by Martha Claussen
The American Quarter Horse Association is proud to announce the formation of a new program to promote and educate the public about American Quarter Horse racing at racetracks in North America. The Q-Racing Aces, which debut in June 2010, is a group of American Quarter Horse know-it-alls who will actively promote the excitement of “America’s Fastest Athletes” at about 35 major racing events this year.
The Q-Racing Aces are individuals who have been involved in American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing as handicappers, racing writers and publicists. The group, consisting of Tom Dawson, Martha Claussen, Jennifer Perkins, Denis Blake and others were selected as representatives by AQHA. The major goals of the Q-Racing Aces program are to promote the sport, provide fan education services and help to develop new fan bases.
Perkins and Blake will be on-site at Canterbury Park on Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24 for the Bank of America Challenge. The duo will offer their handicapping insight in paddock previews and analysis of the Adequan Central-North Derby Challenge and the Pfizer Central-North Starter Allowance Challenge. They will provide free tip sheets, giveaway items from AQHA and complimentary $2 betting vouchers for new fans. They will also answer questions from fans regarding bridging the gap between Thoroughbred and American Quarter Horse handicapping.
“The idea of this program originated last November at Hialeah Park,” said AQHA Executive Director of Racing Trey Buck. “We were thrilled with opening day of the American Quarter Horse meet, which attracted 27,000 fans, but realized very quickly that they were more familiar with Thoroughbred racing and did not feel as comfortable handicapping American Quarter Horse racing. Our hope is that this very talented group of ‘aces’ can educate Thoroughbred fans, casual fans that attend the races two or three times a year and create a lasting first impression with first timers.”
The Q-Racing Aces will visit a number of racetracks across the country and offer many educational opportunities and promotions, free of charge. These include handicapping seminars, paddock previews, free racing handouts and tip sheets, giveaway items, betting vouchers and one-on-one handicapping tips to racing fans and groups attending the races. Live video streaming and online chats will also be offered for the benefit of simulcast fans.
“Having worked at a racetrack for over a decade, I know how intimidating handicapping horses can be at first,” said Martha Claussen, who is serving as coordinator for the Q-Racing Aces. “But there is nothing more thrilling than teaching someone the basics and watching them cheer on their first winner. Our goal will be to keep it simple, but make sure everyone we interact with understands the unbridled excitement of the sport of American Quarter Horse racing.”
Efforts are underway to schedule visits by the Q-Racing Aces to the following racetracks:
• Ruidoso Downs – New Mexico
• Fair Meadows at Tulsa – Oklahoma
• Sandy Downs – Rigby, Idaho
• Sam Houston Race Park – Houston
• Delta Downs – Vinton, Louisiana
• Indiana Downs – Shelbyville, Indiana
• Arapahoe Park – Aurora, Colorado
• Canterbury Park – Shakopee, Minnesota
• Prairie Meadows – Altoona, Iowa
• Elko County Fair – Elko, Nevada
For more information on the Q-Racing Aces, contact Trey Buck at (806) 376-4888 or Martha Claussen at (281) 556-5461.
AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal or America’s Horse, visit www.aqha.com/magazines.