Random Thoughts

Chris Christoforou is a hell of a good driver, but one with an issue. He wrote a letter to the industry today on the SC website:

To My Fellow Horsemen and Women;

It has recently become obvious to me that I need and want immediate professional therapy to help me fight an addiction I have developed to prescription pain medication. I have tried to control this problem myself, and although I am currently clean and am winning the battle, I feel as though I'm fighting something I don't fully understand yet.

With the help of a loving family and wonderful friends I have decided to enter a 45-day, 12-step program in the United States in the hope of getting my life and career back on track.

The encouragement and support I have received from everyone (especially in the past few weeks) has been overwhelming -- THANK YOU! It also serves as a reminder to me as to why I love this business and the people in it.

This must be tough to go through, especially publicly. Good luck Junior.

I hear New York is having more trouble with their Aqueduct slots deal. I don't follow New York much, but every time I read something, something is goofy there. Is it the most dysfunctional state in the union, or is California worse? I don't know, I'm Canadian.

I am not one for mass marketing for racing (or using mass marketing for a lot of things, actually), because we are a perfectly suitable niche sport, and that is fine for us to market and thrive. However, I am being swayed by the reach of Super Bowl ads. Are they worth the money? I am thinking some are. I really enjoyed the Audi ad below, because it said something that riled up both fringes of the political spectrum, while the majority just laughs at it for being comical - an effective way that gets people talking to market the ad for you. It is doing well on the web today. The aardvark is priceless.

Ice Fisherman from Frobisher (or something like that) added a comment below asking where the extra cash goes when Woodbine ups rates on low takeout bets offered from other tracks. For example, the pick 4 at the M (15% takeout) paid $4,605.90 down there, and $4,064.05 up here. I have no idea where the money goes, quite frankly. If anyone from WEG reads this, shoot me an email and I will print your explanation in full for people who are asking. They are not happy about it of course, as I am sure you are well aware.

Barry Irwin calls for a 12% takeout ceiling in horse racing. He is about the fourth insider to call for this level the past few months. Racing is coming around, but it probably won't get done. The Tragedy of the Commons ensures it probably won't be. Regardless, there seems to be movement on lower takeout from within the business now.


Woodbine Exec:) said...

Our official response from the Woodbine website is:

Why might payoffs on some pools differ from that of the host?

Since some U.S. tracks have extraordinarily low takeout rates on some pools (e.g. Triactors, Superfectas) that do not accommodate the high mandatory deductions in Canada, WEG will use a minimum of 25% for the total takeout on these pools. This is a very common rate that is used by other U.S. tracks.

Of course, to anyone who understand the game, this shouldn't cut it because we get by just fine when it comes to lower takeout bets like exactors and WPS (which are as low as 16% in some jurisdictions). We only have to pay an extra 2% to the horsemen on triactors, so if you really look at it, we don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to pulling this one off.

But off the record, the money the horseplayers don't receive in these instances pays for our quarterly bonuses.

You don't want to take away our bonuses do you?

Wind Gatherer said...

Chris Mat..., from Cnet has a good wrap up of the Audi commercial.

They had me with Cheap Trick.

Pull the Pocket said...

Gatherer LOL.

If they use "Surrender" next year, they are the greatest marketing company alive :)


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