In racing one of the biggest debates is about racedates. Horse owners or trainers (like I am sometime) want a lot of them. Please dial me up a five horse field where we all get some dough! Oh, and make the purse high too, ok?
Bettors on the other hand like short fields about as much as gastro-intestinal surgery.
Who is right, who is wrong? I guess that depends on your perspective. In the case of handle as a metric, deeper fields, less races and more contentious affairs win that battle ten out of ten times.
In thoroughbred racing, Delaware Park concluded their meet with something wacky - a rise in handles.
Delaware Park raced 27 fewer days this year but registered increases in total handle and average daily handle, track officials said Oct. 28. Track officials and horsemen agreed to cut the final seven days of the meet to conserve purse money. This year’s meet originally was scheduled to end Nov. 7.
Larger field size, a positively correlated metric to handle (add one horse a race and handle goes up by 5%), is the main reason why they say.