Harness Racing TV Show Preview

Published: March 16, 2011 08:02 am EDT

Obya Entertainment Group and Standardbred Canada are pleased to present the exclusive sneak peek of Unharnessed - Behind The Scenes, the new TV show produced by Allan Pootoolal and Randy Waples


"Welcome to my world and get ready for the ride of your life," said Waples, who is creating the show along with Pootoolal. "We want to bring the thrills and chills of harness racing into the living rooms of the general public and at the same time show that harness racing is indeed entertainment."

"Having spent my whole life in and around the sport of harness racing I know all about the behind the scenes entertainment that the average fan doesn't get to see - until now," continued the 2010 O'Brien Award winning driver of the year. "I hope that this show can take the fans of harness racing on a journey that they won't soon forget."

The majority of the footage was shot at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ont.

"It's a brand new experience with some angles I did not know existed in our sport," stated Pootoolal. "At first many people around the paddock were a little shy, but after the first shoot all were motivated. The drivers' room footage is priceless and we even got into the judges' world for a birds' eye view of their daily operations."

Operating under Obya Entertainment Group, Pootoolal and Waples encourage anyone who would like to participate or have an interesting story line to let them know by emailing [email protected].

Pootoolal would like to thank Woodbine Entertainment Group, who were very supportive and helpful during the filming process, and Standardbred Canada for their continued support of the project.

To see more go to www.obyaentertainment.com



Trevor Cahill
I think that Dan Fisher has a valuable point when he applauds Randy Waples for showing "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly sides of Harness Racing." This industry definitely needs something to get it re-exposed to the public and I too applaud Randy Waples and his partners for trying to do so.

I for one, am part of that youth that this show intends to target, I am 21 years old and I have a renewed love for the sport of harness racing. However, I too like another author said earlier was exposed to harness racing when I was quite young which has made it much easier for me to enjoy the sport. My Dad and his brothers were small time Owners, Trainers and Drivers at Kingston Park Raceway from the early 70s till 1993 or whenever the track was shut down due to lack of funding to keep it going. I was only about 4 years old when my Dad decided to retire because of our growing family and the inconvenience of the local track shutting down. Even though I was quite young at the time I can still remember being at the track as a toddler and sitting on Dads lap as he jogged our horses around the old 5/8 oval at KPR. As I grew up I was still always fascinated by harness racing, I would always go downstairs and look at Dads old race photo albums, full of all the times he was in the winner's circle, breaking the new yearlings or just hookin' up and taking whatever horse we had out for a stretch. I would also watch all my Dad's race tapes that featured some of the greatest horses the sport had ever seen such as Jate Lobell, On the Road Again, Nhilator, Broadway Express or even one of our own horses Romano Seelster winning a stakes race at Rideau. Every chance I had to go to a race I would ask my Dad to take me, whether we were visiting Charlotte Town Driving Park in PEI, Rideau Carleton for some summer getaway or Belleville's old half mile track before it too shut down.

Even though my family was out of the harness racing business I still tried to be around horses as much as I could, so I took riding lessons as a kid whenever I wasn't at the rink or on the football field. I really didn't have much time for the horses by the time high-school came around because there was very little promotion or opportunity for a young guy in Kingston to get exposed to harness racing other than watching Race Night on the Score. I did what most kids did and played football and hockey until I graduated. I then tried to play university football but, came up short at the University of Ottawa.

This year however, the harness racing blood that looked to be gone from within me arose once again and relit my passion for the horses. It wasn't however, Bet Night Live or anything like that, that had me thinking about horses again. It was a t.v show called Rodeo: Life On the Circuit airing on History Television. This show documented the lives of the Canadian cowboys and cowgirls that participate in professional and amateur rodeo events all across Western Canada. The aspect of the show that I felt appealed to me most was that they followed 14 or so different cowboys and cowgirls, they all came from different backgrounds and all had a different stories of how they got there. There were stories of the rich cowboys and cowgirls with all the success and also the stories of the less fortunate ones and grinders who struggle to survive in the sport. After seeing the horse and human relationship on this show it got me thinking about horses again, so I then went out and bought myself a book on Horse Care and Training. Getting well through the book I then began to get the itch to see or do something with horses involved. Being at school it was difficult to find anything suitable because I was in the heart of downtown Ottawa without transportation, then it came to me. Rideau Carleton Raceway was only a bus ride away and a short shuttle to the track. I was at the races that week and watching on a frigid March evening as the Trotters and Pacers did their best against the elements. Since that day I have become somewhat of a regular at the track now, and my brain in hooked on harness racing. I've picked up one of my dads old books titled "Training and Care for the Trotter and Pacer" by the US Trotting Association in hopes to boost my knowledge and help aid me for when I'm done school and try my hand in the business.
I know that much of what I said is the story of my life and my connections to harness racing, but I think that there are some things to consider when trying to attract people and youth to this great sport. I am not what you would call a bleeding heart and think harness racing is cruel because that is not how I feel at all. I love animals and horses in particular and I for one don't think replaying the footage of the big wrecks is the way to attract a youthful audience. I do however, believe that it is necessary to show them because it does show a devastating reality of the sport. It is much like the footage of the Bull Riders getting gored, and Broncos going down in the Rodeo: Life on The Circuit series, not everyone likes to see it but, It does happen and shows that with the "Glory of Victory" comes the risk of "Disaster". Some people are thinking that violence sells but, harness racing accidents should in no way be compared to the type of action that a UFC event brings because it is of a totally different nature. UFC is a sport all about man vs man, mixed martial arts designed for structured violence. A harness racing crash is something of brutal misfortune that in some respects can take the lives of drivers and horses and should not be considered entertaining. This is not what sells the business of harness racing, and if it is than we have severely stray off course from which the fore fathers of the sport intended. What sells harness racing is the amazing teamwork between man and horse to be the fastest competitor across a mile.

I think that if Mr. Waples was to document the story of different drivers, trainers, owners and grooms some being rich and successful and some being small time operators it would be much more appealing because viewers would be able to relate to each persons situation and struggle. Take for example the story of Randy Waples himself and his rise up to Hall of Fame Status, document that, but then also follow the story of say a young driver such as Clarke Steacy the son of succesful trainer/driver Mark Steacy from the Landsdown area who has just begun his career. Another story line may be the trainer at a track that is at risk of shutting down, forcing him/her to find a new location leaving behind all he/she has ever known to seek success elsewhere. Also throw in what it is like to be a woman in the business competing against so many men. I think that appealing to all different genders, ages, and financial backgrounds is a good way of appealing to more audiences because the people watching will find an aspect of their own life that they can relate to through the show.

I realize that I am very young and I still have much to learn about the business of harness racing but, I believe that by appealing to all different types of people through different stories of harness racing, through a television series you will be able to capture more fans and more people wanting to get involved in harness racing such as myself. Again I applaud Randy Waples on taking the first steps to help aid the industry by exposing this show to the public, but I think this is only a baby step. Racing needs its ambassadors like Mr. Waples to push for racing being aired on local television more often than just Bet Net Live, whether it be showing live racing like TSN did in the 80s and early 90s, or having commercials for tracks on local T.V stations etc. I took one of my friends to the races this year ( he is also a 21 years old), he had never been to the races before, had no connection to the sport what so ever and was like so many young people in Canada he was raised to play hockey. He had no idea that there was racing in Ottawa. He didn't know much of anything about the sport, so I told him a little bit about it and he wanted to go see what it was all about. He ended up going three for three with his fluke betting and won some money. Turns out he enjoyed it so much that he has been asking me when we can go again. This is an example of a new youthful fan willing to bring his business to a track. Again, he didn't even know about harness racing in the area before I told him. I realize this is only one example but, I think that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel for this business and I think this series if steered in the proper direction could be a great success and develop new comers to the sport that could boost its popularity! I am really looking forward to seeing what Waples and his team has put together!

I KNOW this will be the most AMAZING show ever. It is about time that someone has introduced harnessracing. There is so many people that know nothing about the sport? More then thousands of people around the world, do not have satellite, (just cable) or may not even have that.
Its hard to understand & have interest in a sport if you are not introduced to it?

When were younger were introduced to sports in public/highschool college,so we learn to love hockey, football, basketball, baseball etc, all the fun sports on TV. What about racing? Where & when is that introduced to people/viewers? If were not a trainer/driver/better etc, What do we know about it? People will learn the love for it, when introduced.

Its mostly just the families at smallers tracks & betters. What happened to the ones that were there for the love of the horses years ago?

I think the spill is EXCELLENT, it's the truth of what happens out there. It will NOT turn people off, its kinda like seeing a fight in hockey. Thousands of people cannot afford to get to a track, no vechicles, crazy price of gas our economy is so tough these days who can afford to get to the big cities. With a new show being launched they can learn more about it. People think going to the races cost money to get in, learning its a free evening out for families, friends, learning where it is? Around the world? A track near you when?(brings out the marketing aswell) Thousands of nursing homes, jails, grouphomes, people whom do not get the chance to get out to a track would love the show.

Maybe in the show, a bus can help elders in communnites on a fundraising from the money brought in from the show, couple days of the year, or have public schools come in on a classtrip for any dayraces/tours around the industry. Helping the ones whom do not have the opportunity to get to a track cause they are trying to feed their kids, pay their hydro & bills etc.

Having people do interviews about their interest in it? We not only get the adults now, but introduce the next generation which is our children. (So many ways to do that for them) There is so much that should be recognized on the show, then just the trainers & drivers out there racing, the grooms do so much work, all the breeding farms,vets,feed stores,farmers for hay etc, farriers. What about all the people that run stables, management, owners, all the people that work at a track? So many viewers, families with loved ones with disabilites whom cannot afford to get to the cities, let alone afford satellite would follow & love the show. For everyone ecspecially families, Following mom in foal a baby to yearling, in training to racing should be introduced, how AMAZING & INTELLIGENT a HORSE IS/ making that part REAL & emotional, leading to not only the hard work but what he/she in turn was deserved of. The show will fly with thousand/millions of viewers who know nothing about the sport around the world. Teaching about the betting is something? How do you bet? Why bet?If I am not a better?

Teaching how to bet how old you have to be? How do you read the race program? These are little but large things for people. Having on the show people come to the races such as young broke students with no money, wanting to do something different, why not have more lucky draws of walk ins couples night, first 10 couples whom come to the races, get free $10 dollar bets( not sure if thats a possibility? or a free dinner? Making first dates or dates for students, something fun? Showing live familes, young goodlooking college couples, betting then winning something on the show? How fun it can be!!! (what did they win when THEIR HORSE WON) what is a deat heat? Alot of people are afraid to bet cause they do not know how? Its the little but big things when thinking about viewers. How do you read the board? If I dont know about the sport? dont know how to bet? Have no love for horses because I never had the opportunity to learn? Why would I go to the races? What if I do not have any money to bet? These are answers to why the show will fly! Families will learn about the love for the horses & people whom live the INDUSTRY! Making it real everyday.

Why not have families win chances to the cities to have a chance to get to the races? With a prepaid hotel with watching the races, with 3 races of $2 free dollar bets or something. Have that opportunity from ending of the show? Adding names to draws. (Enter names on a website or something.

Recognizing how hard the trainers & drivers do work a life in their shoes but focusing the intelligence of the horse as well, the LOVE for the horse is what makes the sport.

Making it fun & exciting. Making it not only serious but funny & cute!!! What makes people laugh to? Crazy fun horses! Who gets to see that everyday!! Fun things that will attract viewers & children!!! Its not all about betting its about the love for it!!! Thats what will attract more people. Making it what it was years ago!

I think Mr. Tobin's comments bare the greatest truth and should be strongly considered. I too applaud the effort to go "outside the box". In the trailer there was a scene when the camera angle was directly behind the horses, that 6 or 7 seconds was the only part of the trailer that I found fresh and somewhat exhilarating. I think unique angles and views such as this could give the viewers a better feel for the power of the animal and the speed of an actual race. I think the producers are headed in the right direction but I believe the general public will be turned off if they continue to refer to the animals in a derogatory manner. Good luck to Randy and his associates.

To Lisa Cook,

Your comments are spot on, there decision to show horses getting in crashes all over the track and thinking that is clever marketing should not be a surprise to anyone. It does not matter if it is racetrack management, boards of directors, the orc, the cpma, a large percentage of horseman, there are so many people thru out this industry that do not get it, it is downright scary. Is it any wonder that the game is well on it's way to extinction.

Garnet Barnsdale
It's great!!! I am especially impressed with the camera work capturing the racing action. You truly get a feel for how fast they are moving...I have had a secret dream to drive a standardbred for some time; but after seeing how fast they move in motion picture, I am sure thinking twice now!

As someone who loves Standardbreds, loves watching them race and give their best I find this trailer to be pretty tasteless. I don't want to watch the animals crash over and over again. I'm not naive to think it never happens I just don't want to watch - that's a big reason I won't watch Thoroughbred racing. I have never liked the attitude of many of the trainers and drivers towards their money makers. They're disrespectful. I'd like to see them have to work as hard as their "pieces of s**t". I, for one, will not watch the show. If your plan is to get new interest in harness racing, you're aiming too low with the "Jersey Shore" mentality.

I have a great idea. This will definetely pack them into the grandstands at the racetracks across North America!

Every night after the seventh race let's have a real Free-For-All.Let's just have all the drivers, trainers, owners swearing at each other like ignorant idiots, let them have a brawl until there is only one left standing, then let's put spikes and blades on the wheels, and let the drivers whip each other as they race around the track "a la Ben Hur".
Hey, all the drivers are wearing helmets!Who needs Judges?

This is guaranteed to make harness racing the most popular sport in North America. Who cares about the protestors? All the top sports have plenty of bleeding heart complainers. Let's get somebody to make a "Rock-em-sock-em" Harness video with blood splattering all over the place.

Let's not let anyone in on the great history of the game, the excitement of great legal competition, and a chance to put your money where your mouth is when you have an intelligent opinion on a race.

Speaking of mouths, my tonge is so far in my cheek, I think I'm going to choke!

To Mr.Brown,

What exactly is it that the jockeys did to save the day for thoroughbred racing. I must of missed something, i hope you are not referring to them two fools almost getting in a fight on there big day. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but like the harness game the t'breds are also dying out. A recent article that i read from the dfr states that t'bred racing in the states in 2008 was down 7.3% from 2007 and 2009 dropped another 9.6% from 2008. They go on to say that in 2010 wagering was the lowest since 1995 and US wagering has plummeted 25% since 2003. Not exactly a rosy picture. The scary part is like harness racing they have learned no lessons in the last 15 to 20 years. They also do not understand that they are no longer the only game in town.

It will be a hit with the race fans.... More comments and clips from the crowd...sometimes things get out of shape in the stands as well....everyone has a favourite driver....build it in the stands and we all win....with the spills, as it is a part of the industry, please pick the ones where everyone goes back to the barn maybe banged up a bit but able to race again...we all watched the Earnhart crash but probably only once...
GREAT job to all

Good idea. look at what "Jockeys" did for the thoroughbred industry. I think this would greatly increase the attendance at the race tracks with the right marketing. Cant wait to see the show.

By showcasing harm to horses (very first video clip was of an eight horse pile-up) and introducing audiences to what drivers think of their mounts (a.k.a. Randy and Jody calling their horses something a kin to that found in the manure bin), we certainly aren't promoting Harness Racing in the best light.

I've asked about a dozen people (with little to no knowledge of the sport) what they think of this teaser and everybody was appalled by its contents. They thought it was boring, uneventful and doubted that it would ever gain much traction from viewers. Their biggest concern however, was the condition of the horses and drivers; slow motion replays of horrific events such as those in the video probably didn't help boost their perceptions any...

I've always felt that we should promote the horse first and foremost in this sport. I haven't met a person yet who doesn't like these majestic animals, especially the kind loving standardbred. The standardbred horse is a marketing marvel and we desperately need to harness its potential.

Good work getting the ball rolling, but I'd suggest focusing on human interest stories rather than the death and tragedy we can face everyday. Just my two cents.

In reply to by rolex_roller

I think a show on harness racing is great,but like you said a pile up of horses and drivers is not something people want to see.That really turns me off from watching it.

Kudos to Randy for thinking "outside of the box"! It is the responsibility for all of us in the industry to create new ways to lure new fans, even the under-aged non-bettors, and promote racing. I'll be watching!

I however have some of the same concerns as others (Lynne, Helen, Bernard, Darryl and Liz). I absolutely love the sport but was a bit appalled at the "whip cracking" and reference to the horse. We may attract protesters and not spectators. The first step toward cleaning up our sport and attracting new fans would be the absence of derogatory comments about the horse, on or off camera.

I totally agree with Bernard Tobin. I would show nothing but positive things when it comes to a horse and as for humans well fair game. Even when the driver was cracking that whip the first that came to mind was when years ago I brought some friends to the track to watch an evening of races. They swore they would never come back because of the whip. The races with the horses falling I would say that this would be a definite no no especially when it kept on showing it. I have been in the racing business quite a long time and I still have a hard time with what I know and see could you imagine the public!!! This is just my opinion....

I can see nbc, cbs,abc,fox and cnn, all fighting for exclusive rights to show this, the viewer ship should be in the millions. Well maybe not, a more realistic assessment will be the people who are involved in the race game may watch, people who aren't won't give it a second look. The race game needs to put the focus on attracting gamblers, this won't do it. If anyone thinks focusing on horse accidents in this day and age is great publicity they are probably not the ones you want driving the marketing campaign.

Hi Randy-I hope Your show is a hit with other people but with Me and other folks in the older group already know what racing is all about and what goes on behind the scenes. I have made a huge bet picking You over Jody for the years most wins at Woodbine and Mohawk
I hate very much to loose a bet, I know that You can beat Him. Thank You

After rereading all the comments, I wonder if it would be beneficial for the producers to find a way to present this teaser to the "target" audience(18-35 potential gamblers not familiar with horses?)and gauge their reaction. The reactions from the group assembled here are not really helpful as all have varying degrees of knowledge of harness racing and will probably be watching the show regardless of their opinions . If the main purpose is to attract a new audience then it should be tested as such. I would be most interested to hear the results of such testing- anyone else?

I can only hope for more of this sooner than later. Great promo material for our industry. We are human. Show respect for our friend-THE STANDARDBRED-the backbone of our sports. Waiting for announcement as to where we can see this. DVD needed.

Drawing parallels between the UFC/NASCAR and harness racing is difficult to legitimize. There are no animals involved in the UFC (well maybe a few acting like animals) and horsepower doesn't count as "animals" in NASCAR. Even "twenty somethings" will cringe at the opening scene of the teaser. Sympathy for the animal is at an all time high in today's society and will only increase. The swearing is a non-issue, kids watching Hockey Night in Canada get more exposure reading lips. Lots of constructive criticism on this site - let's look at everything said with an "open bridle".

Hope to see some real chirping footage b/w drivers as they pull up and head off the track
after a dash. That is "good stuff".

hey trailer looks great cant wait for it to start. Hopefully i can come up with some good story lines for it ;)...good luck!!

At the beginning of this clip there looked like there was some semblance of reality in the locker room scene,and actual footage of real accidents... then this silly, foolish, contrived "fight" brings it to fiction. Don't get me wrong, I love a good spontanious fight as much as anyone, but this "skirmish" is obviously acting for the camera.Do you want to show horse reality or horsepoop? Or do you not think that the reality of harness racing is too boring?

I can not wait to see the shows. I will reserve my opinions until then. Kudos to all who are thinking outside of the box and taking the bull by the horns. (no offense to any bulls who might be offended), man or animal.
I hope it blazes a trail that opens the floodgate. I have enjoyed Harness racing for 40+ years and I want it to continue.

Fantastic.... Scott and I were glued to the thoroughbred show "Jockeys".. it was an eye opener to see things on the inside of the other breed. If this show can hook people like "Jockeys" hooked us our sport will thrive! Really looking forward to showing the outside world our trials and tribulations, thrills and spills, highs and lows. Good luck! I'll be watching for sure

The show has tremendous potential and I applaud Randy and his efforts, but we do have to be careful how we present the horse.

A couple of commentators have drawn a parallel between horse racing and UFC. I think that's dangerous. Horse racing is not UFC.

In the case of UFC, two mature humans make a decision to engage in a fight that can be dangerous and could do physical harm to the participants. In horse racing, a human -- an owner or trainer -- makes the decision to enter a horse into a race; the horse does not have a choice.

I know the objective of the TV show is to be edgy and in-your-face. That makes sense given the target audience. But we must show our respect for the horse.
Racing can be dangerous for the horse and there is no positive benefit to raising awareness or highlighting the possibility of that danger.

Randy, there is a fine line you need to walk here. I've worked in marketing communications for the past 10 years and took the opportunity to send the video to a colleague of mind who has spent a good deal of her career counselling clients in animal agriculture and food production on how to avoid being caught in the crosshairs of animal rights groups such as PETA ... and advising them what to do when they are captured in their sights.

Her advice was to be very careful about how the horse is portrayed. The human drama can have tremendous edge, but the horse must be respected. She wrote: "It's one thing for people to choose to risk their own lives but when it comes to things like this (horse racing), we're invoking our will on the animal -- and we need to show that every step is taken to keep the animals safe and healthy that are under our care."

Hope you find this constructive.

Bernard Tobin
Sugar Rush Stable

In reply to by Bernard T

Thank you Mr. Tobin. Those are my concerns as well. This sport is all about the horse. With the growth of animal activist groups, we all have to be very careful with the perception of harm or abuse that the horses could 'possibly' be enduring. Marketing is such a tricky business. Where animals are concerned, it is even more delicate.

OMG -- I can't wait to watch this show!!!!!
SIGN ME UP NOW -- already bookmarked the website to watch again

I'm a fan and I want to learn about what happens behind the scenes -- the good, the bad and the ugly. This can only help fans and potential fans relate more to the drivers, the owners and even the horses. By exposing the sport people can learn about the horse and their personalities,the drivers, the owners and the industry.

Marie Stoyles-Moura

I like it!

Preview is fine until they get to the part where the drivers are talking about this horse and that horse being a f--king piece of s--it. As an owner I am disgusted that a driver would have that attitude about driving one of my horses in a race. I DO NOT invest thousands of dollars every month to be considered as an owner of a piece of s--t. I don't buy pieces of s--t intentionally. As a bettor I would be disgusted about seeing that attitude taken on a horse I might be betting. As a fan I would be disgusted at such a beautiful animal being talked about in that manner. It would be a big mistake to include comments of this type which are negative. We have an excess amount of that already.

The preview is impressive. I have been a fan of harness racing for almost 40 years now. It is about time something like this came along. As for randy, yes he has had his moments over the years, but he has always been true to himself and true to his sport. Looking forward to much more.

In reply to by MUTZY54

A man once said! There Are 199 Ways to get beat but only one way to win!,, get there FIRST. If my horse is not going to win then I'm not going to race. Randy you have gotten another FIRST.

If that's the teaser... I'm in!!! Absolutely fantastic. As for some of the comments below I have to say the the music IS NOT cheezy, what it does is it gives you a sense of urgency that says "I better not leave or I might miss something good" feeling. That is what you are supposed to do in a teaser.

As far as what we have been told on this board, this program is supposed to be about a day in the life and what happens tomorrow, therefore the use of the accident scenes was to emphasize the danger of the sport!! Anyone that's been thrown from a bike or cart can tell you that the only thing that goes thru you mind is "O Sh*t".... and then you land..... ouch at a minimum.

In regards to the swearing, you can go to any cable show and find gratitious swearing on any number of shows and all they need to do is add a disclaimer at the start of the show. Do these people talk like this? I think that some of them do. Some of it may be put on but I believe that wht we are looking at is raw emotion in the moment and you can't script that!!!

I'm in.... when does it start???? I need to program something to make sure I don't miss a second of it!!!
Myles Mintzler

In reply to by Smylie

It wasn't the swearing, per se, that my comment was about but about the derogatory remarks about the horses. The drivers can call each other whatever they like---I could care less. Mr. Newbigging's post is on target. I just don't think that going that route will sell our sport. I'm sure the wrinkles will be ironed out in time. We can't afford to allienate any groups---5 to 85, horse people or non horse people. Randy has made a great start in taking harness racing to the public.

In reply to by Lynne Magee

You're missing the point Lynne, there is no TV show on earth that appeals to EVERYBODY. We're trying here to attract the 18-35 demographic. The people that like to entertained, that spend money that drive industries as fans and participants. I would go to watch harness racing on a Saturday night even if I knew there would not be one other person there. But we're trying to attract thousands. That's what this is about.

In reply to by Lynne Magee

While I agree with the premise of not wanting to alienate anyone I have to say that the flow of the conversation in the teaser was that Randy was calling down a horse he was not driving. Jody was asking him for clarification as to why and whether Randy said what he said for effect or didn't know any better, he IS entitled to his own opinion however wrong he may be. I just might bet a dollar that there have been similar conversations that had the roles reversed over the years too.

The preview felt exciting. Good Luck and Thanks to all. P.S. Boy do we need a wake-up and I pray this might be it !!!

Three minutes and thirty two seconds is nowhere near enough time to evaluate what this program may look like when the finished product debuts. In todays world of marketing and communication, image is far more important than substance.

The image this 3 minute video wants to project is one of testosterone. When editing this preview from what one assumes is a larger video, it would appear that intentional choices were made to lend to this image and this image alone. You will get no argument from me that testosterone fueled action is an important part of the image that harness racing needs and wants to project. My question: "Is this the only image to be projected."

While NASCAR plays up high speed crashes and driver arguments, it also plays on an image of a family event, of everybody getting together for some hot dogs and a beer while having a great social time watching a race. NASCAR also uses patriotism and even spirituality as part of the image it packages for fans of the game. If this new show is to feature accident after accident, driver shoving match after driver shoving match, it will attract a certain segment.

If these clips were chosen simply to try and "in your face you have to watch this" so as to attract people to a program that shows a wider range of image for harness racing, I think it is great. If we get the three minutes shown, repeated ten times in a half hour - I'll be bored by the end of the first episode.

Let us know when and where this series is going to be broadcast. By this short clip I see Randy learned a lot during filming......you don't run your mouth and walk away from a man with Maritime roots.....good lesson

In reply to by mghorsman

So Liz, you want the producers to come up with a show that attracts people aged 5 to 85, people who've never seen a horse and people who have been involved in the game all their lives?? ... Yep, best of luck with that.

Everyone in harness racing doesn't need to watch...the show has been created to attract a NEW audience.

I 100% agree with Dan. That was cool, it was edgy, I wanna see more. I wanna see drivers arguing, I wanna hear the things they shout at each other during races, I wanna see em feel good when they win, feel sick when they lose. I wanna see it all. I've been following harness racing for too many years, but never as anything more than a fan in the grandstand - so I don't KNOW what goes on back there. I wanna see it!

This is good for the sport, people. I'll look forward to seeing the rest of it... maybe with a little less corny music, Randy :)

AWESOME! This will be great for the industry! It's about time something like this was done. If you can get one of the drivers to wear a "helmet cam", that would really add to the on-track footage! Best of luck!

I realize that all input is probably going to be appreciated by the creators of this potential new show. But at the same time we need a way to captivate a new, younger audience.

The Rogers Centre sold out in 30 minutes for the UFC event in April...what would make even a fraction of these people take an interest in our game ? Not a bunch of cream-puff stories...that's for sure.

No one in harness racing likes accidents...Randy would be at the very top of that list after his career almost ended from one a few years back. But guess what...they happen. No one is going to script a racing accident to film a tv show but if they happen, they happen. We don't want them to, but once in a while they do.

I applaud Randy for trying to make people take notice of our sport...the good...the bad...and the ugly.

In reply to by Dan Fisher

Mr. Fisher:
Everyone on this page is applauding Randy and no one is suggesting that the show be turned into a "cream puff" version of reality. Younger people will surely be intrigued by driver conflict and danger (I thought the two jockeys duking it out at this year's breeders cup was quite exciting) but it would be wise to remember the negative publicity generated by the stories of Ruffian, Go for Wand and Barbero when showing accidents. Almost everyone I know who loves the sport of horse racing was introduced to it by their parents and many people today might like to bring their kids out to the races. Beware of losing that possible fan base with too much violence and horse injury. You are quite right about the attraction of UFC but there are no animals involved and people feel quite differently about seeing animals injured than they do about humans.
Once again kudos to Randy & company for this effort. Everyone involved in harness racing will surely be watching with great interest and enthusiasm. Whether or not it attracts new fans remains to be seen but it's a terrific idea the beat effort I have seen to promote the sport.

In reply to by Dan Fisher

Well said! Kudos to Randy and everyone involved in bringing this to our televisions in our homes. To captivate a new, younger audience, I believe all harness racing fans alike can help out in a big way by spreading the word to new viewers, etc. This can definately be huge for harness racing. Can't wait to see more!!

I agree with Liz Therrien about the accidents. Focusing on that part of racing is going to get the attention of animal activists who are already calling for the ban of racing due to cruelty to the horses. Like fights at a hockey game, crashes boost audience attention but when people or innocent animals are seriously hurt or die, it ceases to be entertaining. Perhaps you could note only use clips where the drivers and horses do not sustain serious injury and note that in the video.
I would also suggest not playing up the whip. This is a big issue for PETA and other groups. Show it being used properly so that people understand that it can be a humane tool of the trade that can be used to keep horses and humans safe -- not to hurt the horses. The recent study done in Australia by Prof. McGreevy and Dr. Evans regarding the ineffectiveness of whipping horses is getting a lot of attention outside of the racing world.
The horse is held in high esteem for most of our society. Talking about them as a f*&^ing piece of s@@t" is an attack on the horses. I realize that this is done in jest but how about directing remarks like that towards the driver rather than the horse. Showing respect for the horses is critical in this age of declining numbers in our industry.

That was absolutely awesome! Great camera angles. WWF, the Sopranos, something totally new, all rolled together. If this doesn't bring people out to the races nothing will.Can't wait to see whether you or Jody come out on top. Thanks for breathing new life and excitement into the industry.

Fantastic.It’s about time people get a behind the scenes look at the most exciting sport in the world. I can’t wait to see more. Good luck to all involved with the next great reality show hit.

This looks promising - can't wait to watch. Just a word of caution regarding the film of accidents. If you're looking to attract new fans remember that many people regard horse racing as "cruel" and too many scenes like the first one could really turn them off. As a long time fan, even I turn away when there are horses and drivers down on the track. Obviously, it is a part of racing - just tone it down a bit. Perhaps introduce the danger aspect after you present some of the many "feelgood" stories. Good luck with this production and congratulations on a great way to promote your sport.

Nice sneak peak, looking forward to watching. If done correctly, this will have a great positive spin on putting harness racing into the main stream of the public. It will attract people who would have never considered going to the racetrack to come down and place a few wagers as well as to see the cast live on the track doing their thing. Reality shows hit a lot of people who never leave their couches and if the sneak peak is a sign of things to come, this could create a small army of followers who didnt even know what a standardbred horse was. Looks like this could be a win win for all people involved with the industry in attracting a whole new fan base. I'm excited to see the full version and the best of luck with the upcoming episodes. You have my attention and wont miss it.

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