Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Notes

I often get my news and opinion from the blogosphere, and there is not much wrong with that, however when you get to read a great piece from a professional turf writer, it shows just how far ahead they are (of some, like me, not all). Bill Christine is one such scribe. His piece this morning on the ninety year old paddock guard John Shear reads like a symphony. Marvelous story.

Northfield Park goes low. They have dropped takeout on pick 3's, 4's and 5's to 14% - an industry low. Harness tracks are severely trying to get business. It is tough to turn around a sport with so many problems, but they are not going down without a fight. Northfield, Western Fair, Cal Expo, Balmoral, Pompano and even Pocono (although that was a drop from 35% to 25% believe it or not) have all moved the past 12 months on take.

How did newspapers lose 92% of revs? It reads like a racing manual - almost to a tee. Thanks to Thorotrends for the link.

"Inside the Pylons" has joined the twinkysphere. ITP is known throughout internet-ville on various chat boards and as a frequent commenter here, at the Paulick Report and elsewhere. He bets, he has an opinion, he owns horses. Perfect for Twitter. Even Ray Paulick followed him; and for those who follow those two's history on the Paulick Report, that says something.

Norm F, harness racings number one fan, has surged followers since his joining. He now has twenty, which is just short of Charlie Sheen. The followathon continues.

A blogger looks at drifters and shorteners for the Cheltenham festival. We all know the markets are fairly efficient, but his/her findings are interesting. I have done a little bit of research into this, and drifters almost always made me look twice. Often times if you see a horse drift near post time it is a sharpie who sees a horse lathering, lame, what have you and should be something that gets your attention. Not to mention the markets are incredibly predictive in other sports. For example, watching the PGA Championship last year when Dustin Johnson made a boo-boo on the last hole it went to the judges. The market at betfair told you what the result would be before the television commentators did.

The Jockey Club is commissioning a study into the future of racing. I bet they will find - if they look at the demand side - players want competitive fields, lower takeout and big pools. It ain't rocket science. As for my take on racings future, when I presented something at a conference several years ago I pretty much presented this, verbatim. To this day I feel this is what we are going to be looking at 10 years forth. However, getting there will be a bumpy ride. Fights will abound:

"I think in ten years we will have exchanges for win betting, with a possible fixed odds system as well. Win takes will be about 6% with it. The exotics will be run by a system which gives semi-accurate odds for all pools, originated and developed by betfair (who will probably buy the tote and modernize it) or someone with back-end tech expertise.

It's a win-win if that happens. Price sensitive folks will get their fix with fixed odds at low rake. Newer/younger players wanting to trade get an exchange, which they have been eager to patronize. Jackpot players get their bets, which are good for promotion, and they will be at a higher rake, which will make the tracks and horsemen happy. Exotics players will get things at a fair  price, subsidized by the jackpots. Rebates of 15% or more will be slowly weeded out
. Three or four tiered, modernized betting systems with choice will be in NA sometime; it is only a matter of time, in my opinion." 

Middleton via twitter hit the pick 4 last night at Woodbine and it clicked for a G-note. Nice work Ken. Ken is one of the sharper handicapping insiders out there. He announces, but he is a huge fan and consistent bettor.

Twitter is an interesting place. Today I said "100 yards" in a post to @sidfernando who is US based and "Metric Bot" corrected me a moment later with this tweet.
 
 
@ Please use metric units instead. They're far more convenient once you know them. 100 yards is equal to 91.44 m.
Now you know: Watch yourself with the yards, inches and feet tweets. Long live Metricbot!

1 comment:

George said...

Middleton may be a sharp habdicapper, but his announcing is below par. Here's 2 suggestions that maybe you can pass on to him.
1)Stop using the word "so" at any point in the race.
2)Study, study and study again, the announcing style and vocabulary of the Meadowlands announcer, Sam McKee.