Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Million Things

Some notes from the past little while in racing:

First I see that Ted Smith has thrown a barb at the CPMA (Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency) about an idea that was shot down. We have long held the belief here on the blog that a national jackpot type bet would do racing some good on Monday nights when the races are televised across Canada. It seems like the new guard at Woodbine thought the same and got to working on it. It appears they envisioned a pick "all" where a bettor had a chance at a million dollars. According to Smith, this was nixed.

"Smith noted Standardbred Canada is not the only industry stakeholder frustrated with the agency. He told the meeting that the Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Score television network hatched an idea to re-launch its Monday night national TV broadcast as "Million Dollar Mondays" and give horseplayers a chance to win $1 million if they could pick all the winners on the Monday card. "We would have had people from all over North America watching, but the CPMA nixed it in two minutes. They said it's not going to happen."

I think it should be noted that the CPMA in other areas has been proactive in asking for new bets and ideas from racing, and racing was silent, or in some cases were completely unwilling to change (like the idea where uncashed tickets - i.e. the bettors money - were returned to them via a bet or lower takeout). Regardless, it will be interesting if the agency changes with the times, as racing has started to recently.

Nick Eaves has been speaking time and time again about lowering takeouts at Woodbine by removing the HIP portion of takeout, and returning that to bettors. This would be long overdue. Only in racing does the business expect horse bettors to pay for horse improvement programs. If Wal Mart wants to offer a health care stipend to workers, they will pay for it, not the person buying an IPOD. In fact, places like Wal Mart realize that their price is their business. They are staunchly afraid of having unionized workers there because if that occurred they would have to raise prices, killing their edge. The time has come for racing to understand that the price is their business too, and everytime they want something done, they should not add to takeout.

North America Cup.com is up and running. Check it out if interested.

Three divisions of the Burlington occur this Saturday at the Hawk. This should tell us who is sharp and who is not, as well as who likes Mohawk. They are pretty interesting divisions. The Canadian debut of Ideal Matters happens in race 8. Was last week his bottom, or a poor race? I think we might find out come Saturday. This is a really cool crop with some fast horses. No superhorses like the Beach of course, but a pretty deep group with some nice colts. Kind of the opposite of this year's thoroughbred crop.

Toughest horse alive? How about Shark Gesture. A 48 qualifier, and he wants out of the barn the next morning. This is with Larry Remmen as well, a true honest horseman, who treats his horses well - not some cowboy who flies out of the woodwork. Those Card Sharks are triers. They will run through a wall for you.

On the tbred side, Zenyatta is in this weekend. I really am not enamoured in her works. I don't know, but I wonder if it might be ripe to take a shot against her in horizontals. Probably not, because she has not been at her best before and still won, which great horses do, but it makes me wonder a little.

Rachel Alexandra will probably be in this weekend too, more than likely against fillies in the Fleur De Lis. They'd have to be nuts to try colts since she has been anything but sharp. I am kind of surprised to see her in the box actually. I thought her last race would be her last. Both her and Z's race will be on my TV screen this weekend.

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