Bobby Jones, the manager of BryLynn Farm near Ocala wrote a column for the Blood-Horse’s “Final Turn” recently called Get In The ‘Zone.’

He was describing his experience at the Daytona 500 which included the “NASCAR Experience” located in the infield in an area called the “Fan Zone.” Here for a set price, fans get to go to the garage and watch the cars get ready to race and grab an autograph or two. Add to that a rock band, a food court, beer, lemonade, ice cream, bungee jumping, a rock climbing wall – you get the point.

The NFL has a similar Fan Zone at the Super Bowl and these areas are very popular with – you guessed it – fans, especially the young ones.

Jones went on to advocate that big race days should offer young and old (or young and new, as the case may be) horse racing fans a similar experience. To read his commentary, click here.

We posted this comment to his article: The key to Bobby’s article is not NASCAR, but what NASCAR is – it’s a league. Until we have a National Thoroughbred Racing League (NTRL) that is comprised of all the racetracks with a national horsemen’s association functioning like the NFL/NBA/MLB player’s unions, marketing initiatives of this nature aren’t going to happen.

Only the big tracks with the biggest days can afford the infrastructure on their own and they don’t need to since the big days are already big. My guess is both NFL and NASCAR Fan Zone equipment is owned by the league and not by the individual track/team…

Unfortunately, horse racing is a little more like the circus where the clown car races up, screeches to a halt and a bunch of clowns pile out looking bewildered and confused…