Turfway Teams With Sponsor to Target Novices

Turfway Park isn't being sarcastic. It's just trying to have a little fun, and maybe introduce some people to pari-mutuel wagering.

On Feb. 1, in conjunction with sponsor WEBN, Turfway will offer "Horse Racing For Dummies," a beginners' seminar that will explain everything from how much a Thoroughbred weighs to how to make an exacta wager.

Turfway handicapper Ed Meyer and "Wildman Walker," a racing fan and radio personality, will host the event from 12 noon to 2 p.m. The centerpiece of the day's racing program is the $50,000 WEBN Frog Stakes, which was sponsored by the Cincinnati, Ohio, radio station for the first time in 2002.

The first 250 attendees will receive a free Coke, popcorn, racing program and a $2 betting voucher. The seminar is the first of what Turfway officials hope will be a long-running series of promotions and educational efforts to help attract new fans to horse racing.

Brian Gardner, Turfway's marketing director, said the seminar is not a handicapping seminar. He said the track wants to take advantage of the media power of WEBN in the marketplace to get newcomers to the races, if even the promotion is perceived to be gimmicky.

The WEBN Frog Stakes, formerly the Presidents Stakes, is for 3-year-olds that take Turfway's road to the Kentucky Derby. Last year's race was won by Request For Parole, who went on to finish fifth in the Derby.