Saturday, January 22, 2011

California Screaming, Atlantic City & Other Stuff

I listened to the CHRB meeting this week. I promised myself that no matter what I would not say anything bad about it. I'll let the Thoroughbred Times talk about it here.

"Jamgotchian got up to speak a number of times, and at one point when he got off topic, Brackpool told him he was done. Jamgotchian kept talking, so Brackpool told him to sit down. He still continued to talk, so Brackpool yelled, “Sit down!” As Jamgotchian walked away, Brackpool mumbled into the microphone, “A very small man.”

Another quote I saw today:

"In fact, I found myself wondering whether any sensible and unbiased person could watch yesterday’s debate and believe that the sport will be saved from its precipitous decline into the mire by having people repeatedly spout the racing mantra?"

No, that is not about the CHRB meeting, it is about the racing situation in Britain, where they have some people making decisions that should not be making racing decisions.

Some neat statements on the Woodbine handle this meet from Bruce Murray. Where some other tracks try and fudge as much as possible (with per day, or per race, or per stakes race when they have six or more horses without a heavy chalk when it is sunny, handle comparisons), kudos for laying it out without any bee ess.

“Our average bet per race is up, and that’s in part because we’ve got fuller fields,” he said. “Our betting has stayed consistent, both on-track and in the U.S.”

For the week of Jan. 9, Murray said the average bet per race was up 11.5 percent, although the track’s gross on Standardbred racing dropped by 13 percent because of the cutback in the number of cards."

Jeff Gural was on the Meadowlands pre-game show tonight. As twitter noted 'he took a little shot at Vernon'. As you know, the Tioga horsemen have played ball, Vernon not so much. Tioga experienced handle growth last year after the horsemen approved takeout reduction, while Vernon suffered handle losses. You can watch the interesting interview here.

I appreciate how Gural's mind works on these issues. I think he is absolutely right when he says that New York will pass table games at some point and Atlantic City will get killed. The point he is making is simple: Do something big at the Meadowlands now to try and beat them to the punch.

Bloggers are smart. Well some are. They called Apple's quarter better than analysts did.

Sid Fernando, thoroughbred racings well-respected twinkyer did something today that caught the eye of some fellow twitter lovers. He retweeted a tweet by Hugh Hefner. That was cool. I was looking to retweet something by Lady Ga-Ga in homage, but I can't find anything beyond self-promotion. Sometimes I am very glad I was a teenager in the 80's.

VFTRG makes a good point in a recent column - we can not go backwards and wish there was no competition, we must beat them.

"Mickey Burke's trotter went from 9-1 to 7-2 last flash at the M" was a comment today on twitter from OBVern. Not uncommon unfortunately. Not only do you have to handicap perfectly now, you have to be Nostradamus with the odds board. It's a serious, serious problem that fixed odds would fix, but that seems about as possible as my beagle being the next Secretary of the Interior.

Rich Eng speaks about Billy Walters and we in racing needing one. Walters was not named by name, but if you'd like to check out a fascinating book on him and his team, try "Smart Money". It was a fantastic look through the betting landscape with offshore and onshore, and a man capable of making lines and arbing like the best Wall Street or Betfair trader. Some of the references to offshore books are comical since they do not use the real names, but they are close.

Speaking of offshore books, the word on the street is that they got killed on racing, even with a 5% rebate only - far, far too many sharp players playing millions of dollars a year. One of them has racing back with no rebate, trying it again. Without a price edge (i.e. some sort of takeout reduction), I have no idea how they will make it worth their while.

1 comment:

Pacingguy said...

"...per stakes race when they have six or more horses without a heavy chalk when it is sunny, handle comparisons?"

Such comparissons are not total BS. It shows that people will bet more on races without heavy favorites, something that is woefully rare in harness racing. Mr. Harness Racing Secretary, what are you going to do about it? Perhaps it is time to look back at the classified racing system and let the trainers kick and scream? Perhaps some other solution?

Table games in NY. I'll give you 1-9 within 5 years, 2-1 within two years.

With all do respect to my quarterhorse playing friends, If Los Al is doing better with the takeout increase and the running tracks are doing worse, it doesn't say much for the intelligence of the quarterhorse players does it?