Patrick Cummings of Trakus said
"They're [racings pictures] all the same–every single one of them," Cummings said. "This
is not the way we consume other things in our lives. Is the pan shot
the best way to look at horse racing? We should recognize how it is we
consume our product. "Are we capturing the race in the best possible light? Is the industry doing the best it can to captivate the audience?"
I like Pat and for major TV horse racing events a lot of these ideas make sense. In all parts of the world racing is covered in a much more exciting and vibrant fashion. It certainly could look better.
However for bettors (and if you believe that in-running betting is coming at some point), the pan shot kicks ass. Plain and simple.
But is the pan shot perfect? Not by a longshot.
We've all watched a race at Saratoga or Kentucky Downs. On the far turn we might as well be looking at ants from the top of the mountain. Unless you've been following your bet from the beginning, or have a handy program in front of you with colors, you can be completely lost. And that's for us, those who have been watching racing for decades and decades. What about newer people? It must be difficult.
Trakus recently has experimented in some areas by highlighting the favorite in the chicklets, and I think this is pretty cool and makes perfect sense. The most money is bet on the favorite, so we might as well give the most people an easy way to see where the horse is. Even if you bet a longshot and he's near the lead, if you see the highlighted chicklet coming, you know a good horse is coming after you.
On network television for the Derby, look at the screenshot above. Isn't it so much easier to know what's happening when they use the "bubble" with the horses name over top? I can't pick Orb out of that picture if you paid me.
Is there a way to do this in every day racing? Your guess is as good as mine. But that's one thing I'd love to see, for say the top four choices.
We all agree that the pan shot is one we all need as bettors. I wonder if we need to focus on improving it, instead of adding cameras in every nook and cranny of the racetrack. What do you think?