9 July 2008

The Internet Is Giving The Horse Racing Fan A Real Voice

The internet is giving the racing fan a voice. And the voice is now being forced upon the racing industry aggressively. The racing industry has done it's darnedest to avoided what the player really thinks for over 100 years. Times, they are a-changing.

Besides bloggers like me trying to make a difference (yes, I want the game to grow in a big way), a couple of fan organizations have sprung out from nowhere. The Self-Appointed Fan Committee will be taking ideas and vents from fans of thoroughbred racing and then on a monthly basis they'll compile all of the submissions and send them to NTRA, the Jockey Club, the Breeders' Cup and other racing organizations.'

The Committee idea was put together by bloggers Jessica Chapel (Railbird Blog) and Dana Byerly (Green But Game).

Fellow vigilante blogger Pull The Pocket has a post up regarding the new committee, as well as a piece about the negative things that a NYRA racing exec allegedly said to Paul Moran. Many of the members of the Pace Advantage Forum want blood. They want Paul Moran to reveal his source.

Speaking about The Pace Advantage Forum (the best forum for horse racing on the internet) is providing for a meeting of H.A.N.A. (Horseplayers Association Of North America) tonight at 10 EST in their internet War Room. The mission of H.A.N.A., like The Self-Appointed Fan Committee, is to have the bettor's voice heard by the industry. The focus though is more on betting than the vast scope the Committee will be dealing with. Things like track takeout, rebates, and issues about ADW's will be the number one focus of H.A.N.A.

Baymount Financing Completed: Construction To Begin Very Soon On New Belleville Racino.
'The new QER (Quinte Exhibition and Raceway) is the eighteenth Ontario racetrack to receive a slot machine allocation under OLG's Slots-at-Racetracks program. The new facility will be constructed on BRDC's Belleville property which is located on Bell Boulevard near the Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and Highway 401 interchange. The planned 75 acre development will feature the new Racino and includes 25 acres for the future location of the new Quinte Exhibition.'

While Fort Erie is gearing up for the $500,000 Prince Of Wales Stakes on Sunday, Woodbine seems to be gearing down. They didn't even do $2 million in handle on Sunday, even with 10 races. Their client's bankrolls are drying up, while they are unable to attract new customers because of their outrageously high track takeout.

Even people who don't really notice or openly care about track takeout (which is most players) still get the fact that their bankroll erodes much much faster on average, betting at the track or betting through HPI, than it does playing slots, online poker, blackjack, and/or sports betting.

The 10 race cards do help. But the racing is pretty competitive and exciting as well. Many races have blanket finishes.

I'm starting to get impressed with Catherine O'Brien at both Woodbine and Fort Erie. She seems to have good patience, and can also take a horse wire to wire. She schooled fellow apprentice Matt Moore on Friday when her mount Honourable Mention beat Southeast Coast in the fifth race.

Handicapping 101

I don't like favourites, but some favourites are better than others. In today's first race at Woodbine tonight, Sand Cove should not lose. He'll be the favourite unless he is noticeably limping and sweating in paddock.

In eleven lifetime starts Sand Cove has never made an early lead. Tonight, he would need to have his head ripped off early not to make the lead. He won't be able to help it. Nothing in the field is capable of even being within 2 lengths of him early. The other four horses come from the middle of the pack or from the back.
His jockey, Richard Dos Ramos, is best when he is on a lone speed horse.

His last two speed figures are better than the lifetime bests of anything in this field by at least a length and a half.

The trainer, Roger Attfield, has had a great year so far, though his focus this week will probably be on Not Bourbon. I'm sure he has looked in on Sand Cove at least a couple of times in the last couple of weeks.

The only negative I can see is that horses do bounce, and are not machines. Many times when a horse does well going two turns the first time in his life after sprinting multiple times, they tend to run a little or a lot worse next time.
The thing is that this horse has always had reasonably good late pace numbers, so perhaps, he has always been a router hidden in sprint races.

One good thing is that he is not program favourite. Mamma's Knight who ran 7th in the Queen's Plate gets the honour. A switch to leading jockey McAleney will ensure that he gets more action than he deserves in this race, but I'll be surprised if Sand Cove doesn't go off as the 6-5 (or less) favourite here.

For the exactor, I think Agnico is likely to be sitting second or third at worse, and as long as he doesn't exert himself by chasing too early, he should be able to get second to round out a $14 exactor.

You can bet the first race (actually races 1 through 5) on Betfair tonight. Though there is a risk that you could get less than track odds there, in the long run you get much bigger payoffs as their takeout commission averages at less than 2.5%.

Betfair has a summer promotion for new accounts: Once you've made a deposit to your account bet at least £25 ($50 Canadian) either in one bet or in a series of smaller bets.
You'll receive your free £25 ($50 Canadian) within 24 hours, whether you win or lose your bets! Simple as that.

Interesting way to promote your product: New proposal for NY OTB's is to cut the signals for night harness racing from out of state tracks. How about cutting the track takeouts, so patrons can last longer and bet all kinds of tracks?

Racetracks to investigate past posting incident
'Curtis Linnell, director of racing analysis for the TRPB, said the fourth race on June 28 at Philadelphia Park is under investigation because of possible past posting. The TRPB is seeing if wagers arrived from off-track locations, specifically Tampa Bay Downs, not only after the race began but also after it had been completed.'

Woodbine Offered $120 Million in Tax Breaks For Woodbine Live Project
Just remember, live spelled backwards is evil.

NOTE: The comments that appear after each post only represent my opinion when I'm making the comment. I don't edit comments, so please stay away from personal vendettas (or I may have to reconsider my policy). Opinions, legit venting, and constructive criticism about anyone or anything involved with the industry is always welcome though.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cangamble - thanks for the post and vote of confidence, it's great to see what you guys are doing with HANA as well... and I'm sure there are others organizing other things!

The next couple of years ought to be interesting. I think we have to give a nod to the TBA for pioneering the internet space for racing fans. In the past year, and notably in the past several months, many new blogs have sprung up here and there. It's nice to see the power of the internet finally starting to work it's forces on horse racing. (note: Cangamble and I are both TBA members).

Anonymous said...

You are right Dana, even though I have the TBA all over my blog on the sidebar, I still should give them mention when mention is due.
The idea of being with the TBA and keeping up with the other members motivates me to try to do as good a job as I can, and I think we are all driven to produce quality.

Anonymous said...

Some Concerns

The situation in Montreal. The abusive takeouts didn't disappear with the live horseracing. They're still alive and reducing the fan base in the Quebec Webphonebet/Paritel OTB system.

Something else happened tonight, that I didn't think was possible. I was watching the Woodbine show on The Score. And had my account open online. The live races on The Score are off 15 to 30 seconds before the races on my computer.

As some races and racetracks are closed up to 2 minutes before the race goes, I am unable to tell you if late posting of bets is being done or not. The time gap certainly allows for it.

Two Buck Phil

dana said...

Oh, I didn't mean *you* should give a nod to the TBA (but that never hurts!), I meant it more generally.

Speaking specially about organizing online, I think of the TBA as the first instance of fans banding together, albeit not organizing in the way HANA and SAFC are. The TBA's only agreed upon agenda is that racing is a sport and should have standings, beyond that you'd be hard pressed to get the group to agree unanimously about anything!

Don't get me wrong, I love the TBA and think it's a great group... like you said, everyone produces quality and no matter what kind of writing styles and topics you're drawn to, you can find at least a handful of blogs that are to your liking.

But, I think the kind of organizing we're seeing lately (HANA, SAFC, Take Back The Race Petition, probably others I don't know about) is like a second wave, organizing around action instead of affinity.

That's what I meant about the nod, just that I wanted to recognize that the TBA was the first group to be formed by fans/players.

Anonymous said...

Hey Cangamble,

I just changed my url to www.downthestretchnews.com could you please change my link.


~The Tout

Anonymous said...

Phil, the video feed you get on the internet seems to behind real time, and the longer you watch it, the more time behind it gets.
I'm not sure if that is what you are talking about, but I've noticed it too. I don't know that you can bet after the real time a race goes off.
Also, the race on the Score goes off a couple of seconds before the race goes off on HPITV. There must be a digital cable delay or satellite delay of a couple of seconds.

Thanks for the clarification Dana.

Nathan, done. FYI, you do realize that there is a site on my blogroll called Down The Stretch Newspaper?

Anonymous said...

Good to see sweet lil punky back at woodbine on friday in the 5th race.she vet scratche's on june 20th then was put on the 7 day vet's list. that was totally ignored by the stewards at presque isle downs and ignored by her trainer J Wilson. So basically she stole the second money from her last race out at presque isle downs.n
Nice to see the legal system at the racetrack still works ..LMAO.

Anonymous said...

sweet lil punky ran 2nd on june 25th at presque isle downs' but was inelible to race,the O R C were notified june 25th before the race but took no action .

Anonymous said...

If the ORC banned sweet lil punky, I guess it was only for Ontario, am I wrong on this?

Anonymous said...

One of the problems in racing is lack of uniformity. What is illegal here may not be illegal somewhere else and visa versa.
I'm not sure if Sweet Lil Punky was violating rules at Presque Isle Downs or not.
Maybe you should call them.

Anonymous said...

Agree,won't be betting Ellis because of the takeout.

I see a time in the next 2-5 yrs.that Blogs etc... will be able to Isolate(boycott a race,day,weekend...) a track and force the track to lower the takeout to single digits.

With that kind of power the other tracks will be shaking.

Some times dresms become a reality.

Nice site!

Anonymous said...

Anon, Premier Turf Club picked up Ellis Park, so if you are capable of opening an account with them, there are very good rebates to be had now on Ellis Park.