Friday, February 22, 2008

Guest Post: B Track Madness

Well a reader asked a question recently: "Which Canadian B tracks are rated best to bet?". Frankly it is a good question. I know what I like, but I am not slugging away at the B's - betting, grinding, watching replays. But fortunately I know someone who is. So, I asked him if he would write up something and rate the B tracks for betting. Where can we make some scratch? Which tracks are fun to play?

So, we have this weeks guest spot. It is from a good capper, and a buddy. I like that he has some strong opinions. Opinions make the world go round, and we like them here.

Without further delay, here they are: The Ontario B Track Betting Rankings, courtesy Lou. Thanks buddy.

Georgian Downs 83.5

Probably my favourite track to bet, but by no means are they perfect. One thing I cannot stand is their willingness to go head to head with M1 on a Saturday night. By this I mean sending their races off at exactly the same time, which is totally insane from a betting standpoint. If you are betting, are you going to bet into a 50k win pool or a 1k win pool? They wonder why their handle is so bad on a Saturday, this is clearly one of the reasons.

From an operating standpoint they have to realize that on a Saturday night that their two main competitors are WEG and M1. Don't tell me they can't adjust to avoid going head to head to head, it can be done.

Other than that they do have a very good product, they seem to stay away from the cheap, cheap claimers and usually package together many full field races with superfectas. I also love the two win4’s as it gives you 2 chances at hitting your favourite ticket (mine anyway). Not many tracks can say they have two win4s.and they are perfectly spread (starting in r4 and r8).

Grand River 79.0

Probably the best simulcast product you can ask for when it comes to the B scene. I think they could even compete with the award winning WEG racing live crew. Mind you Gary would have to work on his picks a bit more, but kidding aside they do put on a great show.

However, they still are having trouble gaining market share (wagering dollars). Their pool sizes are still small, in the Western Fair range, and as I bettor that is a huge negative. They need to pick it up a bit; but they are at least trying and making an effort, and I can't say the same for many others. Maybe they need a time adjustment or day change, something to boost the pools. I did like that trial they did a couple of years back when they worked together with Georgian and promoted each other during a Tuesday night.

Windsor Raceway 74.5

Decent pool sizes and variety of horses coming from many tracks make for a good product. They don't really do much as far as interviews or any promotion of any particular race (do they even have the provincial cup anymore?). They are more or less a here-you-go-and-here-are-the-horses-so-please-bet kinda track.

Fraser Downs 71.0

If you can get past the most annoying announcer in the game you might enjoy yourself. Mind you this track is full of chalky races. You have guys like Bill Davis and Serge Masse who send out 5+ a night and their batting averages hover around .500.

Yes. .500

Most of them end off at 3/5 or lower, but if they are having an off night you certainly can pick up the pieces and make some decent scratch.
One of their benefits it seems, well at least to me, is their time slot. With the time difference they take in a lot of money once WEG/M1 are done (we talked about this during the 4 in 48 discussion). And not only that, they have the advantage of being the only harness track going past 11:30pm eastern time. That's one helluva advantage if you ask me.

Their camera on the finish line seems to be hooked up to a pole PAST the finish line and it points at it from the left. This leads to MANY confusing nights as to trying to figure out who won the race. From experience the horse on the outside has the advantage, by almost a head. So basically if your horse is on the rail at the wire, he has to be at least a head ahead of the horse on the outside. If not, pray.

Flamboro Downs 65.5

Talk about a depleted product. 3 years ago they would have ranked #1 on my list, but lately they have just gone downhill. I'm not sure if it's lack of effort or just not getting enough quality horses to enter. Some of the races that are carded are just NOT bettable. They are the only track that I know of that card NW of a race last three years and must have been beaten by 20 or more lengths in last 3 for both pacers and trotters. Thankfully they still have the best W4 pool of all the B-tracks and probably is the only reason I still bother even playing.

Kawartha Downs 66.0

The opposite of Flamboro. They are a growing product, starting to get decent entries and building fans. They are fairly new to the simulcast scene and they are putting up some decent numbers pool size wise. I'm not a particular fan of their graphics template, but I won't hold it against them.

Western Fair 55.5

Pool sizes are small, post parades are the worst in the game, and some of these super payoffs are a joke. It's like there is some conglomerate of 20 cent super bettors and they all bet Western because there is absolute zero value betting them at this track.

Forget about betting anything more than 50 bucks to win. Not only do you have to wait until they are going into the gate to get a very vague idea what your odds are going to be, you take a chance of losing many odds points betting any more than 50. They are another track that needs a complete graphics overhaul, but with a rating this low, who cares anyway, right?

Hiawatha Horse Park 0.00000

Hey Hiawatha owner: It's called simulcasting. Look into it.

Have an idea for a Friday Guest post? I'd be happy to post it up. The more the merrier.


Anonymous said...

If the Fraser announcer met the Tampa Bay Downs announcer it would be so loud we'd all need earplugs.

I like Georgian to bet, so I agree.

I actually dont mind handicapping London, based solely on post positions.

Grand River is cool. They seem to come from behind there.

Flamboro? I agree. They cut a bunch of racedates there and they still have a poor product I'd say. You'd think that woulda helped.

Windsor has some good races.

I have never watched a Fraser race all the way through. Maybe I will. With the sound down!

Anonymous said...


Grand River
Western Fair

Anonymous said...

I actually like Western Fair. I also like Northlands, they have good takes. I never had much luck at Georgian.

Anonymous said...

I loved Rick Uppal, because he had PERSONALITY; a trait most announcers lack. At least he showed some interest and excitement - c'mon "Eight on the gate, one a little late" is classic. Now that he was fired and they have that DREADFUL announcer from Hastings Park calling the races, I don't even bother to watch.

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