Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Legendary Jockeys Rock On

Marketing has been a hot topic of discussion amidst the horse racing industry. Last month the NTRA held a summit / junket in Fabulous Las Vegas in an effort to develop some semblance of a plan to lure a new and younger fan base to the sport.

Inspired, Breeders’ Cup devised and implemented their own marketing strategy to promote the upcoming New and Improved - Hot and Hip - Two Days and You’ll Wish for Three, Breeders' Cup World Championships 2008:

Breeders’ Cup Legends Tour 2008




25 Years ...
1984 Pat Day, Angel Cordero, Jr., and Laffit Pincay, Jr. finished 1-2-3 in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic and ushered in a new era in thoroughbred excitement ...

Breeders’ Cup Legends Tour 2008 ...

Multi-city tour sweeping through racetracks across America to promote the Breeders’ Cup World Championships ...

Breeders’ Cup Legends Tour 2008 ...

Don’t miss out on Pat Day, Angel Cordero, Jr. and Laffit Pincay, Jr., legendary jockeys that combined for 78,445,267 lifetime wins and combined earnings larger than the national debt ...

Breeders’ Cup Legends Tour 2008 ...

Wild Again 25 years ago and it’s gonna be wild again in rockin’ Santa Anita October 24th and 25th. Be part of the excitement! Reserve your seats now!

Breeders’ Cup Legends Tour 2008
*Not affiliated with any concert performers, concert events,
or the McCain-Palin campaign.


The Tour would be stopping at Lone Star Park and I just had to be part of the hysteria! Just think, Pat Day, Angel Cordero, Jr., and Laffit Pincay, Jr., would be there to sign autographs, answer questions, high five fans, and trash hotel rooms all for the glory of the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. Hey, maybe there’d be a mosh pit!


Well, needless to say, 10:00 a.m. on a rainy Tuesday morning in a simulcast facility with three quiet and venerable jockeys, it didn’t exactly resemble Lollapalooza. They sat silently behind a table, autographing memorabilia, answering an occasional question, only to momentarily stop and watch race replays of previous Breeders’ Cups on a nearby monitor. However, I observed Angel Cordero, Jr., covertly glance over at the free continental breakfast more than once.

Regardless of the subdued atmosphere of the Legends Tour, it afforded me the luxury of conducting brief interviews of the Racing Hall of Fame jockeys. I inquired to what they were doing in their retirement and if they were still involved in horse racing.

Since his retirement, Pat Day remains active in the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, traveling the country, ministering to the spiritual needs of horse racing’s workforce by conducting prayer breakfasts. Actually, he was so soft-spoken and reserved the only thing I heard him say was “prayer breakfasts.” He did not indicate how he likes his eggs cooked.

Angel Cordero, Jr., is the agent for the handsome and talented, Johnny V, so he continues to enjoy the glories of the Winner’s Circle during his retirement.

Both Pat Day and Angel Cordero, Jr., have mounts for the upcoming Living Legends race this weekend. So I thought it would be fun to mix things up a bit; get a spark of competition going.

“I received an email from Gary Stevens the other day,” I informed the legendary jockeys. “He had breezed 7 horses on Sunday in preparation of the Living Legends race on October 18th. He says, ‘I’m ready. I worked that many [horses] to make sure I’m dead fit.’ Sounds like he’s giving you notice. Have you been actively riding, getting ready for this upcoming race?”

Pat Day seemed somewhat disinterested. “I guess I’ve been on a couple of horses,” he answered, unconcerned.

Meanwhile, Angel Cordero, Jr. displayed a hint of excitement. “It’s going to be fun!” After chatting for a moment or two, I speculated that he would provide much livelier answers if he tossed back a couple shots of tequila:

“Oh, that Gary Stevens thinks he’s the greatest jockey to ever ride. He thinks he’s so tough because he breezed 7 horses. I’ll be blowing by him by daylight, man! I’m gonna be kicking dirt back in that pretty-boy-HRTV-on-air personality! And you know that movie, Seabiscuit? He wasn’t that good in it. Hey, you got any more of that PatrĂ³n?”

Anyway, they kindly autographed an item that I brought: a birthday card. “It’s for my daughter," I explained. “Tomorrow’s her birthday.”

“Is she a racing fan?” Pincay asked.

“Nah. She’ll only be 7. But who wouldn’t love to get a birthday card from Pat Day, Laffit Pincay and Angel Cordero? If I got one, it would be awesome.”

4 comments:

John Records said...

Nice pictures but one is conspicuously missing. Would the perception have been "Who's the blonde 'Queen of the Amazon?'" Or didn't your hair look "golden" enough?

John said...

10AM on a Tuesday? Another fine example of how the sport doesn't market itself effectively.

Nice post Sue

Dad said...

I think your blogs should get published in the Sports section. It would be a boon to racing.

suebroux said...

dad: I love you!