** Exclusive ** Cub Reporter Releases the Secret Keeneland Tapes

My phone rang - rare in this day and age - and lo and behold it was Cub Reporter, the racing insider.

"I saw that horse sex guy on twitter mention me. Does he know something?"

He was referring to Sid Fernando, the pedigree guru.

"I don't think so, he just wondered what you were up to." I replied.

After getting some relief he was not exposed, he began to tell me a story.

"I'm undercover at Keeneland as a junior data analyst," he said. "Don't tell anyone, but I've got a tape that should blow the doors off the place! It's their emergency board meeting. I'll share it with you, but you can't tell anyone."

He gave me the tape, and I present it, transcribed, here for you.


Exec 1, 2,3 and Cub (background)
Keeneland Exec 1: "Call to order board meeting 41. Let's turn to our data analyst for a handle update. How are things looking?"

Cub Reporter Posing as Data Analyst: "Things do not look good. Despite more horses and more races our handle is down this meet. Per race we're getting killed."

Keeneland Exec 2: "Balderdash. I saw lots of people here this meet, it's been sunny and they're all having a great time! The tailgaters are all drunk. This sounds like Fake News."

Keeneland Exec 3: "Gotta be fake news."

Cub Reporter Posing as Data Analyst: "No, it's not looking good. What's worse about it all is that horse racing is have a great fall. Handle is up everywhere, except for us. With the IRS rules, our growth rate, our bigger fields, and the growth of big meets, our projections were for us to be up 15%, but we're down millions. Our customers are not betting us like they used to, and perhaps there's less churn due to the takeout hike."

Keeneland Exec 1: "People love us. We never say anything bad about them. Plus, they're all degenerates. There has to be some other reason. And churn, is that something with butter? We don't make butter."

Keeneland Exec 3: "No butter here."

Keeneland Exec 2: "My wife uses butter instead of margarine when she bakes. Swears by the stuff"

Keeneland Exec 3: "Didn't the wife have a tough time recently, a little trouble with the bourbon?

Keeneland Exec 2: "No, she was just thinking of becoming a Democrat."

Keeneland Exec 3: "That's tough. God bless."

Keeneland Exec 1: "Back to business. Focus gentlemen. There has to be some track we're beating. How about Charles Town or that track in Montana? Les Bois Downs or something?"

Cub Reporter Posing as Data Analyst: "Per race we're beating Jack Thistledown by a whisker, but out of 22 tracks, we're having the second worst month."

Keeneland Exec 2: "What in the hell is Jack Thistledown?"

Keeneland Exec 3: "I knew a Jack Thistledown in high school. Coincidentally, his parents were dairy farmers."

Cub Reporter Posing as Data Analyst:"That's a racetrack in Ohio. They're down a little more than we are."

Keeneland Exec 1: "All right, then. If the racing press calls we say "We're beating Jack Thistledown" so they can all print it. And if by some off-chance they want to do some digging and have another question, just mention butter."

Keeneland Exec 1: "Now, onto the second part of meeting so turn to page two, titled - "How we can crush Kentucky Downs and look like we're helping the industry". For this we have to call Churchill.

Keeneland Exec 3: "OK, but that guy scares me. He's the guy who went after Ron Turcotte's parking space."

< phone dials out, man answers with heavy breathing >

Mysterious CD Exec: "Luke I am your father. What can I do for you (breathing). Do you need some direction on crushing something small? (breathing).

Keeneland Exec 1: "Hello. Yes, we're wondering what steps we should take to put Kentucky Downs. out of business. What can we do?"

KEE/CDI (l) Kentucky Downs (r)
Mysterious CD Exec: "We have everything done for you. We've done this hundreds of times. Just follow our lead and trumpet everything we say. If you do, you and yours will be safe (breathing, with some ominous silence). Is there anything else?

Keeneland Exec 1: "Yes, what should we do about our handle numbers. They're down since we raised takeout."

Mysterious CD Exec: "Call Equibase - tell them I sent you -  and get them to remove all handle numbers from the charts. Then when the press asks, tell them things are great. (breathing). Since you don't have a share price to point to that goes up from you crushing smaller things, that's all you can do. Oh, twitter block o_crunk."

Keeneland Exec 1: "Great idea. Thank you for your time"

Keeneland Exec 1: "This was a good meeting. Thank you everyone. We're having a great meet and the future looks bright. We're beating Jack Thistledown! "

Other executives: "Hear hear!"


That concluded the meeting. We'll keep our ear to the ground for future correspondence from Cub.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.


Anonymous said...

Official handle is a mystery. Why? And of course there is no accountability. Can you imagine asking the CEO of any publicly traded Fortune 500 company why they are hiding their sales figures from the public ? What would happen next in the real world.

Anonymous said...

I know of a publicly traded company that has racetracks and keeps their sales figures ( handle ) from the public. Perhaps the SEC could ask the " undercover boss " about the lack of transparency?

Steve_S said...

I found them here in a super inconvenient-to-use PDF format. Having to copy and paste data into Excel is absurd. If customers want data, as they seem to do in other sports, why does racing make it so difficult? Instead of using it as a profit center, could free (machine readable) data create a competitive advantage over rival products?


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