Pop Goes Keeneland

Today is opening day at Keeneland, and I, like many of you, are looking forward to the fall meet. Keeneland is simply one of those racetracks that everyone seems to like. They, in my opinion, are that way because what they do touches all the bases.
  • They're horse owner friendly. 
  • They're friendly to their on track fans
  • They're horseplayer friendly
  • They're buzz friendly
  • They're in the home of horse racing
Keeneland would still do well if only, say, three of those bullets were touched. That's what having a good brand does. However, brands can get killed over time and Keeneland keeps delivering.

16% win take and 19% exotic take -making a max rake on any bet less than 20%- in this day and age is the bomb. And we all remember that in early 2000, Keeneland wanted to even go lower than those numbers, only to be rebuffed by other tracks reselling their signal.

HD coverage is the bomb.

Polycapping databases, horseplayer contests, Trakus, and on-site online wagering is the bomb.

Standing on the apron watching the horses with other fans, bettors and horse lovers is the bomb.

Keeneland is the bomb.

There is no other track that has touched so many of the items that are important to everyone. And they do it without slots.


There was a really tough op ed penned in the Spectator this morning about racing in Ontario.

Ray Schnittker does not like heats.

The lower end got swatted at the Lexington Selected Sale last night. As we, and you in the comments section, surmised, the middle and lower end will feel the wrath of slot losses in places like Ontario. The high end will not  feel that wrath as much, because the high end can still buy the lottery ticket stud angle. Well-bred Ontario sired horses did not fare terribly at this sale.

There are plenty of Kentucky Breds racing overseas this weekend. 

Cost trumps everything. There was an article today on Facebook hitting 1 billion users. The head of AOL remembers back in 1985, when it cost $6 per hour to be connected to the Internet. In today's dollars that's about $12, or more than minimum wage. At $6 an hour, or $12, there would be no Facebook. Similarly, the internet has afforded economies of scale in gambling, whereby people can play poker at a 4% rake, just like at Casinos. If you wanted to kill online poker, bump up the rake to 25%. You'd have no one playing either. The majority in racing don't seem to realize it, but price means something in horse racing, too.

Hawthorne also opens today. If you want to look at a track to play while playing Keeneland, check out Hawthorne. They will likely be scheduling races in between the Keeneland post times, so you'll have time to handicap.


Unknown said...

Keeneland may not have slots but they have a very lucrative horse sale business. Not knocking Keeneland at all just pointing out that they have a alternate source of income that few other tracks with or without slots can match. They do things right but lets not pretend that the sales income isnt a huge factor.

Marquez said...

Santa Anita is my home track but they are killing us with their exotic takeouts sans the Pick 5.

Silly promotions are not helping their on-track attendance either.

Nice to hear about a track that takes horse-players concerns seriously.


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