For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Levy Overflow, Tote Fiasco, Kaplan Speaks

The entry box overflowed for the first round of the George Morton Levy Memorial FFA Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway this weekend.  With forty-three horses dropping into the box, there will be six divisions of the Levy on the twelve race card.  In addition to the Levy, there will be four divisions of the Sagamore Hill for three and four year old pacing colts, horses, and geldings.  Overall, there will be $393,000 in purse money up for grabs Saturday evening.  As we get closer to Saturday evening, I will provide my selections for the Yonkers card. 

Racing fans in Edmonton, Alberta are fuming over Saturday night's tote failure at Northlands Park.  Winning gamblers waited an hour and twenty minutes after the race was declared official only to be told they would be getting refunds instead.  Losing bettors faired no better; after all the race was declared official so most of those tickets were thrown away.  People who threw their tickets away can fill out a form claiming they lost their tickets, but if you are a small time player, are you going to bother?  Am-Tote, the mutuel company who supplies tote equipment for Northlands Park finally identified a problem on Tuesday with their software which did not allow them to determine if they got all the wagers into the pools.  Can't help but wonder how many of these gamblers won't be returning to the races anytime soon, if at all.

Once again, it's another situation where we treat our gamblers badly.  When are racetracks going to press their tote companies to upgrade their systems to prevent these types of problems?  As bad as it is not to be able to pay off on winning wagers in a timely manner, it is simply inexcusable to tell gamblers after eighty minutes they are going to get refunds instead of being paid their winnings.  After a half hour, the fans should have been told there is a tote problem and tickets will be cashed the next time they come to the track.  I guess the customers are an inconvenience to the tracks.        

Yesterday, the USTA put on YouTube the presentation given by Standardbred Canada's Daryl Kaplan at the USTA annual meeting.  While you don't get to see the charts Mr. Kaplan is discussing, the message is still clear.  Every horseman needs to see Kaplan's presentation.

       Part I                                                                                      Part II

1 comment:

Scott Jeffreys said...

Let's talk about the Tote System failure at Northlands. The key data points are all known based on the article as follows :

A total of $13,783 was bet on the race ... There was $2,052 bet in the win pool, $967 to place, $686 to show, $1,890 in exactors, $4,167 on the superfecta and $4,021 on the triactor.

The near latest odds surely appeared on the tote board, so the rough allocation of the money in the pools is nearly known. So, at the end of the day, what exactly was the problem with this calculation?

What is really sad here is that the liability was at most $13,783 less the withholding rates ... so, why would the racetrack not have calculated the prices manually? This tells us that the pool data itself was somehow corrupted and that compromises the entire parimutuel system.

AmTote has many more questions to answer here.