Uncoupled Entries,Tackling Problems & Big News!

New York is looking to uncouple entries when trainers enter two or more horses. All I can say to that is hear hear.

Long ago when purses were $250 at Dresden Raceway, or $400 at a meet in Oklahoma it had its place. It does not any longer. The evidence? Look no further than Betfair. They uncouple horses. There is no 1 and 1A and they have done so because it encourages betting, and most importantly, their customers demand it.

A quick anecdote. I was watching the races recently and there was a 1 and a 1A. I did not mind the one, but I feared a huge overbet. The 1A was more than solid and had great late pace numbers on a track that was playing to late. The entry was 3-1 and I sat on my hands. I flipped over to betfair. The one was 9-2 and the 1A was 18-1. The 1A jogged. There was $4000 matched on the 1 and 1A uncoupled, instead of $2000 if not. A win for racing, and a win for the handicapper.

As a horse owner I admit, I love three horse fields, and non-competitive races. If I were a part of our old market (the one who now plays slots) I could see wanting not to change this rule as I would see a bogeyman behind every sulky. But for us to be taken seriously in the gambling world it is about time this rule found its way out of racing. We are intelligent and need to be treated as such.

and marketing writer Seth Godin had an interesting blog piece about tackling problems. He says that we should envision our business as a big box with 16 squares. The problem comes when one of the boxes encapsulates our efforts and we wring our hands over that box and ignore everything else.

That's why human nature is so enraging. When something is going wrong, when the economy is out of sync, we panic. We obsess about just one of the sixteen boxes and ignore the others. We talk ourselves into hysteria about how, "none of our customers have any money," or, "in this bleak economy, we'll never make a sale." Instead of using the relative downtime to build up the other 15 boxes, we just sit in the corner, keening, worrying about that one box that's out of whack.

I think we are seeing this right now in racing. Do me a favour, play a drinking game with me. Whenever you read an interview with someone in racing and that person is asked about falling handles, take a drink each time you hear the person say "it's the economy." I bet you'll be one smashed pumpkin.

If you persuade yourself and your friends that times are really tough and that you're bound to fail, you'll probably do the things you need to do to make that true in the long run.

How true.

Ok, here is the BIG news. This weeks Hambo poll is out and someone switched one first place vote to the Beach. Dewey was beating him 23 to 11, now it is 22 to 12. The guy who really likes Mr. Big refuses to budge :)

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