I don't pretend to speak for all price sensitive Horseplayers, but I might be (most are extremely intelligent like me), when I say that a 12% or 14% 50 Cent Pick 5 isn't enough to lure me to play tracks with exactor and double takeouts of 22.68% (Hello Hollywood) or triactor Pick 3, Pick 4 and superfecta takeouts of 27% (Hello Calder).
I play Pick 5's sometimes, don't get me wrong, but they are probably the last thing on a betting menu I need when it comes to attracting me to a card or track. In other words, I could easily live without the Pick 5. I can't live without exactors, doubles, triactors, and Pick 3's.
Until California rescinds their takeout hike in January,I don't think many of the boycotters will even think about Hollywood Park.
As for Calder, personally, the only thing I know about that track is that it is in Florida and that it is a mile track, I think. I don't remember the last time I played Calder, and I have zero intention of doing any handicapping there until they drop takeout significantly on many of their wagers.
Moves made by tracks like Hastings are applauded be Horseplayers like me. They dropped WPS takeout as well as Pick 4 takeout to 15%, while adding a Pick 5 with a 15% takeout.
If all tracks went the same direction of Hastings, we would see handles increase everywhere eventually. It may take Hastings some time to gain momentum, but they took a large step in the right direction. Hollywood and Calder took baby steps, Hollywood after taking a gigantic step backwards.
Bottom line, if tracks are serious about growing the game, and growing their customer base, they should be lowering the betting types with the lower churns, like WPS, exactors and doubles, not bets that Horseplayers cash once a month if they are extremely lucky.
Telling It Like It Is
After the DRF did a sugar coated article on Santa Anita's recently concluded meet (I have too much decency to link it), Bloodhorse.com did an exceptional job on stating what exactly happened at Santa Anita. I expect the California Handle Massacre to continue until the takeout hike from January 1st is rescinded.
USTA Strategic Wagering
Great marketing move by the Jugheads Inc. They have recently started an initiative of featuring a Pick 4 each night that has a guaranteed pool. They have also partnered up with TrackMaster for free past performances on these events.
Almost enough to get my feet wet. I just need a couple more dollars that I consider burnable:) I never was any good when it came to handicapping chariot races.