Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making progress

When I launched this new project, I had two goals that I wanted to achieve:

1. Improve the information that's given to harness racing's customers so as to increase both the handle and general popularity of this wonderful sport which, as proven by the improving numbers at Western Fair, still has the potential to flourish.

2. Make enough money to keep the mortgage paid while doing it.

Well, so far it's been a lot like that song by Meatloaf, "One Out Of Two Ain't Bad", but I'm not worried. An old friend told me not long ago that if you resign yourself to doing something for monetary gain, that something will always fail. If you resign yourself to doing something to be the absolute best at it, the money will follow. So this is the new approach that I've taken in my life. I'm hoping that the money isn't following too far behind, though, because at some point the wife is going to realize that the hydro isn't turned off for the umpteenth day in a row because "the construction guys must have cut the power". God help me.

More seriously, I have to tell you that from what I've learned through just the first few weeks of doing THE PETE SHEETS, there is cause for cautious optimism for this project. Would you believe that last night, on a muddy, rotten, rainy night at both Georgian Downs and Grand River, my inbox received 49 requests for THE PETE SHEETS? It may not sound like a big number to most, but it's my idea and I'm the guy doing all of the work and I'm absolutely thrilled! Don't tell me harness racing is dead - people love harness racing! They want to read about it, gamble on it, share their opinions on discussion boards, make fun of Kyte, defame Middleton, completely toss anything that Mike Hamilton picks - you name it! Read a few of these emails that I've received from followers of THE PETE SHEETS and you'll see the passion that our people have for all things harness racing:

"Just wanted to say a big WAY TO GO on the new venture, "The Pete Sheets" is a regular stop for me on my daily blog roll and is a very welcome addition! I am not a big bettor, indeed my $2 every now and then is barely noticed in track pools, I am however a lifelong harness racing fan and I find your dialogue very informative and frankly hilarious at times. In a world where technology and internet is the way to reach a whole new audience, harness racing it has to be said has been very slow to jump on this bandwagon, a venture such as yours can't help but to draw people in. I hope the followers continue to climb, and hope that you will keep this going. Congratulations!"...Louisa Surette

"I read everything and anything about standardbreds, so I appreciate your sending me these Pete Sheets."...Ron

"I've been betting standardbreds for 35+ years so I generally dismiss most tip sheets. I will not call your Pete Sheets a tip sheet as it is much more than that. It is an indepth handicappiing analysis of an entire race card. You may even get me to play more Win 4's!"...Tom Welsh

"Send me tomorrows sheets! I am a mediocre horseplayer and I found that your column gives a little bit of direction and structure to an otherwise confusing card of racing at WEG. Thanks again!"...Carmen Auciello

"I found your pete sheets web site and would love to receive your pete sheets on a regular the trots!"...Lyndia

"Hi Pete! Would you please send your picks for Monday's Grand River & Woodbine? My friends and I are going to the OTB!"...Curt

Isn't that great stuff? Thanks everyone, from me and the entire industry. We're making progress, slowly but surely. Georgian's handle peaked on the last two Tuesdays, the only two on which THE PETE SHEETS were distributed while the May 3, 4 and 11 programs at Grand River (which were featured in THE PETE SHEETS) had the three highest handled cards of the entire meet. Some might chalk it up to coincidence. I say it's proof that if you build it, they really do come.

Rain, rain, go away...

1 comment:

  1. I know you don't have a crunching numbers segment on the show, but if you did, I would love to know the stats of that McNair kid from posts 6,7 and having the lead off the car.
    It's remarkable, and it's not just horses that leave that he gets there, horses that don't even show 1s in the first two quarters he's getting there.
    Truly amazing.
    Pretty good racing for a Wed, nice longshot pick in race 2!

    take care,