Last year I wrote about my little excursion to Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. It’s a nice place. The racetrack has a nice apron with a number of seats. At least I think it has a nice apron, if I could get to the apron but there was a casino in the way.
And how about Gulfstream Racetrack and Casino? The storied venue was razed and built in its place a large building with eight patio tables outside for the 17,365 patrons that watch the horse races and enjoy the Florida sunshine. But inside there is plenty of seating ... at the slots.
Good friend, Nellie, summed up her perspective on the dwindling services provided to the horseplayer,
No one cares ... it's sad, but true. I'm sure that a number of the people on the racing side of things have said more than enough, but were quickly reminded that [Presque Isle Downs] is a casino that just happens to have horses behind it sometimes. ...Remember, it isn't the racing fans that they care about ... it's the slots players.
I am not an opponent to slot machines. They are very popular, which is why most casinos devote 75% of their space to the machines. Their revenue at racetracks add to purses which can be positive for horse racing. But the drawback is that venues with slots are seemingly making the horseplayer secondary.
And we should do something about it. A resolution. Even better, a revolution! Racing fans, unite! Bring your lawn chairs!! Pull up alongside the rail and chant, "We are horse racing fans! We want more seats! We want shorter mutuel lines! We want a Jumbotron in the Presque Isle Downs infield! We want the 3rd floor at Philly Park! We want nachos for $2.50! We are horse racing fans!" And then to really get noticed, we should get David Beckham involved.