KINGSTON, Jamaica – The promoter of local racing Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) has introduced a new addition to it racing product. SVREL on the return of racing last Saturday (June 20) at Caymanas Park started its ‘Trackside Live’ drive-in.
With a limit being placed on spectator attendance in the stands owing to physical distancing protocols because of COVID-19, ‘Trackside Live’ drive-in allows more punters to be at the track, not in the stands but in their vehicles on the infield.
The ‘Trackside Live’ drive-in features a large outdoor screen, food stands, a betting station, a sound system that provides music in between races and a large parking area for vehicles.
“We are just trying to maximise on everything as we have been hit hard by COVID-19, but we are not going to play dead, and we are going to utilise the space that we have.
“So far, the test day responses have been positive and we are looking to increase the offerings next week (Saturday, June 27)”, said Solomon Sharpe, chairman of SVREL.
He then added: “I want to say thanks to the horsemen and women who put in the work to ensure that today’s (June 20) resumption of racing happened and for making it a success. It has been a hard three months for all of us.”
The drive-in feature was a welcomed addition to the racing product for breeder/owner Don Wehby, who spent the day enjoying the infield experience with his family.
“This is my hobby, and I love my horses, it’s a family sport as you can see my children are here with me because it’s a family sport, so we all missed it because that’s how we socialise a lot in my family.
“I just had one of my horses (Rum With Me) finish second a short while ago, so it’s a good start,” Wehby said.
Another owner, Hubert Kerr, believes there is a lot of scope for improvement to provide a better experience.
“It is good that racing is back, and I am hoping that it will be successful.
“I think the drive-in thing is good, I think the only thing we need to do is again improve because the sun is hot and you pay for it, so it should be like a VIP thing.
“When you are in your car, you should have attendants coming around to ensure that they encourage you to bet because that is the only way that the betting dollar will come through. It is a good innovation, but we need to go a bit further,” Kerr noted.
Former national athlete and first-time visitor to the track Isheka Binns echoed similar sentiments regarding the heat.
“I am very excited that I can go outside now, and I chose to come here to the track for the first time, and I must say it is a pretty interesting and fun experience. My only issue is that it is hot, and because of that, we have to stay inside our car, which makes it hard for us to enjoy the music,” said Binns, who was joined by friends Shaneek Boothe and Dana Decordova.