14 December 2008

Plummeting Breeding Industry May Be Good For The Game

Wealthy Horse Owners Feeling The Recession

Something good might come out of this recession regarding the breeding business. Sales numbers are getting crushed in the racing industry right now. This is causing stud fees to be reduced. If the trend continues, it might just be to owner's economic benefit to race a good horse after he turns three or four, as purses for big races have not felt the wrath of the recession yet.

Woodbine Realizes Slight Decline In Handle
Considering that Woodbine didn't have any ADW issues, Woodbine was expected to outperform the industry. Their product was available just about everywhere except Premier Turf Club. What that means is that ADW's that had conflicts offered less choice, and Woodbine was one of the tracks that benefited from having less competition.

But I don't think their bottom line was down just 1.55%. Woodbine made more "secret deals" with their best clients and gave them higher rebates. Sure, that is the right thing to do in today's market place (they are doing something to keep their biggest customers), but it winds up padding the published numbers significantly as well.

Great Article by Paul Moran summing up the Arizona Symposium from last week:
The Blind Lead The Blind, Deaf, and Dumb
"Repeat after me: There are no fans. There are only horseplayers."

My take on the must read article:
I think that there are a few people who still consider themselves as fans. But when it comes to keeping horse racing viable financially, there are no fans, only horseplayers.

There is still potential to attract more players, but it would take a complete overhaul of the takeout system.

Winners need to be created with a lower takeout, and winners could become the drawing card that racing badly needs right now.

From The Belly Of The Whale: Can Rebates Grow The Game?
"Unfortunately, if racing doesn’t adapt soon, with today’s generation of Internet/iPod/video game kids, it may only be a matter of time before wagering on flesh and blood horses becomes irrelevant. All that will be left standing will be ADW companies offering a five percent takeout to fans wagering on computer-generated virtual horses. That would be a shame."

My take on the whole article:
There are a couple of ADW’s that offer rebates right now to everyone, but many of the bigger tracks refuse to allow these ADWs from taking their content.

I think poker has a takeout of less than 5% and in sports betting the takeout is around 5% as well. If the horse racing game was invented tomorrow, takeouts would be 10% tops.

The thing I agree with most is that there needs to be winners to attract others to play the game in the future. You can’t market horse racing on the premise that you have next to no chance of showing a long term profit even if you put in hours and hours of work handicapping.

Not sure if this is verified yet, but it did appear in the New York Post:

A gambler who hit the jackpot on a horse-racing bet - nailing a $1.6 million Pick Six prize - also won some unwelcome attention from a Genovese capo, who was arrested yesterday for hatching a robbery plot.

Reputed mob leader Anthony Antico, 73, devised the scheme to steal cash from the unidentified bettor in June and July 2008, two years after their intended victim won the cash by correctly guessing the outcome of six horse races, authorities said.

Although the robbery plan never happened, Antico's alleged associate, Joseph Barrafato Jr., 50, was caught on tape recruiting robbers and telling them the target had "hit a Pick Six for a million point six," according to court papers.

Delaware May Be Very Close To Getting Sports Betting
Sports betting should be allowed every fricken place in the West, and it should be regulated by the government, making it legit, and allowing the governments to get some of the tax money made by the "bookies."

It is amazing that in the year 2008, tens of millions of dollars are bet in the US and Canada each week through bookies and offshore internet gambling sites. Why the bull? Just legalize it already. Who are the governments appeasing?

BloodHorse has a great resource which allows people to view sire leaders for a number of categories, and by region as well. And it is free.

I may rant on track takeout like a pit bull biting an intruders arm, but Bill Finley is just as passionately relentless on another issue: Drugs in horse racing. Read: Time For Racing To Take Integrity Problems Seriously

Nick Kling Has An Article About Horse Racing And Internet Sites His favourite place for news is Equidaily. I have to agree. But why no mention of The Paulick Report?

Today's most popular word appears to be "Bailout." The Business Of Racing asks Why Isn't Racing In Line For A Bailout?

How about a bailout package for the horseplayer too while we are at it?

Oh yeah, the Sovereign Award Were Given Out On Friday Night ZZZZzzzz

Horse of the Year

Fatal Bullet (177), Rahy's Attorney (76), Ginger Brew (58)

2-Year-Old Filly

Van Lear Rose (141), Laragh (88), Cawaja Beach (70)

2-Year-Old Colt

Mine That Bird (187), Southern Exchange (83), Utterly Cool (74)

3-Year-Old Filly

Ginger Brew (227), Sugar Bay (120), Authenicat (40)

3-Year-Old Male

Not Bourbon (172), Fatal Bullet (155), Marlang (42)

Older Female, Main Track

Bear Now (220), Akronism (68), Against the Sky (54)

Older Male, Main Track

Marchfield (144), Ice Bear (78), Spaghetti Mouse (50)

Female Turf Horse

Callwood Dancer (171), Sealy Hill (159), Sugar Bay (88)

Male Turf Horse

Rahy's Attorney (212), Seaside Retreat (112), Marlang (50)


Fatal Bullet (238), Disfunction (37), Akronism (33)


Patrick Husbands (137), James McAleney (121), Eurico Rosa Da Silva (55)

Apprentice Jockey

Janine Stianson (113), Catherine O'Brien (97), Melanie Pinto (56)


Mark Casse (148), Roger Attfield (130), Terry Jordan (47)


Bear Stables (120), Stronach Stables (96), Tucci Stables (58)


Adena Springs (208), Eugene Melnyk (101), Gardiner Farms (55)


Kathie's Colleen (71), May Time (43), Forty Gram (40)


Matt Waples


Horse Racing Alberta & WhiteIron Productions

Newspaper Story

Beverley Smith

Feature Story

Peter Gross