You could argue it all started on the 60’s sitcom Get Smart, in which Maxwell Smart had one of the first cool mobile phones hidden in the bottom of his shoe. We’ve certainly come a long way since then, helped by our friends at Apple with the massive success of the iPhone, and Google with their Android operating system (both companies are located just down the street from our office, by the way). No longer just a “phone” to call someone, now it’s a texting machine, web browser, music & game player, and potential home to literally hundreds of thousands of available applications (“Apps”), all within arms reach in your back pocket (though I still really want to have one built into my shoe!)
So how does the handicapper fit into this equation? Good question, and one we haven’t necessarily landed on. But if you take Apple’s word for it, “There’s an App for that.” Lets look at a few of the Pros and Cons.
Pro: A small portable device with handicapping information that you can take directly to the track with you sounds like a good idea.
Con: The screen can be a little small for some, so trying to display something like full PPs is out of the question.
Pro: Smart Phone and related Apps really appeal to the younger crowd, so you’re missing the boat if you don’t offer them something on this platform.
Con: The current demographic of racetrack goers isn’t necessarily “young,” and many still use paper versions of the program to handicap.
Pro: You can keep-up with real-time information, or take a look at a race they are simulcasting in that you many not have handicapped the night before.
Con: Many handicappers still spend hours the night or days before handicapping the card. An App you download when you get to the track or delivered in real time could be seen as too late.
Like I said, we don’t have all the answers, but we really feel this can be one of the next big things in the industry. In fact, we’re so intrigued with the concept that we’ve put up ten large (that’s $10,000) of our own money as a challenge to see who can develop the best App (check out the TrackMaster Mobile Development Challenge). And if you’re not a programmer, maybe you have some of your own ideas on what you’d like to see. We’d love to hear from you and we do listen. Maybe there’s an App for that?
By the way, our parent company, Equibase, just launched a very cool, totally free, app. It’s called the Equibase Racing Yearbook app for the iPhone. You can watch video and see charts of the year’s best racing – searchable by race names, horses, trainers, jockeys or by racetrack. Very cool, check it out here.
Vice President Sales & Marketing
We want to hear from you! Leave a comment by clicking the “Comment” link directly below.
TrackMaster, an Equibase company, is your complete source for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Harness Racing information. Products ranging from Thoroughbred Past Performances, Harness Racing Programs, and Thoroughbred Handicapping software to Horse Racing Picks from our experts, are provided for all levels of handicapping sophistication.
Posted in General Industry, Harness Products, Harness Races, Harness Racing, Thoroughbred Products, Thoroughbred Races, Thoroughbred Racing