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Old 07-06-2022, 04:08 PM   #1
Cholly
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& the beat goes on...

https://paulickreport.com/news/the-b...show-declines/
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Old 07-06-2022, 04:19 PM   #2
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The numbers were down in June because the Belmont Stakes handle was down over $12 million. It's fairly simple.
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Old 07-06-2022, 07:17 PM   #3
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Is there a particular reason Belmont was down that much? I get there was no TC in play, but, same deal last year.
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Old 07-06-2022, 07:30 PM   #4
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A bit of a rant incoming. This got longer than I intended, but it is my thoughtful considerations on our favorite sport.

These small statistical differences are insignificant compared to the myriad combination of both positive and negative factors caused by COVID, IMO. That's a cocktail that is not easily unpacked outside of an academic paper and accompanying statistical analysis.

As far as contraction, horse racing is best off being non-reliant on factors outside of the industry like state subsidies and, even, dare I say, non-racing gambling revenue. A healthier, smaller sport could very well be better for us horseplayers and the product on the track in general.

I realize that less tracks and less races and less horses means less jobs, which is a very real negative outcome that affects people and their families. We need to figure out how to offset that impact with things like support services for backstretch workers, which could include both public and private funding support.

The industry has to evolve and innovate more quickly to the rapidly changing gambling market. Just look at the typical demographic of any OTB or simulcast center at a track. The sport needs to do more to attract the billions of dollars that DraftKings, FanDuel and the others are pulling in.

We also need a national governing body for horse racing, or at least a national horse racing commissioner that has real power over state commissions. Imagine if the AFC North had CFL rules like only three downs and 110-yard fields and goalposts in the endzone, but the NFC South had the typical NFL rules.

Bonkers, but that's what we see in horse racing every day.
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Old 07-06-2022, 07:52 PM   #5
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Is there a particular reason Belmont was down that much? I get there was no TC in play, but, same deal last year.
Field size that day surely played into it and the theoretical post pandemic, sort of, year likely saw gains that in some ways weren't sustainable.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:24 PM   #6
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:35 PM   #7
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While we're spit-balling I'll throw my hat into the ring and say the people who had $200 per month in throwaway money probably don't have it anymore with the price of everything going up. I know for me personally I'm paying $200 more per month at the pump, plus the cost of food went up substantially and it wasn't cheap before. I put $50 to win on the Belmont, couldn't stay out of that at 5-2. On the other side of the spectrum you have the people with plenty of money who are probably looking to finally travel again. I think that plays into gains that probably weren't sustainable angle. Priorities may have shifted temporarily. A lot of people will be back eventually if wages can catch up with inflation. 2% raises and 8% inflation, not a rosy outlook atm.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:39 PM   #8
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This is one quote from that article :

ďPari-mutuel wagering experts consider field size to be a key factor in betting volume.Ē

Umm hello you donít need to be an expert to figure that one out. Less entries means less wagering. Itís not rocket science.

Iíve already brought this up before but I guarantee that Saratoga has smaller fields then years past. Do I like it ? No. If it rains which we surely know will happen then that means even smaller fields because for whatever reason trainers love to scratch at Scratchatoga.

Another thing not mentioned in that article that I feel is more important then most is on track attendance.The more on track attendance bleeds the worse off things will get. This sport will never survive on just simulcasting alone. Numbers donít lie ....look at Belmontís on track attendance this year.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:47 PM   #9
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While we're spit-balling I'll throw my hat into the ring and say the people who had $200 per month in throwaway money probably don't have it anymore with the price of everything going up. I know for me personally I'm paying $200 more per month at the pump, plus the cost of food went up substantially and it wasn't cheap before. I put $50 to win on the Belmont, couldn't stay out of that at 5-2. On the other side of the spectrum you have the people with plenty of money who are probably looking to finally travel again. I think that plays into gains that probably weren't sustainable angle. Priorities may have shifted temporarily. A lot of people will be back eventually if wages can catch up with inflation. 2% raises and 8% inflation, not a rosy outlook atm.
There are people( probably most) on here who actually believe Saratogaís attendance and on track wagering wonít be down this year. Inflation is a recipe for disaster and history has already shown us what the outcome will be. Hopefully for everyoneís sake itís as minimal as possible but to think there will be zero impact from the economy is preposterous.
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Old 07-07-2022, 08:46 AM   #10
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It will be interesting to see the handle numbers if we end up in a deep recession with job losses as the Fed keeps tightening to fight inflation. I see very little analysis out there from "experts" that tries to control for the impact of the economy and jobs. IMO, a lot of the time positive results are just cyclical upticks in the secular decline.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:21 AM   #11
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Not to be abjectly positive, but some very good racing this weekend. Some good horses, and some full fields with multiple contending parties.
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Old 07-07-2022, 01:40 PM   #12
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Recent past implies that a robust economy may help out Breeders via higher sales prices, but itís difficult to make any correlation between economic conditions and racing handle. The favorable conditions (low unemployment, surging stock market) of the past twelve years certainly havenít been any great driver of handle. In any case, economic conditions are something the horse race industry has no control over.

What the industry could do is address this structural disconnect: larger fields increase revenue for the tracks, but in the current system, larger fields are a punitive burden on Owners & Trainers. The industry needs to inject some flexibility into purse sizes and how theyíre distributed so that significant percentages of the increased revenue that results from larger fields finds its way to the connections of the horses running 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.
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Old 07-07-2022, 02:47 PM   #13
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Field sizes and handle dont matter to these people. As long as purses and auction numbers continue to rise, f*** everyone else.
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Old 07-07-2022, 03:03 PM   #14
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Handle could well be down at Saratoga, last year's handle was a record by a substantial margin, but the economy is low as far as a possible factor for that. Weather will always be the biggest issue. Lose two Saturdays to rain and you can't be up. Field size is clearly the second biggest factor. Those two variables are also linked.

If field size is the same as 2021, and the weather is comparable, we will likely do similar numbers. Those, however, are big ifs.
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Old 07-07-2022, 03:22 PM   #15
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Handle could well be down at Saratoga, last year's handle was a record by a substantial margin, but the economy is low as far as a possible factor for that. Weather will always be the biggest issue. Lose two Saturdays to rain and you can't be up. Field size is clearly the second biggest factor. Those two variables are also linked.

If field size is the same as 2021, and the weather is comparable, we will likely do similar numbers. Those, however, are big ifs.
The small ups and and downs in the economy don't matter and probably won't factor at Saratoga this year at all, but the 2008-2011 period was a disaster for racing overall when we were in a deep recession and jobs hadn't really recovered. We still haven't gotten back to those peak levels. To me that suggests we are still in a large secular decline that was somewhat masked in recent years by the recovery from that recession period.

I haven't seen data going way back, but jobs have to matter, just not right now.

That's why I am very interested to see what happens in the next serious economic decline (that we may be getting close to with the Fed tightening). If it's as bad as the last one and the impact on handle as bad, a lot of tracks are going to be in trouble.

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