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Monday, September 16, 2013

A Question

Today's blog entry is a simple one.  Actually, it depends on your participation.  It really boils down to one single question.

What was the last thing the industry did something for primarily for the benefit of the customer, the customer being the person who goes to the track or through their ADW places a bet? 

You can't include items such as improving the concessions or dining room; it has to be directly related to racing itself.  To make this a more challenging, it can not include items unique to tracks owned or operated by Jeff Gural; they need to be industry-wide changes.

Here are a few things that may be on a list betting-wise:
  1. Reintroducing the Superfecta
  2. Introducing the Pick X
  3. Offering less than a $1 minimum on bets like the Super and Pick-4
  4. Pool guarantees (though at times it seems a race will not get off until that guarantee is met)

Racing-wise, I come up with the following:
  1. Colored saddle pads (Though I must confess, that occurred before I started playing the ponies).
  2. Eliminated the recall (Well, in Canada perhaps.  In the United States, gamblers got hosed by not introducing the fair start rule).
  3. Introduced the passing lane (Even though it helped make the racing style more boring, I guess it is a net positive).

I would be curious to see if you, the reader, can add any items to either list.  ,

Why do I ask this?  It seems to me, there is no problem making changes which primarily benefits the horseman/horsewoman; rarely made for the primary benefit of the customer (whether you call them a gambler or fan).  I am looking for you the reader to eliminate some of my cynicism when it comes to this subject. 

Please, help me remove the cynicism.  Show me how the industry does change things for the beneit of the gambler.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate the colored saddle pads. You cannot read the numbers and from a distance on video, you can't really tell the color of the pad. Overseas, many venues use the dark blue pad color and the numbers are huge in white. (Even in Japan, they use this system, in English!) You can read the numbers all the way around the track. I much prefer watching overseas races anyway....less carnage, fewer drugs, longer distances, bigger fields. U.S. racing continues to shoot itself in the foot with utter stupidity in most areas. To try to find something positive is not an exercise that I find worthwhile.

Anonymous said...


It's difficult to come up with things racing has done for the bettors. Maybe that's why racing is in such sad shape today.

Would Harrah's Philadelphia and Pocono providing sun worshipers ample opportunities for a tan count as something positive? After all, what other reason could there be to construct most of the seating without any cover?

Seriously, the players reward card has been a positive for bettors. The tracks can follow your betting, but finally offer comps.