Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Pivots

A couple of letters and articles were written this weekend about slots ending in Ontario. One, from Dave Perkins, lambastes the Liberal government (ballsy, The Toronto Star is a Liberal paper). Another, from Dennis Mills, does similar, but offers solutions.

We've read those tomes many times - people will be thrown out of work, it's a "revenue sharing" deal that works, and on and on. I believe most of that falls on deaf ears. The public is not stupid, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it's probably a duck. And people know that when a subsidy/revenuesharingagreeement/whatever-we're-calling it, gets pulled, it will result in job loss -  whether it's in horse racing or wind farms.It's happened a million times before, and it will happen again.

I think the thing that might resonate is that the OLG plan expands gaming. Instead of slots and gaming being held at a racetrack, they're being moved to a street corner near you. People do not want it in their backyard. It similar to the fact that some people are for legalizing weed, but even they don't want a weed-smoking cafe down the block from their daughters school. We have seen this tact used in this debate, especially from the Conservatives, but that, in my opinion, is the only argument that gets the job done. If I were racing I would probably pivot a little bit, because focusing on 100 arguments where 98 don't resonate, rather than putting all your resources into the one or two that does resonate, usually works better.

The Ontario Racing Commission disallowed a raceday cut at Woodbine, Flamboro and Western Fair this week. I find this a curious move by the commission. If slots are gone March 31st, why not let racetracks start to prepare on January 1st? Either they know something we don't, or they're as poor a manager as racetracks and horsemen have been with slots money in the past. This is a pivot I can not quite figure out.

I don't watch Hollywood Park much any more (since they raised rakes) but I did yesterday. I'm not sure if it's betfair or Libeau, but their graphics package is excellent and it pushes betting. The electronic "the pick x starts here" in front of the gate is really good. They do the little things to up the bet there, things that are common sense to me and you. They also, with TVG, gave out a car as a bonus, if you are the only person to hit the pick 6. This is racings version of a hole in one. Well done.

11 Predictions for Harness Racing in 2013 is in Harness Racing Update today (pdf).

From "Superterrific" yesterday on twitter regarding the ""Cash Call Futurity" - I think they should call it the "Predatory Lending Futurity"

Why do places like Northfield show 0 minutes to post and run the race 5 minutes later? Handle.

The late pick 4 yesterday at the Woodbine thoroughbreds was guaranteed at $100k, but did $75. That thoroughbred season is long and seems to get stale this time of year.

Enjoy your Sunday everyone.



5 comments:

Eric Poteck said...

I believe the reason why the ORC disallowed the race day cuts is to force the tracks to use the SARP money.
The OMAFRA Transitional Panel noted in their final report that, I quote 'The end of SARP on March 31, 2013 will leave some purse monies stranded, specifically those collected in the months right before the termination date, when there is little or no racing. These stranded funds are estimated at $27 million and will be placed in various trust accounts. A decision will be required on how to dispose of these funds. (The track operators will have received a similar amount of SARP money. There is nothing that compels them to use these funds for racing after March 31, 2013.)

Pull the Pocket said...

Makes sense then. Thanks Eric, very informative.

TheRealGD said...

Nice post. Unrelated, but I'll assume you caught the woodbine card today.

What the heck happened in the first - bell goes off, gate stays closed, the 1A rears up so the jock climbs off, then the starter opens the gate and sends them on their way with the jock still standing in the gate.

The Score guys (who, perhaps understandably are pretty soft on the stewards most times) seemed a little surprised nothing happened after the fact. I thought the starter should have at least reloaded them rather than hurrying them on their way seconds after the bell had gone with the doors still closed. Just curious if you saw it happen and what your take was. Thanks

Pull the Pocket said...

Didnt see it, but the guys on twiter are talking about it GD, right here

https://twitter.com/ahickman2/status/280485741891575808

TheRealGD said...

Interesting - thanks for the link. The YouTube replay is here - it's quite humorous

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=064YPgk71us&list=UU0RagnaQvFUM5BJUCIxWKow&index=13

They pick it up after the bell going off but as you can see the gates are still closed and the 1A has just reared up. Watch the starter - you can see him looking to see if they are all in line, then he lets them go - then screams out an expletive as he realizes he's left one riderless. If your volume is high enough...you'll hear it!

I didn't have a bet on it - but I really thought that was a case where once the bell went off and the gates didn't open, just take the extra two minutes and reload the field. They ended up wasting 5 minutes looking at inquiry tapes after so better safe then sorry.