Woodbine wants to add hitching fees. The pros: Fuller fields. The cons: Dead weight in those fields.
Paying only $300, and with a race secretary watching the entries, I don't buy the dead weight angle. If it is a pilot project we will find out very soon. However, a pick 4, with ten horses in each race adds to handle. With supers each race and each race having ten, it adds to handle. Woodbine is trying to add handle, and after years of wondering if they were even trying, it bodes well. Of course, the pick 4 takeout has turned off a lot of bettors, so do what you wish with that.
We mentioned below the purse increase at Pompano Park in Florida. The takeout rates were slashed there this season, and over time it seems to be paying off. Last night the little track had "the highest handle they have seen in two years".
On this blog for several years you have asked some tough questions. Why doesn't racing do something about reversals of form? Why can't we get fixed odds passed? Why can't we lower takeout to try and spur some growth? One area that has done that, and is doing it, is Australia. Story here. After adding betfair and doing some good things, handle in AUS topped $20B last season, a 4.4% jump. What recession? And how is betfair bad for pari-mutuel racing again?
Waples talks about the planned harness racing TV show here.
Oh my head. California dudes with some strange quotes. The business has to ask itself if these folks should be in charge of gambling decisions. It is something we have to come to grips with sooner or later, or we're finished.
Plonk on "silver hairs" and racing.
There are some worthy Hall of Fame harness inductees to vote on this season. For me: Two of the best mares ever - Rainbow Blue and Eternal Camnation (just like my top ten horses of the decade list order).