‘Dear Racing Fan’: An Open Letter to the Racing Industry

by | 03.25.2013 | 12:44pm

With the Triple Crown season kicking into high gear, The Jockey Club and America's Best Racing today issued an open letter to the Thoroughbred racing industry.

The letter encourages racing fans to spread the word about upcoming racing telecasts, follow news and features about the sport on the America's Best Racing website, and participate in a sweepstakes for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands.

Dear Thoroughbred racing fan:

The Jockey Club / America's Best Racing initiative, which is focused on bringing new fans to our great sport, kicks into high gear over the course of the next three weekends. Through television programs on the NBC Sports Network and NBC, plus a new entertainment-focused website and a consumer sweepstakes, our goal is to elevate our best product for new fans and for you, our current fan.

From research and data, we know two things: We have a fan base that still numbers in the
millions and our fans remain passionate about this sport. Over the past three years, starting with broad consumer outreach and input, there has been a road map laid out to increase marketing of the sport on a national level. Three components of the plan will be front and center in the next few weeks.

Upcoming telecasts on the NBC Sports Network and NBC will feature Kentucky Derby preps from Florida, California, Louisiana, New York, Kentucky and Arkansas. They will also
showcase the competition and lifestyle that resonates powerfully with audiences both young and old.

As our current fan, we have a simple request for you.

Spread the word.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Tell your co-workers. Let them know about TV shows
that lead up to “the greatest two minutes in sports.”

Saturday, March 30, 6-7 p.m. EDT: Florida Derby / Louisiana Derby (NBC Sports Network)

Saturday, April 6, 6-7:30 p.m. EDT: Wood Memorial / Santa Anita Derby (NBC Sports

Saturday, April 13, 4:30-6 p.m. EDT: Blue Grass Stakes (NBC); 6-7 p.m. EDT: Arkansas Derby (NBC Sports Network)

Let them know that the America's Best Racing website — followhorseracing.com — provides extensive information and entertainment about Thoroughbred racing.

And lastly, let them know they could be the lucky winner of a trip for four to Kentucky Derby
139 on May 4, 2013, just by registering for free at this site.

Word of mouth and social media can be powerful tools for racing — whether it's promoting our sport in personal interaction or sharing digitally online with family and friends around the country. It's a simple way to share your passion for the game.

You, our fan, show your support in many ways — from ownership to wagering to attending the races every year. Without you, there is no game. We appreciate all you do for racing and we want others to enjoy our sport in a similar way.

Make sure they know. Make the effort to bring a new fan to racing. Go to followhorseracing.com and you'll find all you need to share with and attract our next generation of fans.


James L. Gagliano
The Jockey Club

Jason G. Wilson
Vice President of Business Development
The Jockey Club

  • jack

    Dear Horse Racing Executives,

    Get the takeout lowered to realistic levels.

  • Hey The Jockey Club / America’s Best Racing,when marketing Horseracing Don’t forget to tell those future fans about the 20% to 30% takeout and $8 racing form.

    • fred

      At Tampa Downs you cant even get a racing form after 4pm, and they charge more than $8.

  • “Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Tell your co-workers.”

    I’ll tell them the TRUTH about horse racing……the race between the Elephant in the Room and the 800 lb Gorilla…….

  • thinkabout it!

    What an insult to the hard working everyday fan and horseperson.
    Dear Racing Industry, Please get serious about the problems with drugging and paper trainers and hidden ownership! Until you do, this sport is doomed, only as good or bad as the latest shocking revelation! You STILL glorify the cheaters and find any way to lessen the penaltys they receive when they do get caught. When trainers get a heads up and back off of a drug, the horses “reverse” form, gee the gambler suffers from that reversal also! You are KILLING The Sport of Kings with your lack of serious efforts to change. The “Good old Boy” mindset will be your undoing.

  • illhaveanotherandanother

    Dear The Jockey Club / America’s Best Racing;

    Excuse me, but what is it exactly that you get paid for? I’ll tell you what, you give me your salary and all the perks and I won’t ask anyone else to do my job. I’ll just get more fans out to the track and make the few fans I do have a lot happier than they seem to be now. Good luck on this wonderful marketing idea!

    Go Baby Go!

  • Until racing cleans up it’s act and cracks down on the trainers/owners who drug their horses (and lasix is a drug) and run unsound horses until they breakdown – I am not going to be recommending racing to anyone. So sad to see the state it is in – Horses can barely run 8 or 9 times now before being retired due to injury and having a breakdown on the track.

  • OTTB

    Just say No to the the Jockey Club. Also, one over priced experience at the Kentucky Derby is enough for me. I’d rather stay home and watch it TV.

  • SteveG

    Word Of Mouth has to be earned; it cannot be solicited.

  • Racehorse Bob

    I commend you for the America’s Best Racing marketing efforts. It is about time one of our organizations try to actively market the sport inh an innovative way! Yes, this is a sport and not just a “Bet.”
    Thanks for your efforts

  • Beachy

    Dear Racing Industry:

    1. Crack down on
    excessive and unwarranted drugging and don’t expect these animals to
    perform when they are sore, hurt, or too fresh off the preceding race;

    2. Please help fix it so horses and jockeys both are not risking their
    lives excessively due to performance on garbage tracks or in overly
    inclement weather;

    3. Also per some other
    unvarnished posts on this blog, be honest, and/or let us know, what has
    happened to all of the “disappearing horses”;

    4. Set forth a national, feasible, viable, successful plan for rehoming/rehabbing/retraining as many retired racers as you can;

    5. Be honest re: your handling of nurse mare foals and/or what is
    also(sickeningly) referred to as a “junk foal”, also care for as many of
    these as possible and minimize the times you have to
    separate(basically) an infant from its mother;

    6. Use euthanasia as more of an overpopulation solution, instead of the way worse and nauseating slaughter.

    Get back to us on any or all of these topics and then we’ll discuss good PR
    and your promotion to the general, non-racing public.

  • riddle17

    WOW! Talk about fan support!!!

    • John F. Greenhaw

      Couldn’t agree more.
      PR has gone the way of most other internet comment sites. Specifically, nameless bloggers who, in reality, are simply just malcontents. The reality is—sad to say—that there are very few true racing fans who choose to bother to comment on this site anymore. Only those that are paid to comment on behalf of an agenda driven group(that agenda being the total elimination of racing), or those poor souls who are misguided and completely uninformed.

      • salthebarber

        John, I hope you are wrong about this. I believe that many fans of this game are truly unhappy about the game on many levels. There is definitely a lot of frustration out there. If I was in marketing for horseracing, I would really have to make it a priority to change it. As matter of fact, I would make it a top priority. The danger of bringing new fans to the game at this time is that it might only result in more fans being unhappy.

        • nu-fan

          Thank you. salthebarber, for your tempered and reasonable response. I love the sport but am having a harder time doing so for all of the negative reasons that many have already commented on this article. As I watch races, I tend to have those negatives in the back of my mind. New and younger fans have been brought up with a different sense of how animals are to be treated. If the racing industry wants to grow the fan base (or, even, keep it from declining more) they need to make certain that the horses that entertain us will be well-cared for. The industry cannot keep trying to find new fans if they cannot keep them for long. The industry needs repeat “customers” not those who go once, twice and, then, disappear.

  • Anton Chigurh

    Dear Racing Fan,
    Enclosed is a voucher for free pps, lunch, 2 dollar voucher for your first bet and admission to the track of your choice as casinos actually give you money to come in. We’ve finally learned to compete. By the way we’ve lowered the takeout on all wagers which will increase the handle allowing us to raise purses so owner actually have a mathmatical chance of at least breaking even. We’ve joined other tracks to stagger the post times which will further increase handle by giving YOU THE CUSTOMER WHO IS THE BACKBONE OF THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY more opportunities to wager. After your trip to the track we’ll continue to market and cater to you just like the casinos. Finally we’ve eliminated the alphabet soup of powerless organizations with useless, overpaid talking heads and formed one organization which will institute uniform rules and regulations which will benefit the entire industry.
    The President of the Jockey Club?

  • Francis Bush

    A chief problem that tracks must overcome is the tardiness in getting horses named to race in advance of about two days. In major races, the nominees should be posted with odds at least a week in advance of the race. If a horse needs to be scratched before the post, this could still be achieved with plenty of time to spare. Bettors have practically no time to assess a field with one or two days before the race. Odds should be posted far enough in advance for the wagering public. Talking about a race in two days or less does not allow enough time for the average fan.



  • ziggypop

    Dear Racing Industry,

    No substantial anti drugging polices, allowing unscrupulous trainers and dubious owners and sending your horses to slaughter, and not stopping the current slaughter pipeline, are nailing your coffins closed. Not protecting the jockeys and barn workers are appalling

    Then and only when, these issues are cleared up, will you ever have a chance of surviving.

  • NOTTA peep about the GAMBLER$!!!…Fans are one thing (a great thing) but “THE HORSES/GAMBLER$” are the Backbone of “The Game”…Period…ty…

  • David

    Really? Kind of like getting testimonials from those on one of those cruise ships towed back to port after their “vacation”. It’s pretty clear you’ve got a problem when those in leadership positions fail to get that it is the industry that must change, not its customers. Jim and Jason need to get out more. Unbelievable.

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