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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vote "No" for Schrupp as Czar

If racing ever gets a czar, please don’t ever let it be Todd Schrupp. What an idiot! Understand I don’t get TVG, have never seen TVG, and so I have no idea how this guy performs on-air. However, on the’s Talkin’ Horse today, when asked what his first three decrees would be if named “racing czar”, his response?

1. new tax code for horseplayers
2. national race schedule
3. a major race named after a prominent horseplayer

Since only the federal government has the power to set taxes, there is not one damn thing a czar can accomplish in that regard, other than lobbying and do you really think there will be any sympathy among those most vocal and political Americans with a puritanical disdain for gambling? Besides, is this really one of the most pressing needs of racing now?

I agree with a national race schedule, as there is no excuse for races—particularly major races—having the same post time, forcing viewers to watch one at the expense of the other. But a racing czar should go beyond this, in my view. I’d like to see an overseer limit race meets and stagger them so horses move from track to track during the year, and don’t race at, for example, Philadelphia Park 12 months of the year. Less races with larger fields at limited meets = better racing for fans and bettors.

However, naming a major race after a prominent horseplayer is just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. The Andy Beyer Handicap?!? Give me a break! I have no problem with horseplayers—I’ve even become one myself in the past three years. But I was a horseracing FAN first, just enjoying watching the pure spectacle of equine speed and power running against one another. I didn’t need to fret over fractions or create speed figures to appreciate the sport—I just needed fantastic animals to watch. They, along with their jockeys and trainers, are the true stars of the show, not pencil-pushing degenerates.

Talk about a lack of vision.

Bring on Randy Moss as a voice of reason with serious and appropriate priorities for the sport.


Anonymous said...

Slight clarification... Actually, the federal govt. isn't the only body that sets taxes -- the major taxes, ie., takeout, that horseplayers pay are set by the states, not the feds.

Michael said...

Schrupp is TVG's resident pusher when it comes time to "pimp" a bet (Pick Four or Pick Six) at a TVG Exclusive track... my wife has banned me from Schrupp rants in the house when I watch TVG... she said that I can stew in silence or hit he mute button, but no more complaining about his commentary (which is usually spent telling you how wonderful TVG or California racing is)...

Anonymous said...

I agree that Schrupp is a pimp -- just as bad as Carothers, Rudulph, Byrne and "The Sarge."

There's a reason that Schrupp & the other pimps don't release ROI's on their Pick Four and Pick Six tickets. They are thousands of dollars in the red.

I can't wait until Hollywood Park is bulldozed.

I also can't wait until TVG goes belly-up and these pimps will have to find real jobs.

Hold All Tickets said...

And as an added bonus, Bloodhorse's Talkin' Horses chat with Todd is a two parter to be continued next Thursday. Can't hardly wait to read more of Shrupp's pearls of wisdom.....

affirmedny said...

yes, god forbid we should honor one of those that actually finance the game and make the whole thing possible! So horseplayers are "pencil pushing degenerates"? It's attitudes like this that have stymied the growth of the game. You're missing your calling, you're perfectly qualified to run customer service at your local track.

Valerie Grash said...

While the phrase “pencil pushing degenerates” was meant tongue-in-cheek, I stand by the assessment that Todd Schrupp is a twit, pandering to horseplayers on behalf of his employer TVG (which just happens to be an ADW entity in addition to being a television network—a situation in and of itself that is ethically-suspect, at the very least).

One of the top three things needed for the sport immediately is naming a race after a horseplayer? You must joking, or delusional, as a certain breed of horseplayers are—those who conceitedly consider themselves the entire “raison d’être” for the sport. That, my friend, is bullshit. The sport and the people who bet upon it do have a symbiotic relationship, but the “game” does not entirely finance the sport and you know it. At least not in every state, as the disturbing establishment of racinos can attest. In Pennsylvania last year, $128.5 million from slots revenue financed race horse development initiatives, with 80% of that specifically funding purses. Without that support, the sport of horse racing in Pennsylvania would not be sustainable for those who work in the industry, starting with owners and trainers, right down to backstretch workers.

In fact, I would argue that among the myriad of contributing factors that have damaged the sport is the unbridled growth of pari-mutuel organizations in recent years, and the resulting battles for exclusivity in simulcast rights by all parties involved. That has stymied the growth of the “game”, as you state, but not the “sport” of horse racing.

This sense of entitlement—in believing in the “importance” of naming a race after a horseplayer—is doubtlessly perpetuated by the current generation of Americans who feel everyone is “special” and deserving of recognition for even the most marginal things—such as everyone getting a trophy regardless of whether or not they actual performed in an extraordinary manner to deserve one. Warhol's infamous "fifteen minutes of fame." Let’s leave the naming of races to genuinely extraordinary individuals—namely, the horses—or, better yet, don’t change them at all! History does mean something; we shouldn’t forget those great horses of the past by changing race names honoring them.

Customer service? So totally not me—too opinionated, and I don’t suffer fools gladly. Playing political games and pandering to various interests isn’t my strong suit. I only want what is best for the sport. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...


Why such anger over a hypothetical question ? (BTW Valerie, 'Hypothetical' means pretend, I am not running for racing Czar, and there isn't such a position in horse racing.) Also, you conveniently picked one question out of 100 asked, ignoring some very thoughtful questions on medication, horse ownership, breeding, year-round racing, etc.; but then again why let details get in the way of your animosity. What little credibility you do have on the subject of ME, was immediately dismissed when you said you have never watched me, and you are not familiar with any of my work.
Herein is the problem with angry people like you who think they are the best represntatives for horse racing. YOU HONESTLY THINK THE GAME BELONGS TO YOU. None of us is in a position to decide who can be a part of Thoroughbred racing and who cannot, and at the very least we should not go around calling one segment of the industry "pencil-pushing degenerates". Sorry, there was no 'tounge-in-cheek' intention on your part as you put it, just a glimpse of who you really are.
Please Valerie, when you get a chance, come down from your Ivory Tower and join the rest of us common folk. Horse racing is not really 'the Sport of Kings' in many ways, and you certainly are not its queen.

Yours In Horse Racing,

Todd T. Schrupp

Valerie Grash said...

Oh, my. Let me climb down from my ivory tower into the muck just for you, Todd, as you appear to like it there.

First, as I honestly admitted, I don’t get TVG so I have no idea who the hell you are. Thus, “animosity” and “anger” are hardly the correct terms to characterize my initial comments as that would imply that I have established feelings towards you personally, as opposed to your expressed ideas.

I don’t know you, nor frankly care to now, based upon the wildly inaccurate suppositions you make about me and the selective perception you have of what others write. Frankly, your comments demonstrate far more personal “animosity” and “anger” than mine ever did, and doubtless reveal a great deal about your character—or lack thereof.

Unlike numerous others apparently on various platforms, my contemptuous response was directed specifically at the superficial reply you made in answering a precise question asked by the reader from Fitchburg, MA. Nowhere do they imply what they were asking is anything less than completely serious. Thus, my characterization of you as an “idiot” was based solely on your response to their question. Sorry you can’t take disapproval as opposed to fawning admiration of your vacuous drivel.

“Hypothetical”—as you may or may not know—does not implicitly mean that it is fanciful, or based outside the realm of reality. It is a response based on reasoning and careful evaluation, worthy of proper consideration. Thus, reading your response, one can only presuppose that you honestly believe one of the three most important issues facing a potential “czar” would be naming a major race after a prominent horseplayer. If that isn’t so, please feel free to elaborate on the issues that are of the most pressing concern and what you, as a person of some influence in this industry, would like to see happen if you were in a position to bring about change.

How silly of me to think that the questions asked by readers on the Bloodhorse site should be taken sincerely! The hypothetical idea of a racing czar or commissioner is something that bloggers and others in the industry have seriously discussed for quite some time, including our own Patrick over at Handride who put forth a strong, carefully planned hypothetical agenda here:

Of course, there is no such position as a racing “czar” that exists today, and I never stated there was, but I do believe the questioner posited the issue to you because it is relevant and needed, not just some insipid game they wanted to play with you so you could masturbate your ego.

An honest, thoughtful exchange of ideas needs to take place if horse racing is going to not just survive but indeed thrive in future decades, and much of the responsibility for that conversation relies on those in positions of power and influence such as you have. So, the next time someone asks for your opinion, maybe you should take a moment and earnestly consider your response before you write. That said, maybe your response was sincere—more the pity.

My opinion is just that, an opinion based on reading your one-dimensional reply to a serious question, as well as the depth and tone of your responses to the other questions posed by readers, the latter of which I did not comment upon in my original blog post. And, BTW, Todd, an opinion is an assessment, judgment or evaluation that has neither been proven nor verified. However, it is a perception derived from observation, although not too in-depth on my part because, frankly, your voice is not one of those I believe I will ever admire or respect since you obvious can’t tolerate criticism, dissent or anyone holding you responsible for what you say.

If you had bothered to read any of my previous blog entries, you would clearly understand the inaccuracy in blithely categorizing me as elitist—I am far, FAR from that. An idealist, probably, but hardly patronizing in my attitude towards the sport and the people involved in it on all levels. You, on the other hand, appear to enjoying bullying people, belittling their opinions and feeling a little superior yourself, all the while fallaciously categorizing yourself as one of the common folk. How hypocritical. Good luck to you in your future endeavors.

Patrick J Patten said...

i gotta say i know mr schrupp didn't check out my blog, some from TVG do every now and then, but no schruppy. maybe he'll check it tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Is that really Todd Schrupp? I'm with Patrick - why no love on my blog?

I have to admit - I'm in the minority here and a total TVG junkie. I actually enjoy the on-air banter of Todd, Ken, Matt, Sarge, and Frank.

I guess I'm kind of caught in the middle here. On the one hand I agree with you, Val that the answer could have been better formed - but in Todd's defense if it was just one question taken from many than I can see his point as well.

I shudder to think of how out-of-context any of our comments/postings from the blogosphere can be made to be. It's a slippery slope indeed.

I guess I'm saying that I'm wiling to give Todd the benefit of the doubt in this case, although I totally respect and agree with your sentiments Val that if one of us were given the opportunity to respond to such a question - that the answer may be altogether different.

But hey - to echo handride - what gives? I cover Hollywood/Del Mar/Santa Anita every weekend and not one visit from Todd. I think you could say I'm a bit smitten with jealousy to be completely honest. :)