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Anthony MacDonald's Blog


"One product"

Published: June 16, 2013 5:28 pm ET

Last Comment: June 17, 2013 11:36 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

I appreciate the feedback from the last post. It's encouraging to see that people were willing to speak their minds. I hope these blogs will lead to people coming forward from different areas and mind sets to provide the leadership and support necessary for the transformation of our industry.

In the last post, I talked about changes we can make right now. Our product being enhanced by using social media and the cooperation of our trainers and owners in compiling a database of horses racing in Ontario.

Horses would be entered with the understanding and confidence that the racing director would utilize that entry in such a way that your horse would be most effective to the product of our province and in turn be in the best place to make the owner money.

Being placed in the most competitive, appropriate race for your horse is an obvious "Win-win" for everyone. The most obvious hurdle would be availability for racing horse at different tacks as needed. Longer draw dates and a constant open dialogue would help alleviate this challenge.

Obviously, there would be an adjustment period. But we need to think of our industry as "One product"; this would help drive us to being a lucrative component of the province's gambling strategy.

The racing director's objective quite simply would be to put as many $7 horses on the track as possible. A $3 win payout is bad for business. A $50 horse not being wagered on is also bad for for business. We want all horses to be wagered on. Everyone wins with a $7 horse.

We need to constantly strive to have the most competitive, wager-friendly environment offered anywhere. This is attainable for our industry and can be accomplished almost immediately. We need to recognize we have lost the gamblers we so badly need and have to work harder than ever to bring them back.

(Bear with me, we will talk about takeout over the coming weeks. We owe it to ourselves to try to tackle all issues and that is a big one.)

It's important we all start thinking outside the box. We are all coming to terms with the fact that our industry will either change or be left behind. Many of us are committed to seeing change and seeing a long, vibrant future for harness racing in Ontario. Our Ontario blueprint should be all about our customers' experience at the racetrack. We need to get fans in the stands, on their feet and excited about every race on the program. When we put on a fair, competitive, exciting product, people want to watch it and people want to be a part of it. We need to commit to ensuring the product on the track in every race fulfils our commitment of providing a fair, competitive, exciting product. Above all else this needs to be our number one priority.

I'm interested in hearing your feedback. You can post a message here on send me a message on facebook or on twitter (@horseracingamac or @amacdonaldpc). I hope you don't feel these blogs are a waste of time, we need feedback and dialogue.

June 17, 2013 - 11:36 amGreg, from Peterborough, if


Greg, from Peterborough, if we want more people to come to the tracks to bet or even to watch for a night out with family, the owners of the tracks, if they are Truly Committed to Racing and making a profit,have to start at putting some profits BACK INTO THE BUILDINGS AND TRACK UP-KEEP.
Yes the racing has to competetive and alive with excitement, but we will not get people back to the tracks, with the current conditions of some of the race tracks, Time to UPGRADE, SOMETHING NEW, WILL GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO COME BACK. -GREG HOULE

June 16, 2013 - 8:42 pmYou're absolutely right with

Roy Steele SAID...

You're absolutely right with your blue print...... Dresden sunday - good racing exciting racing good young horses and older horses being given the chance to run ....... The fan experience shambolic at best ...plenty of people there at start of racing but the public was getting told technical difficulties they either couldn't take wagers or the lines were that long you were shut out....... $3500 handle. This is a track that has been in business for generations. All of a sudden no back up to the wagering system... this is on the same day the govt announced payments to tracks. No coincidence I guess Dresden was not on that list ........

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