Has racing gotten too boring and predictable for you? Fed up with someone getting the lead with a good number of the horses just following behind, hoping to get a trip instead of making their own trip? Maybe it is time to induce a more aggressive style of driving which will make racing more exciting and unpredictable.
What would happen if we took 25% of a purse and awarded it to the leaders at the quarter, half and three-quarters with the other 75% of the purse distributed as currently done? For example, in a $12,000 race, the leader at the quarter, half, and three quarters earns $1,000 each with the remaining $9,000 being distributed in the traditional 50-25-12-10-8 manner?
Think how it could make a race livelier. If a horse in our $12,000 race was able to wire the field, it would earn $7,500 instead of $6,000. A horse that guns for the lead and falters to fifth at the end of the mile would earn $3,450 instead of $600. A horse that goes for the early lead and is nowhere at the end of the mile will still come out ahead by $1,000. Conversely, stay back looking for a trip and finish first, you only earn $4,500; second $2,250 and so forth.
Picture all the three-wide moves on a half mile track as horses seek the cash at each quarter pole instead of sitting on the wood the whole way around the track. Imagine action throughout the mile elsewhere instead of just the stretch run. For those tracks with the passing lane, maybe that horse sitting second the whole way around waiting for the stretch will try to take on the leader earlier instead. Who knows, it may actually look like a race instead of a game of chess.
If twenty-five percent of the purse is too much money to be used for quarter pole awards, let’s set it at a fixed rate for each track; perhaps a $1,000 per position at one of the ‘A’ tracks; $500 per position at a ‘B’ track; $250 per position at a lower level track. The point is slow quarter rules don’t work. Using cash as a carrot may be what we need to make a race exciting from the start to the very finish. Not sure how it would works? Then why don’t we have a trial period where money is added to a purse instead of deducted so we can evaluate the difference. I suspect we will see less horses going around for a ride and mutual pay-offs which would be of interest to the gambling public instead.
Let’s put it this way, what do we have to lose?