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PGA Tour Goes Horse Racing

With a h/t to Phil J, this appeared on the Golf Channel website this morning. "PGA Tour's Silent Strategy a Double-Edged Sword". It's in reference to Dustin Johnson abruptly leaving the PGA Tour over personal issues. Speculation has run rampant, and the writer questions the Tour policy of keeping these things quiet, rather than telling everyone what the reason is.

This is not unlike horse racing. You'll see a trainer on a suspended list for "something" but that something is not announced. In shedrows, with handicappers, speculation occurs and it is usually something sinister. "He was using R24 rocket fuel on his horses and he will be suspended for life." Nine times out of ten it is not rocket fuel, but an overage for something or a mistake of some sort. Frog juice positives happen very rarely.

The PGA, like horse racing, is very different than other sports. The players and the participants are a big part of its structure. In the NFL or MLB this would not happen, but in racing or golf it's commonplace. I think those sports probably have to move closer to the NFL or MLB or NHL, not the other way around.

Notes:

Yes, "EBITDA" is not the answer for horse racing. Long-term growth policies are. I have pretty much given up hope that with the present structure things will be done to foster long term growth. Harvesting is rampant in horse racing, and has for fifty or more years. Q2 for Apple means Q2's as far as the eye can see. For horse racing, it means Q2.

I have seen rumors that the price increases at Toga this year are working out okay, much as we have speculated. I am still firmly of the belief that revenue for big events re: admission and otherwise are much needed in racing. Lower the price of bet, yes, because the price is too high to spur handle growth (why anyone would want less handle in the first place is ridiculous when you are trying to drive eyeballs), but put on a fun, good show and try and make admission revenue part of the picture (like is done in the UK).

ICYMI: Hambo program for free is here. The Horseplayer Monthly, also free is here.


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