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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not That Interesting

Wise Dan is actually not the most interesting horse in the world.  He's actually rather dull.  All he does is win.  He has a rather monotonous record of 14 wins in his last 15 races since he switched to turf racing as a full-time occupation.  His only loss in that time was a second-place finish in a race rained onto the Keeneland Polytrack.  (I supposed he'd be scratched if that happened now, with the main track switched to dirt.)   It's usually not that close either.  Only twice in that time was his winning margin small enough to be expressed in body parts rather than in numbers.  Yes, he made it really....well, interesting, when he returned from colic surgery to gut out a nose victory at Saratoga in August.  (In a recent board meeting, NYRA CEO Chris Kay singled out that appearance of the two-time Horse of the Year as one of the highlights of the Spa meet.....though, at the time, NYRA was just so very excited that they carded his race in the early afternoon to keep it out of the Pick Six.)

Perhaps you've seen the series of videos produced by America's Best Racing.  While well-intended, they miss the point, as does virtually any attempt I've seen by whatever passes for a national racing body to promote this sport since 'Go Baby Go.'  (And it's an unfortunate case of an industry that is trying to rid its image of drugs ripping off a beer commercial.)  This is a betting game.  And, though the clips end with the tag line "keep betting, my friend," that point is one that is not effectively conveyed here.

So, what exactly will these videos accomplish other than generating some royalty payments for Dos Equis?  The only people who care about Wise Dan are the people who already care about him.  The chances that these videos are going to inspire anyone who won't already do so (particularly in the East-leaning time zones) to stay home on a Saturday evening and turn on the TV to watch him compete in the BC Mile are highly unlikely.  And even if they did, chances are that they wouldn't be betting on or against him, or on any other race thereafter.

Of course, these clips could perhaps be more effective if they were actually really funny.  The first two had their moments ("one time, he came in 8th, just to see how it feels").  But the 3rd and 4th installments have me shuddering at the notion that there are still four more to come.

So, I took the third video and redid it in an attempt to add some yuks.  I can't say for sure whether I have succeeded. 


Anonymous said...

Wise Dan truly is a great horse. Might be the greatest horse in America in decades.

Figless said...

Leave it to racing to finally promote a horse that is one race from retirement.

First one was somewhat interesting and they go downhill from there.

El Angelo said...

Way to hex him, Alan. Anyone else you find boring?

Alan Mann said...

<<Anyone else you find boring?

Mitch McConnell

jk said...

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