dirt, and synthetic surfaces. It, too, welcomes input from readers.
From the world of philanthropy, a variety of industry groups has pledged financial support to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. NYRA will donate $50,000, and the Jockey Club and New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association will each donate $25,000. More than two dozen New York-based jockeys will donate a dollar from each mount, retroactive to June 27th.
In other New York racing news, New York Thoroughbred Breeders is organizing a rally at the state capitol. According to a NYTB release:
On Monday, July 27th at 12 noon, the hard-working families who earn their living
at New York’s Thoroughbred Breeder’s farms and racing stables will be at the
State Capitol in Albany to leave horseshoes at the offices of those leaders who
haven’t “gotten out of the starting gate” by selecting a Video Lottery Terminals
operator for Aqueduct.
If you’re interested in participating, contact NYTB for more information.
I was supposed to road trip down to Colonial last weekend, but a variety of feline maladies forced me to scratch. According to a press release, I missed quite a day. On Friday night, the track hosted a poker tournament, open to 400 players, with free registration beginning at 6:00 pm and the tournament kicking off after the fourth race. Apparently “$1,000 in betting vouchers” was “up for grabs,” which seems to me a pretty nifty way to combine a table game with racing, and to bring poker players to the betting windows.
On Saturday the 11th, the track featured a $10 all-you-can-eat trackside buffet with hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, and soft drinks. Prior to the racing day, fans could work up an appetite in the Virginia Derby 5K run, whose $15 admission fee included admission to today’s Virginia Derby, won by Battle of Hastings.
I’ve been wanting to get to Colonial for some time now, and hearing about its efforts to reach out to fans make me all the more disappointed that I was unable to go last week. If anyone has partaken of any of these special events, I’d be interested in hearing about how they go over at the track.
We’re now eleven days out from Saratoga opening day, and if you’re looking for an opportunity to head to the Spa, considering entering the NYRA/Shadwell Travers contest. Beginning today, you can enter for a chance to win a Shadwell Travers Stakes Prize Package that includes two tickets to the “Mid-Summer Derby” on Saturday, August 29, round-trip airfare for two, and two nights of hotel accommodations at the Hampton Inn in downtown Saratoga Springs.
Worth a shot, no?