Comments are Live…

I noticed that Alex Waldrop, CEO of NTRA, posted his second blog post today, discussing the newly launched horseplayers coalition.

The most exciting part is that they now have “real” comments for his blog. You know, the kind that are visible and create dialog… not the kind that just go into the wind never to be seen again.

On his first post, I made a comment welcoming him to the blogoshere and suggesting displaying comments. This comment does not appear as one of the 60+ displayed with the post. Perhaps they have a comment policy about not displaying all comments they receive? Perhaps they didn’t quite have their functional enhancement worked out and therefore didn’t capture all the comments?

I also noticed in some people’s comments that they thank Waldrop for his email, one comment simply states “thank you for getting back to me”. Hmmmm, I guess I’m with Kathy Griffin on the D List if my comment doesn’t even get published!

Pettiness and hurt feelings aside (sniff, sniff), there are some interesting comments that span the spectrum of concerns. Here’s just a sample:

I feel that if there are TB owners that opt out of CARMA’s (California Retirement Management Account)Retirement Fund, it should be made public. There should be a list, possibly, of those who “opt-in” and those who “opt-out.” As a whole, the Owners are good hearted and contribute a lot of money toward the care of their horses after racing. But, those that do not, the fans should be aware of. Unfortunately they are out there. If they weren’t, the 4x grandaughter of Seabiscut wouldn’t have been bound for slaughter. Exceller and Ferdinand would never have met their horrific and inhumane deaths. Not to mention a lot of the former racers at OLD FRIENDS. The condition of some of those horses when they were “found” was deplorable. The owners need to take responsibility.

The card that Aqueduct offered on Saturday (April 19) was a joke — races for NY-breds filled with bad horses. The best breeding states don’t have so many restricted races — so why not offer bonuses and have the state-bred horses run in open company. That would force the breeders to improve their stock.

One suggestion I would like to make is making channels such as HRTV available to more homes, specifically as part of BASIC cable packages, making it easier for fans and novices alike to consume our product. I live in Chicago and only recently (beg. 4/30/08) has HRTV become available on Comcast cable TV. But in order to receive HRTV I am required to upgrade to their digital service and then pay an extra monthly fee for the special sports tier package. If we can find a way to make our product easier to see, I have to believe it would only create more interest and more dollars through the ADW’s, ect. Whatever the additional upfront costs might be to make this happen, I believe the exposure it would bring to the sport would be worth it in the long run for the overall health of the game.

You mention the meetings of the NTRA quaterly. It is a shame that horse players are not represented in this meeting. I have previously stated that racing must clean its own house before trying to promote to new customers. Racing must also embrace the idea of customer service. Fans and bettors are considered outsiders. Look at the makeup of your board meeting. Your money is coming from the fans who bet. Time to shake up the house Alex. The viewpoints of these groups will vary widely and all must be heard. The Keeneland meet is an example the signals are limited and exclusive. Many have to make arrangements to bet Kee if they want other than their current accounts. This is not customer friendly.

Hear, Hear commenters!

See? Things can change, the signal is at least two ways now. Get over there and share your views, but don’t use my name when you comment!