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Pacing Derby Night to Execs: "It's a Betting Game"

It's was a big night at Mohawk Raceway this evening. Three "Grade I" races were contested, along with several "Grade III's". In total, $2.4 million in purses were given away.

Big night for handle I bet? Yes.

Over $5.1 million was wagered on the card. It was the largest handle at the Milton oval in its existence.

However, what if I told you that for all that purse money and all those stakes, the handle after the first eleven races was $2.7 million, but the handle for the last race - one race, a nondescript $30,000 conditioned affair - was $2.3 million alone.

You'd think I was cray cray as the kids say.

But that's what happened. The last race of the evening had a carryover of the Super High Five, and bettors, going after a takeout reduced pool went to work.

Stakes races, pomp, pageantry, a hundred or so horses and a couple of millon dollars brought in $2.7 million through 11 races. A takeout reduction in one race brought in $2.3 million.

This is a betting game.  One of these days the industry will treat it as such and be better off for it.

Notes:

Modern Legend won the CPD and paid boxcars. You know and I know he is a nice horse and have tabbed him in Open Stakes in the past, but he hasn't seemed too sharp this year and it was a big surprise. What a thrill for a small stable (their only current horse) who takes care of their horses like gold. Modern Legend, whether he won or lost would've had a home for life, and it's nice to see people like that win races like this.

The super payoff ($8k) is worth looking at. Sweet Lou, who drifted last week and looked like perhaps the wheels might've been falling off was a logical fade out of the top four, but that price is ridiculous. Even if the 1,2 players were out in full force, or someone took weird boxes, this was strange.

How good is Artspeak? Who knows. I could not find a horse to even be second to him in that field. This wasn't a Metro of two years ago when it was a blanket finish in 49.2, or the Beach year where multiple millionaires were knocking heads in 49. This looked like a Thursday night non-winners of two, with horses struggling to beat 53.

Foiled Again is a horse to watch out for. He raced super again, and if a few of them (this FFA field this year is not talented like last year) falter, the old bugger can win out. I love that horse.

Something seems to be wrong with Sunshine Beach. He's way better than he has been his last two. End of the line?

JK Shesalady is the real deal. Sharp, talented; and she was overlooked when she was baby racing.

Carmen Hie and Dave Drew won races tonight. Somewhere the harness Gods are smiling.

Have a nice evening everyone.

Comments

Michael A. said…
Take out the show pools and the last race outhandled the first eleven. And it wasn't close.

Michael A. said…
If you still believe that takeout is not a major factor in determining what bets people play, let's go to Del Mar on Saturday.
The Pick Six had a carryover of $61,396, decades of branding and a standard takeout. On Saturday, players pumped in $453,483 in fresh money.
Also on Saturday was the new kid on the block, the Players Pick 5. This bet has only been around Del Mar for a few years and had no carryover.
What it did have was a 14 per cent takeout. Which was enough to sway bettors toward the Pick 5 and resulted in a Saturday pool of $710,441. This is roughly 56 per cent higher than the Pick 6 pool with a 61K carryover.

You can be sure of one thing. Good players know their math as well as they know the horses.
kyle said…
You know they refuse to acknowledge carryovers and the increased handle they attract as having anything to do with a lower effective take. They think it's all about the chance to win a big jackpot...or so they'll say.