Is Flightline the Greatest Thoroughbred Since Secretariat?
It’s time to take a look at the latest news on horse racing, with some focus on the state of Thoroughbred racing.
In the last few days there have been some announcements. The most significant was that of Florida racing’s new chairman, Dr. Charles Robinson. He is a professor of finance at the University of South Florida and his research specialty is the economics of horse racing. This is a big deal. For one, he has been to the races before. For another, he has an outside eye to the industry. The more interesting things are the reasons why he has taken over a position previously held by Jim Davis, who had been the chairman of Florida Thoroughbred Racing Association since it was formed in 1983. Some might say that Dr. Robinson doesn’t have it all his own way, in a sense that he has a history of working with the owners and race horse owners. In short, he is the perfect choice for the job of finding “new ideas”.
The same is true of the current Florida Thoroughbred Authority (FTBA), the board that approved Dr. Robinson’s appointment. Jim Davis had been the chairman since the beginning of the FTAA back in 1983 and at that time he also had a history of working with the owners, racing interests, and the media. As a result, the board that approved his appointment was the board who had been working with Florida race horse owners, media and even racehorse racing interests. In short, Florida racing has had leaders in more than one corner of the industry. That point is not a criticism of his work. But the point is to point out the fact that Florida has been at the center of the industry from its beginning.
The board has been working on the FTAA for years, and as soon as this new guy came on board, they changed their minds and turned their back on him. As soon as they reversed course, he became the chairman of the FTPA, and the FTAC, and the FTBA.