Wednesday, September 1, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Sept. 1, 2010 – When Turfway Park opens its fall race meet Sept. 9, it also will unveil an enhanced video production system, the result of the track's inaugural contract with International Sound Corporation of Pikesville, Md.
"Every single day, our goal is to enhance our customers' experience, regardless of where each customer resides," said Turfway Park president Robert N. Elliston. "Upgrading our video production will significantly improve our simulcast program and our fans’ on-track experience."
The digital transmission provided by International Sound Corporation replaces the track's outmoded analog signal. Depending on the quality of the receiving monitor, players should see dramatic improvement in on-screen clarity.
Additional camera locations will provide better viewing angles not only for fans but also for the track stewards, who judge inquiries and jockey and trainer objections. Whereas Turfway previously could provide only two camera angles for review, the new system offers five, allowing the stewards to view incidents from multiple perspectives. International Sound's proprietary advanced digital recorder, developed specifically for racing and operated from a single master control, will give the stewards high quality slow motion and provide instant recall of any race.
"Beyond technology upgrades, we also incorporated suggestions from horseplayers about what they want to see," Elliston continued. "We heard one comment over and over: 'If horses are available, show them.' Players at simulcast locations made it clear that we're their eyes when horses are in the paddock and parade, warming up, and loading the gate. We've geared camera placement and sequencing to accommodate that as fully as possible."
One camera allows players to view racehorses, not escort ponies, at all stages of the post parade. Another improvement, scrolling the current race's changes separately from changes for the rest of the card, grew out of a comment on an industry blog. Another change recognizes that sound is often turned off at simulcast locations: when Turfway handicapper Mike Battaglia gives his selections, a brief summary of his reasoning will appear on-screen.
Race replays will be available on the track's kiosks shortly after each race is finished rather than the following day. Gate-to-wire replays will continue to be posted on YouTube on a next-day schedule.
The fall meet runs Sept. 9 through Oct. 3 and offers live racing Thursday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Admission and parking are free every day.
Opened in 1959 as Latonia, Turfway Park offers Thoroughbred racing during the fall and winter as part of Kentucky's year round racing circuit. The track was renamed in 1986 and has been owned since 1999 by the Keeneland Association and Harrah's Entertainment.
International Sound Corporation was established in 1960 and offers comprehensive video services to the racing industry, including video production and tape patrol, color closed circuit television, satellite transmission, advanced digital graphics and replay systems and video server capabilities, and public address systems. Among its more than 80 clients are Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Saratoga in New York; Churchill Downs, Calder, Arlington Park, and Fair Grounds, all owned by Churchill Downs Inc.; Pimlico Race Course; Delaware Park; Del Mar; Monmouth Park; and several off-track betting locations.