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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cal Expo Bucks the California Trend; Farewell to the Grey Gladiator

Some horseplayers are very upset that the California's legislature has approved legislation allowing racetracks to raise their takeout rates on exotic wagers so horsemen and tracks can make more money; this despite all the evidence showing handle will go down.  Some horseplayers are so angry that these horsemen and tracks are sticking it to them that they are ready to boycott California racing. 

If you are thinking of scratching California from your wagering menu as a result of the legislature's action, you should know that Cal Expo has no plans to raise their takeout rate on exotics, according to Assistant General Manger and Director of Racing Dave Elliot.  Their takeout rate on WPS wagers remains at 16.43% and exotics remain at 24.18% with the exception of the Pick-4 on Saturday nights which features a 15% takeout rate.  Cal Expo is also looking at some options to make some of their wagers a 'must play' proposition.

So while Cal Expo is not lowering their takeout rate at present, if you are inclined to punish the California thoroughbred and quarterhorse industries for their greed, you may want to give Cal Expo another look.  

Sad news has been received regarding the passing of the Grey Gladiator, Admirals Express, one of the all-time favorites in Canada.  The fourteen year old gelding apparently sufffered a leg injury at the farm he was retired to which required his being euthanized.  Horses like Admirals Express don't come around that often and even though he was retired, he will be missed.  RIP Admiral. 

Here is a video about Admirals Express:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to say he is for the horse racing industry surviving if it can survive without a state subsidy.  His latest comments come in response to a question regarding the Democratic proposal to save the casino and horse racing industry.  He claims there are similarities between the Hanson Report and the Democratic proposal and is sure things can be worked out.

Time to let out a collective sigh of relief?  It depends on what your definition of a subsidy is.  If you subscribe to the view point that money given to the horsemen by the state for purses is a subsidy, then things while not ideal, are not as bad as it could be.  However, if you consider funding a governmental agency (the NJSEA) which loses money operating racetracks a subsidy, even if it generates revenue elsewhere, then there is plenty reason to still concerned.  Based on Governor Christie's track record, now is not the time rest easy.

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