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Monday, January 7, 2013

Wish List 2013

One of the privileges of having your own blog is having the ability to publish a wish list for the upcoming year, even if it is several days late.  You know these wish lists; lists identifying things which currently aren't occurring that you want to see.  Some of the things may seem trivial, some may seem significant.  My wish list includes things that the average horseplayer wants to see to improve the racing experience, both on and off track.  As usual, the items are not listed in any particular order.

Without further ado, here is my wish list:

  1. Free programs.  I'm not saying these need to be advanced programs which you can get from Trackmaster or the DRF, but the traditional 'basic' program should be available at the track for horseplayers attending as well as on a track's website for those wagering at home.  If Canadian racetracks can do it, why not American tracks.
  2. Lower takeouts.  No, we will never match the takeout rates of slot machines, but 17% for straight wagers?  I want to see takeouts of 10% (straight), 12% (traditional exotics), and 15% for the mega wagers.
  3. For Harrah's and those slot tracks who consider racing a necessary evil to at least act like they care about their racing product.  No you may not make your grandstand look like your casino, but can you afford some paint have someone clean the outside of the windows on the grandstand?
  4. Schedule non-wagering events during the racing program.  Those who consider themselves serious horseplayers can ignore these races if they wish and handicap the next wagering event but for those coming for an evening out, it gives them something to do besides staring into space during the downtime.
  5. Schedule your qualifiers for an hour and a half before your regular program on qualifying day.  This way horseplayers who wish can watch the races if they wish.  Scheduling qualifiers in the morning or on dark days keeps these qualifiers somewhat in the dark.  It is called accessibility.
  6. For some Tioga-Meadowlands and/or Vernon-Meadowlands on a single simulcast feed.  Double the racing action in the same timeframe at least as an experiment. 
  7. Post time mean post time.  If all the tracks got in line with this and followed this rule, the whales will know when they need to wager by.  It only makes what can be construed a slow sport seem only slower. 
  8. It's sad to think one has to include this one on a wish list in 2013 but her it is.  If there is an inquiry or objection show on the closed circuit camera what the judges are looking at and whether or not a placing is made, explain why the decision was made.
  9. The success of classified racing at the Meadowlands.
  10. Gamblers to be treated equally.  Only kidding!  However, while all gamblers should be treated equally, some gamblers (whales) are more equal than others.  That being said, show some love to your smaller gambler and don't take advantage of them.
  11. Offer a new (actualy bring back) exotic wager; the Daily Exacta.  It may not offer a life-changing pay-off but it is something the smaller gamblers can support.
  12. A Fair Start Rule (you knew it was going to show up somewhere on the list).
  13. Full fields all year at the Meadowlands.
  14. Exchange wagering in New Jersey.
  15. Support for racing under saddle with an eye towards wagering in 2014.
  16. Fines not treated as a cost of doing business.  Fines are supposed to be deterrents so make them hurt, especially when it comes to things like kicking or excessive whipping.
  17. No trainer entering a horse into a multi-heat race with the idea of scratching out after the first heat regardless of how their horse does in the first heat.  I realize some trainers hate multi-heat races but if you don't plan to dance all the dances, stay home.
  18. Speaking of multi-heat races.  Would it be too much to ask for NJAW to be able to handle it correctly?
  19. Each track will offer at least two daily doubles each racing card.  Actually, I would like to see three, but being some tracks still only offer one daily double, it probably is more realistic to ask for those tracks to offer a second one.
  20. Full card simulcasting, (at least via ADWs) for the Prix 'd Amerique and the Elitlopp (you could probably add a couple of races from Australasia). 
  21. For horsemen to stop talking about how strong the racing industry is in their state if they are racing in front of empty grandstands.  I am not saying the aprons will be full, but if you can easily count the number of people on the apron during the races, you have a problem.


JLB said...

Here's one for the list, though it will never happen: drivers lodging objections against one another. It is interesting that objections are regularly lodged in thoroughbred racing. As an observer of thousands of harness races a year, I literally literally cannot remember an instance of a driver lodging an objection against another reinsman.

Pacingguy said...

Objection? Hah! All kidding aside, in my 38 years of following harness racing, I think I have seen it once.

It's a blight on the sport that drivers refuse to claim fouls because they want the favor returned. That is fine, but what about the owner and gambler who has backed the horse, don't they deserve to have their interests protected by a driver claiming a foul if the judges missed it?

Anonymous said...

YG did file an affidavit that put the blame on JC when Odds On Eq was disqualified in the Bluegrass. More inportantly, Jc was praised for quietly accepting the loss of purse as well as a $150 fine subsequently levied by two of the three stooges. He should have defended himself and the bettors publicly in both instances. Biting his tongue compounded the problem.

Pacingguy said...

I am sure JC did defend himself and the bettors when the placing was made.

JC did cooperate with the owners and asked for a penalty so the connections could appeal the decision. That being said, he did handle himself with class.