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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Onus is on the Horsemen

If you are like most people, you probably are unable to see the races from Kawartha Downs.  On Saturday, there was a RUS event there and it turned into a small, but excellent race.  Considering it was the first race of the season, I myself was surprised as to the competitiveness of it; it usually gets this good later in the year.

Anyway, with a late defection, the field was reduced to five.  Enough talking; let's take a look at the replay.

The handle for the race was $3,092 which was 10% of the overall handle for the 10 race card ($30,692).  Looking at the handles for the individual pools (it had the largest win handle of the day), it is clear this race would have had a larger handle but the exotic handles were suppressed due to the five horse field.

RUS is being accepted in Ontario.  It is only the shortage of horses which keeps it from being an even more successful program as more horses allows for more races.

As for the lower 48, there is no doubt RUS will be successful if given a fair chance.  It is just a question of exposure and familiarity.  As in Canada, there is a shortage of horses (more riders wouldn't hurt), but the shortage is due to a lack of wagering being offered on the races which would allow for greater frequency and higher purses.  Unless horsemen work to legalize RUS in their states, it will never happen.

Should RUS falter in the United States, the horsemen will be responsible for not supporting his type of standardbred racing.  It will also be an indicator of which way the sport will be heading.


Anonymous said...

"As for the lower 48, there is no doubt RUS will be successful if given a fair chance"

No, it will NEVER catch on because it's bad racing, with wildly unpredictable variables, and much more akin to playing the lottery, than playing horses. Your obsession with this "novelty" has blinded your judgment horribly, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the only thing there's "no doubt" about is that RUS will NEVER play a significant role in American harness racing (because no player that bets any kind of "serious" money will ever take this farce seriously).

Pacingguy said...

I disagree. The quality and predictability will improve as there are more racing opportunities and they are able to apply conditions to the racing. RUS will have a market because it is successful in Europe and if it can be successful there, why can't it be here?

You suggest serious money will never be wagered on RUS. If you can get the type of money being wagered on amateur races at the Meadowlands, you can get the same type wagered on RUS.

The key to success is familiarity. One or two races a year will not build this familiarity. Seeing RUS racing more frequently will build familiarity. See horses racing in proper classes will result in competitive racing.

Do I think we will see full cards of RUS? By all means not. Do I think we can see one race a day on a racing program? Absolutely. As I said, it is all about getting wagering approved and it getting a fair chance. Then and only then will we be able to ascertain whether or not the wagering public will accept or reject it. At this point, let the market forces decide whether or not it continues.

JLB said...

My thoughts are much closer to that of Anonymous, rather than of PacingGuy. The harness racing industry is in such a terrible decline that energies should be expended to weed out the bad apples, reduce race dates, establish schedules that do not overlap, and reduce takeout. Easy? Hardly, but RUS cannot make a contribution until these major issues are addressed.