For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why Even Bother with Post Times?

I must confess, I am getting pretty irritated with the dragging out of post times.  Yes, I know the argument how delaying post time brings in additional wagering and tracks need as much handle as possible.  How tracks have heard from their whales the fact they like delayed posts so they can wager at the last possible moment and have a much better idea of what the odds will be when they wager.  This may very well be true.  After all, who am I to question those mutuel managers who watch the money coming through the communication lines (and even a little bit through their own wagering windows).

Here is a modest proposal, why not just eliminate post times?  Let's treat each race as if it was a guaranteed pool, where tracks pretty much know how much money is going to be bet on a particular race.  Tracks can announce that Race 1 has a $100,000 guaranteed mutuel pool, in otherwords, holding the race up until $100,000 is wagered on the race.  Once the $100,000 mark has been reached, the starter will send the field on their way.  Think of the additional thrill of gambling; wait as long as possible but make sure you get your bet in before the guarantee is hit otherwise risk getting shut out!  Of course, if the mutual manager is wrong, the first race which used to go off at 7:30pm may not go off until 10:30pm, but what the heck, we keep our customers waiting on the Internet as well as at the track anyway.  Maybe we can shoot some t-shirts into the stands to keep the customers occupied?

Truth be told, rather than post time meaning the horses come out to the track to parade and fall asleep until the mutuel manger says 'Go', I prefer this method.  Just put a graphic on the bottom of the screen showing how much money is wagered in the race and it will give me a more accurate time as to when the race goes off.  What is going on now is purely bush league.

The ironic thing is the industry realizes they need to improve the game.  I really don't understand having people wait even longer between races really improves the game but I am sure someone will explain it to me.

Once upon a time, there used to be a rule which dictated a race must go off within so many minutes of post time.  Did the tracks get the rule eliminated or do the judges ignore it?

Here is another thought.  Tell gamblers your race is going off at 7:30 sharp, come hell of high water.  The regular money will get in early enough that the whales will be able to wager accordingly so the race may go off on time.  All it takes is all tracks to agree to it.

It would be a step in the right direction.  Who knows, maybe racetrack handles will go up because people wouldn't find  your racing so boring waiting forever for a race to start?


Anonymous said...

Track managers think they're getting more bets because of delayed post times, but I haven't found one who can explain how it's better than going off on time. It's true more money is bet at the last minute, but a delayed start has nothing to do with it. The late money has always been there and will always will be there just before the race starts, whenever that is. Updating odds more than every 60-90 seconds would go a long way to helping customers gauge the real odds just before the start.

Delayed post times are one more reason it's difficult to get new fans. Promise something will start and intentionally make people wait beyond the advertised time? Not good business.

edge1124 said...

I think it should be like it was in the old days, with a SET post time and no delays unless it was for a scratch or equipment change etc. Now if I am following 8 tracks and happen to notice Dover or Harrah's Philly at zero minutes I scramble to that feed (internet) and see the horses doing their scoring or little circles and this goes on for three or more minutes so then I am scrambling back to another track and either miss it or just get my bet in, then scramble back to Dover cause I know the odds could go from 5-1 to 9-5 in 30 seconds so that is why I wait but they are OFF by the time I get back. Dover, Northfield, The Meadows, Monticello, Tampa Bay (Thoro) just to name a few do this ALL the time and it makes no sense. Meadowlands and Yonkers do it now but not as bad. The ONLY track that has 80% of their races go off at actual POST is Rideau Carleton and that is why they get a bet from me every time, no waiting!! Rideau sets post time in 14 or 15 minutes and off they go. Why open a race like DOVER with 7 minutes to next post but when it hits ZERO, wait another 5or 6 minutes? Just set your post at 13 minutes and stop playing mind games with the public. It is bush league and not fair to the bettors. It would be like waiting to start a MLB game because they only have 18,000 people in the stands so they delay it 20 minutes til its over 20,000. not fair to the ones who showed up on time. On a side note...I did not mind the old format at all...all you had to do was click on older posts if it had been a week since your last visit. This format looks cooler of course but a little busy but I will adapt haha. Thanks for the blog, no complaints here.

Pacingguy said...

FYI, this format is the default format. You may change the format to a different one by selecting another view by clicking the drop down on the bar which runs across the top of the blog (the bar will also say 'Home' on it).

JLB said...

I have no problem with some tracks that try to time their "off time" to avoid conflicts with another major track. But this post, and the replies, are absolutely on the mark. I will say that my ADR publishes Yonkers' post time for each upcoming race, and they seem to stick with that pretty well. For example, the 2nd race may be listed at 733, although the minutes to post listed on the tote board and TV infer a start time at 728. I do find that the race typically does goes off at 733.