21 April 2011

Low Takeout Pick 5 Gimmicks Not Enough To Con Me In

I agree that any lower takeout bet is a step in the right direction. However, I'm not impressed when it comes to the Barnum and Bailey moves made recently by Calder and Hollywood Park ("lets get the Horseplayers suckers to handicap 5 races so we can ream them on our high takeout exotics once they have made selections")

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 I expect the California Handle Massacre to continue until the takeout hike from January 1st is rescinded.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.


Nancy Taylor said...

New Pick 5 wager looks like it is going to be a huge success at Hollywood Park. Over $100K wagered today, despite a very poor wagering card with all short fields. Looks like they will handle over $200K on Saturday with a high quality product offered. (Better horses and bigger fields)

Cangamble said...

Hi Nancy. Looks like overall handle was off pretty good. Looks like the boycotters didn't get sucked in.
They need to rescind the takeout hike.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that all single-race bets should have the lowest take-outs while for multiple-race bets the take-out should increase with the number of races bet. From this perspective having the lowest take-out on a 5 race bet (like Hollywood is doing) makes much less sense than what Hastings has done.

Nancy Taylor said...

Believe you gentlemen are missing the point at Hollywood Park. Yes, the blended take-out isn't much better and the handle will continue to suffer. However, the total Pick 5 pools the first two days have been terrific, despite all the short fields offered. Look for a tremendous pool Saturday with better horses and bigger fields. Continued Horseplayer's support for this fan friendly wager might be a wake-up call for the suits in charge. Maybe a chance to get a larger assortment of low take-out wagers on the menu for the first time ever !!!
P.S. I don't even know where Calder Racetrack is, but I'll be playing there Monday.....

Cangamble said...

Nancy, the best way to wake em up is to see handle deteriorate. Sure, if anyone chooses to continue playing there, I hope most of the money is wagered on WPS and the Pick 5, but like I said, I'm not getting conned in to either Hollywood or Calder. There are much better places to play, and the Pick 5 is the last thing I put my money into when I handicap a card of racing, so I'm not wasting my time even checking out who is racing at either tracks.

The_Knight_Sky said...

CanGamble Wrote: ("lets get the Horseplayers suckers to handicap 5 races so we can ream them on our high takeout exotics once they have made selections")

Exactly my sentiments.

An important point that should not be lost is that the creation of a new wager such as a Pick 5 pool allows the track to take yet another cut of the pie. In this case Hollywood Park gets a "buffer" to offset the certain declines in handle due to the TOC/CHRB's ineptitude.

There can only be so many buffers for such a period of time. Rescind the takeout rates to what it was before. The healing starts there.