It's that time of year, when Santa Claus descends from the North Pole, takes stock of who's been naughty and nice, and bestows gifts upon the world in the spirit of Christmas or the New Year holiday.
But what to give?
We asked our followers on Twitter (@raypaulick) and Facebook (Paulick Report) to give Santa some ideas for the holiday season. What would they like to see for the new racing season that's about to begin? It's clear from the answers below that they're not asking for much – maybe some technological advancements toward HD broadcasting, or stronger programs to care for retired Thoroughbreds. Coordinated post times would make many fans happy, and so would some new, low takeout wagers.
It will take a Miracle on 34th Street for some of these wishes to come true, but we can always hope for the best…as well as wishing our readers a Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
“All major tracks broadcasting in house & simulcast feeds in high definition.” – @TMJr15
“Artificial Insemination!” – @RealGabePrewitt
“How about the same rules at every racetrack?” – @Cindy_Bledsoe
“Pre-race test all horses for TC02 levels (& other PEDs) & scratch 'em if they're over the limit.” @Ubercapper
“Promotion! Especially to school/college students. If the industry wants to continue there needs to be people working in it. … Also fazing out medication but that is the British racing fan in me! I still continue to hope though,” – @_TouchMySoul
“Marketing to the younger generation… This game is legendary!” – Jockey @EJWilson81
“How about CARING about the fan and the bettor…free PPs, free admission, free parking…they are gonna bet it anyway. #1OfMany” – @PaulLoDuca16
“Staggered post times from the major tracks. No stakes races within 3 minutes of each other.” @TonyI_Tampa
“Mark Sanchez Day at Aqueduct.” – @PullThePocket
“Less races, less tracks, lower takeout, no Lasix.” – @MrNegativity75
“Get rid of the cheaters.” – @CBandoroff (Conrad Bandoroff)
“Presentation! Sick of the “big race” looking like file footage from the 1970's. Have these guys seen TV in the last 10 years?” – @Milezinni
“Standardized wagering whereby EVERY minimum wager offered is the same in Canada as U.S. on American tracks.” – @GoCashKing
“More racing on TV.” – @JeffMogull
“We need 2 make our racing easily accessible to present and potential fans!” – @HorseRacesNOW
“More meaningful fan education.” – @Railbird
“I would like for everyone to be safe, and for all athletes to have a wonderful, productive career.” – @QueenOfSuites
“Could easily say uniform medication rules. Would prefer uniform avenues and sources for safe retirement of all thoroughbreds.” – @PrimeEquine
“Lower the takeouts, take a look at Sam Houston. 12% Pick 3,4 and Daily Doubles.” – @OlStogie
“More people being called out by name when horses fall thru cracks (breeders/owners who won't help/return calls, etc).” – @Superterrific
“Stop the injection of drugs into racehorses before they head over to the paddock to race as the BCup has promoted & instituted.” – @LasixFreeRacing
“Hope US racing requires microchipping like most other major racing countries. Great add'l ID for rescue groups, aftercare.” – @ShuveeIL
“Exchange wagering implemented. … How about a <15% takeout, national, 50-cent pick 4, all graded stakes” – @PeteDenk
“How about taking care of the horse first and foremost! during career and after racing days are done. no more slaughter for them!” – @RidNGirl
“Customer Service! Fans, gamblers, breeders, the ‘little' guy/girl. Sport of Kings should have supporters not servants! :)” – @ShesUnskippable
“Stop me if you've heard this one before: Tracks working with each other to stagger post times.” – @MontgomeryBrews
“An Ontario Horse Racing Industry!” – @AprilFuel
“HD at all tracks. Every other sport has HD, even fishing.” – @Pilky99
“Lower Takeout for all Pick 4 wagers. and access to Hong Kong racing especially with Hong Kong pools.” – @Pick4Playa
“1% from wagering directly to registered TB rescue, retraining, and rehoming organizations. This made mandatory not optional.” – @GetDownWolfie
“A National Pick # for stakes races.” – @KeeneGal
“I'll stick with realistic goals: 50-cent minimums on all triples and pick 3s.” – @GowanUSBaseball
“BIG tracks invest in HD.” – @CVDubz
“Consistent drug policies across the country with the intent of protecting the horses by allowing certain drugs such as those to stop bleeders. We need clear, concise, uniform testing and penalties for those who use drugs such as dermorphin.” – Lesley Mercill
“Ditto! And more marathon-distance type stakes races.” – Dawna Wood
“That I ‘King' George Ferdinand go pro and be added to a publication or on line horseracing program as an freelance analyst. Since Im an auto worker and have about 8 years to retire.” – George Ferdinand
“Fewer 2 year old stake races, more stakes for 3 or 4 and up.” – Patrice Fleck
“I disagree with much of the above…Lasix is not allowed in most of the world, which doesn't have a bleeding epidemic, and is used to mask pain killers and stimulants here in North America, as well as allow bleeders to reproduce and make the breed MORE prone to bleeding….as to Patrice, when the sport was greater, and horses had more starts per season/more starts per career, there was ALSO then more emphasis on 2-year-old racing, 2-year-old stakes, and, in fact, 2-year-olds getting started, and getting serious, earlier.” – Robert Goldstein
“More media coverage. ESPN sucks. Basketball, football, and baseball is not the wide world of sports as they claim. The only mainstream coverage we see is a couple of hours each year for the Breeders' Cup and Triple Crown.” – Dennis Holland
“Jobs.” – Kerby Collins
“Agree ESPN stinks! Equal viewing for racing! Don't let racing die!” – Yvonne Vince
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