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Saturday, January 03, 2009

GP Efforts an Exercise in Futility

- Gulfstream opens today. As opposed to past years however, I'm going to continue to focus my blogging efforts on the local racing here at the Big A. On the other hand, as in recent past years, we're once again reading of the efforts down there to make the track and the meeting not suck anymore. Five day a week racing instead of six, a new racing secretary, new stewards, improvements to the turf course, complete coverage on a daily basis for the first time from HRTV (which does most of us a whole lot of fucking good), and changes to the stakes schedule....such as, turning the Fountain of Youth, long a key prep for the Florida Derby and the spring classics that follow, into a one-turn mile, and thus rendering it more or less irrelevant as such. Good thinking there.

Of course, there's still no backyard nor grandstand seating, so unless we can go back in time and save the original structure before its mindless and ill-fated destruction, nothing is really going to help....especially in terms of the idiotic track configuration which prevents the track from conducting the kind of sliding scale of distances which make for a proper three-year old program, and which makes even the mile and an eighth races more a matter of the post position draw than anything else.

Rather than a boycott, my sticking with the Big A is more a way of me changing tactics from past years to keep things from becoming too routine, providing alternate content given all of the bloggers and columnists who will be concentrating on the Florida racing, and to keep the momentum that I've established - at least in my mind and for my own selfish purposes - in keeping tabs on the trends we're seeing up here. Which will all, hopefully, lead to us making a little money.

Of course, I'll be keeping an eye on things down south, and won't hesitate to ridicule the proceedings at Gulfstream when warranted. For example, here on their website we see that, on Sunday, from 11 - 2PM at Frank's Beach, you can play and party with none other than....er.....Spomgebob. So I see that Magna must be using the same proofreader for this website as the Breeders' Cup used for their signs. Nice work there Framk.

6 Comments:

steve in nc said...

I have kids and saw that episode where Mr. Krabbs makes Spongebob entertain the kids as an attraction instead of doing his ususal fry cook duties.

I don't know the Head Chef, but I suspect she'd resent being made to perform a stage show instead of catering. As you can imagine, things didn't go well at the Krusty Krabb. And it is hard for me to imagine anything good going on at Frank's Beach.

I'm with you, Alan. As Crist put it in his blog, "Inner, Inner, Chicken Dinner."

Anonymous said...

unnecessary to use the F bomb when referring to HRTV.

as usual Alan nothing changed with ur vocabulary from 2008

Anonymous said...

11:29 anon--jealous TBA member perhaps?

jimbo said...

I was watching the GP simulcast and was disappointed with the overall quality of the feed.

It took forever to get the payouts and the odds for the next race.

Anyone else notice this?

jimbo

Anonymous said...

apparently the dollar beer and food had the joint jumping, "biggest crowd since the makeover" allegedly, but since admission is free there is no way to verify.

Of course they were not ready for the throng, so no one will go back. Typical racing strategy, lure a bunch of newbies to the track with a giveaway, then not staff the place correctly so they all have a miserable experience and no reason to return. Brilliant!

Handle was in the same range as last year, which in this economy counts as a victory.

Chalk Eating Weasel said...

I happened to be at Gulfstream on opening day. I can attest that the place was as crowded as I've ever seen it. As for the actual attendance, I am in agreement and have already said that I don't know how they reckoned that one with no paid attendance figures. True the payouts were slow in coming and they also didn't have the leader numbers on the monitors which made tracking the race even more difficult since the PA system wasn't working very well either.

I've was there yesterday and today. Things seem to be running much smoother. Of course they haven't had the masses of people they had on Saturday, but the crowds have been pretty good for weekday racing.

I'll be back there again tomorrow and on Saturday before I return to my regular line of work; then it will be Saturday's only.

All in all, I do think they are making an honest effort to build something here. The track configuration is what it is. Maybe someday they'll fix it (yeah, right). S

Still, it has got to be in the best interest of racing to have a strong Florida racing season. Of course, there is always Tampa Bay Downs. Or maybe we can race year-long at Calder and share blunts with the rastas.