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Ladies’ Day – Some Further Thoughts

After having more time to mull it over, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are quite a few things I don’t like about the new Breeders’ Cup setup (although I’m obviously in favor of making the Friday races mean more), but also that there are some good solutions possible.

Major Bad Thing: Making the Distaff Ladies’ Classic the only ‘real’ race on the Friday card
Fix: Put at least two more big races on the first card and (big seismic shift here) make the two days Saturday and Sunday, so that People With Jobs (even, imagine this, women) might actually be able to attend both days of racing. In any event, more graded races with star horses need to be on the first card.
Fix Two: Hey, wouldn’t it be great if the ‘extra’ races were graded? Personally, I like the Dirt Marathon, but there should be a real series of (graded) races leading up to it throughout the year.

Major Bad Thing: The rename to the truly dreadful ‘Ladies’ Classic’
Fix: Easy – don’t do it.

Minor Bad Thing: It all sounds a bit sexist, albeit unintentionally (I hope)
Fix: Work on your language. You might hire a female copywriter/editor (which shouldn’t be difficult, since that’s about 80% of the pool).

Good Thing: Focus on women’s health
Better: Apart from my first suggestion that a sizable donation be made to the Archives and Special Collections on Women in Medicine (a division of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership, which fits perfectly into the stated goals of the partnership) that still stands, add other events – a 5K or 10K (people) run for charity with free admission for participants.

Good Thing: New merchandise
Better: I would love some racing-related t-shirts and sweatshirts that actually fit and flatter (i.e. are actually designed for women). My 2005 Breeders’ Cup ‘sporty’ sweatshirt accomplishes these goals, but it’s the only racing-related item of clothing I own that does this. More, please!

General unsolicited advice: Create a ‘fans’ committee’ to evaluate and develop new ideas. Invite ‘normal’ people to ‘serve’ 1-3 year terms, allowing them to sit on some planning committees. Figure out what the current fans want and use that as a base to plan to gain new ones. We are a broad swath of the population (hint: not all of us are older men smoking outside the OTB) and it would be nice to see the sport reflect that diversity. There are any number of ways to get some participants — via the NTRA website, forms at the track or OTB, word of mouth — we all want the sport improved and have ideas worth hearing. All you need to do is ask.

5 comments to Ladies’ Day – Some Further Thoughts

  • dana

    Proving yet again why you should be racing commissioner while showing off your photo editing skills… well done!

  • wendyu

    I agree with Dana! You need to be racing comissioner. Well written post and I couldn’t agree more.

  • JLDecker

    Genius. ^-^

    I had to sit on this announcement for a day plus to get my head on straight about it. I’m not impressed with the changes overall, but you summed up my feelings pretty near spot on.

  • Superfecta

    Thanks for your thoughts – the move to Saturday & Sunday seems like a no-brainer once you decide to actually have two full days.

  • John

    I love the fan committee idea but I think we bloggers are a de facto fan committee.

    The only problem is that they don’t ask for our input and they don’t find out what we think until after they act on a decision. . . oh well !!

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