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The Fixers Doing the Fixing, Notes

Good day racing fans!

From the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association's panel yesterday, with regards to getting more customers to bet more money and improve handles:

"Flanery said racing needs to present a product of competitive, full fields attractive to handicappers and to figure out a way to be relevant to the changing fan base."

That's a quote from the President of a company who raised takeout, making it worse for handicappers, and scaring away a price-sensitive fan base.

'Panels' in horse racing frustrate customers. The folks who are asked for suggestions to fix it are the ones creating the policy that needs fixing. It's like going to the doctors with a cold, having him break your leg, with a promise that if you come back in a week he'll make it feel better.

"California Chrome Powerful in Return". I would call it useful more than powerful. In fact, it was probably a similar performance he had last season in his debut where he seemed soft at the end. That carried to Dubai, where he might have been described as soft at the end, too. Regardless, it was nice to see him back because the horse has a tremendous following and brings people out to watch the sport, or tune in via simulcast. It's impossible not to wish him well, unless you're some sort of #antichromie.

Brandon Valvo commented he saw a piece that said harness racing handles were greater than $1B in 1940. In today's money that would be north of $20 billion. In reading Ainslie's book as a kid I remember him talking about harness racing being North America's number one spectator "sport".  Sometimes we get a little jaded when talking about this, however. If a New York AG (not naming names) banned everything but Italian food in Brooklyn in 2016, and the law was rescinded in 2116, Italian food sales would show a big drop off by 2216. Monopolies really screw up historical projections and study. It's why they have all sorts of different curves that we don't remember from economics class.

The NFL's foresight as a league has been pretty decent in a lot of business ways, obviously. However it amazes me that Super Bowl I's broadcast was never 'taped'. I understand why a first Kentucky Derby might not be, but the Super Bowl? Someone had to have dropped the ball on that.

Harness Racing Update is back again, with Dave Briggs running the show. Dave is good at what he does.

Bob Marks and Eric Cherry are launching Harness Racing Forum. Bob involved is a good thing.

The Big M has been running marathon long cards of late. I see the handle was just short of $3M on Saturday and the card, in my view, was pretty good. There's a drop off in handle with longer cards, even though by definition the longer you keep the broadcast going, the more will obviously be bet. It's a fine line, but one thing I am pretty certain about - 5.5 hour cards with 14 or 15 races is not optimal.

Have a great Monday everyone.



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