Yonkers ditched the passing lane this week, and the early results are quite interesting. Two particular tactics I see being employed by drivers are adding to the excitement (and prices) of the races. First, we're seeing movement from the three hole quicker, because brushing by to the lead at or before the half is a strong tactical advantage; wait and pull down the backstretch is happening much less. Second, horses who are third or fourth over are moving wide early to give the horse a try. Going up the inside for a slice is less effective, and it too is probably a smart tactical move.
There's a double carryover in the pick 5 on Friday at Yonkers. The Meadowlands has a huge carryover in their pick 5 Friday as well. Both should possess takeout in the 5% or lower range. Yonkers' will probably have a positive pool.There was more action in Race 11 @YonkersRaceway than in the last 2,000 races combined— DRF Harness Matt (@DRFHarnessMatt) January 9, 2018
The 23.68% juice late pick 5 at Santa Anita has not done quite as well. Which is a good thing, considering the early pick 5 is 14%. In a sport that says "We Love Our Customers ®" they should probably tell them they're getting way worse payouts on the late bet.
In an age of "Fake News" from the infamous US President, and 10's of thousands of RT's of busts being removed from the White House (followed by like 4 RT's of the correction), it's nice to see some solid journalisming going on with the blogging horse racing media. The Eclipse Awards Multimedia snafu this past week has been handled with verve, accuracy and zero-agenda from Jessica Chapel. If you have not read about it, head over to her blog and you'll learn something.
There's a new Standardbred Initiative out. In a nutshell, if your trainer gets a bad positive, they ain't racing in a stakes race at the Meadowlands, Woodbine, Tioga or Vernon. I hear this has started a Facebook hair-on-fire chat, but what doesn't? The policy has potential pitfalls, which one hopes are addressed as they come up, and in the end the sport will have a good policy.
Nevada books will likely fall short of a predicted $5B in sports betting handle this year. But that's a cracker of a number. They did $2.2B in 2006.
The government has a hard time getting their mind around gambling, episode one hundred and eleven thousand. Indiana's new bill has a massive tax on betting. This assures a lot of money stays offshore, and will likely result in a lack of single game betting (and copious amounts of parlay cards). David Payne Purdum of ESPN placed a poll up, and 46% of folks would bet -120 versus -110 if it was legal. The problem with that is, at -120 single game betting you'll go broke in the medium run, and -120 will probably end up being -130.
Arizona banned telephone wagering, after previously banning internet wagering. The early results look, unsurprisingly, weak. If they ban carrier pigeons in a few years (how I now send my bets to TP) I'm screwed.
Happy Birthday to horse racing economist and horse rescuer Caroline Betts.
What Bad Weather Bob Elliston doesn't want you to know -- Keeneland was the number one track in 2017 in North America ..... for handle loss per entry.
Push marketing has shown less and less importance in the connected world, but the movement into pick 4's and pick 5's that are pushed incessantly by TV hosts is real. I guess you could come back at me (looking at that same spreadsheet) and say, "sure, but they push jackpot bets too and they're down!", and you'd have a point. But I think no amount of marketing can help a 60% takeout bets. In the long run, they're going to hurt, because people like money.
Have a really nice Wednesday everyone.