20 May 2008

Woodbine's Track Is Ridiculously Fast


Two new track records set a Woodbine yesterday and one record was tied (Two other records were set on Sunday). I don't get why the Poly surface has to be that fast. Speed hurts horses. If you want a horse to run real fast, just replace the Poly with cement. And it isn't a hidden fact that the Poly can be manipulated, and therefore slowed down.


Best card of the season at Fort Erie today. Which isn't saying much. Only 8 races, but two of them are $16,000 open claimers (a split race) full of some old pros going a mile and seventy. The superfectas in the 5th and 8th only have 8 horse fields. Yesterday's super in the last was scratched down from 8 to 6 horses, which caused the super to be scrapped.
Not blaming the racing secretary who is doing an excellent job by getting a full card to even go. It boils down to the horsemen not playing the cards they were dealt. No reason to have Sunday racing at Fort Erie. And they should only have been running twice a week in May. But the horsemen just won't deal in reality and give up days.
If Fort Erie closes down after this year, and it is a strong if, I have to say that the owners (Nordic) are not as much to blame as the horsemen. Sure, Nordic is to blame for the fact that closing Fort Erie is a distinct possibility. It took a lot of them not giving a rats ass about horse racing for that to happen. But there was absolutely no reason for the Fort Erie horsemen to realize that there was going to be a severe shortage of horses this year, and they should have taken immediate action by cutting days to around 65 spread over the same period of time. Purses would have been increased because of that, and that would have attracted more horses (a reverse Catch 22).
So lets see what Fort Erie has right now. Fewer horses, fewer backstretch workers, fewer owners, trainers, and jockeys. Almost to the point that if Fort Erie were to close, it would only affect a very small amount of Ontarians. There will be little justification to keep it going.
Now you have mostly unbettable races, and like yesterday, unbettable cards. They can't even take advantage of the dinner crowd of bettors on the internet that wind up betting good money into the 9th and 10th races on Monday and Tuesday.....because they can barely fill 8 races.


Most likely scenario is that Betfair becomes a race track ADW where they can have their customers bet on California races (all types of bets). Betfair will pay the signal fee and most likely pay a percentage of the money bet on their exchange betting to the California race tracks/horsemen.
This means, if true, that a Canadian like myself, will have another option to bet into California pools (other than through the rip off artist ADW: HPI)

I just found this news funny: The First Nation gets around $60 million a year from the earnings at Casino Rama. It is divided up amongst the various tribes in Ontario. It seems that $3 million went to a tribe that doesn't even exist.
...perhaps the most questionable item is about $3 million paid over the last decade to the Poplar Point First Nation, a so-called "near band" not officially recognized by Ottawa. It once ran out of a storefront in Thunder Bay, Ont., but the telephone number is out of service....A relative of the man who claims to be Poplar Point's hereditary chief says he hasn't been around for months.

Youbet signs deal with the Louisiana horsemen
The terms are hush hush. Typical of what happens in a dysfunctional industry. All we know right now is that the horsemen didn't get exactly what they wanted. Youbet is a public company, so I expect that the terms of the deal will have to be announced soon enough.

Quick Picks for the Kentucky Derby didn't spit out anything with number 20 (Big Brown's number) on them.

Big Brown couldn't help but win the Preakness. Most of the contenders hadn't raced in over a month. I still say there is a chance that "something comes up" and that the Preakness may have been his last race. Even though his owners are saying there is a good chance he'll even race after the Belmont.


Anonymous said...

Fort Erie needs to re-read this story about Marquis Downs in Saskatchewan. Smaller is better.


"But the biggest change came when Regier and company realized smaller was better. There used to be 55 nights of horse racing, three-day programs and afternoon racing. Not only were people not interested in going to Saturday or, more particularly, Sunday afternoon races, they didn't like the four-, five- and-six horse fields and they stayed away."

Anonymous said...

Does Betfair take bets on woodbine?
I cannot pick a winner there but finding a lose should be easy.

Anonymous said...

Tx, I posted that article when it first came out, I believe. Yes, it makes total sense. The problem with Fort Erie is that the ownership is far removed from even the management.
It makes implementations of ideas almost impossible unless the idea is to cut costs without a vote.
And horsemen just don't get the long term. Many live check by check. It is hard for them to think in terms of the future of the track.

Anon, Betfair takes Woodbine sporadically. Tonight they are taking the first races.
For some reason, Betfair cuts off North American racing at 9 PM. I'm not sure why, but it might have to with England time. I don't know.

Anonymous said...

As an exercise rider at Woodbine, that track has been ridiculously hard all weekend, it's no wonder they are flying. They don't maintain the track properly at all. There's hardly any consistency and when it rains, it packs down and becomes very hard. For a while they were smart and would dig up the track a fair bit so it was decent to train on after rain, but they barely touched it this weekend and the times show it.

Fort Erie needs to be done with Sundays. People are being called to run horses back after just a week because they are so desperate for entries. Do they not see that they could attract more people with larger fields and more horses with bigger purses if they got rid of the three days a week racing?? Doesn't seem like rocket science to me.