The tracks love it as it means less trifecta and superfecta wagering being cancelled which is lucrative to the the tracks, but does this improve things for the horseplayer if the horse merely goes through the motions and follows the field around the track? Of course, not all trainers will have their horses go through an unofficial workout; some will make an effort, but take a look at your program of horses that race on a half mile track and see how many horses drawing post seven or eight making little more than a half-hearted effort if even that. Yes, a good handicapper will consider the post position in their handicapping, so you can argue there is no real harm to the gambler.
There may be no immediate harm to the gambler, but you for this very reason, you find people avoiding wagering on the half mile tracks and when the majority of our raceways are half mile ovals, this is not a good thing.. After all, when you can typically eliminate two horses safely without any thinking, you are now down to handicapping a six horse race. The next result is pathetically low payoffs; just the thing we don't need in an effort to attract new gamblers. After all, how many people are going to be excited about cashing that $3.40 win ticket?
With the majority of raceways being half mile ovals, this is a real problem for the industry; one it better try to solve seriously. The way I see it, half mile tracks have three options:
- Score six across with post positions seven and eight starting behind the one and two horse.
- Score six across with post positions seven and eight starting behind the one and two horse and lengthen the race to a 1 1/4 mile race to give the seven and eight horse a better chance to get involved in the race.
- Score eight across and race at distances of 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 miles to give the outside horses a better chance of getting involved in the race.
After all, what's the sense of ensuring eight horses start in a race if all eight aren't going to compete? The racing secretary is doing a disservice to the gambler as much as the trainer who has their horse from the seven or eight hole playing follow the field.