Andrew Cohen On Trot Radio

Published: November 17, 2009 08:08 am EST

Award-winning journalist - both inside and outside of harness racing - Andrew Cohen voices his opinions on the future of our industry on today's edition of Trot Radio


Cohen, an owner and breeder who is the Chief Legal Analyst for CBS News, talks to Norm Borg about the role of the commissioner, integrity issues and ambivalence toward making key changes to the framework to help build the sport.

"The one thing we have going for us, in an industry that by most indications is dying, is we have this amazing sport, and we have these very exciting races and we have these heroes...and I think once people begin to realize what their stories are, we can market the sport," states Cohen, who was a guest contributor to Trot's State of the Industry issue in May 2009.

Cohen continues, "Everybody recognizes there's a problem but when you talk to people and say 'do something about it', people say 'our hands are tied by X or Y', and my point is let's bring together bright people within the industry - we have them, clearly, on every level - let's bring those people together and let's solve X and let's solve Y so that the next time we have those sorts of issues we can act on them quickly."

Episode 70 - Andrew Cohen

Running Time: 10:03

Audio Format: MP3 audio

Host: Norm Borg



Well said, Wayne. I'm tired of this endless chatter,the answer is obvious and has already been expressed loud and clear both on the standardbred racing side and by the thoroughbred fans, WE NEED TO LOWER THE TAKEOUT TO 10% OR VERY CLOSE TO THEREABOUTS.

Let's start from there, and advertise racing as one of the best betting prospects in sports. The handles will surge upwards as the churn factor kicks in,and there will be more winners, new excitement at something concrete actually being done. Yada,yada,yada..... and a Renaissance of the Chariot Races will take place.Integrity issues and the like can be aggressively pursued,but in the meantime, let's get the basics right.

Here's the new motto: "Adjust to your clients, stupid!" Give the public a fair chance to win, give them as much information as possible, make it as easy as possible to get their bets in,and give them the most up to date technology as possible to that end. At the track, make sure that when you finally get a crowd in that they can be served swiftly and professionally, and give them incentives to return again and again.

Just explore the Horseplayers of North America site; They have the answers in black and white.

I want to thank Norm Borg for his frank and obviously caring attitude in all his interviews. He should get the Cam Fella award if he can convince anyone to actually get up off their high horses,swallow your pride, show some humility, and get horseracing into the 21st century.

Don't despair, there is hope if we punters make our voices heard.With apologies to Bruce Willis, yippy kay-yay, true believers.

Owners, trainers, drivers, grooms, and a handful of betters may think harness racing is a "great sport" as Mr. Cohen believes it is, but for 99% of people it is nothing more than a gambling venue(and less of that every day now). People would and do go to see basketball, baseball,football,yes even hockey who don't bet on the outcome.

In the 70,s I had a horse racing in a stakes event at yonkers raceway where 45,000 people quite often showed up on a saturday evening. The pari mutuel clerks called a wildcat strike so the track could not take wagers but they had to let the horses race for the stake payments,and the management decided to allow free entry to anyone to watch.

The grandstand and parking lot looked like our harness tracks of today(empty). The "fans" were not interested in seeing even the best 2 and 3 year olds in the country unless they could bet on them. There is nothing will change that unless you can make it attractive to wager and the high overhead makes that impossible vs other gambling venues!

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