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Friday, May 12, 2006

Losing 101

- Nothing But Fun (Dixie Union) picked up where she left off before being thrown to the wolves in the BC Distaff, posting a win in the Mil Kilates at Belmont yesterday. I had an exacta box with the two longest shots on the board, as discussed here the other day. I listened to the call while at work, and was encouraged when I heard that the winner, who went off as just the slight choice over Satin Kiss, was engaged for the lead in a half of 46, which followed a first quarter of 23 2/5; that’s a second quarter of 22 3/5. But she was too much, as my choices, led by the 9-1 Classy Charm, ran second and third. Had the right idea I guess, but winning usually requires perfection.

And I’ve had little of either winning or perfection of late. After a recent lull in wagering activities – I felt like I hadn’t been to the track in weeks when I walked into Belmont last weekend – Derby Day set me off to the point where, this week, I bet a couple of races from Indiana Downs, as well as some harness action from Hoosier and Woodbine, all to no avail. Last night, I thought I’d settle in for a little action, and turned on TVG. The network had unveiled, amidst some fanfare, new graphics and sets on Wednesday. I caught the graphics on Wednesday, and it was nothing to write home about. I thought the whole thing was much ado about nothing. But last night, I saw the new set, with the hosts sitting in plush chairs like they were on the Today Show.

Worse yet, there was new programming instead of straight coverage of the races. Chris Kotulak and Simon Brey were hosting a program called Racing 101, which is supposed to be geared to novices. “This….is…..a …..claiming…..race. That…..means……..” Oh man. For one thing, what novice is going to be watching TVG on a Thursday night on which Prairie Meadows was about the most exciting thing they had going? I mean, really! And Kotulak kept saying something about the “poo-purree” they had on the table; I had no idea what he was talking about, thought they had some horse droppings in a bowl there until he read an email from a viewer pointing out that the correct pronunciation is PO-pourri (as in potpourri). Perhaps Kotulak needs to be watching English 101.

During this show, they were hyping the next one, something called Racing Roundtable, with Todd Schrrrmmmppff. They had a preview shot in which he appeared to be telling what he must have thought was a funny story to Alex Solis, and Solis was standing there nodding politely, as in ‘what the hell is this guy talking about?’

Personally, I tune into TVG for racing and the occasional worthwhile specials like The Works, and I could really do without these new shows. It’s like when MTV stopped showing music videos and introduced their hideous (Beavis and Butthead excluded) programs instead . Does this mean that soon we’ll have some reality show with eight intolerable handicappers shut into a house together with nothing but Racing Forms and a satellite dish? Or perhaps a racing version of Punk’d - A bettor goes to cash a big winning ticket and the cashier seizes it and summons the FBI to handcuff him and drag him away and everyone thinks it’s a panic as that fucking no-talent putz Ashton Kutscher emerges to tell him it’s all a joke, ha ha ha?

TVG should stick to its roots, in my opinion. I found Racing 101 to be totally insufferable, and it drove me to turn off the TV faster than does Jessica York. (Of course, it didn’t help that after spending 15 minutes studying the 4th from Prairie Meadows, I discovered that the track was not available on OTB). Well, at least it saved me some money on this night (I would have lost that Prairie Meadows race). But I’m already starting to really miss HRTV…


Anonymous said...

Alan, if you think 101 is bad, check out 58 Flat. It's an hour of Matt Carouthers (sp) giving out loser after loser while acting as if he was on crack. I am betting even his mother can't watch it.

t said...

yeah, you're right on, and I think the MTV model is exactly where they are going. And yes, it sucks.

HRTV is VH1 in this scenario, and eventually I think we'll get MTV2, er...TVG2, that is. On the new channel they'll boast that they actually show races, until they begin putting shows on their extenstion network too.