January 6, 2012 Arapahoe Park COLORADO~
After reading your January 2012 Issue, and for the first time ever, I have decided to write to a trade publication.
Seeing your cover feature TM Super Bird and TM Fred Texas, both horses raced at our track in 2011, filled me with great pride. Looking forward to the 2012 season, I was pleased to see these athletes listed as number one and three in Leading Runners, all ages and Sexes. Leading owners Sam Vasquez, Jane and Ray Teutsch as well as four of the top 20 jockeys are no strangers to Arapahoe Park. I have no doubt Elizabeth Brand, the nation’s number three trainer will be returning to our Colorado track where she has always experienced outstanding success. Arapahoe Park has a proven record of excellence welfare for Arabian racing on a national level.
I have been a supporter of Arabian Racing in my state since 1992. From their beautiful conformation, and cockiness in the post parade to their majestic presence in front of the public has always kept me loyal to this beautiful breed. My loyalty and love for the breed is enhanced because every time the Denver Bronco’s score a touchdown an Arabian gallops down the field. Unfortunately the horse has seen limited exercise during most games but their mere presence adds to their mystique here in Colorado.
Here in Colorado we race many disciplines of race horses, and it is always my job to determine how many racing opportunities each breed will get. This is not a dilemma faced by only me but a process management at every track across the country is forced to address. It has recently been complicated by the economy, medication issues and of course horse population, because my responsibilities include the racing program I am often conflicted as I strive to present the best racing product to our wagering public. Alan Kirshner in his own special way in the January issues points out that tracks are due a return on their investment.
Arapahoe Park works closely with COBRA, the state association representing Racing Arabians, attempting to present Arabian Racing in such a manner that produces solid handles and create a fan base interested for handicapping and wagering. COBRA has taken advantage of special days at the races, brought in guest horses and riders to lead the Post Parade and made their members available to help support basic racing issues.
I am hoping my comments above have earned me a little credibility with your readers, enough to submit the following constructive observations:
It is difficult to build a fan base with Arabians running 5 or 6 furlongs. I understand the need from a fitness aspect however I feel all sides would better off if the breed were to run 7 furlongs and further. This is a conditioning issue that trainers can deal with and execute.
At Arapahoe Park, the simple fact is, the further the race the better the handle. This is the Arabians nitch with the wagering public.
My instructions to my Director of Racing are: if you have enough horses to look through the bridle and enough trainers to support entries, we will consider a race a day, with a slant toward races around two turns.
Arabians are welcome at Arapahoe Park and I will continue to be a part of the Arabian Racing Culture. I wish nothing but the best for the Racing Arabians wherever you plan to race.
Good Racing Luck
Executive Director Mile High Racing & Entertainment
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM FINISH LINE MAGAZINE