19 August 2008

Hastings Reduces Takeout On Show Bets; Cangamble Unenthused

One Really Small Step In The Right Direction?

Hastings recently announced that they lowered their track takeout on show bets from 17% to 12%.

It might mean that tracks are starting to get it (wishful thinking, and most likely not the case here), but I'm not a great fan of gimmick reductions. The idea behind gimmick reductions is to attract NEW money to a particular track in a particular pool, possibly getting more people to handicap races at that track (who may not have looked at that track previously), so they might bet into the larger takeout pools as well.

The result will hardly be more churn, or the possibility that more winners or those who come close to break even, will be created.

I'm not enthused by this particular reduction anyway. For one thing, I don't bet show, for a few reasons. The main one is that I'm in for the home run and usually focus on exotics, but another reason to sway away from show bets is BREAKAGE.

Tracks round down to the nearest dime when a payoff is calculated. So if you bet a horse for show and collect $3.00, the price could easily have been $3.09. But the average payoff would be $3.05. What this means is the track is taking an extra 5% of what you deserved to collect on average in this particular example. Obviously, the higher the payoff, the smaller the percentage, the track takes due to breakage.

Note: In many jurisdictions in the USA, payoffs are rounded down to the nearest 20 cent payoff, not 10 cents. So in my example of $3.00 to show, the average real payoff should be around $3.10, so the track is raking in 10% of profits that really should belong to you.

The reality is that show betting is the worst bet available to any gambler. Even at 12%, the real takeout is much higher thanks to breakage.

Today's Fort Erie Rumour
A reader has tipped me off saying that Marty Mercieca is hanging up his tack after today's sixth race.
He has a real live mount that race in Cat Train. Dean Deverell recently retired after he won his last race a few weeks ago, and I remember when John Bell won his last race at Greenwood around a quarter of a Century ago. It was almost like the other jockeys let him go out in style.
Update: Oops! The tip said 8th race (not 6th), and sure enough Mercieca has a mount in that race, but unless the 7 horse is out and out stiffed, he won't be winning that one. Could get a piece of the pie though, with the 4 year old firster.

Good card today at the Fort. It would have been better if they were able to run on the grass (they are off today). Two good betting, large fields will most likely be reduced in size.

I'm trying to figure out how Sinister Ruckus won't win the 8th race by at least 5 lengths today, and I think the only way it will happen is if she is scratched.

I expect a few claims today as well. There are quite a few horses that look like they have future potential.

Speaking of claims, trainer Susan Stephenson (who is off to a great start), claimed two horses in the same race yesterday, for $5,000 each, that both look like sure money makers thanks to the quick time they ran (Thunder Fox and Organ Grinder ran one two in the fifth race). I'm not a big fan of claiming older horses who have no conditions, but both these horses should be should be solid performers in the $7500-$10,000 range for as long as they stay sound.
Organ Grinder is actually a non winner on the year at least.

Beulah Park and River Downs Apply For Quarterhorse Dates Only Next Year

Not sure if this is just a sincere way for these tracks to go (in light of current conditions in racing overall and especially racing in Ohio), or if it is power play against the horsemen's group, or a power play against the Ohio government for not allowing slots. It could be a combination of two or three of the possibilities cited.

Former Finger Lakes jockey, and now exercise rider for Steve Asmussen, Parker Buckley is in critical condition.

UPDATE: Unfortunately Buckley has died.

Turf Writers Find A Home In The Blogosphere
"It's a far from perfect medium. A lack of editors is not always a good thing, and many blogs are perpetrated by amateurs with limited credibility or journalistic training. But it's a racket that's shaking itself out like any other market, and the best of the current blogs are among the most interesting racing journalism (outside these pages, of course) being practiced anywhere: Check out Alan Mann's Left at the Gate, Jessica Chapel's Railbird, Seth Merrow's Equidaily, Kevin Martin's Colin's Ghost, or the eponymous Kennedy's Corridor. Their authors are all passionate fans of the game, which is more than you can say for the bowling or hunting writer who gets stuck covering the occasional horse race for a metropolitan daily."
I'm not too happy with Steven Crist's wording here. Is he calling me an amateur hack? I have a good mind to flush his book "Exotic Betting" down the toilet. It is only a foot away right now from the toilet, because I'm currently reading it. I'm only on page 8, but I had bran flakes for breakfast so I should be able to get through another ten pages today:)

Prairie Meadows trainer gets suspended for a year for using a Viagra ingredient. I wonder if Ontario tests for sildenafil, because some trainers must be using something. No trainer can hit at 30% without undetectable dope.
(h/t Equidaily)

Video Tribute To Genuine Risk who just died at 31 (h/t The Paulick Report):

California to end all exclusive ADW deals by the end of this year. Another step in the right direction. Let the ADW's compete for the player's business. Without collusion, if that is at all possible. It will lead to higher rebates or lower takeouts on average.


Anonymous said...

Did not know Organ Grinder was running for 5k at FE.

He was the best 3 year old at Woodbine some years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thursday at Woodbine father and son Laurie and Art silvera will be putting thier saddle's on there runners right next to each other in race 8th.Next time you see Cory Clark or Chad Beckon in the saddle, they will be husband and wife .they are tying the knot on friday. BEST WISHES!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Matt Moore is no longer a bug boy as of Tuesday,look for him to have his business slow down,Kristopher Robinson is out of action do to a pinched nerve in his neck/shoulder but should be back soon.

Anonymous said...

Three cheer's for apprentice Jackln Wyatt,she got kicked in the walking ring as rider's up was called in the 2nd race today at Fort Erie, she lost her wind for a bit but she was very brave to get back up on the filly Fleety Pie.They went out there but didnt finish,Fleety Pie pulled up!hmmm i guess some times horses do talk.

Anonymous said...

didn't know cory clark was a she.

Anonymous said...

Bullring, Cory Clark is David Clark's daughter FYI

Bulldog said...

Update someone has wrong information Marty Mercieca has not retired and know plans to retire from riding .I am riding full time now at Ajax Downs. this is the real rumor posted by myself.