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Anthony MacDonald's Blog


The Definition of Luck

Published: July 20, 2017 6:19 pm ET

Last Comment: July 21, 2017 4:00 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson

As I sit in Columbus, Ohio at 11:00 a.m. in a local IHOP eating pancakes, I can't stop smiling.
My waitress asks if I'm having a good day?
I said, "I certainly am."
She's curious. "Anything special" she asks?
That was a big mistake.....I spend the next ten minutes talking about and the luck we are having in her country.

No, I didn't sell her a piece of a horse.
But I did open her eyes to the world of horse racing.
By the time I was done holding court at IHOP I had given out three business cards and introduced horse racing to eight or nine people.

To you that may sound foolish as they may never become clients or fans.
They may never bring their families to the track, or visit the casino afterwards.
They may never talk to their friends about the charming Canadian gentleman that travels all over North America racing horses and eating pancakes at IHOP like they were a death row request; but, then again they might?

Building such a powerful tool that has proven to connect horse racing to the general public is important for all of us.
The simple message of affordable ownership combined with an unmatched point of view experience resonates well with all demographics in every walk of life all over the world.

Although I'm pretty sure has never met any of its 277 paying customers in an IHOP, today could be the day.

What I mean is if we don't reach out to the everyday people, how can we ever expect to show them how exciting this game is?

Affordable ownership is the way to do this.
But having this proven blueprint to success and not implementing it to our advantage is like finally getting that job interview and wearing a dirty old pair of blue jeans to it.

I wrote not that long ago that our industry's success should be tied to entertainment value and customer service. Not forgetting that gamblers pay the bills, but by doing some gambling ourselves, focusing on bringing people to the track with alternative programs like this may lead to more gaming activity.

Most of our clients don't claim to be gamblers.
But they gamble when they are at the track.
Guess where they are standing when their horse races whether they own one percent or all of the horse?
Not in their kitchen, not in their living room; right at the finish line at the track their horse is racing at.
These racetracks and their affiliate casinos are desperately trying to attract the very people that gravitate towards programs like this.

I was fortunate enough to win with one of our colts at The Meadows last week.
When I came on the track there was a young couple screaming "good luck Anthony."
I don't often get cheering strangers at a foreign track.
When I came around again I got a better look, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out who they were.
I never saw them before that I could remember.
I could hear them screaming loud as I went under the wire in first place.
Out they came to the winners circle; still no idea who they were.
The gentleman said "great drive" which I graciously accepted with a "thanks sir" reply.
That was that, and away I went.

On my way back to Ontario the next day i got an email.
It was from one of the owners of Lawmaker.
He said he had a great day at The Meadows. He drove all the way from Whitby, Ontario to watch Lawmaker and just got there in time to see him post parade and win.
I never met him before that day, and yet we lived a couple of hours apart.

Did they gamble more after the race?
Did they go to the casino? I have no idea.
Imagine if The Meadows had a list of all our clients planning to travel to watch their horse race.
Imagine If they knew how many clients we had and reached out to invite them down for the day.
Make a weekend of it.
Maybe a discounted hotel, maybe a meal?
A huge Win/Win for everyone.
All of us working together.

By making a great time for everyone, win lose or draw our clients now would have fond memories of horse racing.
By making this about being a part of something bigger, we change the draw of this industry from gaming (which will almost always be a loss) to entertainment.
This is a very exciting industry.
The ups and downs are what makes it great.
By displaying affordable ownership front and centre it changes the dynamic of what we are offering our customers, and when we turn the corner into the entertainment industry we will have vastly more to offer society than any theme park or mini vacation ever could.
We will be offering a continuous experience as hands on as any of clients want to make it.
With an open dialogue with trainers and the hope of going to the winners circle some day this industry could dominate this market.

When college kids, bakers, uber drivers, lawyers, doctors, and teachers can all share an owners' box at the racetrack of their choosing, this industry will finally be where it deserves to be, at the top of the entertainment hill in society.

The math is simple and irrefutable.
More new clients means more horses purchased and more revenue streams for both sides of the industry.
More revenue and supporting numbers leads to a stronger industry.
A stronger industry leads to a properly working relationship with our governments and affiliated gaming partners.
There will be less need for mandated welfare from the government and more interest in a working mutual business relationship.

They say a rising tide lifts all boats.
Well, we have been waiting a long time for the tide to rise in horse racing.
Why don't we try something new, and actually capitalize on an opportunity rather than watch it float away.

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

July 21, 2017 - 4:00 pmWell done! The seed has been

Anne Stepien SAID...

Well done! The seed has been planted and hopefully it will take root :) The Pennsylvania Dutch have a saying that puts things into pretty good perspective: "Luck, be it good or bad, is what's left over when all the hard work is done."

July 21, 2017 - 7:44 amWay to go Anthony ! " a

ozzie mackay SAID...

Way to go Anthony ! " a rising tide lifts all boats " Cheers !

July 20, 2017 - 7:55 pmI firmly believe that the

I firmly believe that the success of several of The Stables two year olds is one of the very best stories of the year to date. The focus on the excitement of experiencing a win or great race at a relatively low cost is a terrific addition to the industry. The use of technology and communication to build that community is consistent with what is happening in the broader economy. I hope that success continues and builds more stories like that recounted by Anthony. Congratulations to Anthony and Amy and all those who have helped them and supported the growth of The Stable. Clay

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