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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Musings

The USTA Strategic Wagering Program has been an amazing success this year.  However, with the vast majority of the guarantees being spent on the exotic wagers, like Superfectas, Pick X wagers, it would be interesting to see what happens if they tried guaranteeing Win, Daily Double, and Exacta pools.  Yes, the heavy hitters are playing those Pick Xs, but it kills churn.  How about guaranteeing minimum pools in the Win Pool on certain races or even the early Double to see if it generates churn.  After all, churn is what keeps the tracks going.

Derick Giwner is upset over the fact that Tim Tetrick was left of the USHWA ballot for driver of the year.  In particular, he is upset over the fact that Kevin Switzer, Jr. made the list over Tetrick. I can understand his being upset that Tim Tetrick was omitted, but I think he took a cheap shot when he called Kevin Switzer, Jr.'s nomination 'laughable'.  Switzer is having his career year this year winning so far 302 starts and earning over $961,000 thus far.  Yes, it is Maine, and the competition may not be up to Chester standards, but a person with a .382 UDR is nothing to sneeze at, wherever they race.  I think Giwner could have made his point without trashing Switzer.  Giwner also needs help on deciding who he will vote for the Pacer of the Year and looking for assistance.

Thanks for the Info: The Harness Horsemen International issued a press release of their meeting in which they talk about “Jeff (Gural) was very candid in his speech regarding his vision for the future of racing at the Meadowlands in New Jersey".  Wouldn't it have been nice if they talked about it?

Hunting for an operator:  California standardbred horsemen are looking for someone to operate the harness meet at Cal Expo since the Cal Expo board announced they are getting out of the harness race meet business.  The article claims the track has not lost money, yet, but the Cal Expo Board claims they lost money last year and are on track to lose money this year.  I know it won't happen as he is tied up with the Meadowlands deal, but if they could find a Gural-type to run the Cal Expo meet, it would be interesting to see what he could do.  Is there someone who could step up and make Cal Expo an entertainment destination?

Priorities, priorities:  Great news for thoroughbred fans.  Pimlico has released their logo for the 2012 Preakness Stakes.  Preakeness fans must be relieved.  In the meanwhile, there are no thoroughbred race dates in Maryland because Monarch wants to race only 40 days next year.  There may be no racing in Maryland next year, but at least they got their Preakeness logo done.  Maybe now they can concentrate on the race date dilemna.

Good and had of betting exchanges:  The BBC reports eleven people were found guilty of fixing races after laying on the horse in the betting exchange.  The good news is they were able to detect it which should make anyone in the United States think twice before attempting a betting coup this way.

Meadowlands Update: Someone who follows racing in New Jersey feels the Meadowlands is okay despite the fact the Governor still wants to close the deals together.  So it looks like there will be racing at the Meadowlands in 2012, even if Gural will be directing the NJSEA in running the meet.  Hence, based on this information, no one should feel unsure there will be a meet this year,

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