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Youth Movement At The Meadowlands

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Published: February 13, 2011 11:43 am ET

Last Comment: February 18, 2011 4:48 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"I've always tried to come up with ways to get younger people involved in this game. After all, our fan base is continuously getting older and we're not replacing enough of those older fans with enough young fans."

Today's Trot Radio guest is Meadowlands' Darin Zocalli, who is trying to reach out to a younger fanbase through social media to get people to the track.

"What I decided to do, I have so many friends on facebook and so many people close to my age - which is 27 - instead of calling my friends and saying why don't you come out to the track, let me just create this event and send out an invitation to everybody I could find under the age of 40 and furthermore make this event open to the public so if you do searches for either harness racing or the Meadowlands this event will pop up."

Zocalli has personally invited over 450 people and with other users posting the event on their own profiles, the event will spread to a much larger audience.

"Basically I just want to get them in the door, Norm, and let them to experience harness racing. I don't expect them all to love it but I'm hopeful that a few do enjoy it and this way in the future when a Friday or Saturday comes up with nothing to do a group a friends say 'hey, you know what, I went to the track a couple of months ago...why don't we try that? We'll go have dinner and bet some horses. And what better forum to use than the largest social network in the world?"

Borg and Zocalli also discuss introducing people to the track on a non-event night as opposed to a feature day.

"I don't want them to expect that every single time you go to a racetrack, you're just going to be handed a whole bunch of free stuff and promotions. That's what happens when you have someone who watches an event like the Breeders Cup or the Hambletonian, and they see all these people and they think that's what horse racing is like on a daily basis. It's impossible to replicate that every single day."

The full interview with Zocalli is available below. Please note that the opinions expressed in the following interview are those of the participant and do not necessarily reflect Rideau Carleton Raceway and/or Standardbred Canada.

Episode 183 – Darin Zocalli
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

February 18, 2011 - 4:48 pmI have turned many young and

I have turned many young and older people into fans and bettors. The biggest draw in harness racing that appeals to the hundreds that have become bettors or fans is the reasonable opportunity of a positive return in investment! I have bet with many neophytes to introduce them to the game and explained it to them, and many have come back as regulars when they see that they can win. Some are now fairly big bettors.

Unlike Mr. Borg, I also love poker, and am appalled at the narrow-minded ignorance of his comments.Some fallacies in this interview I would like to point out:Poker was just an old man's game,poker players are described like a bunch of low-lifes,ne'er-do-wells,and even criminals. Here's a slap of reality in your face boys; THIS IS HOW PEOPLE VIEW HORSEPLAYERS AND PARTICIPANTS IN YOUR "SPORT".

Poker has done a great job of shedding those fallacies about their game, but horseracing is still looked at in the same vein.

February 14, 2011 - 11:03 pmyou are so right Blair how

you are so right Blair how do you think first timers feel walking into an empty grandstand.

February 13, 2011 - 2:52 pmThat's great. MMA puts their

That's great. MMA puts their lead up fights on FB. And people's greatest fear about going to the races is they don't want to go the first time on their own. It's intimidating and nobody wants to make a fool of themselves. It's the same reason a person won't venture over to the crap table at a casino if they haven't played before. The game seems to move too fast and they might look stupid.


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