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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Treating Horsemen Badly

Yonkers Raceway as well as Monticello Raceway cancelled their Tuesday afternoon card due to a national problem caused by the failure of Sportech's tote system hub which handles simulcast wagering.  Some  tracks raced for purse money only while the harness tracks cancelled their cards outfight despite waiting some time to see if the system got back up and running.

Of course, while simulcast wagers were not available, tracks could have raced for wagers placed on track.  Unfortunately with 90% of the wagers coming from off-track sites, horsemen would have been racing for pools which would pay for a fine stake meal and not much more.

Still if horsemen were already at the track and ready to race for pure money, management should have allowed horsemen to race for purse money only, after all it is their money.  If they are willing to spend the purse account funds with nothing coming in from spending this money why not?  As for the tracks, they already had their personnel there.  Horsemen shipped in, horses got Salix and were ready to go; not as if they cancelled before horsemen arrived at the track at least four hours before the race.  Quite honestly, the tracks treated horsemen shabbily.

As of this morning, there is no explanation for the tote system problem.  Expect racing commissions to look for an explanation.

1 comment:

Marv said...

I might be wrong, but I think the on-track wagering operates through the hubs that went down (i.e. remote servers). I can understand the tracks not racing, but the tracks and horsemen should have gotten together to at least cover the horsemen's out of pocket expenses (shipping, paddocking, Lasix, etc.).

At CalX, the tote system and board were constantly malfunctioning. The stewards reports (always an interesting read and I wish more states had them) had their reports yet the problems repeated. I guess the tote companies aren't pouring capital into a shrinking business (unlike the lottery).