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Nothing Proprietary, Debt And Three Year Olds

Gulfstream Park today announced a 10 cent pick 7 to be guaranteed with a mandatory payout for Claiming Crown day. Some peeps on twitter are asking if it's a new bet for the meet. I would imagine it is.

If it works, expect to see a 10 cent pick 7 coming to a track near you.

Racing wagering, unlike other entities or businesses has not much proprietary about it. If something works in the pari-mutuel pools, it will likely be copied next month by a bunch of other tracks.

When the Beulah Fortune 6 began there was some serious buzz. Little Beulah had a monster pool brewing and it drove some news, and some handle.  Some people might have actually learned where Beulah was.

After that success, Gulfstream added a "Rainbow 6" which was the same thing, and off they went. Little Beulah went back to being, well, little Beulah.

This stifles innovation in horse racing. If a smaller track, for example, spends hours and hours thinking up a great bet, spends money on it and it becomes a hit, they don't get any long-term benefit. If the drug business was like this, blood letting would probably still be the rage.

Innovation comes from other places in racing, namely with things like betting exchanges, in-running betting, conditional wagering and the like. Those things are primarily out of the hands of racetracks. But they are in the hands of the bigger organizations, but they've done little with them, while letting the true innovaters (like Betfair) innovate.

Usually businesses like this maximizes revenues by working together.  It's ironic that a business that can't compete with each other is fractured.

It's an interesting business, and as we've opined before, one which should be studied in B Comm or MBA textbooks for generations.

Remember when you were a kid, even if you grew up in the 1990's, and big numbers we could not comprehend were always illustrated, like what's a trillion? A trillion inches could go from the moon and back 4 times. If you could spend $1,000 every second, you'd have to spend for 30 years to use up a whole trillion dollars. These are all making a comeback with the debt over $16 trillion in the US.

I've got a new one.

I read on Drudge that the federal government borrowed $24.3 billion on black Friday this week - $24.3 billion or $1 billion an hour. To put that in perspective, by 10AM on Friday morning, they've borrowed as much as will be bet in 50,000 races, at 80 or so racetracks, with hundreds of thousands of horses, in one year. Now I understand!

Interestingly enough, when I was a lad in University, I would equate my horse racing winnings to cases of beer. It was about $25 a case. If I made $100 at the track, I made four cases of beer. Conversely, spending $25 on a pick 4 would mean I am betting a case of beer. And you wonder why I'm a betting geek 20 years later.

Heston Blue Chip lost his elim of the Matron on Sunday. He got a weird trip, that's for sure, however, he is certainly going to have a race on his hands this weekend. If he loses I think the industry meme of him winning 3YO of the year needs to be looked at. He will only have one major stakes win for 2012: The Breeders Crown:
  • If Thinking Out Loud wins the Matron that would give one big Open win (NA Cup) and two smaller ones (Matron & Bluegrass). He'll have made more money than Heston as well.
  • A Rock n Roll Dance has three big wins in 2012, during the most important time of the year, historically. Hempt, Meadowlands Pace and the Battle of the Brandywine. Ditto on the more money vibe too.
People in the turf press have short memories. What happens in the summer always takes precedence to what happens in the winter. Discounting a horse like Thinking Out Loud, who is on the cusp of doing the unthinkable - winning the June North America Cup and December Matron - for another who came on at the end of the year is not wise, in my opinion. Forgetting the most dominant horse in racing this summer, just because he's cooled off late in the year with some thirds and fourths is equally not wise.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!


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