Monday, March 27, 2023

Monday's Super Spectacular Blog: Incrementally Improving Everything, Good Podcasts, and Revealing How Much the Computer Teams Bet (and Lose!)

I think I am going to write a weekly blog on Mondays to summarize a few things I see during the week. 

I'm planning to use headlines like "super spectacular", or if that doesn't work, maybe "4 Ways Racing is Fixed, And Number 3 is the Smoking Gun!" for click bait. I really have to get traffic up because all that seems to visit me here are degenerate horseplayers and Russian bots. Or if I link a @shottakingtime tweet, some sort of porn site. 

I might sell advertising for, I'm not sure, maybe for stuff I see late night on TVG like My Pillow or Cialis. 

Anyway, welcome to the first Super Spectacular Monday Blog!

Does this confuse you as much as it does me?

Someone suggests an improvement for the sport, and is met with one of these answers: 

"We have bigger fish to fry"

"That won't fix the game, we have big problems"

"We don't have time for it because it's too small"

Whether it be a change to industry data to encourage more third party apps, incrementally lower takeout, or what @insidethepylons goes through when he encourages the sport to be better on the gambling side (better tickets won't save racing, go back to the basement!) it's always the same. 

The article this weekend, "It's Time for Racing to Nuke the Jackpot Bet" will probably be another one on that list. As o_crunk noted with the numbers he looked at, jackpots are losing steam and aren't as popular anymore (and there's reasons for this). So in terms of appreciably moving the needle, the needle ain't gonna move much. 

But it's just kind of bad. Racing is Henry Ford and if he said incremental improvements don't matter because of bigger fish to fry, or this process change won't appreciably matter on its own, we'd probably have never heard of him. 

I think in racing the zeitgeist is always about the 'big' something. A cereal box, a Seabiscuit movie, a Netflix special, or sports bettors suddenly flocking to the third at Mountaineer. 

That isn't how the world works. It's boring and incremental. I think we should ban jackpot bets, not because doing so will change the world, but because they stink for customers. 

Bucky on the twitter talked about how computer teams blanket pick 5 or 6 carry pools and cover things mere mortals can't (and get rebated more than us mere mortals can). True; the man isn't just good for beer, Onlyfans and Costco references. But boy, when they miss, they can miss hard, almost exponentially increasing payouts. 

Saturday at the Big M, they missed one horse, the 22-1 shot in race 10. And this triggered nice prices  with complete logical horses, many of us, like @john_rallis or @ryanwillis1 had. 

Despite this coverage, that 22-1 shot turned a pick six for 20 cents into a $56,000 payoff. The pick 4 into an $18,000 payoff. If the teams hit those, I'd be shocked. It's not their bailiwick. 

I was staggered analyzing what the computer teams wager (and lose when they aren't on) through the records Pat Cummings requested. 

On Pegasus Cup Day where about $44 million was wagered - 

One team - yes a single team - bet $6,461,347 and realized a profit of $2,418,141. 

Another spent $288,557 and cashed only $27,459 for a staggering loss of $204,794. 

One bet $1,760,658 and cashed tickets totalling $1,375,251. 

For contrast, Twinspires' ADW California hub (probably retail players) wagered only $339,075 and cashed $220,321. For many readers of this blog they might want to know that Woodbine's HPI system wagered $803,581 and cashed $668,219. 

The CRW space is some huge money, but it can mean some huge losses. Like the old baseball saying "he hits them where they ain't", if as smaller players we figure out where they aren't once or twice a year, there's our big edge. Easier said than done, of course. 

I watched the Louisiana Derby and was reminded yet again about the power of early speed. Kingsbarns was slated to be an early leader off his 144 Timeform early figure in his last and the early pace was supposed to be meh. And you know he was there to win. The colt loped on the lead and paid $12. 

Obviously I don't want to be anecdotal about this. This horse could've lost because another challenged him in a 46.2. But year after year, the power of early speed is where we seem to find edges. That turf horse who wins and pays $35, blowing up our pick 5's is often of this variety. Then we scratch our heads on twitter, as it was so obvious. 

Can Forte get beat next weekend? He has post 11, has the points, so maybe one of these nondescript challengers does, and if it happens, I suspect it will because the horse went gate to wire. 

Even the breeding space is doing the "look at what they're doing over there" thing. It's no longer just for us and Hong Kong racing anymore. 

By the numbers - The @RyanWillis1 cranky rating for the week was 6. I think James MacDonald broke on three trotters he used in a row, too. He's coming along. 

Chuck Simon President of HISA status update - not yet

From what I noticed, Mike Joyce bad tweets for the week to ITP totaled zero. I think they are actually starting to like each other. It'd be so cool if this ended up in a 90's style buddy movie like Tango and Cash. 

Jason Beem learned art this week; teach that man to paint, he's going to the prom. Meanwhile Ray Cotolo, announcer at Rosecroft, made a movie about life, love, death, burritos, Paul McCartney and the afterlife. There was a lot going on there. 

As for other announcer news this week, Larry Collmus called Dubai, Gabe Prewitt got side tracked at some poker room, and something happened with Vic Stauffer. 

Ed DeRosa showed us that people actually do still go to the races proving once and for all that most ABR content is not doctored. 

Why do the amateur drivers at the Meadowlands want to park everyone out the whole race, no matter the fractions? Two of three races like this occurred on Friday and the third would've been the same scenario, but everyone is too afraid of James Slendhorn parking everybody out. For confused thoroughbred readers, this is like someone who rarely rides a horse going 21.2 43.3 in the Belmont Stakes and other riders who also never ride a horse professionally engaging them.  This is one of life's great mysteries. 

Yonkers has a $10k seeded pick five pool on Thursdays starting this Thursday. 

I think one of of the smartest handicapping people on the twitter is Chris at @derby1592. He started a new betting pod about wagering and I think it's just great. His first guest was Marshall Gramm. I could wax on about my history of win betting, a topic which Marshall speaks about on the pod, but I've clearly typed enough and you're probably bored with my nonsense. If you're interested in these topics bookmark Chris's pod. I'm sure future content will be dandy. 

Have a really nice Monday and thanks for reading the Super Spectacular Blog. And to my Russian friends, cпасибо.  


Unknown said...

Man I enjoyed that..It was informative and also funny. Nice read

Wubert said...

This degen enjoys your columns. :-)

Cafe Racer said...

Feel well informed;)

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