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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Great Race Place Returns to Greatness—Minus Bettors?

Apparently the return to real dirt at Santa Anita is a smashing success—no race breakdowns, and two track records set, including one by the War Front juvenile The Factor (whose mother happens to be a half-sister to the precocious 1999 BC Juvenile runner-up Chief Seattle). The other record-setting performance was by Twirling Candy in the G1 Malibu Stakes, besting a two-decades-old record held by the great Spectacular Bid. With apologies to the son of Candy Ride, I saw Spectacular Bid race, and he’s no Bid.

However, as many have rightly noted (but none perhaps as well as Jessica Chapel), the economic news is not so great, as total handle was down 21.5% on Sunday. Whether due to the East Coast blizzard, an effective horseplayers’ boycott, or some other explanation, it’s evident that people just weren’t laying out money on Horse Betting. Count me among them, although it has nothing to do with protesting higher takeout rates or waiting to see how the track played, and my internet service functioned normally as we avoided the storm this time. Instead, call it apathy.

Frankly, I just don’t care about California racing anymore. Call it East Coast bias if you will, but I just feel more confident wagering my dollars on form that makes sense. Over the past several years, results from California tracks have been mind-boggling inconsistent and downright frustrating to interpret, and I’ve given up trying. So, now with dirt back, I’m suppose to relearn all the angles again? Fuggeddabodit! I have neither the inclination nor the time to invest—and there are (as I have bemoaned previously) too damn many races already. Instead, I’ll sit back and enjoy playing plenty of nice full cards at Tampa Bay this winter, along with Fair Grounds and, yes, even the much-maligned Aqueduct inner track. To satisfy my turf fetish, Australia never fails to attract my wagering dollar either, so good luck, California! If you think I'll be pissing my money away on your racing you're dreamin.

Perhaps Screeching Weasel said it best:


gib. said...

I have never paid much attention to California racing, but played on opening day. It was one of the few games in town. It fit into the family holiday schedule (I'm on in the eastern time zone), and I wanted to see the dirt fly.

The racing was controversaly speed, but fair as far as I could tell. It was a good day.

Anonymous said...

"Over the past several years, results from California tracks have been mind-boggling inconsistent and downright frustrating to interpret, and I’ve given up trying. So, now with dirt back, I’m suppose to relearn all the angles again?"

This sums it up for a lot of horse players who have been treated like "guinea Pigs" for misguided experiments.


The_Knight_Sky said...

While I am not wagering on Cal-racing for the immediate future, I "am" paying attention to California racing.

It is important to the entire thoroughbred racing industry that the leaders right the ship.

The problem are the people in charge. Not the horses. Not the surfaces. Stay tuned.

Nihilator said...


Shut the f_ck up with your polital bullshit. If we wanted your opinion we would ask for it. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one of them.

Now go back to that hole you crawled out of and get the f_ck off this blog and get the f_ck out of our country.

steve w said...

Has anyone thought about insulting the business model of Racinos is to the raceing fan and how the interests of the racing fan are completely ignored.These track owners beg the states to allow slots at their race tracks in order to save racing.I have no problems with their pleas. What I do have a problem with is after expenses the remaining $ should be allocated to reducing takeout. Why should track owners be enriched by the addition of slots.Isn't the benefit of the added revenue supposed to go to the racing public in higher purses and better racing.Why are racing fans so docile. Every racing fan should be outraged at how the track owners are using us to enrich themselves. Reduced takeout would increase fan participation. Isn't that the whole argument for implementing racinos. Lets get mad and start demanding lower takeout at racinos. Do I hear any agreement?

LetItRideMike said...

I have played horses for a long, long time, and I have not found a track any easier to handicap than the first couple of days of this SA dirt surface. Taking my second day off this week to go play it. Step 1, find the speed. Step 2 - throw everyone else out. Its pretty much that simple, and horses that should go under 2-1 have been paying $ 10.80.

LetItRideMike said...

Nihilator, your mother must be very proud. :+<

Anonymous said...

Typical east coast snob. Bob Baffert and the west coast will clean house this summer, especially in the first weekend in May.

the Source of the James said...

Who sez "no break downs"???
Not true...