For photos from the Meadowlands contact Lisaphoto@playmeadowlands.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stretch the Race and Bait the Carrot

So far those twelve horse races at the Meadowlands has not shown the desired result as for the most part, those second tier horses have not made their presence known in the payoffs.  Is it the fact races at 1 1/16 mile are not long enough or is it drivers/trainers who have drawn the second tier are just giving up before the gate opens?

I suspect it is a bit of both.  I would suggest making the races 1 1/8 miles long to give the second tier horses a better chance to get involved but in addition to that, I would offer a bounty system where an incentive fee is paid for those horses from the second tier who finish in the money; with a higher amount if they win the race.  Perhaps a little incentive may make drivers attempt to change their perception of the second tier.

It may be worth a try because while you can have fifteen horses in a race, if no one expects the second tier to get involved, you are still wagering on a ten horse race.


Those that thought Plainrdige Racecourse was going to waltz to their slot license may not be as confident as three other developers have formally announced they are going for the one slot license in the state.  Cordish Companies, Rush Street Gaming, and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment have entered the fray.  These three had previously announced their intention to get into the Massachusetts gaming market, but up to now, it was unknown if they were going to go for full casino licenses or compete for the sole slot parlor license.

This is not to say Plainridge won't win out in the end, but with more competitors, there is always the chance for an adverse decision as there is for an appeal in the courts by a loser to tie things up.


Running Aces Harness Park has issued a release as to why they are suspending multi-breed simulcasting in the state, keeping Canterbury from taking harness signals as well as keeping Running Aces from the lucrative thoroubhred signal.  Under the agreement which Running Aces was entitled to re-open for negotiations, they had to pay $150,000 a year to Canterbury Park for the privilege of carrying thoroughbred simulcasting; money not for purses, but to management.  Truth is, the net result was Running Aces was roughly breaking even on simulcasting due to the subsidy to Canterbury Park.  Clearly, the amount Canterbury Park was sending to Running Aces for harness simulcasting was not as much as Running Aces was sending to Canterbury so rather than en-rich Canterbury Park, Running Aces has decided to halt simulcasting until a new agreement is worked out.  This is likely to impact the thoroughbred purses.


As you may recall, Running Aces had also stopped making purse payments from their card room to Cantebury Park citing breaches of the contract by Canterbury.  This has made the thoroughbred horsemen hopping mad as they are trying to get Running Aces' harness license pulled.  Quite honestly, after abandoning Running Aces to receive purse enhancements from an Indian tribe, is this money needed?  That being said, it will be up to the Minnesota HRC to sort this out. 

9 comments:

Marv S. said...

One of the issues with the 12 horse race is the slanted starting gate. The rail horse in the 2nd tier is pretty far off the centerpoint of the 1st tier. If you're behind a horse which can't leave, you're probably screwed.

So, here are two suggestions. First, if M1 goes with 12 horses, let the 11 horse start anywhere it wants behind the 1-5 horses and let the 12 horse start anywhere it wants to behind the 6-10 horses. Second, go with even more horses. Perhaps 12 isn't enough to change racing strategy. But perhaps 16 horses are. It certainly works that way in Europe.

Pacingguy said...


Marv,

Current rules mandate when there is one horse in the second tier, they may start anywhere in the second tier. When there is more than one horse in the back, you must start in your assigned post.

Let's aay they changed the rules to adopt your proposal. The problem is how do you know who to start behind? A horse you think will leave may decide not to while a horse who comes on late may decide to leave; it becomes a guessing game.

I would personally love to see sixteen horses, but you would face a revolt by trainers at present. Also, you would need a race to go at least 1.5 miles; something not desirable by most at this time.

Scott Jeffreys said...

Dear Pacingguy : I have handicapped every one of the 12-horse events in January and February. In short, the horses coming from the second tier have overwhelmingly been 15-1 or higher. This is not due to the morning line reflecting the second tier handicap, but rather that the horses have been non-competitive. Go back over the forms to convince yourself.

Sincerely, Scott

Pacingguy said...

Scott,

While I would agree most have tended to be outsiders, you would figure they would once in a while get into the top three.

Also, some of the series races have gone to 11 horses and they have tended not to do well either, even though some have been ccompetitive. It's only my opinion, but there are times I can't help but think some of drivers are saying wait till next week due to the post.

Pacingguy said...

Scott,

While I would agree most have tended to be outsiders, you would figure they would once in a while get into the top three.

Also, some of the series races have gone to 11 horses and they have tended not to do well either, even though some have been ccompetitive. It's only my opinion, but there are times I can't help but think some of drivers are saying wait till next week due to the post.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how anybody can think exchange wagering is a good idea. It's inevitable that people "in the know" will be wagering AGAINST short priced horses that they know are going to be "no good" that day, and stealing money in the process. And at smaller venues (with smaller pools), it will be rampant; if you can win MORE money just racing "easy", that's what some people will absolutely do. The opportunites for abuse are endless.

Pacingguy said...

Let's not kid ourselves, there will be people 'in the know' that will try to lay on horses they no that won't be good. In Europe and Australasia where there is exchange wagering companies like Betfair have worked with racing authorities to identify insiders betting against their own horses and they have been succcessful in bringing these people to justice.

As for the small tracks, you need to have a willing partner to match you wager against. It stands to reason the smaller tracks are likely to have less money.

In California, Betfair and the other company which will be offering exchange wagering at Cal Expo are required to supply the CHRB with software to allow them to track wagers. One assumes those who have racing licenses or otherwise come to the attention of the CHRB will have their wagers watched.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty safe to say that people who are betting against their own horses will NOT do it under their own accounts, especially knowing that a couple of people overseas were caught. Bad idea that I would predict never gets off the ground.

Pacingguy said...

No doubt people will try it, but sooner or later it comes out.

Exchange wagering is expected to start at Cal Expo later this season. NJ's start has yet to be scheduled.