No, I am not on crack. There actually is some good news in harness racing.
Tioga Downs, since their takeout decrease, is knocking it out of the park (as far as harness racing is concerned anyway).
"Tioga Downs lowered its takeout rates to state minimums for the 2010 race season, and the numbers have shown promise as they continue to rise. In July Tioga Downs was up in its live racing handle by eight per cent, and watched its export number grow for the second straight month by 21 per cent." says the release.
A telling part of the release is the ending. The Tioga boys broached the Vernon horsemen with the same idea - lower the juice and see if we can build something. They got a big fat no from them. Handle at Vernon is off 13%, just like about everywhere else.
If you ain't playing some cash into Tioga, it's time to.
Secondly, more good news from Balmoral Park. They too lowered takeout on their pick 4, and it is growing. If you were too scared to play into the BLMP pick 4 because of low pools last year, well they are not too low anymore.
"The July Pick 4 pools at Balmoral totaled $212,641 for the 13 nights of live racing, averaging $16,357 per card. In 2009 with the higher takeout, pick 4 pools averaged $8,888. The average 2010 July Pick 4 pools were 84 per cent higher with the lower takeout than the July 2009 pools." they said in their release.
I am going to start giving out a Harness Racing Tweet of the Week © I think. This weeks winner...... Bennybeam666. After a particularly bad, no flow harness race, he twinkied on Sunday: "I have seen more competitive drive-by shootings."
Congratulations Benny. For the win, I will send you an autographed picture of Mario Letizia.
Lastly, it is always good news when it's Hambo Time. The Oaks and Hambo draws are complete.
Note: We wrote not long ago that industry websites are not very interesting because they do not provide much opinion that does not fall into line. However, kudos to the Bloodhorse. They are starting to talk about all facets of racing, including those who pay for purses to the tune of a billion a year - the customer. Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin spoke of the proposed California takeout hike today on the video below. It's the last segment, and it is not worth missing (unless you are a huge fan of Cali racetrack execs, then you might not love it). Fast forward to about three quarters through if you just want that piece. The other pieces are good too, though, if you are a runner fan. Anyway, thumbs up Bloodhorse.