Can Horse Racing Capitalize On Surging Interest?

Posted By Christopher Feery on May 18, 2020

While the overall sporting landscape remains rather barren in comparison to normal times, some encouraging signs emerged this past weekend. Golf, Nascar, and UFC all held events – albeit without fans – and attracted plenty of interest from a sports-starved nation.

Meanwhile, more tracks were up and running over the weekend with live horse racing action. Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park were among the venues operating, and both tracks attracted north of $14 million in betting handle.

That’s beyond impressive, as it absolutely crushed the numbers over the same operating day for last year. The same holds true for basically every track that has been able to get back up and running.

In short, business is booming for horse racing betting. Can the sport capitalize on the surging interest and get folks to stay around once they have more betting options to choose from?

A great post from George Bradvica on Paulick Report addresses that question head on. In his commentary, the author suggests a four-point action plan for industry operators to implement right away.

  1. Spend advertising dollars now while other sports are not spending.
  2. Focus on the betting public and create a greater awareness of the horse racing industry to capture the interest and imagination of the massively large betting public. Let them know how easy it is to wager online. Once customers are allowed on-track, these new online players will try the product in its live format.
  3. Focus on a retention campaign for the newly found customer playing the races while other sports are not available.
  4. Build market share for online horse racing wagering dollars while other sports are not active on advertising platforms.

In normal years – especially ones in which there’s an exciting series of Triple Crown races – the question of how to capture more year-round attention is bandied about regularly. It’s happening now as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of action is taken to make it happen.

Looking ahead to this week, the calendar is beginning to gradually fill up. The early part of the week features the usual suspects in action, but even more tracks will be joining the party as the week moves along. Here’s a look at the daily slate of cards currently scheduled.

Monday, May 18

Fonner Park
8-Race Card at 4 PM ET

Will Rogers Downs
10-Race Card at 1:15 PM ET

Tuesday, May 19

Fonner Park
8-Race Card at 4 PM ET

Will Rogers Downs
10-Race Card at 1:15 PM ET

Wednesday, May 20

Tampa Bay Downs
9-Race Card at 1 PM ET

Will Rogers Downs
10-Race Card at 1:15 PM ET

Thursday, May 21

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
8-Race Card at 7 PM ET

Churchill Downs
10-Race Card at 1 PM ET

Golden Gate Fields
7-Race Card at 12:45 PM ET

Gulfstream Park
10-Race Card at 12:45 PM ET

Remington Park
11-Race Card at 6 PM ET

Friday, May 22

Churchill Downs
10-Race Card at 1 PM ET

Golden Gate Fields
9-Race Card at 12:45 PM ET

Gulfstream Park
10-Race Card at 12:45 PM ET

Remington Park
11-Race Card at 6 PM ET

Ruidoso Downs
14-Race Card at 12 PM PT

Santa Anita Park
9-Race Card at 12:30 PM ET

Carryover Pools To Watch

We entered the weekend with a number of growing carryover pools, and we exit it with the same story. Here’s the status of pools to keep on the radar along with the next racing day for each.

Gulfstream Park Pick 6
Thursday, May 21
$480,541

Santa Anita Park Pick 6
Friday, May 22
$224,102

Tampa Bay Downs Pick 6
Wednesday, May 20
$159,664

Churchill Downs Pick 6
Thursday, May 21
$71,805

Golden Gate Fields Pick 6
Thursday, May 21
$24,243

It’s the busiest week that we’ve had to look forward to in some time. Enjoy it and best of luck!

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Christopher Feery

Christopher is a freelance writer located in New Jersey. His work has appeared all over the web and has covered numerous industries. In recent years, he has dedicated his focus to sports from an analysis, betting, fantasy, and general news perspective. You can follow and reach him on Twitter @cmfeery

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