At least that is what Pocono Downs thinks, as they have lowered their takeout on tris and supers from an insane 35% to 25%.
"Our fans have been asking that we do so in order that they collect more on those winning tickets," they said in a release today.
Pocono (and other Pennsylvania tracks) are all slots driven, yet despite that, they charge punishing takeouts. To make matters worse, these tracks sell shot machines just down the hall from the tellers which have takes at less than 5%. Not surprisingly, Pocono's handle is microscopic. On chat boards especially, Pocono (and Chester as well) are laughing stocks, and favorite whipping boys for players. When the Breeders Crown was announced to be held at Pocono more than one player said they would not touch the product with these takeouts.
By cutting the take to a still very poor 25%, at least they are recognizing that slots are not just for purses. They have a long way to go to gain horseplayer respect, but for the poster track for what many consider the ills of racing, they are at least trying. I would not expect handles to do too much here because of the history of the track and their high take, but at the very least horseplayers who hit the tris and supers will have a little more cash to put through the windows.
The Meadowlands Pace, which took place Saturday proved once again the division is wide open. Rock n' Roll Heaven raced way-to-good to lose and right now on paper seems to be the most talented. But, after the North America Cup, that can change in a heartbeat in the division. If you want parity, it looks like you have it.
I might be nuts - and probably am - but I still think the best pacer in this division is All Speed Hanover. When he gets his kinks ironed out, and the others are starting to lose a step, he might have a huge second half. There are no superstars in this division, I believe.