I noticed that the Keeneland Meet will be starting soon in the thoroughbreds. I enjoy the meet as a racing fan; they seem to do it up right there. So I decided to check out the website to see if they offered anything neat, peruse the web for some info on the meet and do some general due diligence.
What I found was surprising: They are what a racetrack should be.
First, check out the website. It is simple, navigable and nice to look at. Now click around. Here is what I found when I did:
1. Handicapping statistics, archived. Trainer stats, post position stats, trainer stats by horse age (important), ROI figures and more.
2. Free Video, yes free video. Some tracks lock their video up like it is Fort Knox, for some bizarre reason. Not Keeneland.
3. Race Replays, in a partnership with racereplays.com; and archived results.
I don't know about you guys, but if they consider the bettor a nuisance like some in racing seem to, they hide it pretty damn good.
Now, how about distribution of the signal? Well, Keeneland - one of the largest track's in the world, and perhaps the most respected, has signed with Premier Turf Club. If bettors want value, they can bet Keeneland. To think someone actually called Premier Turf Club a "rogue operator". Keeneland seems to disagree.
Lastly, do they respect us as bettors and offer us fair prices? They sure do. As Cangamble noted in his latest blog post, Keeneland has the lowest takeouts in North America.
There you have it: A great website with handicapping info, free video, free race replays, ability to bet through a rebate shop and finally, the lowest prices in North America.
I am playing Keeneland this year.
Oh and guess what? They continue to shatter handle records. Last year's fall meet was their best ever.
After doing the above research, I am not surprised.
Note: As we are chatting about below, meets in racing are a good thing for buzz. Wall-towall harness racing can not generate that. We do not take advantage of it, imo. Here is a video, on the Keeneland site about a meet, and people having fun. Can anyone see this happening for harness racing? Could you imagine a bar b que in the Woodbine parking lot? The city cops would be there telling you to move inside. The video is here, and this is something we do not do enough of. As with most things - we don't even seem to try.
Photo: Courtesy of the Keeneland website.