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Author Topic: What Illinois Harness racing needs  (Read 1974 times)
hottotrott
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2010, 07:09:16 PM »

These are ALL great Ideas the problem is that track mgmt is content on leaving things the way they are. You could email these ideas to Johnnie Johnston or Duke at either track. Good Luck in getting any kind of response. I emailed Johnnie a few times about different things, I have never received a reply! The bottom line is they are making money, they don't want to change things.
Exactly, cause the way things are now, they make all the money and the horseman make shit! Why would they want it to change?
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Old and Slow
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2010, 09:26:43 PM »

These are ALL great Ideas the problem is that track mgmt is content on leaving things the way they are. You could email these ideas to Johnnie Johnston or Duke at either track. Good Luck in getting any kind of response. I emailed Johnnie a few times about different things, I have never received a reply! The bottom line is they are making money, they don't want to change things.
Exactly, cause the way things are now, they make all the money and the horseman make shit! Why would they want it to change?
Exactly.  At some point we have to grab the lines and do it ourselves.
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I know one thing for sure.  Indecision may or may not be my problem.
hottotrott
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« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2010, 09:31:24 PM »

Exactly.  At some point we have to grab the lines and do it ourselves.
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Uncle Merf
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« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2010, 09:44:43 PM »

Let me say this again.  What can the IHHA do without bal/May management?  Horsemen may need to be the hero here.
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Old and Slow
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« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2010, 07:31:36 AM »

Let me say this again.  What can the IHHA do without bal/May management?  Horsemen may need to be the hero here.
I think we could pull of Rick's idea without the tracks.
The people who play loose with the rules need STOP. Only the horsemen can restore our integrity.
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Suicide_Mare
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« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2010, 07:57:39 AM »

I think we could pull of Rick's idea without the tracks.
The people who play loose with the rules need STOP. Only the horsemen can restore our integrity.

We've had threads like this before -- lots of good ideas always surface.  I'm with O&S and others that you just have to do what you can.  Whether its one horsemen at a time or IHHA coordinated.  Create a following one FAN at a time.  Offer up the visits with the horses when time allows, it doesn't have to be an "official" program.  Invite friends and family to the Track, talk them thru what's happening before the races, during/after, meet-n-greet horses and all Track celebrities (there are always characters around -- right?).  Be an ambassador for the sport anyway you can.
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Old and Slow
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« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2010, 06:46:45 PM »

Bump, let's keep this thread going. Let's do something.
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blind switch
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« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2010, 11:30:55 PM »

Old and Slow,

I sent this in a Word Document last year in November/December to the IHHA Dave McCaffrey and Tony Simone.
I was unable to attend the meetings so I have no idea if it was ever brought up, I never received a call or email update so all I can do is hope it reached someone.                         





                                               Ideas to improve Harness Racing

1)   Condition Sheet Ė Add a late closer series and have special races sponsored by a beverage company
 
2)   Helmet cams and or drivers linked with sound while racing. This would help educate fans and gamblers   alike to see what the drivers see and do to help explain why something was done. The cost is minimal as the online research I did came out to be less than $1000.00.

3)   Harness Show ~ Dave McCaffrey had talked about doing this and it needs to happen even itís only once a month. Another alternative would be to have a weekly internet show like in Pennsylvania http://www.paharnessweek.com/

4)   Bring back the open paddock where the horsemen bring their horses to a specific location to get their horses ready for an upcoming race so the fans can see them. Balmoral already has this somewhat in place it just needs to be covered for weather conditions.

5)   On line and live handicapping tournaments which offer weekend getaways or decent prizes. You could also have fantasy claiming contest where you would actually claim a horse and with the help of the owner and trainer explaining all the costs and expenses involved (spreadsheet) versus purse money and the person with the highest total after 2 or 3 months not only gains experience and knowledge but a modest prize too.

6)   Family Days ~ Free admission for the kids and free programs, possibly have the drivers and trainers available for meet and greets. With this you would be trying to bring families out to the track in a fair like atmosphere.

7)   Larger give-aways for on track attendance. A must be present to win condition and get a car dealer to sponsor the promotion by giving away a car. It doesnít have to be often.

8)   Owner for a day~ sponsor driven where a raffle winner or contest winner gets to see up close and personal what goes on before race day before the horse races (even mucking stalls) feeding , training other horses , bringing the horse for lasix 4 hours prior to racing etc. all the way to race time.
Maybe video tape parts of the day on a DVD for keepsake purposes.

9)   Events ~ more concerts or battle of the bands type events , or stand up comedians etc. (no fireworks)

Bottom line we need to spark on track attendance.
We cannot rely on slots , casino money or the end of recapture to secure our future any longer.
I hope this helps in some way.



Okay now what?
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servicetech
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« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2010, 02:01:11 AM »



I think Balmoral Park is a gold mine waiting to be tapped.  
Just my 2 cents
[/quote]WHAT DO YOU MEAN>>>>LIKE TURN IT INTO A BROTHEL,,,,,AND MAYBE GIVE BACK 15% of the earnings to the horse people,,,don,t think it will work,,,,,,,,the casino,s would take it to court for there cut and probaly win without any appeals and be recieving there cut before the tracks recieve there share from last year that is still held up..
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Uncle Merf
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« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2010, 02:47:52 AM »


I think Balmoral Park is a gold mine waiting to be tapped.  
Just my 2 cents
WHAT DO YOU MEAN>>>>LIKE TURN IT INTO A BROTHEL,,,,,AND MAYBE GIVE BACK 15% of the earnings to the horse people,,,don,t think it will work,,,,,,,,the casino,s would take it to court for there cut and probaly win without any appeals and be recieving there cut before the tracks recieve there share from last year that is still held up..

I mean if they had half a brain and some marketing skills the place would be full all the time.  It's a really nice place.  Where else is there to go in the South Suburbs?  Marketing marketing marketing.  Have a family day where little kids get a ride on a horse.  Maywood is a ump beyond even normal dump propotions.  balmoral is a nice place.  there's no smoking.  Promote the place to families.  Quite frankly it's the cheapest entertainment there is.  I spent 4 hours there tonight.  I watched the Hawks game.  Met some nice people.  Played every race.  Had a hot dog and a beer and spent a grand total of $9.  They need to promote.
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swaymi
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« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2010, 04:50:17 AM »

jmo (TO GET YOUTH TO THE RACETRACK)

Invite 3 colleges to participate in a race (like they did with celebrites)...take four students guys or gals from each school to race in a race....a total of three divisions....the first and second place finishers in each division return for the finals. Do you understand how many kids(youth) will come to see there friends compete. you race the first division after the third.... the second division after the fifth.... and the third division after the eighth. You pump these kids up (trust me the first time i jogged one i got pumped and I'm sure others will agree). Then you keep announcing there names (people like attention). by doing a division from each school all of them will stick around for the final heat (to see if there buddy wins or not) of course the final will be between the last two races... give all four winners a photo trust me they will be showing that off Monday morning at school (don't forget to invite friends into the winners circle). do this every weekend for three weeks and in the fourth week bring back the three final winners... plus all the ones that raced in the finals to race in eliminations to compete for bragging rights against the winners in a huge final(with a  trophy).... before long you will have college kids interested in  trotter trotter trotter.

By week five you will have so much Youth at the track regulars will think its college night..

all it takes is promotion trust me kids love action. 
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bdttitus
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« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2010, 12:34:56 PM »

i talked to Duke and Tom Kelly last year about a way to bring a fan closer to the sport > never heard a word else about it .

   My idea was to have a raffle for spend a day with a race horse.
    Kim and i offered to open up our stable every sat. to a lucky fan to come in the morning and spend the day taking care of a horse that was racing that night  They could do as much as they wanted with that horse from feeding it treats brushing it feed lunch even maybe take it for a walk .  Go home for a few hours come back have diner at bal then come to the paddock and hang out with the horse .

              Most people once they touch a horse they r hooked and think about all the friends they would tell and maybe we would kill 2 birds with one stone more people at the track and amybe some new owners for thebizz .

  and if any one is reading this the offer still stands

  Rick


Hey Rick,
This is a great idea, but why worry about the track helping! What you are trying to do is hook someone into being a fan .. Take the initiative and do it yourself , set it up , i mean if you feel strongly about it !!! go to local papers, try the news channel try to generate the fever about your idea!!!
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blind switch
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« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2010, 10:30:02 PM »


Hey Rick,
This is a great idea, but why worry about the track helping! What you are trying to do is hook someone into being a fan .. Take the initiative and do it yourself , set it up , i mean if you feel strongly about it !!! go to local papers, try the news channel try to generate the fever about your idea!!!

You hit the nail on the head !!

The horsemen have to pull together and make something happen because the Johnstons , Langley or Steinbrenner
don't give a  rat's a$$

Although from all the rumors I hear Rick may be leaving too  Cry
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FILLYNATION
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« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2010, 01:17:59 PM »

Another idea would try getting the promotional mailing to members home at least 2 weeks in advance . We have gotten the fliers a few days after the event . The last mailing came on January 29 2010 with expired coupons . Why can't the mailing be sent in advance so people can make plans to attend . I think the answer is management is poor or just doesn't care .
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jrstark
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« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2010, 01:54:13 PM »

Was it sent third class/bulk rate?  There is no guarantee on that kind of mail, I get it late all the time.
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lrp
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« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2010, 02:40:19 PM »

Many interesting ideas, but I think another overlooked reason for less on track attendance is the  mile track  itself.   One of the advantages of attending a live  race event is  the ability to feel as if you are in the action...part of the event.    Unfortunately a mile track is the least consumer friendly and many times "novice attendees" end up watching the races inside on a small tv to enable them to see the races.  This kind of diminishes the effect of seeing the races "live."  I realize no one likes a half-mile track for gambling, but I think a 5/8 track with a  longer stretch  like the old Sportsman's track would benifit  a larger % of the race attendees and horseman.   If I want to watch them on tv, there are far better places to do that then Balmoral Park.
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