NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward can blame the weather all he wants. He can also blame the economy too. Sure, these factors could have contributed to the fact that betting on Belmont live was down over 17%, and that handle from from all other sources was down over 13%, but I think it goes deeper than that.
I think that over the last year especially, existing horseplayers are starting to wise up. Organizations like HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) have helped educate the player immensely. Hopefully, my blog has as well. The betting public is becoming more aware each and every day of two words that make racing execs cringe: takeout and rebate.
The reality has become totally apparent now; the only way a horseplayer has a fighting chance to even think about turning a profit long term, is by getting a substantial (5-10%) rebate. And most serious players have now adopted a rebate only philosophy, where over 90% of their bets are on races they get a rebate on.
NYRA and every track out there should be selling their signal everywhere. Again, it is just more evidence that horse racing is probably the most dysfunctional business in the Western Hemisphere.
Personally, I bet on two races at Belmont this year. The Belmont and another race that was part of a handicapping challenge that I handicapped and felt compelled to bet on because I was having a good day that day.
NYRA doesn't seem to let their signal go out to many rebate shops, especially the ones that give rebates to the small to medium player. Foolish move. Very foolish.
I haven't even handicapped a race at The Spa this year, and I don't plan to. But I do handicap and wager on around 5-7 tracks a day. I'm not alone.
To put things in perspective though, Belmont still did over $9 million a day in handle which is around 4 times what Woodbine averages a day. Mind you, the public is very aware of Woodbine's high takeout rates by now, and a lot of players just can't stand the Polytrack.
Woodbine Stewards Goofed
I think the Woodbine stewards have done a very good job this year, but on Friday, they blew it.
Taking down Carrtowns Katie in the 8th race was a terrible call. Yes, she was lugging and jockey Chantal Sutherland knew it as she was whipping the horse with her left hand, but she was clear and had momentum when she was passing Spend Now And Save at around the sixteenth pole in the stretch.
Carrtowns Katie was definitely the best horse in the race, and the fact that it was a relatively long inquiry means that the stews were having a hard time deciding what to do. I think I can speak for most horseplayers when I state that if the stewards are dealing with a tough decision, the results should stand.
I realize riding horses is one of the most dangerous jobs on this planet, but it sure looked like a phantom check to me. Not sure if it was the horse who shied away, or if it was Emma-Jayne Wilson, but I've seen a lot worse happen without an inquiry.
Were the stewards compelled to appease the betting public by putting up a 6-5 shot? Public perception may say that had a lot or at least a little to do with it.
If the owners of Carrstowns Katie appeals, I think they win. But those who bet on the best horse still lose.
If Chantal gets days for the ride, it would be an injustice.
$40,000 Raised For Chad Beckon
Good job by Robbie King and Gus Schickedanz to make it happen.
THE BREEDERS STAKES
The Breeder's Stakes goes today at Woodbine. It brings back memories from my early teens, as two of my all time favorite horses, Momigi and Tiny Tinker, won this race back to back. Both of these runners would pretty much come from last and fly in the stretch.
Tiny Tinker, especially, sporting the bright orange colours of Beasley, was a thrill to watch. He was known to trail the field by many lengths before taking off and passing horses one by one.
How about Mensch to upset today? This is one of Fieldstone's three runners in the race, and to me, at a mile and a half, I can see it coming down to stretch closers.
Still a maiden, Mensch ran a good one going a mile and three eighths last time, losing to entry mate Guipago, who I think had a better trip and took advantage of the slower pace, which probably compromised Mensch.
Eye of the Leopard is definitely the horse to beat here. Last time he ran completely against the bias, and Mark Frostad would probably have worked the horse over Fort Erie if he could turn back the hands of time. According to my form, Eye of the Leopard has not worked on the turf, and has never raced on the turf. Despite his breeding, this makes him very vulnerable today.
In the co feature today, I'm giving Elated Moon one more chance. She obviously didn't hurt herself last time out, when she embarrassed me for publicly picking an even money shot who got basted. But something else went wrong, and I'll bet Steven Asmussen's team is bright enough to have corrected it. I'm going to predict she wins the Nandi Stakes easily today.
Forget GO BABY GO and BET IT TO GET IT. This should be used in a campaign to get people to go to the track:
Speaking of betting. Check out new ADW Horseplayersbet.com.
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