Monday, January 21, 2013

Racedates, Synth, Stats & Lotteries

I saw a tweet from New York trainer Gary Contessa today as follows:
 NYRA has been reevaluating things of late and the talk of a four day raceweek has popped up. That's fine and what should be done if fields are short, and the horse population cannot support racing full cards. However, does it strike anyone else as odd from a common sense perspective? Here is a jurisdiction that just got slots. Purses are rising higher than a tsunami, and they are talking about reducing a raceweek?

Further in New York there was a very interesting conversation about synthetic surfaces at the Big A yesterday on twitter. Despite the obvious (most current fans and horsemen are against a big change for numerous reasons), the idea seems to have some merit; at the very least it is explorable. With synth the Aqueduct Big A meet offers prospective stables big purses, and gives NYRA a chance to drive some new stock and stables to the state during this period. The meet would be different than the same old same old, and might attract more action. The same thing over and over again can get stale. I think they'd be crazy not to explore it.

I datamined over the weekend and noticed there's some wild stuff happening of late at a racetrack near you. Chalk is not winning much more than usual, but it sure is paying better (almost a 0.87 ROI). The shorter shots are not getting bet, morning line favorites are not getting bet like they should either.  Charles Town, Santa Anita and Gulfstream are all about an ROI of 1.00 if you simply bet the morning line favorite.

This weekend at Harness Racing Update the proposed horse racing lottery bet in Ontario was looked at  (page 5 pdf).  This is intriguing because a lotto bet can do a few things that many other bets can't.

It's marketing in a box. If you create a lotto bet you are forced to market it. That means it has a marketing budget and this marketing budget markets horse racing.

Its a big pool. This attracts horse racing cash from all over. The US and abroad as well as locally.

It has two markets: The existing lottery market and the existing horse racing market. You are fishing in two ponds.

It is promotable to slot players. Slot players won't come over to bet a pick 4, but for a $10 million dollar pick 10 (or whatever it might be?).

If done correctly a case can be made that this bet could pull in more than the $50 million projected. In my opinion, anyway.

Enjoy your Monday everyone.



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