Sunday, May 22, 2011

Texas' Timely Writer

It's Sunday. Post Preakness. Time to open up the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and read what the Turf Writing Professor, Gary West, has to say about Shackleford and Animal Kingdom and any Barry Irwin-ism Derby Day Nonsense addendum. So I flip through the sports section and ... hey, wait a minute ... what the heck??? He's NOT HERE?!?

A quick glance at Lone Star Park's race card revealed the distinct absence of "Gary West's Picks". Something was amiss here in North Texas ...

My initial knee-jerk reaction was that the Professor was clearly caught up in The Rapture yesterday. But just in case, I hunted through my last few copies of the Star-Telegram when I stumbled upon his Friday column,

An awkward goodbye

This is my last column for the Star-Telegram.


The Star-Telegram (motto: Hanging on by our fingernails! Oh boy, wish we'd never bitten 'em!) is a McClatchy newspaper, which is not exactly a financial juggernaut these days. Needless to say, the newspaper couldn't afford 1,427 Dallas Cowboy writers, a Rangers' beat writer, a Mavericks' reporter, a NASCAR/Dallas Stars/Texas lake's fishing report guy, and a reputable turf writer. Someone had to go, thus the reprieve that the Professor received back in 2009 had expired.

How ridiculously untimely.

Lone Star Park's ownership was officially transferred to Global Gaming Solutions [and their Texan buddies] recently. Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, is no slouch when it comes to successful gaming, as clearly demonstrated by their mega-super-uber-successful WinStar World Casino at Exit 1, Oklahoma. They had purchased the foundering Remington Park in Okie City and immediately turned it around; increased attendance, increased handle, increased happy horse people. Lone Star Park is anxiously awaiting its turn - nay, Texas horse racing is waiting its turn! This has the potential of being something really big and really special!

But now who's going to write about it?

If no one writes about it, will Texans even know about it?

I'm not a journalist, merely a happy-go-lucky-blogger-who-enjoys-way-too-many-frozen-margaritas-on-a-hot-day, struggling to communicate a smidgen of useful racing news. For example, here's a my current report involving Global Gaming Solutions' acquisition of Lone Star Park,

    Lone Star Park, Grand Prairie, Texas - On May 13, 2011, Lone Star Park ownership was officially transferred to Global Gaming Solutions. You know, this reminds me that I had a dream the other night that Michael Chang, [insert title here 'cause I don't feel like looking it up] of Global Gaming Solutions, showed up at the racetrack wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip-flops, and bought frozen margaritas for everybody on the patio! One helluva dream! Woohoo!

Texas horse racing has a future. But Texas horse racing needs someone to write about it. Here's hoping that Gary West and all things flapdoodle will be showing up somewhere, sometime soon ...


Valerie Grash said...

That's horrible news! Gary's truly one of the finest turf writers out there, so I don't doubt whatever he wants to do next, he'll do great. (Oh, and the word verification to type in for this comment was 'sucks'--and so it does!)

James rockford said...

Gary West is better than the Star-Telegram and MUCH better than what Texas horseracing has become. He has as much talent as any horse racing writer, radio guy or TV analyst as anyone in the country and hopefuly he'll get a network horseracing gig or return to Kentucky where folks care about horseracing the same way Texans care about football. He's way too good for the crappy North Texas horseracing.