Q-Racing Blog: Thankful

Taking the time to appreciate what we have.

Quarter Racing Journal

Taking the time to appreciate what we have.

Thankful: expressing gratitude and relief: an earnest and thankful prayer.

It seems certain that one word that will be used to describe 2016 is uncertainty. We have uncertainty in financial markets. We have uncertainty in politics. We can be uncertain about the things we are uncertain about.

One thing we should make certain. To take the time to be thankful. I’ll bet you the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. And go double or nothing for the next day.

We should certainly be thankful for many things in racing. This is not ignoring the issues. They are paramount.

I’m thankful that we have dedicated people trying to maintain and increase integrity in racing. That’s bottom line. I get disappointed when people misread the customer. Our customer is the horseplayer. Sure, you may be selling that yearling at a sale and the purchaser is your customer. However, the price you received for that yearling is directly tied to the horseplayer. When that yearling races, the purse of the race is partly a result of the horseplayer’s money passing into the betting pool.

We must have the highest horseracing integrity for the horseplayer to have confidence in our product. I am so thankful for the dedicated people – known and unknown – fighting this seemingly never-ending fight. Keep fighting.

I’m thankful for the horseplayers. They are the often-ignored force that drives the machine. If you’re old enough to remember non-pari-mutuel racing in Texas and Oklahoma, then you know that there was wagering among fans. But, not one cent goes to purses. The only thing good about it was the zero takeout.

Horseplayers are smart. They know how to evaluate a race and consider many questions. Do I bet this race? Is there a vulnerable favorite in this race? Do I make a straight wager or concentrate on exotic wagers? And on and on. Simulcasting and the internet has given horseplayers more options, so it is imperative that American Quarter Horse racing provides an attractive product – especially full, competitive fields – to these smart, experienced handicappers. If we don’t offer a desirable product, then the experienced horseplayer just looks at another option. It happens every day at every track.

I’m thankful for the people you never hear about. They are the grooms, hot walkers, exercise riders, farm workers and everyone else behind the scene on the backside and farms. They are the hands-on folks who deserve praise.

I’m thankful for the long-term owners who understand that this is a sport and to treat it like a sportsman. They’ve been through the hard times and unproductive years, but they never waver. Their dedication has been rewarded with wins and a lot of fun. They often donate their time and political input to advance horseracing. I could name names, but don’t have enough room and would leave deserving people out.

I’m always thankful for the horse. Their elegance. Their presence. They are the magnet. They are in your heart. If you aren’t enthused by the horse, you just wasted some time reading this blog.

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