28 February 2009

California Moves To Rescind Idiotic Anti-Rebate Rule

OK, So They Don't Mention HANA, But We Know, Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

Us troublemakers at HANA (the Horseplayers Association of North America) scored a small victory, as we pestered the California horsemen into moving towards rescinding their idiotic anti-rebate stance. Not so much directly, but on both the Pace Advantage and Del Mar forums, HANA members used common sense and told it like it is. Many of us sincerely avoided betting California tracks because they have shunned rebate shops in the past.

The main argument is why should California horsemen and tracks care what an ADW does with the money they bring in after they pay for the signal? They were perceived as either protecting non rebating ADWs or protecting major off shore ADWs, or both, all at the expense of dissing price sensitive bettors.

Rebates are here to stay. It is apparent that tracks will not drop takeouts, at least in the near future, so the way they have to compete and grow at this time, is to allow ADWs to rebate to their heart's content.

The tide is turning, as racetrack execs have at least taken notice of their customers. That is one of the goals of HANA. Click here to join for free.

Speaking of rebates. Ian Meyers has left Premier Turf Club. The unofficial reason cited was that the other partners wanted to take the ADW in another direction (huh?).
Does this mean that they will give lower rebates? Are they shopping around to be bought out? I guess we will find out.
Ian was a hands on man. He genuinely seemed concerned about his customers. And many PTC customers did business there because of Ian. Mind you, the rebates offered were outstanding (probably thanks to Ian). I wonder if they still will be.
Also, it is rumoured that Joe Riddell has left the company. They were the only two partners I knew about. Obviously, there are another couple of partners now running the show.

Brothers Charged in IRG Investigation
IRG was an offshore ADW owned by Youbet (they bought it in 2005). Allegedly, the Jalinsky brothers were laundering money as well as deciding what bets to book and what bets to lay off.

Scientific Games Pondering Offing Racing Operation
The company operates many betting kiosks across North America, and got themselves in trouble last year because number 20 (Big Brown) was not included in any of their quick picks. Auto-tote is also a subsidiary of Sci Games.

The Walls Are Caving In At Magna Entertainment
Magna has received its first notice. This one from PNC Bank: “failure to comply with certain financial covenants relating to the financial position and results of operation of MJC and related entities.”

The bank reserves the right to come in for the kill at any time. I don't think this should be looked at as an opportunity for Stronach to try to get himself out of this mess though. I think the PNC didn't act yet because they are waiting to see what the Bank Of Montreal does on March 6th.

The resignation of three directors in the last week or so has made MEC non compliant to be trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock will be headed to the pink sheets from NASDAQ very soon as well. In other words, future financings are completely out of the question, and the company continues to bleed money. As each day goes by, there will be less and less for creditors to collect, so it is just a matter of weeks before we see a full fledged bankruptcy. I can't see it going Chapter 11 either, because of continuous operating losses. This means that tracks will be put on the selling block very quickly. But are there buyers out there?

For more on MEC, read The Business Of Racing.

Tragic News
Fort Erie owner/trainer Gordon Cowie died suddenly yesterday. He was only 44.

Cowie amazingly won an allowance race last fall with El Gran Brett, a horse that was getting beat up at Fort Erie in 5,000 claiming races. A private purchase for Cowie, the horse ran 2nd for him first time out in a 4,000 claiming race Sept. 7. He won on November 28th in an 8,000 open claimer with one week to go in the season. Cowie decided to run him back December 6th in a non winners other than maiden or claiming. He won. The purse was $76,000. And because he was a private purchase, and not a claim, and was Ontario sired, Cowie got the full share of the winners portion.

Fountain Of Youth
Free past performances for the race.
I don't do much handicapping for this blog (and after you see the results of the following picks, you'll probably see why).
This is a very interesting race. The controversial This Ones For Phil makes his first start in over a month. I just see "bounce, bounce, bounce" today for Phil. The undefeated Taqarub also has over a month between races, and he definitely ensures that there will be a hot pace. The best horse in the race could be Capt. Candyman Can. He looks like he has good tactical speed, and the mile looks to be a piece of cake for him. Two longshots could wind up in the exotics. Break Even Edison, second race off a layoff. Last year he produced a very good speed figure for a mile at Aqueduct. Also, Take The Points had a real good late pace number going today's distance at today's track 4 weeks ago. And besides, I really like his name.

For more free past performances check it out at Thoroughbred Blogger's Alliance

The newest issue of Down The Stretch Newspaper is available online. Lots of news and updates with a focus on the Ontario horse racing scene.

ORC signs agreement with State of Illinois Racing Board to share investigative information
'This information will include such things as:

* Investigative files of police officers, regulation agents, and civilian investigators, including interview reports, notes, and background checks;
* Veterinary records, such as reports, x-rays, samples, and invoices;
* Photographs;
* History before administrative tribunals and in court, including decisions, findings and orders.'

Reminder for Canadians. Jockeys continues on Animal Planet tonight from 9-10PM

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