A positive test was recorded by super-filly Crys Dream this morning. According to the ORC, the drug was a Class I, II or III, which ensures not only the trainer and owner are suspended, but so is the horse. There were few other details given.
If I was a betting man, I would wager this is a trace positive of a common drug, because the connections of this horse are who they are, and you have to be certifiably insane to do something willingly with such drugs, seeing the way the ORC tests. Trace or not (and we won't know that soon, because the ORC, like other commissions only has a positive/negative trigger; it does not test for levels of the drug), the hammer will likely fall on the filly, at some point this summer or fall. If they drag out the appeal, one would assume they will be able to race for awhile.
...... The Kenutcky folks are holding hearings into the Life At Ten disaster at last year's Breeders Cup. So far the Sgt Shultz mantra of "I see nothing" seems to be taking root. Some are suggesting that interviews of jockey's be prohibited before race time, like that's supposed to be a good thing.
.... The TOC in California has brought Lou Raffetto aboard. This move was needed because the TOC is being challenged in the state by some thoughtful folks like Roger Licht. It will be interesting to see what kind of fine line he walks when asked about the takeout hike. Those supporting the take hike now are few and far between, but the folks that do, are in the TOC. Even if he (and this is likely, in my opinion) thinks the hike was a terrible move, he can't say so. This is cat herding 101, right before our eyes.
..... Woodbine, for year's a fave whipping boy for horseplayers, has been turning a corner, with a few take reductions, an embrace of rebating, and openness and transparency via the web. This year's Queen's Plate was well-received by those of you slugging away at the windows - it was a record handle. It takes time to change a brand. Woodbine has slowly been changing, and people are noticing.
..... After getting regulatory hurdles placed in front of them by copious governments, betfair's share price has taken a tumble. They are cleaning house there, and announced a new premium charge for bettors. The corporatization of the company is almost complete, which has affected countless private companies who IPO in the past.
..... The Saratoga meet starts soon, and NYRA and others are stoked on the heels of the deal announced with Versus. One question: NYRA had to raise takeouts 1% on some exotics a couple of years ago, to plug the OTB revenue holes. With OTB's gone, why haven't they lowered the takeout back down?
...... Places like betfair, and our own ADW's here, have been looking hard at optimizing mobile. Mobile's growth rates are huge, but I wonder if it is trying to put a square peg in a round hole in terms of grabbing new customers. I had a nice chat with a presenter at a recent conference who's an engineer who runs her own mobile web shop. She relayed the time a mobile clicker gives you is less than ten seconds. The attention span is infuriatingly short, and to bet, or want to bet via a mobile device takes a hell of a lot of time. I think spending cash on mobile in our game is for our existing folks to have a better customer experience, and growth rates for new customers will be smaller than expected.
Have a good day folks.