Monday, June 3, 2013

Good Peeps

In horse racing - a sport which has lost a customer base over the last ten years or so - it's easy to find fault in those who run it. And let's face it, a lot of times it is well-deserved. However, the quality peeps seem to always be on the right side of things, when you look at it dispassionately.

Today, via a press release:

Total all-sources wagering on the entire ten-race card at Penn National was $3,658,996, shattering the previous all-sources handle record for a single card of $2,173,921, which was set on December 26, 1998.
The Penn Mile was the final leg of an All Stakes Early Pick 4 that handled $199,514 all-sources, eclipsing the previous record Pick 4 by more than $100,000.

On track wagering on the Penn National card was $225,136, also a record, and reflected the large turnout to see the stakes races and to help benefit Equine Aftercare – with CANTER of Pennsylvania, New Vocations, ReRun, and HBPA New Start all on-track collecting donations, along with Metro Meteor, the Painting Racehorse, whose paintings have raised more than $25,000 for charity.

“On every possible level, tonight was a huge success,” said Dan Silver, director of racing operations at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. “The racing department here – including racing secretary Dave Bailey, stakes coordinator Craig Lytel, and assistant racing secretary Jenny Bowman – put together the best card in the history of Penn National Race Course, and it was great to see people on track and around the country respond so enthusiastically. We’re thankful for the strong support demonstrated for our races by the horsemen and it was exciting to see so many tremendous stakes performances tonight, highlighted by Rydilluc’s thrilling win in the first ever Penn Mile. The on-track atmosphere was electric, and we are thrilled that so many fans came to the track to enjoy a terrific night of racing!”

So there is a press release from Penn National - a track which (over the years) has been mostly in the news for either high takeouts, or a scandal of some sort  - that's positive. A new day was created and people were betting and watching and talking about it in a good way.

I had a chat with Dan Silver a couple of years ago when he worked at NYRA and he struck me as 'one of those peeps' that enjoys racing, gets the game and has a passion for it. I was pleased he got his new job at Penn, and thought (think) it was a tremendous hire by Chris et al.

I was going to see if I could get in touch with him today about this new Penn day to see how it was organized and created, but I was pretty busy. However, I would bet he had a lot to do with this new venture. 

We are seeing a few of these type folks pop up in racing. Dan, Raj at Hastings, Jason Settlemoir at the Meadowlands. Maybe they have not worked in racing long enough to be jaded. Maybe someday they, like so many others, will be frustrated with the game, and its lack of change. But until then we should be glad racing has them.



1 comment:

Sal Carcia said...

I still believe there is a lot that can be done to make racing a leading sporting event. I am not saying I know what it is. :) I think about the Red Sox and Patriots locally. I think about Ted Williams last game, the place was empty. We could not watch the local Pats games because they never sold out. One thing the new owners of the Sox and Pats made clear is that they cared about their customers. Could it be that simple? I think so.