Thursday, May 28, 2020

Positive Test Blues

The big story in racing this week is, as reported by racing's favorite Joe Drape among others, is about Derby contender Charlatan's alleged positive test for lidocaine (or an adjunct of it).

Even though we're not 100% sure of the accuracy of the reports, as Steve Crist once said when speaking of positives in the sport, the reaction tends to be, "hang 'em high, then hang 'em higher". To say a large faction of the sport is tired of them is an understatement.

To a lot of frustrated people in the sport, due process is meaningless, circumstance and intent is meaningless. Hanging 'em high and higher is like a populist wave, with a category 5 hurricane pushing it.

In this case - again alleged; I am not a lawyer obviously, but I say that because there are not even any positive tests on the docket and it's fair  - shows, to me, just how difficult this is to navigate, populist or not.

Bob Baffert supposedly had a horse test positive for something that can be used to clean a cut, or a scrape - every day horsemanship. It's pretty silly to think he's running around with a big needle of lidocaine for a stakes race, knowing it will test, and I'm sure further testing will nail that down.

So, let's move on, right? The horse's owners lose a pile of money and Derby points, Bob pays a fine.

Well, this is a high profile horse, and it's not Baffert's first scrape with a positive in a similar situation. We all remember Justify. Again that was more of a stable management issue, perhaps with some bad luck thrown in. But it was an issue.

Does strike two become a pattern where we "hang em higher", even if the facts show there was absolutely no intent to do wrong in either case?

We clearly don't want people to lose their livelihoods because of stable error with no intent to harm. But we don't want people making a mockery of the sport either.

In some jurisdictions like Hong Kong - and the populist tsunami gains traction with these arguments - stable errors are considering an affront to the racing and there ain't much debate. Remember ten or so years ago when a horse tested positive for a (legal) med? The trainer supplied video evidence that the horse in question stuck his head out of his stall, and ate out of his stable-neighbour's feed bucket which contained the additive. In Hong Kong they simply said, "we don't care, you're paying for it."

Do we want that type of adjudication in North America?

I guess this is not just a horse racing problem in this day and age. To talk politics on twitter you bring ad hominem and a sledge hammer. And if you talk nuance you're dismissed quicker than a one-legged man in a butt kicking competition. But these things demand some nuance, in my view, even if we don't like the final result.

We all wish positive tests never occurred, but they do. Figuring out what to do with them for the betterment of everyone has been a problem since forever, and probably will be for a long time. 

Have a great Thursday everyone.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Racing in a Post-Slots World

There's been a narrative in the industry of late that you may have been reading: What's going to happen to a sport that is so dependent on subsidy and slot machines if it all goes away, as cash-strapped governments deal with budgetary pain?

The question is probably a little 'Dr. Doom' I suppose, but it isn't without merit.

I'll take a stab at it.

i) The Big Tracks Get Bigger - If you're bigger, I think you're going to be better. If smaller slots-tracks close we'll see bigger fields, better racing, and more handle. In addition, as bigger tracks gain more control, it gives them power to get even bigger.

WalMart and Amazon don't mind minimum wage hikes because they can eat them through agglomeration, supply chain squeezing and increased pricing power, while smaller competitors can't. They love certain regulation because with their power they can help shape it and create costly barriers to entry. The big tracks would have many of the same advantages and should be pretty fine, in my view, despite lost revenue.

ii) Innovation? Maybe, Maybe Not - Recently there was a shortage of swabs that were needed immediately, and no existing manufacturers could figure out how to increase production quickly (it would take a year or more). But, after creating a little innovation incubator by collaborating and sharing information,  CEO's of various companies, led by a smaller one, shared over 200 prototypes and created a plan over a weekend. In one month's time, millions of swabs were ready to ship via 3-D printing.

We often hear invention is created by necessity; Mark Zuckerberg talks about mission critical innovation. To grow with no subsidy, revenues would be a necessity, and it should be mission critical. Would the bigger companies in racing do similar? If we look at history it's doubtful, but it's not without precedent in the real world.

iii) Higher Prices for Players - With the big dogs okay, the smaller ones are not, and that inhibits competition. Signal fees for the CDI's and NYRA's of the world will probably be high and takeout will probably never come down. TVG, not owning a large track, might even have a comeuppance (despite having a broadcast, which is worth something). Look to Canada and HPI's betting monopoly to see how that works for a preview. This might seem counterintuitive, but it's kind of the way the sport is run, isn't it?

There's a narrative that when the going gets tough, companies get scrappy. They scratch and claw for customers, control costs, market better, innovate better and provide better and better product and pricing. For a good deal of them that's true. But for racing, it doesn't feel, to me, that will be the formula. I could, as I often am, be wrong; it just doesn't seem to fit this sports' model.

There are several issues I did not discuss that are obvious - smaller foal crops, fewer tracks, less employment. But for the core business, I think those three are fair-minded ideas of what a drop in subsidy revenue would mean.

With casinos already seemingly packed, and slot machines sure to follow at some point, maybe it's much ado about nothing. Predicting the future over the last few months has been harder to hit than a twin jackpot pick 6 for me.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Monday Notes - Races, Racing & New Normals

Happy Monday everyone. I hope everyone south of the border is enjoying their holiday Monday.

o_crunk has been tracking some neat stats on handle of late. In effect, the number of races offered has not trended handle up appreciably; or at least how many think it should.

This seems counterintuitive - more races does mean more choice, which does mean more handle. But there are clearly diminishing returns and numerous other variables in play. One of the easiest ways to explain one large factor, in my view, is that bankrolls have not grown, and bankroll growth is needed to juice handles.

How do static bankrolls grow? Here's one way, back of the napkin:

$60M bet, offer a 5% rebate, bankrolls grow by $3M.

That $3M is rebet 5 times and, for example, handle on the following day (or days) is theoretically $15M higher.

Leaving aside the revenue and profit questions with that example - handle growth is about new money, or old money spending more money.

Something I have noticed lately (maybe you have as well?), however, are the fields. I mean, these fields, especially at Churchill have been damn good. They're deep, interesting to handicap, and provide some value. We've long complained the races are carded to dole out slot money - short fields, racing for the sake of racing - but the set over the last month or two is anything but.

Sometimes I wonder if I am behind the curve on this blog (please, no jokes), and maybe I am with my previous post about spectators not being allowed back to the track any time soon. When I open the twitter I see more and more things opening here in North America, people are being pretty fast and loose with the rules, and there's been no significant resulting spike in infections from places that opened over a month ago. If things go well - still an "if" with some of the things we see passed around on social media - maybe I'm all wet. Barring a new wave of infections scaring people into their homes again, perhaps we'll be going to the races sooner rather than later?

As an aside, meaningful of nothing perhaps (it was a different time and different circumstance), I am reading a great book called The Splendid and the Vile, about the Battle of Britain and Churchill's leadership, decision making and home and life during it. With thousands of German planes relentlessly dropping thousands of bombs each evening - some many tons which could wipe out a city block - it struck me how Londoners lived their lives. They went to work each day, and a poll taken months after revealed that 71% slept in their own beds.

I suspect much of this came from leadership direction - Churchill was not surrendering and had the citizenry ready for a fight -  but as I read it, that leadership tapped into a free people's human desire to live life. Anyway, an aside like I said, but it's a strong spirit, and going to the track - and being allowed to should trends continue - might not be as far-fetched as I imagined last week. 

One thing I don't think I was behind the curve on was Ontario Racing's curious decision to suspend the rules of racing and not allow qualifiers. Because, well, it's a qualifierpalooza everywhere else in North America. Racing continues at Scioto tonight by the way, in Ohio, where they qualified about 1,200 horses in less than a week.

As the braintrust in the province heads into today's strategy meeting, I hope they glance outside the bubble to see others have figured out this supposedly difficult chinese finger puzzle just fine. What Ontario displayed is, in my view, the opposite of leadership, it was appeasement. If it was 1940 I'm pretty sure we'd be all speaking German.

Have a nice Monday everyone.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

"Into the Abyss with Arrogance"

Over the years, here on the blog and elsewhere, we've shared our concerns regarding the moribund state of the sport, particularly on the demand side. And, over the last few days I was again reminded of Multiracewagers' post here at the blog (one of the most popular posts in terms of traffic over the last year) about why he left racing for other pursuits.

"..... the absurdly poor treatment of customers is the reason I want absolutely zero to do with the sport including this twitter handle. At the end of the day, I hope you have enjoyed my unfiltered takes on the industry as it barrels headfirst into the abyss with unfounded arrogance."

Harsh words, but I don't think I'd find too many on this side of the betting terminal who disagrees with that take.


We've always had a chuckle about the racetrack executive who defends high takeout rates in the guise of walking the grandstand, with the fact that no one he speaks with "seems concerned about it". This, of course, contrary to the proper lens - a sport which has lost so many customers because of high takeout means they aren't in the grandstand anymore.

More recently, I've spoken to many in the business about qualifier rules being shuttered in Ontario, announced yesterday, and talked about in Sturman's column awhile ago. I can summarize most of these discussions as "what are you crying about", with no realization that i) we don't have many bettors left and ii) we don't have many left, precisely because of things like this.

We speak to many inside the hallowed walls of racing who shout "INTEGRITY!", but only when it comes to testing, or racing rules that directly affect participants. When it comes to the "INTEGRITY!" of the gambling portion - like in this case with the lack of a charted line in a past performance - it becomes an aside.

When a restaurant owner says "I walk around my place and people love my food" when people, in fact, don't really love his food, there's a consequence. The place of business is 40% full, then 20% full (the internal polling stays great even as sample size falls) then it closes down. As someone who has tried and failed with several ventures and ideas, I can tell you, losing a business breeds humility, not arrogance.

Arrogance happens when you have, well, something like horse racing. If customers leave, as they have, it has government backing (like $200M in Ontario has); it has slots. It's easy to not pay attention to customers when you don't depend on them.

But, in my view, despite that, the callous way you're treated is something that really surprises me. It's beyond arrogance. It's a dismissal. It's like you're not even there. You don't exist.

And the sport has the gall to wonder why you left? Wondering why you're writing guest posts on a gambling blog?

I can't say I am quite as pessimistic as Multiracewagers is, but I'll leave you with his last words.

"I am fortunate to have found my lifeboat to get off the sinking ship. Good luck finding your lifeboat, the time you will need it is quickly approaching."

I don't blame each and every one of you who still read the blog who have left the sport for greener pastures. You've been dismissed and marginalized and ignored, but you've been ahead of the curve.

Have a nice Thursday everyone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Ontario Harness Racing Clown Show

For those of you excited to bet a little harness racing, the state of Ohio seems to have your back. Friday night, after a long Coronavirus related hiatus, a full card is set to go at Scioto Downs, with a 14% takeout pick 5 in races 5 through 9.

Glancing at the past performances you'll notice the events are pretty easy to handicap - despite the time off - because the horses have all, of course, qualified. As most know, qualifiers after time off are just about everything for harness horses, because they race so often. Without them the public is betting blind, or even worse - cannon fodder for barns who have a horse ready without anyone knowing about it.

Meanwhile, let's switch to Ontario harness racing. It's only a few miles away from Ohio but in terms of their respect for the betting public, it might as well be a million miles.

The government entity that runs racing in the Province has just this minute announced .... wait for it..... that no qualifiers are needed!

Cue the Clown Show:
  • Summary of Changes: An amendment has been made to reduce the number of horses that are required to qualify. Any horse that has a clean charted line between the timeframe of February 1, 2020 through March 19, 2020 will not be required to qualify upon the restart of racing 
Wait (I just realized I just said that, but wait, again), it even gets worse!
  • Any horse that was racing and eligible to race during that time will be eligible when racing resumes, provided they enter within 60 clear days starting June 5 (can be entered up to and including August 4). 
Awesome. Enter August 3rd! Try and handicap that you poor saps.

And hold it, I know I know, you're saying, "PTP it can't get worse can it?"

Yes, yes it can!
  • While the temporary rule is in effect, the number of days in which a horse must have a clean charted line in order to be entered to race will increase from 45 clear days to 60 clear days.  
So, remember when it was 30 days, now it's 45, and there was a horse off 42 days with no line, that you pitched out of your pick 5 who jogged at 3-1 with half the paddock making out like bandits because they knew?

Now they can do that to you with a horse off 60 days!

This is a classic screw up by a jurisdiction that has taken advantage of you - the horseplayer - since forever. And you know what, they can't even blame a pandemic, because Ohio just ate their lunch.

Enjoy getting taken out behind the woodshed fellow customers. In Ontario at least you're used to it.

Back to the Track

Almost daily we're seeing more and more tracks open, or be given a firm start date. Barring anything too crazy from here on out, you and I will be betting and those who work in the industry will be racing at near normal numbers.

I've seen a few posts or thoughts that maybe, just maybe, we'll also be able to go to the races soon; back to enjoy the racetrack setting and the camaraderie and the sights and smells. Leading with the immutable fact that other than staying at Holiday Inn Express last night I don't know much, this seems problematic.

A WSJ article today talked about "superspreader events" for this virus, and it made for a compelling case. Scientists believe that enclosed events where many people are in close contact for a long period of time - soccer matches, large parties and yes, they specifically mention horse races - are very detrimental to beating the virus.

As time marches on we gain knowledge, and rather than earlier where people were spreading sometimes insane information that was begging to be discounted, things are definitely getting better. And on this point, according again to people who are smart (and not overly political), it just seems right, doesn't it?

If this view is indeed correct, it is highly probable the Breeders' Cup, or the Derby, the Jug, or various racing events that do draw large crowds, might not even have a limited entry attached to them for this year.

From a revenue perspective, fortunately - other than the Derby (where the day is huge in terms of seat sales etc) and to a lesser extent the BC - on-track crowds really don't add a whole lot to the overall bottom line of this sport. It depends more on you and I buying horses and betting them. For that we don't have to be at the track, we can simply watch like most of us always do, from afar.

The sport is set up pretty well from the distribution side where it can be delivered with barely a hiccup and with only a slight increase in cost. In many ways, its distribution is near recession proof and that's a very good thing. 

Regardless, I can't help but think of my trip to Mountaineer several years ago for an evening at the races (it's actually a decent place if you have not been, the hotel is great and it's a mere walk to the track). When I walked in the grandstand I immediately said to myself "where is everyone?". I dodged some construction apparatus and strolled to the tarmac where me, two barn cats and a groom watched the first. It was an odd experience.

To think that same experience might happen this summer at Saratoga, or on Derby and Preakness Day is hard to get my head around. But by the looks of it, it could be a new reality for this year at least.

Have a nice Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Things can really get messed up during this odd time we're living in. It's just a matter of fact.

But boy, do we in horse racing love tradition. The Belmont Stakes going to 9 furlongs (not a typo, I saw a DRF guy tweet out the news) spurred some of the most-excellent diatribes I've ever seen on my twitter timeline.

We can propose to change the NBA playoffs so they're played in gyms in Las Vegas; we can talk about a quick NHL season where it closes out and four teams make the playoffs. We can talk - even without COVID issues - about whatever it is the baseball playoffs now are, where Mr. October plays in November; we can expand the NFL playoffs system where everyone gets a car!

But a shorter Belmont?!

This characteristic, I find, is pretty unique to this game.

Sometimes this is maddening - I'd love people to not love the tradition of high takeout so much - but in this instance, it's an arrow right to the bullseye, isn't it?

The Belmont is the test, the final leg, the one that has doomed so many horses for so long (unless he's trained by Bob Baffert). It has a certain panache, it's special, it's unique, it's the freaking Belmont.  The Belmont is not the Donn that has been turned into the Pegasus; the Met Mile raced in June; it's not a race where a past winner, looking down from horse heaven, is neighing, "one turn, seriously?".

I get why they're doing this, and I know you do too. But it doesn't mean we have to be happy about it. As my old pal Chip on twitter said when he tweeted the news, "it's gross".

Have a good Tuesday everyone.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Racing's Betting Customer Professionalism

The TDN has a series going about what racing can do to attract more gamblers of all stripes. Yesterday, Brian DiDonato gave his take. It's here and I encourage you to read his ideas. 

Brian's ideas have a common theme, in my view: Business professionalism.

Let's take his idea about "regulating workout information" as an example. If you look at the vital lines of data on workouts there's a good chance you're looking at some fantasy. There are workouts that are charted wrong; timed wrong; wrong horses are tabbed with wrong workouts; in some cases (like in Louisiana) workouts are not even charted.

Here's a MSW with eight FTS's - please give me your money!

Try that kind of thing on Wall Street with information dissemination; you'll end up rooming with Bernie Madoff.

The above statement, however, is simply considered a part of the game.

I had a call a week or two ago from a horse racing regulator (in this case primarily dealing with harness racing, but it was a call about opening things back up in general). One thing discussed was qualifiers - if they need to be allowed, if two months' stale date is acceptable to customers, etc.

It struck me as odd that this question needed to be asked, but it should not have been. As most of you know, the various jurisdictions changed the stale date criteria last year to 45 days - an eternity for harness horses. For those of us who have not yet fallen off the turnip truck this made no sense. And it's confirmed whenever we see a horse off 42 days romp in leg three of a pick 5 at 5-2. The customers are the last to know - hold it not the last to know, they never know - the horse schooled on Tuesday in 1:52. Sometimes I think the industry must think we're all happy to shovel our money to insiders.

Those are two examples of a lack of professionalism when it comes to customers. There are, as we all know, many of them.

In the real world - on twitter of course - there seems to be two tribes on "regulation". One team are right wing lunatics, one team of left wing ones.

But there's only one team in the real-real world - Regulate when something clearly doesn't work, and stay hands-off when it does. Racing proves again and again, in my view, that it needs a heavier hand. It needs someone overseeing it. It just can't - when it comes to customers at least - protect them as other industries do.

Have a nice Monday everyone.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Before Long I Expect They'll Be Begging for Horses to Race, Perhaps More than Ever

I have a lot of fun with my pal Greg on the twitter, when, with his team up by an insurmountable lead late in the 4th quarter, he'll tweet "oh my, we're going to blow this", after a second down run for no gain. His twitter-sports team pessimism is the stuff of legend; so much so he even added it to his twitter bio.

But, doom and gloom isn't always a bug, it can be a feature. And it appears we have that about now with the economy, don't we? Jobless rates are skying, and leaving aside the altitudinous equity markets, forward looking bond markets are not complying.

We're learning that 'switching off' some things that are not meant to be shut down, and can't restart the way some seem to think they can (some blue checks on twitter surely need to take a course), is wreaking some havoc. When we add aggregate demand to the equation, it's even worse. It's not pretty out there.

As this next narrative takes hold, the question is moving from searching every nick and cranny of an economy to shut it down, to begging to find areas that can safely open up. And, increasingly this is a tough question. You can shut a steel plant off, but turning it on is difficult. The same goes for a hundred other industries. Even service industries like restaurants - because of demand - are not suited for it, as we are becoming painfully aware.

My theory is, governments will be faced with a question - what businesses are turn-key? What can we allow to happen with minimal risk, that will immediately jolt a vertical? What can we place X into, that quickly returns X+? What business is easiest to get going?

That, I think, fits the racing business to a "t".

Horse racing is turn-key. You can probably race your horse next week, at a track near you. With this agri-sector doing business, tens of thousands are back at work almost immediately. The hay is delivered, the farriers are earning paychecks, the trucks are fuelled for shipping. This is, after all, a labor intensive sport. And there is built in demand for the product.

I understand completely the loss of slots, and cash-strapped governments, and what handle gives to purses. But I think that may be overblown, the more and more I look at these other verticals and industries. Governments north and south of the border are begging for an industry like this, and have already been focusing on the agri-business (Lib's in Canada announced a massive new subsidy; Trump is sending a pile to farmers in the US). "Turning horse racing on" seems like a complete no-brainer to me. It's easy, relatively safe, and from an economics multiplier perspective, valuable to the economy.

The future is messy and difficult to predict. But I believe as governments grapple with economic loss they will be seeking low hanging fruit. I think horse racing is positioned perfectly to take advantage of it.

Have a nice Friday everyone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Sport of Racing is More Like a Factory Than We Think

There's been a lot of talk lately about getting things in the economy rolling. Most of the focus has been on service industries - restaurants, bars, salons, etc - but in the same vein, this is spoken about for heavier, more labour intensive industries, as well.

I read some who talk about opening a factory in stages, or a letting a pulp and paper plant operate at three quarters capacity. That not, as most of you know, how it works. There's no Mrs. Factory hitting a switch, controlling production. Economies of scale provide pass/fail decisions on operations, and if production is cut from X, something has to give. Mainly, with a plant not being operated at capacity it should not open, or it would alternatively have to raise prices bigly; and doing that, when others are not, is a profit and loss statement death sentence.

It strikes me that this lower supply strategy is something most-preferred for horse racing in some cohorts.

We want tracks to open - just not those tracks. If those tracks weren't open the industry would be better off.

We really need horses to race without lasix. If we kill off the drug there's a good chance that those horses won't race at those tracks. It's a big win.

Where do horses go to race who can't race at the elite tracks? Where do the horses go who need lasix? Where does the money go from slots, in places like West Virginia, where those tracks are. The casino money is as green there as it is in New York.

Where do all the mom and pop horsepeople go to ply their trade? Race Chad Brown horses in the Acorn?

I get the wish to shrink and make this game "better". But to me it really is just a wish.

Horse racing is an ecosystem with revenues that come from all over, through traditional (handle) and non-traditional means (subsidy). It's the small trainer in the backwoods in overalls, and Chad Brown or Todd Pletcher in $100 ties. And they are much more dependent on each other than people think.

Horse racing is a pretty unique business, but it's still a business. Without it operating at a high capacity, it'll be, in my view, a lot smaller than the C suite thinks. Sometimes I wonder if they think about the larger picture, when asking the sport to shrink.

Have a nice Wednesday everyone.

Monday, May 4, 2020

The Elusive Scheduling of Post Times, Not So Elusive?

On April 22 Brian DiDonato wrote an article published in the TDN about Oaklawn and Gulfstream post times overlapping, "With Just Two Tracks Running Post Times Still Collide". It shared a emblematic picture that angers so many, so often.

The story contained quite a few quotes about how difficult it is, even for these two tracks, to schedule off times. Tractors on the track, horses getting loose, Equibase, and each other were all blamed. The problem seemed overwhelming.

Fast-forwarding a couple of weeks, Michael Antoniades sent me an email about Arkansas Derby Day noting the off times:

GP - Gulfstream Park
OP - Oaklawn Park

Saturday post times May 2 ET

GP1. 12:52
OP1. 1:05
GP2. 1:22
OP2. 1:36
GP3. 1:52
OP3. 2:07
GP4. 2:21
OP4. 2:42
GP5. 2:53
OP5. 3:13
GP6. 3:23
OP6. 3:46
GP7. 3:58
OP7. 4:20
GP8. 4:30
OP8. 4:53
GP9. 5:06
OP9. 5:25
GP10. 5:37
OP10. 5:59
GP11. 6:09
OP11. 6:36. Derby
GP12. 6:46
OP12. 7:11. Handicap
OP13. 7:52. Derby
OP14. 8:34

When confronted with a problem the sport seems to so often anti-Harry Truman it; with bucks stopping everywhere but where intended. However, when it comes right down to it, in practice perhaps some of the problems are not as insurmountable as we think.

Thanks for the email Mike. Good job Gulfstream and Oaklawn. And have a nice rest of the day everyone.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Arkansas Derby - Off With Their Pirate Heads!

Yesterday's Arkansas Derby (ies) is in the books and Shades won both splits rather handsomely. If you have a Derby type colt, or last year's Derby colt, or any horse really, Baffert is your man. The superlatives are in plain sight this morning, so no need waxing poetic on those performances. They were good.

We'll talk about this:

Yep, that was a $42 million handle.

For last year's Arkansas Derby card, total handle was $11.8 million, with an estimated attendance of 45,000, who bet $2.33 million, or about $5 per person. Yes, this year's handle was quadruple!

Yesterday's card happened during the COVID crisis, of course, but looking at just the demand side, here are some COVID barriers to this year's handle:
  • There weren't 45,000 fans, there were zero. 
  • There weren't a hundred tracks running, where people could bet the card from. 
  • OTB's - thousands points of sale - were all shut down.
About $41 million was bet over the internet or phone, at distribution outlets (ADW's) only.

This was allowed to happen because these distribution outlets make margin. With the margin, they have invested in carriage fees and TV networks (that showed the race yesterday on NBCSN), call centers, wagering platforms, and marketing and investing in the customer through rebates.

Racing, as so often is the case, gets stuck on something - usually an anachronistic point, or a wish - rather than dealing with the reality of a situation, or the practical.We see it almost every single day with distribution outlets, or partnerships that need to be used to sell racing's product. "The splits are horrible, these ADW's are pirates, off with their heads!"..... you can recite them by heart.

In my view these have been impractical points all along. People delivering your product - into people's homes, on their phones or tablets - in new and exciting ways was never done by the sport itself. And you can't turn back time.

Racing gets stuck, year after year, with the same silly questions. After the 2019 Arkansas Derby the sport asked, "yes, but what slice of that $11 million do I get?". After this year's it's, "yes, but what slice of the $41 million do I get".

The question that needs to be asked, and has needed to be asked since forever, in my view, is: "How do we turn that $41 million into a hundred million"? It's the only way to ensure everyone makes more money.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

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