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Author Topic: Hawthorne: You Blew It!  (Read 2461 times)
Horse Voice
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« on: May 08, 2010, 12:33:08 PM »

(For those of you that think I am an employee of Hawthorne, or a Carey family member, or some other type of mouthpiece for the track -- read this and remember it.)

Jim Miller & Co., I am appalled. You got an opportunity today that racetracks rarely get...and you booted it. Hell, you whiffed completely.

There is a charity poker tournament at Hawthorne today (for a cure for Autism), and 500+ gamblers showed up with $130 in their hands. They couldn't wait to pay that $130 as their tournament buy-in and start gambling.

A perfect opportunity to poach a few gamblers back from poker, or maybe catch a couple of the younger crowd that don't know much about horse racing, right?

And Hawthorne gave all of these people free parking, free admission, and a free pass to come back some other time and try simulcasting. And a mystery voucher, good on Preakness Day. Right?

After all, poker players don't pay for parking and admission at other poker tournaments, so that part is a no-brainer. Right?

And, heck, since they are already here and can see how nice the place is and also see that they didn't get attacked by 87 minorities and didn't have to step over any bums or dead people to get in, why not give them a free pass and two or three bucks, and hope they come back to bet on some HORSES next week? Right?

NO. Hawthorne just gave 500+ poker players a hard look at what being a horseplayer means: "We are going to stick our hands in your pockets, as far in and for as long as you let us.".

Yeah, the poker players paid up. They paid the $5 to park, and the $4.25 admission charge. And they grumbled. Mostly to the tune of, "what kind of shit is this?"

Jim Miller, how many new fans did we create today?

Class? Anyone want to tell Jim the answer?

What a damn shame. It's been a long time since Hawthorne has disappointed me so badly.
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4thehorses
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 12:44:47 PM »

Yet another fine example of what we can only label a "wasted opportunity".  Thanks, Horsevoice, for bringing this situation to the forefront...hope you caught the eyes and ears of Hawthorne management, and all of the other track owners and higher ups, as well.
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Mick
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 12:46:51 PM »

Agreed, no one who is gambling likes to be nickel and dimed to death just for the opportunity to lose their money.  It should be more like Vegas, they should be comping us degenerate gamblers.
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I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.  Sam "The Genius" Lewin
servicetech
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 01:50:07 PM »

isn,t it time for a new G.M.    and the marketing department needs a major overhaul
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 02:01:32 PM by servicetech » Report to moderator   Logged
Horse Voice
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 02:07:51 PM »

isn,t it time for a new G.M.    and the marketing department needs a major overhaul

Jim Miller wears 150 different hats and does everything except scrub toilets at that place.

He either needs to learn how to delegate, or hire the correct people to whom he could delegate.

I don't think he's the problem, even though I addressed today's complaint to him.
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Go Baby
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2010, 02:35:29 PM »

Here is one better than that.  Down at Fairmount Park, the owner Wiliam Stiritz, has been racing his horses down their.  What is wrong with that?  Most owners are going broke down there because Fairmount Park lowered the purses again this year.  In the bottom claimers (which most races are) if you run second you make $800.  Actually about $750.  Mr. Stiritz won three races last week on Tuesday.  So he is taking money out of his customers hands.  Try to pay a trainer, shoer, vet on $750 per month.  I can't believe what he is doing.  Does he really expect owners to run down there much longer?  Maybe he is wanting to put all of us out of business.  If so, he is going to get his wish.
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CJP
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 02:49:42 PM »

Here is one better than that.  Down at Fairmount Park, the owner Wiliam Stiritz, has been racing his horses down their.  What is wrong with that?  Most owners are going broke down there because Fairmount Park lowered the purses again this year.  In the bottom claimers (which most races are) if you run second you make $800.  Actually about $750.  Mr. Stiritz won three races last week on Tuesday.  So he is taking money out of his customers hands.  Try to pay a trainer, shoer, vet on $750 per month.  I can't believe what he is doing.  Does he really expect owners to run down there much longer?  Maybe he is wanting to put all of us out of business.  If so, he is going to get his wish.

Taking money from his customers hands? Can you explain that? Ar you saying that the horsemen that race at Fairmount are somehow his "customers". Seriously, stop whining and upgrade your stock to beat him.
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childewood
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 04:28:39 PM »

Here is one better than that.  Down at Fairmount Park, the owner Wiliam Stiritz, has been racing his horses down their.  What is wrong with that?  Most owners are going broke down there because Fairmount Park lowered the purses again this year.  In the bottom claimers (which most races are) if you run second you make $800.  Actually about $750.  Mr. Stiritz won three races last week on Tuesday.  So he is taking money out of his customers hands.  Try to pay a trainer, shoer, vet on $750 per month.  I can't believe what he is doing.  Does he really expect owners to run down there much longer?  Maybe he is wanting to put all of us out of business.  If so, he is going to get his wish.
This post takes the cake....
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2010, 06:32:05 PM »

Yeah, the poker players paid up. They paid the $5 to park, and the $4.25 admission charge. And they grumbled. Mostly to the tune of, "what kind of shit is this?"

That does seem a little cheesy, especially for a "charity" poker tournament.

It used to be when we signed up for the big handicap tourneys, we got free admission and programs and such.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2010, 06:35:48 PM »

This post takes the cake....

The only reason FP is still open is that Mr. Stiritz likes to have his own track near his home to use as a training facility, and to run his lesser caliber horses, and is willing to underwrite the cost of a money losing proposition.

Posters like Go Baby that don't like it should negotiate with other track owners to run a thoroughbred meet in southern Illinois, perhaps the owners of Cahokia Downs.
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DonPietro
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2010, 06:56:24 PM »

Thanks for the unbiased report HV! I woke up this morning, trying to decide between the 10 minute drive to the palace, or the 40 minute trek to the Thorne for poker. I decided on the horses, but would have had a complete meltdown if I drove to Stickney and was asked to pay for admission and parking. On the other hand, the $500 contribution that I made at AP today, left me with a headache, though I did have a tasty turkey sandwich at Silks. Next beer is on me HV!   beer
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4thehorses
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2010, 10:04:50 PM »

Go Baby, I'm disappointed that you even compare the 2 situations to each other.  A charity function that could introduce new patrons to Hawthorne, and horseracing in general, is in no way similar to your comparison of Mr. Stiritz and Scotty Becker racing cheaper horses at their home track.  They are smart enough to race their horses at the appropriate levels at which racetrack fits them...how is this unfair or unwise to their operation?? 
    Hawthorne had an opportunity to welcome new people to it's venue (and racing) and they consequently blew it.  This is not the time to turn people away from the racing game, and you need to go back and rant on one of the Fairmount forums with your agenda against Mr. Stiritz...your complaints have no validity or merit on this particular post about Hawthorne's poor treatment of the charity poker players.
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servicetech
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2010, 07:18:48 AM »

i called hawthorne today, they felt it was justified to charge the door fee,,,,,THEY thought they were still running live, laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy
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FILLYNATION
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2010, 08:33:19 AM »

Well written and totally true
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Go Baby
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2010, 05:38:53 PM »

 horse Perhaps I didn't make myself very clear.  Hawthorne is one of my favorite tracks.  Jim Miller is one of the hardest working people I know.  He is always trying to come up with new ideas.  The Carey family has been great for racing for many, many years.  My point about Fairmount owner Wm. Stiritz was only, he is a very wealthy man.  Most everyone at Fairmount is losing money unless they win the race.  When Mr. Stiritz win 6 of 8 races like he did last week, it takes money away from other owners that are trying to survive at Fairmount.  I just find it odd that he would choose to take money from the horseman who are about to be driven out of the business because of low purses at Fairmount.  I have a horse that has ran 2nd his last two times out.  I won about $750.  My training bill was $1,200.  You do the math.  How can anyone afford to upgrade their stock when there is so much uncertainty in this business.  I agree that Mr. Stiritz has the right to run his horses where he wants.  It just doesn't make much sense to me.
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Ed
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2010, 05:48:24 PM »

Why don't you claim some of Stiritz's stock and make some of that easy money? If you can't or won't compete than get out.
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4thehorses
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2010, 08:42:42 PM »

Go Baby, you need to re-evaluate the thought process of racing a horse in the correct spot and at the right level.  When/if you ship horses to race other than at Fairmount Park, or wherever you call "home", you'd better be confident that your horse is ready to fire and make up the extra costs involved with the trip.  Fairmount Park is one of the few tracks that still pays all of the jock mounts through the purse.  Many other tracks stop at 5th place...the Chicago tracks included.  Several of Mr. Stiritz's horses that raced at FP last week had been badly beaten elsewhere, so logistically it made sense to race those horses at Fairmount, without the added expenses of shipping and hoping to pick up a check.  I'm sure that Scotty Becker and Mr. Stiritz planned which horses were going to race at AP, while others would best benefit from staying home. I think we all realize that Mr. Stiritz is wealthy...what on earth does that have to do with trying to make money with the horses in his stable??  I know that many people just hope that their horse can help to "pay his own way" each month.  Do you think that Mr. Stiritz  is excluded from the additional costs you mentioned....trainer, shoer, vet, etc.?  As a proven business man, I can't imagine that he doesn't follow his total stable profits and losses closely. We all know how the purses breakdown, and just how much, or little, we're running for .  It's not rocket science...and it surely sucks to have your horse run so hard, and earn so little, but this is not new.  The other night I had a trainer joke with me about having "seconditis"...I smiled, shook my head,  and replied "I'm just glad it's not sixthitis".
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Go Baby
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2010, 03:00:21 AM »

 [h]4the Horses....You are right....but at Fairmount Park seconditis is like finishing 6th any where else.  I am just looking at the situation from a selfish point of view.  I hate to quit the business.  I have run down there for 20 years with good and bad horses.  I do not want to travel.  This will be my last year.  I guess no one cares if people make money or not.  I love the sport but I do not have deep pockets like Mr. Stiritz.
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4thehorses
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2010, 08:33:04 AM »

Go Baby, it's not a matter of being right, or wrong.  Obviously those of us who have chosen to continue to play the game in Illinois are just trying to hang in there as long as we can.  This is what my family does and we're just trying to get our kids through college.  I, like you, don't want to quit, but unfortunately don't know how long we can afford to stay. We've given away some of the lower level claimers that would've otherwise remained in training, quality broodmares have gone to new farms to cross breed, barn and farm help have been released...we've made most all of the cuts we can.  I'm just saying that each horseman has to decide how to weather the racing crisis in Illinois, and if they even want to.  It is hard to remain positive and upbeat with the situation in Illinois, and the bs at Fairmount Park is just off the chart.  I just love the horses and the game and wish we could inch forward to a resolution. 
    I would also like to know where, running lower level claimers,6th place pays the same as 2nd place at FP...I may have to try and ship there! Smiley
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 08:39:06 AM »

i called hawthorne today, they felt it was justified to charge the door fee,,,,,THEY thought they were still running live, laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy laughing guy

In other words, they answered the phone on a dark day?
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mel4600
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2010, 08:47:27 AM »

What would the horse players think if they had to pay while the card players got in for free?

Jim Miller is a great guy and is the best thing to happen to Hawthorne. thumbs up
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Horse Voice
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2010, 10:26:08 AM »

What would the horse players think if they had to pay while the card players got in for free?

The other horse players I talked to also thought it was wrong to make the poker players pay. They weren't there to gamble on horses. And if the parking guy recognized you as a "regular" horseplayer, he waved you in without charging for the parking...so clearly, Hawthorne was in "Full Gouge" mode.

Jim Miller is a great guy and is the best thing to happen to Hawthorne. thumbs up

Agreed. He can't do it all and come up with everything. He needs to kick a few asses in that lame-ass Marketing Dept., though. How could they not come up with something to try to get these poker players to come back for some racing?
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DonPietro
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2010, 01:34:46 PM »

How about handing out a deck of 52 Hawthorne "cards" to the poker players? Maybe 5 for free admissions, 5 for programs, 5 for food discounts, 5 mystery vouchers, etc...
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APCD Dan
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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2010, 01:42:53 PM »

The other horse players I talked to also thought it was wrong to make the poker players pay. They weren't there to gamble on horses. And if the parking guy recognized you as a "regular" horseplayer, he waved you in without charging for the parking...so clearly, Hawthorne was in "Full Gouge" mode.

Agreed. He can't do it all and come up with everything. He needs to kick a few asses in that lame-ass Marketing Dept., though. How could they not come up with something to try to get these poker players to come back for some racing?

The Poker event got a positive review on the Score today.  No complaints about admission or parking, plus they had a full house.  Hawthorne got complimented about the good job they did.  I guess it did not create any new horse fans, but on itself, the tournament was a successful happening for Hawthorne.

It also shows there is a market for alternative gaming at a track.
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DonPietro
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2010, 02:02:40 PM »

Maybe it got a positive review on the Score because they were a sponsor?   Wink
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