Sunday, June 3, 2018

Post Drags & Problematic Opportunities

Dave Briggs wrote an extensive piece about post dragging today. Dave, always a good interviewer, got various execs to open up about the practice, and it's well worth the read.

After reading it, Tom LaMarra on the twitter said, "it tells me there is no desire to fix the problem."

When I read it, I had a similar thought, but when I thought about it even more, they weren't talking about post dragging as a problem, but an opportunity.  This, I believe, happens more often than we like to think in horse racing.

Post drags, not a problem. It's not a problem that with them, scheduling races systematically and for maximum reach is virtually impossible; that an industry shares revenue from all bettors, so shuffling them around doesn't grow the pie, it splits it up differently; that it angers customers. It's 'we can make a little more handle than that track if we keep our clock on zero for forever.' Opportunity abounds!

This is nothing new. Takeout hikes in this sport - a sport where for dozens of years people have talked about takeout being too high and sub-optimal for revenue - are never presented as a problem. It's always, "New York's exotics are 25% so we can raise ours to be 24%", "purses will explode", "we can make more money." Takeout hikes are an opportunity!

We're a cross between Baghdad Bob and PT Barnum.

This is a big reason why horse racing's problems never get addressed. The sport doesn't fix problems, they frame them.

Speaking of problems (and not addressing them) and opportunities there's a piece in HRU on the Mel Bount Rule that the NFL implemented in 1979 to open up the offense, and this was looked at from a racing perspective. There the NFL saw a problem (passing offenses were becoming horrible) and fixed it to provide opportunity. Go figure.

Jim Gaffigan, I don't know who you are, but have you met Michelle Beadle? For those who have not seen the comedian making fun of horse racing, here you go.

I didn't find the piece overly funny, and I expect Jason Beem could've done a better job making fun of this sport. But then again, the BARN invites would go unanswered. Jason would probably end up like the PTP Blog - a sad shadowy place read by only a few mistanthropes and Crunk.

Have a great day everyone.

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