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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Passing Lane Comes to Hoosier Park. Bettors Yawn.

So Hoosier Park is adding a passing lane this year come opening day.  Why?  How many handicappers are jumping up and down at the prospect of the lack of movement in races knowing everyone is going to be waiting for the passing lane to make their move?  After all, isn't the prospect of $2.80 payoffs wonderful?

The Meadowlands doesn't have a passing lane and look at how races are conducted there as well as payoffs.  Notice the $3 million handle days they have had?  This is what bettors are looking for, not a passing lane which will make racing at Hoosier look like the standard mile races at Yonkers.

Of course, there will be one group happy.  Drivers at Hoosier have been posting their excitement of the passing lane coming to Hoosier Park.  We will see how business at Hoosier reacts to the change.  Somehow, I don't believe handle will be going up anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

When introduced years ago, I thought a passing lane would lead to more exciting racing. I was wrong.

Marv said...

What a waste of money and effort. How often do you see a horse get locked in on a miler or 7/8th track? Almost never.

Anonymous said...

The passing lane is just terrible on the twice arounds as it rewards drivers for sitting on the fence. Also, the skill of using the first over horse to keep a pocket sitter loaded with pace all locked up no longer has any value.

But on the larger tracks, the passing lane works just fine. At Balmoral it often led to finishes with five or six horses across the track. Besides that, even though the Meadowlands has no passing lane, horses almost always have room up the inside due to the naturally tendency of tired horses to bear out.

Anyway, I don't believe the passing lane will have much effect on the style of racing at Hoosier. And I don't believe Hoosier's tiny handle has anything to do with low payoffs or the races themselves at all. In fact, Hoosier has a great racing product. They race at odd times in order to better serve their casino business. But that's where we've let the business go. For a casino corporation Hoosier treats racing about as well as could be hoped.

The Meadowlands is gonna get their casino. But harness fan Jeff Gural ain't gonna live forever.

JLB said...

The passing lane has probably had the biggest impact on the decreasing movement now seen during most races on half mile tracks.