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Thoroughbred Racing is Dead

by Welby Cox 9 months ago in Historical

HHR machines eliminates live racing!

A Relic of the Past

The wonderful backstory on the lead up to the 20th-century thoroughbred progeny of "racing as it was meant to be" drifted under the thresholds of racing this past week in the form of a machine called a HHR. Smugly the business pigs of the management side led by Churchill Downs lit cigars and winked at each other knowing full well that they had just finalized the screwing of the last nail into the coffin of what once was referred to as the Sport of Kings but hereafter will be known as the Sport Fucking!

It is so sad for this scribe and longtime thoroughbred owner to watch and hear how the heirs to this great sport have become so greedy that they would dispose of tradition in favor of the addiction to gambling via HHR machines which will soon displace live racing at all small tracks. Listen up all you Rube's out there...all you Monday morning quarterbacks who have never called a signal or taken the ball! One only needs to look at what the current crop of disingenuous leadership at Churchill Downs has done in the destruction of the iconic and historic symbol of racing. It would begin with an inspection of the masterpiece of architectural design representing the thoroughbred racing industry at 4th and Central...see a bloated hemorrhoid rising out of a toilet neighborhood which is threatening to cover a world-renown symbol in the Twin-Towers, (sic Spires). Replaced by a shameful design which accommodates more people and thus more profit for this corporation which has lost sight of its purpose.

The changes which have replaced "racing at it was meant to be" started with Lynn Stone's firing and the hiring of the company lawyer as president. A brilliant man with no vision or interest in the gut of thoroughbred breeding and racing. His only concern was more parking and the bottom line for the stockholder's return on investment. The classic Wall Street-oriented mind caring nothing for tradition, class, and the people who have made the industry great...(remember the mortgage debacle and the bail-out of the banks on Wall Street?) He reminded me of all the bankers I had ever met who never saw a innovative idea they didn't hate!

One such plan I developed in 1969 based upon intuitive understanding as a parent of the need for wholesome nurturing of preschool aged children in an emerging social structure requiring child care outside the home. It was a time when twenty years of panhandling by the feminist movement had made most every woman in America feel worthless as stay-at-home Moms. My wife was bitten after having stayed with our two cookie eaters but the third child was not expected and did not fit her plan to step into those high-heels and meet the girls after work. I had long been an advocate for early childhood education and I was totally enamored with Maria Montessori and her teaching methodology for challenged children. So I caused to be designed a preschool/after care built for children. Each school to accommodate a hundred twenty children. I went loaded with a business plan, renderings and a list of one hundred twenty parents indicating an interest at $40 per week.

The first banker said most families had relatives who worked for a Ham sandwich. The second banker said his mother-in-law worked for a six pack and cigarettes and the third banker didn't even see me. So it was obvious that I needed to find a Mezzanine Financial source and an innovative investor, which I located in Boston. They grasped the idea, saw the future and gave me the money to build fifty schools. The rest is history! My foresight was correct, the schools were built and opened on schedule with a full house and a wait list. No thanks to the local bankers who had their heads up their frustrated asses.

The working class who run the farms, handle the studs and mares, birth the foals and greet each morning with the same perfection which produced the industry hundreds of years ago! I am blown away by the industry leaders who have been sucked into this typhoid, producing a fever for more and more facilities financed by struggling cities at the expense of tradition and the heart of racing in the ultimate destruction of the thoroughbred. The heart of racing will not be found in the premier races and the Triple will be remembered for the incredible workhorses, the common claimer who fill the racecards and give the foundation (money for large purses) for the "Saturday horses!" The current vision destroys the game for the average fan who follows the claimer or the new owners and trainers who hope to find a "John Henry" at the claiming box!


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Welby Cox

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