Veteran race commentator, breeding, adviser, and consignor Dan Kenny is here in Ocala looking at horses and a few minutes ago said that “we’ve put way too much emphasis on the business, rather than the sport, of racing.”
By that he meant that those of us who come into the sport with a purely bottom-line expectation are probably going to be disappointed. It only stands to reason that when one horse in eight or one in 12 will be the winner of a race, most horses and their owners will spend a lot of time losing. There’s no disgrace in that; it’s just reality.
Therefore, an expectation of a profit from a particular racehorse is not a logical plan.
But there are intangibles in the sport, even extending to the vicissitudes of training, sales, and breeding … that do provide a benefit. They are a profit that cannot be banked with the storied institutions of Wall Street or with the brick and mortar entities of Main Street. But does that make the pleasures of sport any less real? Surely not.
It does not make them less real as we enjoy our choices and our pleasant chances that make up our lives. But a greater focus on and expectation for a cash profit can distort the real joys of racing and racehorses.
In contrast, a full view of the great panorama of racing lends us a better sense of balance and enjoyment of the ups and downs as they inevitable come.