At Every Skill Level

While others have already done a great job discussing yesterday’s coverage of the Lane’s End, I noticed something interesting during the show. And by interesting I mean annoying.

At some point in the show there was an ad for DRF’s Formulator. The ad was funny and stylistically riffed on advertising of yore. An exaggerated vaudeville barker voice-over narrated all of the great qualities of Formulator while retro images intended to be charming, light hearted and funny illustrated the points.

I particularly got a chuckle out of the pig racing shot. Sadly though, there was one visual sentiment that not only hearkened back to the days of yore, but looks as though it’s still firmly entrenched in the days of now. To drive home that Formulator was easy to use “at every skill level”, they flashed an image of two women. Now there’s a selling point, even a woman can use it!

Did they think it was funny or not even think about it? Was it the same sentiment Kenny Mayne espoused during the bazillion hour BC coverage last year, “men wager, women vote” or was it just a light hearted yet unconsciously telling choice? We’ll never know.

Much has been pointed out recently about racing’s reliance on “antiquated stereotypes and frivolity to appeal to women“. Ditto the speculation that airing the Oaks on Bravo could marginalize the Oaks as a “chick race”. How nice to have this bothersome trifecta rounded out by subtly being reminded that we’re also not perceived as being as skillful as our male colleagues… thanks guys!

Don’t get me wrong, I think Formulator is a fine product, after all they did make it easy enough for me to use!