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Big Days, Mo Money and Poltics

Good day racing fans.

The Gulfstream Park Pick 6 jackpot thingy is not a jackpot thingy today. It's mandatory payout day, and should provide some good value. I'll throw the hat in the ring.

Charlie Hayward examines "big days" in New York racing land.
  • If racetracks devoted the same time investment to researching the efficacy of their betting menus and estimating optimum takeout levels as they did planning “Big Days,” I believe the time spent analyzing wagering options would yield a higher return. Well-balanced race cards with good field sizes may not be as glamorous as “Big Days,” but I believe that they – combined with lower takeout to improve the economic return for customers, tracks, and horse owners, and more effective drug testing and stronger penalties for cheaters – would go much further in improving the future for Thoroughbred racing.
The whole article is quite good. I agree with much more of it than I disagree with. Big days water down every other day, and the last thing horse racing needs is to water down already watered down days that no one seems to watch much anymore.

Speaking of Big Days, CDI's Derby betting is good - I think we can all agree that slice of Americana can sell itself  and is really hard to mess up - but after an increase in juice and about a 25% drop in handle other days last season, this season is not faring too much better. Field size is up about 9%, handle is down about 5%. There goes the ol field size was the reason for a 25% drop excuse last season.

It's being reported that CDI has joined the online poker market in California. It will be interesting to see if their partner will let them raise juice to 22% if they want more profit. Likely not.

The online poker fight in California is pretty interesting, and according to Adam 'there will be no bill until all the lobbying money is spent'. Groves estimates the profit (for the entire industry) will not be big - $8-$12 million per year - but getting a foothold in this market is more important, as the online gambling market could or should expand more. Currently the racetracks seem to want a share, and so do the native casinos. It looks like a typical lobbying minefield. According to that twitter feed, the odds of this passing in 2015 is 2-1 against. Regardless, whether horse racing gets a small share or not, it's likely peanuts, and I can't see any possible rationale that this can help horse racing in the state.

Some rumor was shared on the HRRN radio show yesterday. One of the hosts disclosed that Carpe Diem bled pretty bad in the Derby. If so, you can draw a line through that race, and if you like the 12 furlong breeding, you might get a price.

It's neat to me that two horses that won the Belmont Stakes the last two years - Tonalist and Palace Malice - are favorites for the Met Mile. Also supposedly in the race is Bayern, a winner at 10 furlongs in last years smash up Derby, Breeders' Cup Classic. I am more and more convinced that distances over 8.5 furlongs are not a preference for any horse in America anymore.

In harness racing update last evening, the historical look at racing at four is tougher than racing at five meme was again spoken about. It's not 1985 any longer, when this was almost prevalent. Nowadays, 2 year olds can scorch an oval in 1:49. Seasoning in harness racing is overrated. If your horse is fast enough he can win at four, if your horse isn't, he won't. The problem in harness racing is that with stakes at three, some horses who are not very good on a stand-alone basis, get headlines.  When they fail at four, it's supposedly because they're four, not because they weren't fast enough to begin with.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

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