11/09/2017 3:51PM

Macedonio: Expanding the Breeders Crown concept


The 2017 Breeders Crown has come and gone. Overall I feel it was a huge success for Hoosier Park and Harness Racing in general. I know that Hoosier Park can’t wait to host it again and improve off of their product. Sometimes you can’t foresee everything, so you have to go through it one time and then make a checklist of what can be done better, what needs to be cut and what needs to reinvented. I’ll continue to work with Hoosier Park, but let’s move forward to next year and The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. We have a full year to make the 2018 Breeders Crown bigger and better! So here’s my checklist of ideas.

► Breeders Crown Village

We need to keep the horsemen at the track all week between the eliminations and finals. The universal excuse is going to be that they have stables to run back home. Well, what if we had extra events unique to each day of the week that can attract different types of horses. Instead of just bringing your Breeders Crown horses, you’ll bring a fleet to Pocono, stay and race for the entire week. 

► Breeders Crown Speed Pace and Trot

No gate, 1 horse each. You start in the final turn and your goal is to hit instant top speed. No time, no finish, Straight SPEED! We’ll have a GPS to measure the speed over the course of the stretch. You can have 10 or 15 horses in the backstretch waiting and ready to rock, and every 45 seconds you’d have another horse sprinting in the stretch, which would be an exciting live product! In this format, you can have horses run three or four heats without any worry over the course of the night. They can be executed very quickly and would be exciting for fans, drivers, trainers and owners waiting for that flash of the top speed. We can work out details later.

► Showcase different driver categories

Amateurs – There is typically great handle in these races and we want to grow the movement! Seniors and Legends - Nostalgia will always work and be an attraction. Juniors - Under 21, promote and give your youth the spotlight! Show them what the big time is like. Local drivers – Those competing at their home track deserve some attention. Trainer tournament - Wouldn’t you like to see a throwback to the days when trainers drove their horses. I’d love to see Ron Burke vs. Jimmy Takter vs. Erv Miller vs. Julie Miller in a race. These guys and gals can all drive and are super competitive. I think it would give them a chance to actually have a little fun!

► Reward all horses

Why not add more Breeders Crowns? Have a Claiming Breeders Crown to give back to the horses that race week-in and week-out, the backbone of Harness Racing! Maybe we could have races for 5k, 10k, 15 and 20k claimers. Those classes are at almost every track. If you raced in that class in the last 90 days, you’re eligible! Throw in another four Crowns for Senior Horses, maybe 10+ years old. 

I’d also like to see some rewards for horses which hit the 1/4 pole first. You can get sponsors for it also and call it in each race. The “Coca Cola QuarterShot” sounds like a good name with the horse reaching that call first picking up $1,000.

Adding more Crowns and events doesn’t dilute any of the Main Events, instead you keep eyes on your product all week and you keep everyone at the track each night. We have to keep expanding our product and forcing everyone to realize that if we don’t make a big deal of our feature events, the public won’t take us seriously. The first response to a new idea should never be, ”that’ll never work”. Instead it should be, “let’s start asking questions and filling in the blanks to make this work“. What have we got to lose?

I’m here to help and push forward . . . your move Pocono!!