Del Mar's attendance was reported down about 20% yesterday for their opener. Handle was down as well.
The sky is falling. But at least no horses died.
"A safely run racing day more than offset a downward spike in on-track attendance on opening day."
Other things that more than offset a loss of attendance:
A North Korean rocket didn't hit the San Diego Naval Yard.
E-Coli was not discovered in the Del Mar drinking fountains.
There were no (reported, at least) floppy hat injuries.
I kid. But often this represents analysis in horse racing.
Attendance could've been down for a hundred reasons - a Wednesday with something else going on, people waiting to see Arrogate on Saturday (attendance will then be up and everyone can stop hand wringing), or a big sale at Jim's Jumbo Burger. Who knows.
Horse racing's use of statistics, are in my view, so rudimentary and knee-jerk, it's no surprise we learn nothing from them.
I think that probably will have to change, especially if California racing is to get out of its funk. It's a great business to analyze, with $12B in handles and tens of thousands of people showing up for an opening day. When headlines provide some detail illustrating that use of data - instead of some strange parallel that no horses were put down - the business will be better off.
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