We're a few days into the newly minted higher takeout Keeneland meet, and we're seeing some data that may suggest handle has suffered due to the increase in pricing.
Three days does not make a trend, and looking at Wednesday's card - which is much better than last year's first Wednesday card - handle could rebound that day. Or not.
Regardless, it's early, either way.
One thing that strikes me, however, during this (and other, see Canterbury Park's takeout changes), is the level of misinformation when it comes to reporting horse racing results. It's been like this for a long time. It's not just in horse racing of course, but it's always been there.
We have to remember - when the information is being fed by people in power who make a policy - it's probably best to look elsewhere.
Heeding that advice, let's look at some numbers from someone who is not making policy, but who analyzes it:
This quick analysis in 140 characters (he should have 280, which proves twitter's 140/280 choice algo kinda sucks) tells you more than you'll ever get from most elsewhere.
It standardizes the data in one small but statistically significant way (a potential betting pivot from Keeneland to others) and it compares a datapoint (per entry handle) that's more relevant than any topline number.
You might not like a story it can tell, but it tells a story.
The thing that's always worried me in this sport, is that this data is being forwarded not by a Department of Wagering for the Horse Racing Commissioner ®, but by a guy on social media with a strange avatar who likes to go to Phish concerts.
It's good in a way - it shows the power of good information, and social media has created an outlet for it to be shared. But it's bad in another way - the data the industry needs to pay attention to, and make pass/fail policy decisions on, is from a guy on social media with a strange avatar who likes to go to Phish concerts.
If you're following the Keeneland story, may I respectfully suggest: Go Phishing. You might not like what the data says, and it may completely fly into the face of your horse racing worldview, but smart information and the resulting analysis will make you smarter.
Have a nice Monday everyone. To my friends north of the 49th, may you and your family enjoy your Thanksgiving.
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