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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chomping at the Bit With Nowhere to Go

Editors Note:  Make sure you read the update at the end of the entry.

Today is Jugette Day.  These next two days of racing at the Delaware County Fairgrounds I look forward to every year.  Not being able to get to the track, I have relied on my 4NJBETS account to follow the action and bet.

Well, with my initial selections made for today, I went to 4NJBETS.COM, this year powered by TVG and lo and behold, nowhere did it say Delaware County Fair or Little Brown Jug (as it has in years past).

Confused, I wrote the friendly people at Customer Service asking where the Delaware County Fair can be found and here is the response I got:

Thank you for emailing TVG!  Unfortunately, we will not have the races from Delaware County Fair. 


TVG Customer Relations

WTF?  My understanding is TVG which runs 4NJBETS since the transition, was basically going to offer all the races NJBETS used to offer before.  I realized when they didn't offer the Gold Cup and Saucer this year it was not completely true, but this is the Jug(ette), certainly they would offer those races.  Guess not.  Since I play by the rules and it is against NJ law for a New Jersey resident to have another ADW account, I am SOL.

Needless to say, I am not pleased.  This is progress?  I understand TVG doesn't have a contract with the Jug people to carry the races, but since they were operating it for the New Jersey, I would figure they would carry it at least for New Jersey.

Regardless, how does one of harness racing's biggest days not get as wide as possible coverage on ADWs?  Could you see the Kentucky Derby not be offered by an ADW?  And we wonder why harness racing has problems.

Update: I have subsequently learned TVG's tote system doesn't support multi-heat racing.  There was an exception made by TVG for the Hambletonian (they better have!), but it required a large manual effort so their policy is not to offer racing from any other track which has multi-heat racing.  Hence, no LBJ.  For those New Jersey residents who want to play the Little Brown Jug, you may visit the Meadowlands and other NJ tracks to wager via simulcasting.

Being there are so few multi-heat races (three to be precise), I guess there is a valid reason to get rid of multi-heat racing.  It certainly makes no sense to expect an ADW to change their tote system when there are so few races involved.  If it means getting maximum exposure via ADWs, then heat racing needs to go.


Anonymous said...


From a computer programming standpoint, heat racing doesn't take any complex software changes.

When there's a race with horse names and post positions that will be decided shortly before the race, the same person who set the regular race program simply creates another race.

Obviously, players can't bet the final before the race line up is available.

If a county fair in Delaware, Ohio has a system that handles late changes and systems at other betting locations can handle it, certainly a large operation like TVG can.

Hopefully, an IT person reads this blog and can confirm that TVG could handle bets on heat races.

Pacingguy said...

In simulcast land what usually happens is a track sends out before the day's action a matrix of all the pertinent information concerning the wagering card, including horses, drivers, odds, types of wagers allowed and minimums which gets downloaded by all facilities accepting wagers on the races.

The problem is people are typically not involved in setting up individual races manually and being the matrix is downloaded from a central location, there may be no way to automate it without upsetting the current matrix. Hence, they need to manually set up these second heats; something they are not really set up or prepared to do (probably because of the chance of error).

Bobby Z said...

Well, add to that confusion of the online wagering site discussion the havoc created when the horses finally arrived on track for the post parade of the final of the Jugette wearing the numbers of their post positions and not the numbers of the programmed betting numbers. I for one had to reload my wagering interface and cancel the previous wagers made so as to wager on the correct number of the horse as they were announced on the post parade. Luckily I remained viewing the video feed with the audio when I heard the track announcer state that all horses must return to the racing paddock and remove the current saddle cloth and head number and replace it with the correct ones. I had to again go and cancel and bet my I had originally wagered. If the track cannot get something like wagering and saddle cloth numbers, how can I trust them to take urine and blood samples or even check tattoo numbers of the horses entered in the race.

Pacingguy said...

No excuse for it happening but usually the Jugette like the Jug has been raced in elimination heats which means the horses needed to change saddle pads. This year with all in one division there was no need to change them.

Someone had a brain fart. My question is was the Paddock Judge on the way to his car already when they went out the first time.

While we are at it, none of the trainers and drivers noticed it? After all, I am sure they saw the program pages. Pure laziness on a lot of people's parts.

Anonymous said...

I think that's an outright lie. How can Xpressbet and other systems carry it and TVG can't? The Meadowlands and New Jersey tracks committing to TVG has been an outright disaster from its inception. The SBOA of New Jersey should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen when they had the power to prevent it.

Pacingguy said...

I must confess, I have my doubts. I suspect Delaware wanted too much for their signal that TVG didn't want to carry the races. They could have just said we will not cover the second heats.

Let's see come Lexington and see what they do with the Kentucky Futurity. That will say if it is a lie or not.