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Thursday Notes

Some news that caught my eye today:

Jack Darling, writing on Standardbred Canada, spoke about this week's OMAFRA report, which highlighted some plans to help the business transition, post slots:
  •  I didn't like the tone of this report. Instead of an independent, open minded panel working with our industry to develop ways to save and even improve the horse racing business, they sounded like unfriendly government representatives dictating to us.
I have also read meme's that talk about "we need to negotiate better", "we can't be spoken to this way" and things like that. I honestly don't understand it. Racing has nothing to negotiate. That OHRIA and others have gotten racing to this point - the point where the government actually wants to transition better - is a victory. They achieved it without a leg to stand on.

The Breeders Cup has lacked serious buzz this year. There is no Zenyatta, no Derby winner, no horse on a streak, no super-outstanding two year old to get the blood pumping. The race of the two days might end up being the filly and mare. The more I go over it, the more I move towards Questing. She's fast enough and I think she bounced last time on a weird track.

Election betting update: With a swath of positive polls, O has moved downwards in odds virtually everywhere.I agree the methodology of some of the polls is odd, or almost impossible to rationalize (like the National Journal poll, where they model the electorate being like 2008 instead of something less than that), but the totality of them looks good for O. There are still some states where value may be had if you are one to trade them on Betfair, and have some sort of strong opinion, either way.
  • VA - trading in O's camp, but early vote turnout in cities is down by 20%, portending a close race
  • CO - trading in O's camp, but early voting shows a 3% R edge, versus a 2.8% D edge last time
  • FL - trading in R's camp, but some polls have placed the vote as even
  • Places like MN, PA and MI have some on the bid at around 10 cents on the dollar if you think the race is trending O's way. 
  • NC looks like a longshot for O to carry, based on early voting. There's a whack to own at 1.30 there.
If the polls stay as they are today, I am of the mind you'll be able to gauge quickly what's going to happen election night - perhaps soon after FL and VA close -  because you'll know which poll's turnout models are correct. It can be profitable. In 2004, for example, the networks were loathe to call Florida because of 2000, but with even a bit of common sense you knew Bush was at least an 80% favorite 15 minutes after the polls closed in the Sunshine State. Betfair traded Florida at 1.76 to Bush at that time. 

For longshot bettors, keep in mind Betfair can really mess things up in real time. Hillary Clinton, for example, traded to 1.02 (98% chance) to win Missouri in the Primary in 2008. An hour later Obama won.

Cal Expo opens Friday night and they will honor the recently passed Alan Kirshenbaum.A lot of you followed and chatted with Alan over the past few years on twitter. Chris Schick is running Cal Expo and he's a bettor. While the TOC and other groups look to squeeze more out of your wallet in California, Cal Expo has done the opposite, lowering rake on several bets. Check them out, the racing is quite good.

Congrats to Jason Settlemoir for getting the GM post at the Meadowlands. He's a good guy and works extremely hard to try and move the sport forward.

Have a nice Thursday everyone.


Pacingguy said…
Regarding the comment of the report lecturing racing, racing should be happy they are being lectured to. Remember Quebec.

A business which has run itself into the ground usually doesn't get a second

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