2 August 2009

Belmont Handle Down Over 13% And I Know Why

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 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.

One more thing. Just to make sure I get Google hits today: Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER, Rachel AlexandER.


Steve Zorn said...

Hard to make the logical connection between rebates and handle unless you look at what's happening elsewhere. Was Belmont's decline greater than at tracks that are more friendly to rebate shops? I don't know. My (educated) guess is that everyone declined, and that any extra Belmont drop may indeed have been due to the weather. I know that a lot of "whales" play NYRA tracks, through outlets that do get the signal and nonetheless offer large rebates.

Would you play NYRA if average takeout were 10% instead of 20%, but no rebates?

Cangamble said...

If exotics are knocked down to 10-14% either by rebate or takeout reduction, it would be just fine with me right now.
And sure, I would play NYRA if that was the case.

Anonymous said...

I am an avid reader of your blog and most times I find your thoughts interesting and entertaining, kind of like Down The Stretch newspaper. But I must admit the use of the Flintstone video from the gambling bug episode is by far the best thing you have ever put on your site. Yeah, that's what racetrack operators collectively should use as their pitch to attract customers. But it just proves the timelessness of the Flintstones.

Anonymous said...

Mensch was a quality pick because of his name, but he needs to be placed in a race in which he fits. I'm just curious if he was named in honour of Kevin Mench and somehow there was a misspelling or this is a true compliment to the fine upstanding individuals of the Jewish faith. Like you.

hotwalker said...

I remember Tiny Tinker and Momigi, too. But the Beasley silks were bright red, with a black bar running diagonally from shoulder to waist. Momigi was absolutely brilliant on the turf at Fort Erie also.

Cangamble said...

I have an old program dated June 11, 1960, before I was born.
In the Plate, the Bill Beasley Stable had an entry of Hidden Treasure and Champagne Velvet.
The silks are described as Flamingo, black sash collar and cuffs, black tassel on flamingo cap.

Flamingo is an interesting color. When I searched it on the internet it seems to be anything from pink to orange.

I'm 100% sure, that Beasley's silks appeared orange and not red.

hotwalker said...

trust me, I saw the Beasley silks "up close and personal" many times and they were more red than orange.

Railbird said...

Warren Beasly's silks were flamingo and a black sash,a pinkage orange not red.im sure i am a big fan of that stable,i wonder if Beasly still has booths at the EX,he always had them for the longest time.

Anonymous said...

holy Jumpin Joseph, Railbird, what the heck is "pinkage orange" "nough said on the subject, the silks were definitely red-like flamingo. Hah.

Cangamble said...

fla·min·go (flə-mĭng'gō)
n. pl. fla·min·gos or fla·min·goes

1. Any of several large gregarious wading birds of the family Phoenicopteridae of tropical regions, having reddish or pinkish plumage, long legs, a long flexible neck, and a bill turned downward at the tip.
2. A moderate reddish orange.

Anonymous said...

"reddish or pinkish plumage" describes it perfectly...Reddish.

railbird said...

Good question!