Los Alamitos Race Course and Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Thoroughbred simulcast productions were declared co-winners of this year’s Simulcast Award, presented Sept. 18 by Post Time Technologies 18 at the International Simulcast Conference in Kansas City, MO.
A panel of five judges selected Los Alamitos and Woodbine as best among 19 North American racetracks entered for consideration for the Simulcast Award, which honors excellence in the presentation of a racetrack’s live race product to its simulcast outlets. Woodbine has won the award three times in the last four years, while Los Alamitos is a first-time winner. It was the first tie in the award’s 11-year history.
Los Alamitos gained accolades from the judges for its well-rounded simulcast package replete with extensive video reviews of previous races and morning gate drills. The judges also cited Los Alamitos’ easy-to-read graphics that maximize screen space and provide bettor-savvy information and coverage. Los Alamitos director of marketing and publicity Orlando Gutierrez oversees the production, while Jim Porep of Pegasus Communications produces the signal.
Woodbine again was cited by the judges for its professional coverage of paddock angles and views, extensive will-pay information, and colorful graphics, including in-race automated tracking for ease of following horses. Woodbine Racing Live is produced and directed by Kris Platts, with executive producer of broadcasting Dave Fray.
This year’s panel of judges consisted of Ellis Starr, nationally syndicated handicapper for Equibase and TrackMaster; Jeremy Plonk, editor of The HorsePlayer Magazine; Richard Eng, columnist and handicapper for the Las Vegas Review-Journal; Bill Christine, retired Los Angeles Times turf writer; and, a committee of University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program students, coordinated by program director Doug Reed.
The 19 track entries were the actual simulcast audio and video transmission of a single race sent to wagering outlets. Each entry included the pre-race features, odds, will-pays, commentaries, the actual running of the race, the results, and post-race features. Los Alamitos’ winning entry originally aired August 7, 2007, while Woodbine submitted its July 21, 2007 broadcast.
The winning signals fended off considerable competition from other vote-getting tracks such as Arlington Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Hollywood Park, and Saratoga Race Course. Each received first, second, or third-place votes on several ballots.
Previous winners of the award are Churchill Downs (1997), Turfway Park (1998), Penn National (1999), Santa Anita Park (2000-01), Hollywood Park (2002), Keeneland (2003), Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (2005), and Woodbine Entertainment Group (2004, 2006).