Hollywood Park is cancelling their Friday night cards and the rock concert that accompanied them.
According to Holly Park Prez Jack Liebau, "We had a lot of people that seemed to come just for the concerts. We’re not in the concert business.”
This might make it more difficult to compete with the "Dodgers and the Giants" but nevertheless, it's the right thing to do. Hollywood Park is in the betting business, not the concert business.
Mountaineer Park in 1998 had $30,000 handles from their live crowd. They then decided they were in the betting business. They distributed their signals to everyone (even those "evil" rebaters) and pushed the bet with Mark and Nancy on a nightly basis in a neat time slot. Despite non-winners of a race since Bob Dole was majority leader for 5 claimer conditions and trainers named "Scooter", their handle was $1M a night.
Gulfstream Park is in the betting business. The Rainbow Six is a bet, not a stakes race, or a new band. It's a bet. What's garnered more buzz this meet, how many Pletcher horses with nice pedigree's win, the return of Animal Kingdom, or the Rainbow Six?
Balmoral Park is a race track that allows betting. A couple of Saturday's ago they gave away $98,000 in purses and had $1 million in handle. Meanwhile, other tracks with three and four times that purse level can barely break $400,000. Low rake, a few decent pools and a track who knows that its customers want to bet, not watch a band, can do some handle.
We're not competing with a baseball team. We shouldn't expect some dude who wants to dance to an 80's band after having nine beer compile his own pace figures for the night so he can come back tomorrow. This is not going to a Copperfield show and coming back half cut and dropping $400 at a roulette wheel. Handicapping is a brain game.
Horse racing is in the betting business. We just need to act more like it.