In recent weeks, there have been fantasy racing stable games opened to the public by such major breeding and racing operations as Vinery and WinStar. Although they differ in their details, rules for play, and various prizes, all are designed with the idea that players will learn more about racing, have fun with the games, and perhaps see racing as something that they can participate in … whether now or in the future.
These are really good ideas. They are relatively simple, make the game fun for potentially a lot of people, and are a sane vehicle for educating participants about the game and some of its excitement and drama.
These games have some of the elements of social media and other cutting-edge innovations that are also making inroads into the desperate dullness of “corporate racing.” Instead of talking heads and tedious minutiae, games and social interaction are fun. They make people relax, allow them to have a good time, and show off some of the great assets of racing: its people and horses.
With the interest in these games and the social enjoyment of them, I wonder how much interest there would be in creating a fantasy bloodstock operation? Using social media and internet connectivity, people could select broodmares, find stallions for them, breed foals, take them to the sales … everything except register them for $200 with the Jockey Club. Another angle would be to “collect” a broodmare band and follow how their real owners go through all these steps, but that would take a bit more finesse and would require some owners with the inclination to open up their thoughts, hopes, and dreams, as well as their inevitable disappointments to people they scarcely know.