Los Angeles Times’ Decision On Racing Coverage Rankles Some At Least

by | 04.19.2017 | 12:09pm
Longtime friends Mel Brooks (left) and Carl Reiner were not happy with the LA Times' decision to drop daily horse racing coverage

Do newspapers matter?

The answer to that depends on whom you ask.

They matter to a 90-year-old horseplayer named Mel Brooks, a Santa Anita Park regular who is also known for making a few movies over the years: “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Spaceballs,” among many others.

They matter to his good friend, Carl Reiner, 95, who I remember as the creator of the all-time television classic “Dick Van Dyke” show and younger folks might recall from the remake of the “Oceans Eleven” casino heist film. Together, some 56 years ago, Reiner and Brooks created the “2000 Year Old Man” comedy skit featuring an interview with the world's oldest man. (Go ahead, insert joke about their age here. I dare you!)

Brooks was none too pleased recently when he opened his copy of the Los Angeles Times newspaper to check out the entries and results from Santa Anita Park and discovered they are no longer there. He let it be known to his 207,425 followers on Twitter.

Reiner, always the sidekick and straight man, also sounded off to his 166,284 followers about the Los Angeles Times.

So the Times has managed to alienate two of its longtime readers with a decision to save a few of inches of newsprint.

Yet, according to a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times from Jim Benson of Altadena, Calif., the newspaper is continuing to provide coverage to minor league baseball and women's college water polo.

LA Times Letter

When I entered the Churchill Downs press box in 1988 to cover my first Kentucky Derby, my jaw dropped open when I saw the likes of Jim Murray, Edwin Pope, Furman Bisher and Joe Falls, newspaper columnists I had read and idolized for many years. They were just part of an armada of columnists and turf writers from around the country sent to Louisville each year to cover the most famous two minutes in sports.

Virtually every major newspaper in the country had a full-time horse racing writer, even in towns like Dallas and Oklahoma City where there was no racing at the time. Big races were treated like major events – if they weren't on page one then certainly they were on the front page of the sports section. Over the years, as other sports became more popular and a new generation of sports columnists became enamored with football and basketball, racing coverage slipped to the back pages of the sports section. Retired turf writers weren't being replaced, while others were reassigned, took buyouts or laid off. Then the Internet brought serious economic challenges for editors and publishers who focused their dwindling resources on local college and professional teams and even high school sports.

Today, there are no full-time, year-round turf writers working for an American newspaper.


Some papers hire stringers to cover a big race or maybe send a columnist or feature writer out to the track on occasion. Often, the coverage is tied to an advertising buy. But day-to-day coverage is a thing of the past, and it's not coming back.

The press room for the Kentucky Derby, located in the windowless bowels of Churchill Downs, will be full — as it always is — this coming first Saturday in May. There will be writers for online publications like this one, trade publications and bloggers galore – even an occasional newspaper reporter or stringer called on to cover our sport's most famous event.

The Derby is an anomaly. The rest of the year, horse racing doesn't matter to newspapers. So, with apologies to the 2000-year-old man and his loyal sidekick, newspapers shouldn't really matter to horse racing.

  • Scot Morley

    It is a sad day, but newspapers are a thing of the past. The only people
    I know who still read them are in their 60’s and it is usually to get the NY times, LA Times…………….. I just remember growing up in southern california, reading the Hearld Examiner, they had the best Horse Racing,
    edition, it was a whole page. I loved looking at the entries and the analyst
    comments are the races and results, also reading about the races from the weekend. Those were the days, insert all in the family music!

    • Minneola

      You are correct, unfortunately. Newspapers are a thing of the past for many people. It’s easy to see how slim the papers are today without all of those inserts and ads that helped pay the paper for publishing costs. These advertisers are dependent on circulation rates. As fewer people subscribe, the revenue to the newspaper tends to be reduced since advertisers are not willing to pay as much for those smaller circulation rates. However, what is also very discouraging is how poorly newspapers are run. Some are trying to make up that loss in ad revenue by increasing subscription prices. As prices go up, people also tend to drop their subscription because it may cost them too much money or not see sufficient value in the price of the paper. My paper just increased its yearly subscription rate to around $800 per year. However, when one drops the subscription, the paper, quietly, will negotiate much lower prices, down to around $150 per year. That, then, also, becomes a real sticky point with those who are paying the higher prices find out about this practice. Newspapers still live in the past and think that they are the true voice of news. However, they have lots of competition (social media, etc.) that can provide news for free and there are many who believe that newspapers print biased stories. But, horse racing in the papers? Only on those very rare occasions like the Kentucky Derby. With fewer pages in a paper, they are going to run stories that appeal to as many people as they can. In sports, that means the NBA, NFL, March Madness, etc. Horse racing just doesn’t have as many fans in most parts of the country.

  • Tinky

    Coincidentally, I happened to be in a seance chatting with Madeline Kahn when Brooks sent his tweet, so I asked her to confirm the news. Her response was: “It’s twue – it’s twue!

    • Cgriff

      Baby, I hate to tell you this, but that’s my arm! (from the cutting room floor….)

    • Concerned Observer

      And as she said….”I’m so tired”

    • Concerned Observer

      The sport of kings is run by kings. They neither want nor need the unwashed masses. They are getting their wish, the masses are deserting the sport in waves. Handle has been flat for 30 years…while the sports leaders focus on the whales!

    • the prime minister

      Awesome Tinky..

  • David Worley

    This isn’t all bad news. For instance I read the Paulick Report daily rather than the LA Times. In terms of a theory of culture, what has happened in the news is simple segmentation. No longer do most people go to a single news source, they instead aggregate from all sorts of sources.

    The bigger issue here, which really is Ray’s implicit point, is that racing doesn’t have much social capital outside of the KY Derby and even then it’s hard to know whether the credibility is anything more (for most people) than a reason for people to throw a party and get dressed up for the first Saturday in May.

    Horse racing has to reinvent itself if it wishes to remain viable and I’ve grown less hopeful that it will be able to do so as I have observed its practices more closely over the last several years.

    • Steve McPherson

      David, just curious ……. have you been to Keeneland? Or to Del Mar? To Oaklawn Park? Or to Saratoga? The Breeders Cup? There is plenty of “social capital” to go around. In terms of enthusiasm for the sport, the problem isn’t horse racing itself, it is simulcasting. Simulcasting takes people away from the track experience, and the race days take four or five hours ….. Who wants to go sit in a bar for five hours and enjoy races ??? Only people like me. LOL. The game has too many venues and not enough on-track enthusiasm ……. that needs to change to make the game really relevant again on a national stage ……

      • David Worley

        Steve, to answer your question, “yes” I’ve been to almost every venue you have listed and I share your enthusiasm for the sport. I also agree that the on track experience in critical in making fans and that there are far too few compelling venues with compelling racing.

        But agreeing with you about those elements still doesn’t change my initial assessment that we have very little social capital. We are marginal to the American sports diet. I am in my early 40s and I am (literally) the only person in my relational network that is + or – 10 years from my age that cares at all about horse racing. Partly this has to do with the expansion of legal gambling to other areas (whereas it racing used to have a monopoly), partly it is because the world has moved on from the significance of the horse for transportation (those people now watch NASCAR and other forms of ‘transportation racing’), and partly it is about the industry refusing to modernize. I don’t need to pull out a bunch of obvious statistics (like TV ratings, dollars wagered, on track attendance at the best venues, etc) to make the point that TB horse racing in North America has very little social capital outside of a the KY Derby.

        Here’s a bullet-proof question for you. Not counting add-on TV network coverage (like NBCSP) how many TOTAL hours of horse racing exist on any of the three main channels plus ESPN in a given year; answer (roughly 10-15 in a given year). Now look at football, basketball, baseball, hockey; there you are talking hundreds of hours each.

        Unfortunately horse racing (in terms of the public’s attention) is a niche sport.

  • Michael Castellano

    They mostly stopped covering racing and results years ago in the New York papers, except for maybe the TC races. I recall when the New York number was the last three digits of the Aqueduct or Belmont handle. Don’t know if that’s still true today. Sad, but it would take a major capital investment to bring some people back to attending the downstate New York tracks. And that’s not about to happen. Too uncertain and risky to even try. Gambling may drive racing, but to get people to attend the tracks involves a lot more new ideas and physical comforts. My idea or pipe dream if you prefer would be to bring the shopping Mall to the race track areas, have free admission and parking, and expose racing to a new generation. The tracks themselves can have restaurants and sports stuff, shirts, clothes, etc. on the ground, and they can be open even when the tracks are closed.

    • Ned Daly

      You mean like Gulfstream?

      • Michael Castellano

        Never been there, how well do they draw and what besides racing and the gambling goes on there? Since it seems to be a vacation/tourist spot similar to Saratoga as has warm weather, they should also benefit from that fact.

      • Canarse

        Exactly like Gulfstream! I agree that Gulfstream isn’t the most attractive place, but it works! The restaurants draw people in and they see the paddock and can just walk to the apron. Yes, the slots attract people too, but that’s a different issue. The classic venues like Saratoga and Keeneland will continue to draw, like Fenway and Wrigley, but the rest of the tracks need to appeal to what people want now. If you think marketing is going to make the public interested in things that were popular 50 years ago you are sadly mistaken.

  • Genellen

    If you flagged this item for an entertainment TV show such as Extra, it might get some PR for racing since these guys are still considered comedy legends. I’d do it, but I don’t do social media. Yes, I read my local newspaper daily, and I AM older than dirt. Deal with it.

  • gus stewart

    Look dont blame the papers, blame the management. I love the sport, but here in california i give up.. but here is what i do when i go ontrack for a day. Consessions ticket takers ushers parking programs seller,, im good with them.. so since all that is suggested to management goes into the round file,, i just will tell them face to face when they walk around santa anita in their suits.. ive said ,, nothing pesonnel but u guys suck!!! Its pitiful you allow this sport to tank,, but as long as your walking amongst the paying fans, just want you to know…then if i sit next to an owner, i. Am an ex owner partner i will say,, what r u doing buying horses losing money and paying these guys to market your product that have no clue.. in your other business would you continue to pay for such an employee..waiting to be asked to leave, but usually i get walked away from.

  • Richard C

    Newspapers have mostly become very thin advertising tabs — surviving as a small part of a bigger multi-media package. Home delivery is now measured through online clicks.

  • realfan

    It is terribly sad, but unfortunately a sign of the times. Horse racing is just an overlooked footnote in the world of sport today.

  • Julie L.

    I remember growing up in the 60’s and 70’s the newspaper always had horse racing in the sports section. Major races were covered and backgrounds of trainers and jockeys were known. My favorite headline for the Kentucky Derby was when Seattle Slew won and across the front page was “The Night Before Seattle Slew The Derby”.

  • Joe Longo

    As long as the Saratoga Special is still in print, as well as the other racing coverage for the six weeks up there, I am content.

    I used to purchase the daily news for their racing coverage, as well as the Star Ledger here on the east coast. Once they stopped, I havent bought a paper since.

    • LongTimeEconomist

      I winter in St. Pete where the Tampa Bay Times still carries Tampa Bay Downs entries and results every racing day. Column coverage is limited to stakes races and is probably provided by a stringer or track employee.

  • JustJoe

    It is telling that you needed to use two people in their 90s to make your point.

  • kuzdal

    I’ll assume that AP got coverage in NY after winning the Triple Crown ; last time I remember anything related to racing was when Steve Cauthen (The Kid) had won six races on one card. He got the whole back cover of the Daily News.

    I’m old….

  • Charles Smith

    My wife and I spent two weeks in the UK last summer….there was 7 day a week coverage of horse racing on multiple TV channels, every newspaper had comprehensive race coverage. 180 degrees different from our pathetic media situation in the states.

    • gus stewart

      I agree with u with exception they dont have as many major sports to cover. But even with that excuse, we have never jointly planned across this country a strategy to get media to want to cover our sport besides its major events. Every time i think about how there is no commisionar and not cross country marketing plan to draw more media monthly, it truley makes me not angry, disgusted is the fitting word. And trust me charles there have been many qualified people that would do it for free, but those currently on payroll shut that idea down..

      • Carl Wilson

        That is not true Gus. Football, (soccer) is massive in the UK. Cricket and Rugby are also big.

    • Philip Forve

      Australia and Hong Kong papers also do extensive coverage of horse racing. None of those venues allow race day drugs. Could this be a part of the issue as well as competition from many other major sports in the USA?

    • wmk3400

      Charles, keep in mind that in the UK with a few exceptions the meets last a week or two and excitement builds up. In Australia they run a day here and a day there. We beat it to death here and on top of that we are completely oversaturated.

      Even my beloved Saratoga has expanded from 4 to 6+ weeks and despite what many think it isn’t the quality product that it used to be. They had meets 30-40 years ago that didn’t have a single maiden claimer carded. Now they are commonplace.

      Racing used to be an event, now it’s a year round grind and as a result isn’t special anymore. Also racing is no longer the focus at a great many venues but a legislated loss-leader allowing operators to run casinos. Besides all that times change and unfortunately when horseracing was the hip place to be most operators were arrogant in the way they treated their customers and that is what we are, customers, not horseplayers, not A/Hs. Sadly all too many still operate as if they have a monopoly on the market. They don’t.

      • Carl Wilson

        You have valid points about meet lengths, but in the UK, a country with around 20% of the population of the US, there is a lot of racing, they run five to six race meetings a day, seven days a week. Charles is correct about the extensive and generous coverage. That media coverage brings people into the sport and exposes it to people who would otherwise have no knowledge of it. Here in the US horse racing does a fine job of hiding itself from the general public.

  • swiss305

    The Los Angeles Times is in a death spiral due to bad corporate decisions overall and an insistence upon being political propaganda rather than fact-dependent news reporting. Horseracing entries and results are available elsewhere as is coverage of all other sports. There is no longer a single reason to subscribe to the Times. Propaganda should be free.

    • Barry

      In Cuba the daily Communist rag costs 2 cents and makes a handy alternative when toilet paper becomes scarce.

    • C Hogan

      Their only losing a million monthly. They will never go busted as long as drug lords and amazon are owners.

    • CVB 1978

      Please provide examples of publications you do find to be reputable? If a big story breaks, who do you turn to or read for follow-up coverage?

      • LongTimeEconomist

        Wall Street Journal.

  • David Schultz

    Cancelled my subscription yesterday to the LA Times. Prices keep going up and advertising keeps flooding the pages and now no Santa Anita coverage. Good riddance!

  • Jack Frazier

    For many years I have questioned why the racetracks don’t have a paid staff member, at no cost to the newspapers, writing a daily column covering all aspects of racing to try to lure new bettors to their tracks. I am sure the newspapers would go for a deal like that and it would help racing tremendously. The only way anyone in California can get any information about upcoming stakes races, stories of trainers, jockey’s or horses is in the Paulick Report, the Blood Horse or having to listen to the overblown egos of some of the commentators on TVG, who just can’t shut up even as horses leave the starting gate.

    • whirlaway

      Jack I can’t believe TVG is getting worse but with the way racing is at least we get to see
      races we would not see. I don’t want to watch everything on my tablet. Christina is still
      the analyst that is the best to listen to low key often informative. The singing by some of
      the analyst needs to go. If I had a dollar for every time Todd tells us the health and well
      being of the equine athletes are paramount as well as the jockeys I could own a mansion.
      I guess they feel that will make any new fans feel more secure. The remainder of us know
      the game. I know adds are needed for any channel but sometimes they take up space
      while some post parades size is minimal on a split screen. I am stopping now enough
      complaining for one day, I need to go put my entry in for SA showvivor yes I play it
      why not it is free, very little in life is. Hope you are doing well 🐎

      • Jack Frazier

        It has steadily gotten worse and the way they show the damn commercials in a large pip so you cannot without binoculars, see the horses going to the track is just stupid. Christina, Mike Joyce, Rich Sperlof, and a few others are good, but Schrupp thinks his “wisdom” is paramount to letting the announcer take over when the horses are behind the gates is mindboggling. Someone should tell him he is just aggravating as well as boring. He knows just enough to be dangerous. I’d like to buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth. I would be a billionaire.

        • whirlaway

          Very good evaluation. Last week from Keeneland I had to hear about the great massage he got and his eye brows waxed. Nothing new in my world that is just
          maintenance nowadays for many men. The worst is he now sometimes interrupts
          other people on the set and a few times I felt Simon was a bit irritated. But TVG
          people are still not as bad as the NFL channels that use to be on the TV when I
          worked at a cable company. They take the prize.

          • Jack Frazier

            Todd is a girly man if he waxes his eyebrows and brags about it. Next he will show us his purse and not one won on the track. Probably match is tie.

          • Mr J

            Hes actually unlistenable
            People who think theyre funny and are clearly not irritate the hell out of me

          • whirlaway

            He has actually gotten worse recently. Now a few of the analyst are all speaking
            at one time over talking each other. I don’t want to feel while watching TVG it is
            like fox and cnn where that happens far too often. Also another person mentioned
            a few continue speaking after the race has started. I would think someone might
            point a few of these issues out at TVG. Thankfully some person invented the mute button on a remote.

          • Mr J

            Todd is in a class by himself. Paul is also annoying. The rest are fine yo varying degrees. I wish I had TVG 2

          • whirlaway

            I only have TVG but it still is better than nothing especially for good races that no longer are always on a network channel. Plus as the young 2yr old start appearing
            it is nice to have that. I do not want to sit always watching things on line.
            Paul is moving to a new level still better than Todd. Actually Christina is better than
            most. So in the end glad at least there is some channel with racing.

        • gus stewart

          Lol,, now thats funny.

  • Dave Brooks

    It’s one thing to eliminate entries and results (data that’s readily available on-line). It’s another to eliminate actual coverage of the races, racing as an industry, personalities, etc. Will the LA Times continue to cover the sport? Their racing writer is pretty good. It’s like the business sections of newspapers: stock prices are readily available elsewhere, but coherent analysis is more important. Triage is important — and legitimate — in every sector. So if LAT continues to cover the sports/biz/industry of racing, and the necessary casualty was entries/results, is that so irrational?

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee


  • Audrey Harvey

    The Baltimore Sun Paper stopped showing racing entries for Thoroughbred and Harness racing years ago. Considering we have Pimilco, Laurel, Ocean Downs and Rosecroft here. Every now and then you might run across a little article about horseracing. They do nothing to promote horseracing here. Nothing.

    • PaulieWalnuts

      Your forgot Timonium, the Saratoga of the South :)

      • wmk3400

        Paulie, that’s Delaware Park (The Saratoga of the South or so they like to say…..blasphemy if you ask me). Timonium is a mere state fair with $4,500.00 Mdn Claimers. No shade trees or picnic tables can be found there.

  • kyle

    Of course, it’s the failing LA Times. Now, not that So Cal racing is producing much of note on a daily basis, but there exists something inherent in racing that can be rediscovered and re- packaged for the modern age. Racing’s very retroness, its grit, and its esoterica holds the key to its renewal – those and, of course, fixing it as a gamble. Someday…

  • Larry Sterne

    sad but indicative of popularity of horse racing.We love it but most dont. need new thinkers in the game to try to revitalize the interest clean up the cheating w zero tolerance , try to market to a younger generation, show 100% RESPECT FOR THE EQUINE ATHLETE, even by limiting number bred per year till retirement problem solved.. these are just a few suggestions to reshape the image of horse racing the game we all love.

  • Marlaine Meeker

    I was exploring an old abandon house and found some newspaper(used for insulation) with the Ponder beats Citation race headlines. I guess we will all have to visit old houses to catch up.

  • longshot

    I haven’t bought a newspaper since I got a smartphone 8 years ago. I even stopped buying a form. I download my PP’s , and I get all my racing news from Ray or the Blood Horse. The paper where I live hasn’t covered horseracing for 20 years. Just a waste of $

  • horsepower

    Lack of presence in mainstream media is one of many gaps that lead to shrinking equity for Racing in a crowded space. While we all understand the value of social media presence, significant sports still receive significant coverage on TV Radio and Newspapers. Industry Leadership is responsible for the death of racing coverage in the mainstream. This is so not the case in other major racing markets globally. The “Not My Responsibility” attitude by tracks, associations and horsemen’s groups is shameful and is a major factor in the loss of relevance for the sport. We have lost the last 3 or 4 generations of potential fans and players by living in a vacuum and failing to market to new generations. No one, it seems , cares that our sport is losing massive ground thru apathy, a defeatist attitude, no commitment to integrity , lack of funding for new marketing and improved testing. One sure way to get coverage in mainstream media PAY FOR IT – I promise they won’t turn down your dollars.

  • stlouiskid1

    Going to disagree with folks on this. There is much more information available on horse racing today than ever. I can spend an entire morning on line reading countless great articles on sites like this and many more.
    Who reads newspapers now anyway. I could get online and find 10 places to see entries and selections for every track in the World.
    We live in an information age.

  • Steve McPherson

    Well, since I have been a journalist for 30 years and have covered all kinds of sports — including horse racing. Here is my suggestion ……… when the LA Times tries to get reporters credentialed to Churchill Downs for the Derby, or for the Breeders Cup, or to Del Mar, etc., the tracks should deny those requests ……. Like the Paulick Report says, “If horse racing doesn’t matter to newspapers, than newspapers shouldn’t matter to horse racing.” ……

  • Brice

    The la times has not been relevant in years. It’s a far left news paper that caters to Prius driving west side liberals none of them would ever go to the races

  • We’re watching

    Media companies are losing credibility. Print or electronic. Ever watch the evening news. Little world news covered, too cheap to run foreign offices. They’d rather give you fluff about done 79 year old running the marathon.
    Thank goodness for Ray Paulick, much better than the racing paper.

  • Judoon

    Of course newspapers matter. Dropping the coverage is a bad thing, and it is important.

  • Fratman

    After reading most of the comments with some good complaints, ideas and a stark dose of reality I wonder why no one seems to care anymore ?? The race track management seems the most guilty because they’re not trying hard enough. Some of what Santa Anita and Del Mar do is fine but what about seniors ??

    I live in a senior community, our numbers are growing, we are living longer, many have extra spending money, most grew up knowing about racing, many are bored and/or could use some entertainment — how many times can you watch Seinfeld, Murder She Wrote or the stock shows ?? Seems like there is some audience to be had and while going after younger folks is fine why oh why do we keep shutting out others who may be interested ??

    Seems like papers are dying right ?? They push corporate/globalist news because OBVIOUSLY they are paid for that service or linked somewhere together in the business family chain together. The Racing Form is struggling because they raise prices constantly to maintain the hint of profitability for a future sale and they have economic problems with delivery.

    How about a good show with replays hosted by Michael Wrona daily with interviews on local TV — damn, we have hundreds of channels with nothing on them ?? Yes — put it on the damn website too !! Handicapping, money management, famous people who still play and enjoy the game, horse ownership, Little Red Feather, breeding — OK — enough already. By the way TVG is doing the game a disservice by having to focus on conveyor belt type betting on every damn race and could use an upgrade to some professional on air talent.

    How about the PP’s, sponsored by the local track, in the daily paper ?? Work a deal, doesn’t have to be DRF, use equibase or any other more willing ($$) to participate ?? Run contests, bet at 7 Eleven, by the way I put money into my accounts that way, put free passes in the paper for entry to Santa Anita.

    I have a ton of ideas like most of you all do and many can be taken by others and expanded upon but basically it seems that much like our current government it takes someone to step out on that ledge and start pushing people.

    Many of us used to be those kind of people but we have been tamped down by corporate greed, family arrangements/hires, the Owners and Trainers and GENERAL LAZINESS !! Most management people in the racing game are always looking to move to the greener pastures of Kentucky for some farm or breeding gig — let’s try some game changers after all as most management claims —- we have a diminishing base of fans but they seem to offer nothing else — ?? Some of the young folks at Santa Anita do fine but why not more ?? Why no effort ?? NO EFFORT NO JOB !!!

    In Las Vegas they are charging for parking now and young people don’t care for slots and are losing interest in poker — what does that tell you and we are focusing everything on them ??

  • Gordon calhoun

    Print newspapers are a dying dodo bird themselves, so it doesn’t matter. They are only around and doing “investigative” journalism when a horse breaks down (see NYT’s Joe Drape…ass).

  • Nell Ray

    The sport of Horse racing died in America along time ago just as newspapers died. America can have all the Triple Crown winners it wants and all the Dubai World Cup winners it wants but it means nothing if the sport is conducted daily in front of ghost filled grandstands. Don’t blame the newspapers. Media has changed. Those who want to talk about racing will find an outlet to do so.The fact remains the sport is dead in America.

  • Michael Cusortelli

    I have a question for all of you people lamenting the lack of racing coverage in local newspapers — how many of you, in the last 20 years or so, have gone to your local newspaper for racing coverage? For entries? For results? I’m guessing not many, when you can get the information on a more timely basis online.

  • Transport1

    Sadly, we knew this day was coming. I’m a lifelong fan, first as a on track attendee, my first being 1966 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hastings was then known as Exhibition Park. Saturday, standing room only, and then as an owner for many years at Longacres, Seattle WA. For me, the hand writing was on the wall when tracks in the late 80’s added simo to their live cards. And over the years that morphed into simo in the off season, then year round. You didn’t have to go out of the house to play. In short the industry ate itself from the inside, out. I was hooked as a 10 year old that day in Vancouver, but I had to wait a couple of years before I could go to the track in my home town, and when I could, I was there everyday. Kids today don’t have to do that, anyone interested can bet a horse on their phone. I still go to Del Mar, SA, GG, if I’m out of town here on the west coast and, opening days aside, on site attendance, you can’t if it’s Wednesday or Sunday. And that is the reality. There’s a article in the BH today, SA cancelled their Wednesday card this week. Not weather, not an earthquake, they couldn’t fill the card. I’ve got about 20 good years left. In that time unless things change horse racing may be removed from life support. And that’s too bad.

  • Mr J

    The Boston Herald has NY results and entries every day


    Just another step in the death of relevance for LAT. Reduced to yet another throw-away quality ad rag. 25 column inches of news (if that) and 14 pages of ads. Guessing Otis is roiling over in his grave. Possibly soaked in water stolen from the Owens Valley.

    The moron tradition rolls on.

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