Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

MJC Introduces 'Virtual Finish Line'

The Maryland Jockey Club has introduced a virtual finish line at Laurel Park.

The Maryland Jockey Club has introduced what it calls a virtual finish line at the Laurel Park fall meet. The video insertion technology delivers virtual distance markers and a virtual finish line on the main track and turf course to enhance the broadcast of the simulcast signal.

"This is a new, creative visual aid for fans to see how close the wire is and if their horse has a chance to win," Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. "We tested it at Pimlico during Preakness week and got positive feedback, so we decided to move forward."

"It is similar to the first-down marker in football but takes it one step further in the world of virtual advertising," said Joe Gordon, executive vice president of International Sound Corp., which developed the technology. "The advertising opportunities are unlimited. Having the ability to see your company's logo during the race as the masses watch is better than running a commercial 15 minutes before the race.

"The tool is used in South America for soccer and is extremely successful."