Vision 2020, a group conceived to educate and give a voice to the under-40 generation of horseracing participants, has released “Fantasy Capping,” a group project designed to develop new interest in the industry by bringing attention to the sport’s premier race each Saturday.
It marks the first project for Vision 2020, which is based in Central Kentucky.
“We believe it has the potential to do what every single person in our industry recognizes we have to do: Bring new fans, as well as potential gamblers, to our sport,” said Vision 2020 steering committee member Bret Jones of Airdrie Stud. “We have all seen what a tremendous shot in the arm fantasy games have been for the other major sports, and while there have been some very worthwhile horseracing games recently released we felt those models were better suited to those who already follow our sport.
“Our aim is to target those that our industry is currently not reaching. ‘Fantasy Capping’ is by design wholly simplistic. The idea is to incentivize would-be fans to follow just one graded stakes each weekend as a way of introducing them to horse racing.”
Each member of Vision 2020 is supposed to reach out to no less than 10 people with little knowledge of horse racing, and each “league” is headed by a member of Vision 2020. The competition is based on who can most successfully wager on a slate of graded stakes by the end of the season, which concludes with the Breeder’s Cup World Championships in November, Jones said.
The project’s website, www.fantasycapping.com, details the biggest graded stakes each Saturday, complete with an overview of the race, a brief history of the racetrack at which it’s run, a write-up on each individual horse, the race’s past performances, and any human interest stories about the race participants. More information is available at the website.
“Our Vision 2020 group believes that two of the biggest issues facing our industry are our struggle to attract new, youthful fans, and our inability to bring significant national attention to the race schedule falling between the Triple Crown races and the Breeder’s Cup,” Jones said. “We believe ‘Fantasy Capping’ can be a great tool in helping on both these critical fronts.
“Our idea is to experiment with our current format through the remainder of this racing season, and then turn our attention to providing a superior product for next year’s season—taking us from the Kentucky Derby through the Breeder’s Cup Classic (both grade I).”
The Vision 2020 project is in line with plans by The Jockey Club to offer more online social games to generate interest in Thoroughbred racing.