The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation believes that, like a good horse, a good idea can come from just about anywhere. We’ve solicited our followers to submit their own ideas – they may be well-developed or under-developed, but the intent is to get this industry thinking, talking and innovating.
The authors of the ideas we determine to be the sharpest, most thought provoking, most engaging or simply the “best,” will get to select a racing-related 501(c)(3) charity that supports aftercare, backstretch or farm workers or their dependents, disabled jockeys or other racing-related causes. The “winning” idea author will have $2,500 donated in their name, with $1,000 to a “place author” and $500 to the “show author.”
CLICK HERE to read Idea Blast 1 (featuring Ideas 1-5)
The first nine ideas published (Idea Blasts 1 and 2) will be eligible for the charity selection and the winners will be announced after New Year's Day. Here are the next four ideas.
Submitted by: Byron Rogers
An app should be created to provide newcomers to betting a better chance of winning in their first visits to the track, ensuring a more enjoyable day at the races. This starts with getting time series data for every race over the past few years and looking at the weight of money that is applied to each runner in the minutes prior to the race right up to a minute before post.
Using the time series you’d cluster the data first to see what types of races were more predictable than others (for example, a six-horse maiden special weight or a nine-horse allowance) in terms of the betting/odds actually reflecting outcomes, and then look within those more predictable races which ones have single horses that win more frequently than they should.
The app would then be developed on future races where beginners could download the app, select what tracks they’re interested in betting on and if a horse ran that day that the time series analysis predicted would be more likely to win, the app would alert the user and if possible link them to a betting wallet/account to bet.
As a beginner app it would provide them with a bet that’s more likely to give them a winner and a good day at the races.
Submitted by: Bryan Langlois
Everyone in the game wishes it would be easier to both have access to and transfer of veterinary records of horses that are racing.
One of the obvious hold ups in any process like this is that records are protected under owner/client confidentiality agreements imposed by state veterinary practice acts, so the owner technically has to give permission for the records to be released.
A simple way around this would be to slightly amend any licensing application for owners to have a clause stating they give permission for any veterinary records for any horses they may own to be released upon transfer of ownership to another owner, or upon request of any entity who may want to view them.
This prevents a lot of time wasted asking for permission of each record individually and then tracking down previous owners. Not only would it prevent unnecessary duplication of possible treatments on horses, it would provide the transparency that is needed in today’s game.
Submitted by: Samantha Bussanich
The major American racing events should consider offering student tickets and discounts as a way of attracting younger race-goers to premier events.
I have attended basically every major racing event in the United States (Triple Crown races, six Breeders' Cups, every graded stakes day at Saratoga & Keeneland, etc) as both a fan and a horsewoman. Most general admission tickets for the biggest events cost over US$60, and if you wanted a seat, plenty more than that.
Recently, I attended British Champions day at Ascot with a student ticket that cost 10 pounds (about US$13). As an aside, the organizers gave away 2,000 free tickets on a ‘first come first served basis,’ but I was not a part of that 2,000.
It was the greatest race day of my life.
I was expecting just to get a general entrance ticket and nothing more, basically because I was just a student and the lowest on the racing fan totem pole (well, at least in America we are the lowest on the totem pole). Instead, this was my day as a student at British Champions Day:
- Our own private entrance. We checked in with our ticket and student ID and received a lanyard with different pieces of information hanging off of it. One had the times of all events including race days and student specific events, a "don't miss" information section that told you information about certain drinks, fan zones, games, merchandise, an entry to a car raffle and an entry to a raffle for a year of free rent. All of this was just on the lanyard!
- We finally walked into the venue and the students had their own private inside enclosure with couches, tables and a bar. We were greeted by staff that handed us a free scarf that every student received and a lapel pin. I didn't even see the race track or a horse yet and I was already blown away. Students were also given a free alcoholic drink voucher to use.
- The students were allowed to go into the Queen Anne Enclosure where the rest of the general public was, but down the track they also had their own “students’ only” area where there was food stands and drinks were just for students.
- If you weren't into racing as much there was a general area on the opposite side of the track with a lovely live band and MANY food options. Long lines were never an issue given the number of options. You could dance, sit and eat, or socialize. It was wonderful.
I felt like I was being treated like a queen, and only for 10 pounds.
In America, we do not have ANYTHING like this on big race days. How are we supposed to attract young fans to our big events and showcase the amazing animals we have to offer when it is so incredibly expensive to go?
In order to get fans into the game we have to show them what our big days are like. Everyone wants to go to the Super Bowl, World Series, or Stanley Cup more than a normal game. Horse racing is lucky in that it often has the space necessary to create different sections of the track and add more seating whether it is in the infield or, for example, the far turn at Keeneland where they hoisted large temporary chalets for the Breeders’ Cup.
Even the Kentucky Derby infield tickets are more expensive than British Champions Day and you get absolutely nothing out of that ticket other than covering your entrance fee. We have to find a way to give students a unique and more affordable option to attend big race days.
Below are the websites dedicated to students. The Facebook page is very user friendly and had small giveaways and such leading up to the event. They continue to post events, photos of racehorses on the page to engage interest during the off season.
Submitted by: Robert Mallis
Assuming that we as an industry view the current widespread use of Lasix as being a detriment to the sport, while concurrently realizing that some horses in America need it to compete, my idea is to offer a simple, incentive-based solution: tracks should introduce a five-pound weight allowance for non-Lasix using competitors, across the board.
This allowance should be offered in conjunction with incentives to those who compete Lasix-free. These races should include:
- 20% bonuses for Lasix-free purse earners in each race
- Bonuses earnable by the breeders of Lasix-free winners
- Carding of races exclusively for Lasix-free fields which offer prize money greater than races which allow for Lasix use.
I am sure that some would counter the effectiveness of this and suggest some trainers will simply accept the higher weight, but the bonuses could deter such behavior. There has been little advance in this area for some time, despite the debate continuing amongst industry stakeholders for years. This is just a simple idea that could be developed more and I would like to see the industry begin to take an approach to this topic more seriously.