30 April 2014

2014 Kentucky Derby Analysis

Since I started blogging, I believe I've put my picks out there for the Kentucky Derby every year.  This year will be different.  I don't have any picks, in fact, I am not even going to look at the past performances for the Kentucky Derby this year for the first time since I was around 10 years old (1971). 

I already made my mind up to stop betting any Churchill Downs track when they announced the takeout increase a week or two ago.  The exception would have been Kentucky Derby day.  But after reading the news about  Churchill Down's beyond dismal treatment fellow Canuckian Ron Turcotte today, Churchill Downs might as well be a racetrack on Mars.  This was the last straw.

I have bet on the Kentucky Derby every year ever since Woodbine introduced intertrack wagering, except for 1986.  That was the year my girlfriend at the time bugged me to go to Montreal on the weekend the Derby happened to be on.  She barely even let me watch the race.  We were in the hotel room, the horses were just entering the gate, and she decided to divert my attention.  I remember straining my back a bit trying to do two things at once, but I managed to see Ferdinand and The Shoe make an outstanding stretch run.  The one thing I don't remember is who finished first:)

Back to serious business, Churchill Downs Incorporated is ruining racing.  Increasing the track takeout in light of decreasing demand for short term gains is what has clobbered horse racing for years.  Since Churchill Downs and racing's (not so great only hope) Frank Stronach (he isn't innocent either when it comes to NOT putting customers first) have got their paws in the game, handle has tanked, and this isn't by magic.  Optimal takeout is not a consideration, nor is the horseplayer.  It is all about short term gain with no respect for the future of horse racing as a viable gambling product.

They managed to mangle the increased exposure through internet betting (people now don't have to leave their homes to wager on up to 20 tracks sometimes an hour).  Pricing of their product (takeout) is so high that despite the fact that internet poker has been banned in the US, handle keeps sinking, and new players are the customers left are starting to die out, bet less or just finding something else to do with their time.  I don't think we've seen the worst of the player exodus yet. 

I'm done supporting stupidity and greed.  And the Ron Turcotte dissing was certainly the last straw for me.

There is Players Boycott going on, mainly because of the takeout increase.  And even if you don't care about the takeout increase, consider the treatment Churchill gave Ron Turcotte, especially if you are a Canadian, before you bet on a track that directly makes Churchill Downs Inc. money.  These tracks include:   Churchill Downs, Arlington Park, Calder, Canterbury Park, Fairgrounds, Finger Lakes, Hoosier Park, Indiana Downs, Miami Valley, Oaklawn Park and The Meadows. 



Anonymous said...

I called the governor's office this afternoon and alerted his staff to the controversy, including the potentially illegal violation of the ADA regarding Turcotte. I think it was the first they'd heard of it. Doubt it will be the last CDI hears of it. Fuck them all.

Austin said...

Thanks for letting me know all the tracks Churchill owns. Gonna stop betting on all of them as of now.

Churchill can go screw themselves!!!

Anonymous said...

Bet fair has also raised there take out rate from the max of 5% to 6.5% as of January 30th for Canadian customers. I estimated that my personal handle to them has dropped 90% since then and im playing in the home track pools once again.

Anonymous said...

I'm a reporter at VOA News in New York working on a TV story about the controversy over the Central Park horse carriages. I'd like to use a short clip (under :20) of your footage showing the 2009 multi-horse accident at Aqueduct. (It would illustrate a line about the opponents of carriage horses not campaigning against mounted police horses or horse-racing in New York, though injuries to the latter are much more common.) Could you let me know the source of the youtube clip, i.e. whether you taped it from a monitor at the track or from a broadcast TV channel, and if the latter, which one?
I hope you get his message and can respond before Tuesday. Please feel free to email or call (leave a message, as I will be out of the office on Friday and Mnday) for further details, and thanks for your time. I will be checking email over the weekend. No need to post this as a comment, of course. Thanks,
Carolyn Weaver