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DeanT
02-13-2011, 08:58 PM
Dave shares his views via an article below. Please click link to read if interested (it's a little too long to print in full here..... he was a busy guy with this it seems!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dave Schwartz - "A Call to Arms in California"


http://media01.linkedin.com/mpr/mpr/shrink_80_80/p/1/000/07d/0b8/31877f0.jpg (http://media01.linkedin.com/mpr/mpr/shrink_80_80/p/1/000/07d/0b8/31877f0.jpg)
Dave Schwartz is a charter member of HANA and has been a successful vendor of handicapping software and training materials for the horseplayer since 1991. His website and blog is at http://thehorsehandicappingauthority.com/. He submitted this opinion piece to us this weekend, and we print it in its entirety below.


There is a battle waging in California right now between the tracks, the horsemen groups, the regulator and the horseplayer.

Oh, you won’t see it billed as having anything to do with the horseplayer, but make no mistake; it is all about the player. And by “horseplayer” I mean YOU!

The ultimate result of this battle in California will affect players everywhere, not just Santa Anita, Golden Gate and other California ovals.

For those of you who have not been following closely, California racing is in trouble. Track management and horsemen said they needed more revenue in order to increase purses, the end result being to improve the “entertainment value” of the product. That product definitely needs improvement because short, uncompetitive fields just cannot be called a “quality” product.

So, when the track decided that they needed more money for purses where did they turn?

They turned to the horse player, of course. As they always do

Read more at link:

http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2011/02/dave-schwartz-call-to-arms-in.html

Twenty Seven
02-14-2011, 03:02 AM
Good read.

Regarding the track's and horsemen's facile rationale for sticking it to horseplayers, I'm sure they thought that simulcasting would be a profitable add-on to the local product which would only add value to the home races by luring more people to the track where they'd be captivated by live horses, wagering on the inscrutable images on-screen only as an afterthought between the the live race action.

Speaking for myself and friends of mine -- intense, daily bettors into small-oval Hastings fare out of necessity -- opening up North America for our betting dollars was, indeed, as Schwartz mentions, absolute heaven. Much bigger pools, more exotics, often fuller fields, frequent action replacing the boredom with no betting between the only value (3 + hours ) in race #1 and race #9. Different angles! Turf! I could go on ....

In fact, then, very quickly, the local product became quaint, a fond but easily belittled and forgotten pastime. Brave new world!

I won't detail the bad management here -- almost every track has a similar, sad story -- but the answers that matter, lower takeout being number one, weren't on management's radar, and as far as I can tell, STILL aren't.

While local bettors at every track have long been able to intelligently assess the relative merits of their own track vs the simulcast fare, tracks putting on a bad product have still been able to capitalize on getting new $$ from those receiving their signal since the comparisons usually only manifest themselves after some time (quicker churn; inscrutability of the handicapping; form nightmares, etc ). But those days are finally coming to an end. Bettors are much more sophisticated now regarding ALL tracks, and if one is found wanting on some or many levels, why bother with it? Lots of tracks, anyway, and time is finite.

Power to the horseplayers !

andymays
02-14-2011, 03:39 AM
How about combining the threads? Go ahead and give Dean the credit with the thread in General Racing. Then Dean can send me the $500. LOL

PaceAdvantage
02-14-2011, 03:43 AM
How about combining the threads? Go ahead and give Dean the credit with the thread in General Racing. Then Dean can send me the $500. LOLWasn't much to combine...there wasn't much commentary on your initial post, was there?

I usually do combine threads, but didn't feel the need in this case...

Helles
02-14-2011, 08:29 AM
Excellent piece Dave.

lamboguy
02-14-2011, 08:56 AM
the numbers in california simply don't add up in today's world. workman's comp is to high there. the cost of living is to high. the takeout is to high. everything is high. everything i have mentioned is tied together, and that is why california racing is in big trouble. they can't get the top horses there to get the top meets like gulfstream. if the only solution that everyone seems to have and work on is takeout is to high, then the game is doomed there. within 3 years they will be just like sulfolk downs. 3 more years they will not exist. maybe this players strike is good for the other venues in the country, but that remains to be seen. the only impact this strike is having on california is sending it to its grave sooner and giving the game less time to get the problems worked out.


happy valentines day to all the horseplayers in the world, don't forget to buy your honey some roses

andymays
02-14-2011, 09:33 AM
Wasn't much to combine...there wasn't much commentary on your initial post, was there?

I usually do combine threads, but didn't feel the need in this case...

You're right.

Stillriledup
02-14-2011, 04:34 PM
the numbers in california simply don't add up in today's world. workman's comp is to high there. the cost of living is to high. the takeout is to high. everything is high. everything i have mentioned is tied together, and that is why california racing is in big trouble. they can't get the top horses there to get the top meets like gulfstream. if the only solution that everyone seems to have and work on is takeout is to high, then the game is doomed there. within 3 years they will be just like sulfolk downs. 3 more years they will not exist. maybe this players strike is good for the other venues in the country, but that remains to be seen. the only impact this strike is having on california is sending it to its grave sooner and giving the game less time to get the problems worked out.


happy valentines day to all the horseplayers in the world, don't forget to buy your honey some roses

For many years, California racing made lots of hay with the 'old' takeout rates. Some things have changed, namely, less bettors are betting less money.

So, normally, when customers go away, the idea is to get the ones who went away, to come back.

I can't think of too many companies who want to get old customers to come back by raising prices. It is a novel concept no doubt.

Maybe they're resigned themselves to the fact that they arent getting the customers who've left to come back, so to make up that deficit, they figure they'll just get more money out of the current customers.

rwwupl
02-14-2011, 08:52 PM
Dave Schwartz,


Excellent article,

Thank you.


Roger Way

highnote
02-15-2011, 03:19 AM
CA tracks say their racing is entertainment. They should ban betting on their racing and make it purely entertainment.

Some states have no pari-mutuel betting, but there are still organized horse races in those states. CA could do the same and let racing return to its roots. It would be racing at its purest. There would be a lot less cheating, one would hope, if there was no money involved. The horses would certainly benefit from not receiving a drug like Lasix before a race.

witchdoctor
02-18-2011, 09:03 PM
CA tracks say their racing is entertainment. They should ban betting on their racing and make it purely entertainment.

Some states have no pari-mutuel betting, but there are still organized horse races in those states.

They bet on those races also, it just isn't parimutual. Alsom the state gets no cut. A friend that ran horses said it was also nice that there wasn't a test barn.

highnote
02-18-2011, 09:25 PM
They bet on those races also, it just isn't parimutual. Alsom the state gets no cut. A friend that ran horses said it was also nice that there wasn't a test barn.

Good point. I have heard there are gentlemen's bets at some of non-pari mutuel jump meets,too.

Kelso
02-18-2011, 09:35 PM
A friend that ran horses said it was also nice that there wasn't a test barn.

Do ya think there's much in the way of "due process" when a cheater is caught?