13 September 2008

Time For Woodbine To Get Rid Of B Maiden and B Allowance Races


I've never liked these races to begin with. And from day one, I never understood why they were necessary, but now with the Ontario breeding industry in the crap house, correlations can be made regarding these races and the affect they have on racing here.

For those who don't know what B Races are, they are simply allowance or maiden races that offer around half the purse of a regular allowance race.
Because Woodbine's purse structure is so high, B races offer up higher purses (approximately $35,000 a race) than most B tracks do for their top allowance races.

The purpose of why these races were carded to begin with (besides maybe saving on purses handed out by Woodbine), was to give owners of high priced sales horses or well bred under performers an option to get out partially, and earn maiden special or allowance type on their records against lesser competition.

So what is the result? It gives some Canadian breeders more confidence to take their mare to a US stud, and bring the mare back here. It also allows for owners of high priced American breds to bring them here with an out after they show they can't (yet?) compete in A races.

Both of these types of horses do no good for the Ontario breeding industry, as classier better bred horses come here and pretty much dominate all non Ontario bred restricted races.

Yes, Ontario sired horses can do quite well sticking to Ontario bred maiden and allowance races if they are good enough to compete there, but the many who can't give their owners little out. Because of the lack of state bred claiming races, they are forced to compete against horses that are bred collectively much better.

It would be nice if Stronach brought over a few good studs to Ontario. But the chances decrease immensely because of the B program here.

Eventually, maybe the big buyers that Josie Carroll seems to attract, Mark Casse's owners, and Bear Stables will spend more recklessly in Ontario than in the USA. But our quality will not improve, and this spending will not occur, as long as we have B races, and as long as we don't offer up state bred claiming races.

The other thing these B races do is hurt the economics of the game in Ontario. All horses have a price. If a non Ontario sired horse can't compete in a regular allowance race or a regular maiden race, they should be in for a tag. And guess what, it doesn't matter what sales price the owner paid. If a horse is a dud, he or she won't get claimed for $40,000 or $50,000 unless the horse is an immaculately bred filly.

But if this filly can't compete in A races, she should be sent to the breeding shed instead of dilly dallying in B races, or she can go to Fort Erie (or another B or C track) and win a maiden allowance race (like Sarcasm did this year).
If the horse has some talent, let them run A races for as long as it takes for them to win. There is nothing wrong with that, especially from a bettor's standpoint.

From a betting standpoint, many of the B races we see have shorter fields, with one or two horses trying to take a distinctive edge. They are bad betting races. I'd rather see the two horses that are being protected in an A race, and the rest running for $40,000 claiming races.

Generally, it is healthier if horses run for what they are worth. More realistic sellers naturally creates more buyers (see Ebay). And it seems that in Ontario, the industry seems to have done whatever it can to detract new buyers and buying in general. Case in point is taking away the ability to run for full purses if someone claims an Ontario bred horse, and of course, B races.

I'd love to see Fort Erie replace all allowance races with $20,000 tags as well. There might be one or two horses that run there that might, and I say might, get claimed for that price. Fort Erie's own economy would be much better off if it didn't attract horses like Sarcasm.

Some Handy Links With Free Past Performances

Did you know that there are personal websites that trainers have that allow the public to view free charts on any race that these certain trainers have entries in?
It is part of a subscription package that trainers can buy, that allows them many options to help them manage their stables.

To view a list of the 28 trainers, go here. You'll notice that Catherine Day Phillips and Mark Casse are among those who are signed up with TLORE.net.

Not on the list are horses owned by Stronach Stables (Adena Springs), but they too have a web page where you can follow their entrants, and get free past performances for any race that they have a horse entered.

Melanie Pinto has been hot lately at Fort Erie, especially on long shots.

Bud Williams also reported: 'Track owner Nordic Gaming Corp. and the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have discussed and are generally in agreement on the proposed dates for the 2009 season as the submission deadline nears, said Fort Erie's general manager, Herb McGirr.'

Pull The Pocket has a post up about multi-race handicapping and betting. When he mentions Woodbine's track takeouts he forgot about their most outrageous one: 28.3% on triactors.

Wagering on US races down 2.71% in August from year before. You'd figure that technology increasing to the point that almost everyone is capable of making a bet from anywhere, that betting on horse racing would be setting new records each and every day.

But racing's business model doesn't work anymore. And they are too stubborn or scared to change it.

On-line gambling in Canada is growing: It is impossible to stop, but it can be regulated.

Calder cancels 8 stake races and cuts purses; Calder upped their track takeouts recently and I know for a fact that many bettors are boycotting them.

Interesting: Was hockey invented in Niagara Falls? Swedish researchers believe it.


Anonymous said...

If you are not part of the “in” group or if you are a small breeder, you do not have a chance of making a profit by putting your horses through the Yearling Sales. It was another dismal sale for myself and I am sure for many many others. Just take a look at the names of the people who got their horses “selected” for the Select Sale and then take a look at the names that make up the selection committee or the board of directors.

There just didn’t seem to be enough bidders in attendance on Saturday. Why does the CTHS continue to schedule the “Preferred” Sales on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm? Why do they go head to head with the afternoon card of racing at Woodbine? The people you would want to attract to the sale are saddling horses or attending the races until 6:00 pm. Also, the out-of-towners who attended the Select sales on Tuesday have all returned home. They are not going to wait around until Saturday for the Preferred Sale. Maybe they should have two “open” sessions on days that are closer together (Tuesday after Labour Day and the next day, Wed., just before the evening races) and let Mr. Market decide who is Preferred and who is Select.

The commission is another joke. The median for the sale on Saturday was $5,000. (The median is the middle number ie, if you listed all the horses that sold on Saturday from the highest to the lowest, the middle would be $5,000.) The CTHS commission is 5% or $350 whichever is highest. In other words, the lowest you would pay is $350, which implies a median of $7,000. Even though the median is $5,000 you pay a commission based on a median of $7,000. The poor breeder who got $1,000 for their horse pays the same $350 ( that’s 35% ….. interest rates on Visa don’t seem that bad after all).

All in all, it was a terrible day for the small breeder. It has convinced me that it is time to get out of breeding altogether. I would advise anyone who is thinking of getting into breeding to forget it because in the end, you will be literally paying other people to take you horses. At the Mixed Sale last December I sold a broodmare and after paying commissions and sales expenses, I owed my consignor $10. (That does not include the stud fee and board for a year). Go figure…. I give up!!!

Anonymous said...

You might have to change your stance on Betfair....They now are charging winners a 20% surcharge on all winnings.

Anonymous said...

Sacrasm the $500.000 yearling which broke her maiden at Fort Erie,had just won a another race,this time at Finger Lakes.

Anonymous said...

Bet fair doesnt charge more then 5% and depending on how much action you play it's much less.Dont be a twit ITP.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you don't play at Betfair or are a loser at Betfair. Why don't you Google "Betfair Premium Charges" and maybe you'll see that they are starting to charge winners 20% of their 60 week profit.

Anonymous said...

Listen itp you twit,theya re charging 20% to the bookies that green light there bets ,example when a bookie buys a horse at 41- then lays it off at 2-1 get it twit, do research before you open your gobb.

Anonymous said...

Here's a guy who made 52,000 over the last 60 weeks and Betfair is going to retroactively want him to pay over 7,000 in premimum charges. I don't think he's a bookie you twit. You should read his blog about this....here you go...lots of good info here http://green-all-over.blogspot.com/2008/09/oh-dear-betfair.html

Anonymous said...

Itp it's for greenlighting are you an imbecile? people buy horses at say 4-1 and lay them at 2 or 3 -1 thus giving themselves no lose situation's.these are the guys that are being tagged for the 20% not the average bettor.twit.

Anonymous said...

Thought you might like this old piece from the NYT.

In 2002, the first full year of the decreased takeout, an additional $223 million was wagered on N.Y.R.A. races, compared with 2000, the last full year before the takeout decrease.

The New York Racing Association announced yesterday that it would once more reduce the takeout, or the percent of each dollar held for purses, taxes and expenses.

Beginning July 2 -- pending the approval of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board -- the takeout on win, place and show bets will be cut to 13 percent from 14 while two-horse bets like exactas, daily doubles and quinellas will be lowered to 17 percent from 17.5.

''I have always believed that lower takeout is good for both the fans and those of us who benefit from the handle,'' Barry K. Schwartz, the chairman and chief executive of the N.Y.R.A., said yesterday in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ''And what we have done now is make the lowest takeout in the nation even lower. It's a win-win situation for all involved.

''The reduction is particularly significant here at Saratoga, which attracts a number of novice bettors along with the more sophisticated horseplayer. People will have more money in their pockets because they will receive a better return when they cash tickets.''

Since the first takeout reduction took effect at the opening of the 2001 Saratoga meet, an additional $72 million will have been pumped back into the pockets of horseplayers nationwide that wager on N.Y.R.A. races by the time Saratoga opens on July 23.

In 2002, the first full year of the decreased takeout, an additional $223 million was wagered on N.Y.R.A. races, compared with 2000, the last full year before the takeout decrease.

Anonymous said...

Anon, data regarding the results of takeout reductions or increases are hard to rely on.
There are factors like how is the industry doing as a whole to consider during the time of the takeout change, as well as what happens to the extra money the customer makes (on a takeout reduction) ie where is it bet? For example, when Laurel reduced takeouts last year, it is for certain that the extra money made was churned back at simulcast events and at Laurel as well.
It was hard to compare Laurel too as WEG didn't have it on their menu like the year before, and I think Youbet didn't have them.