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Poll: What is Racing's Biggest Problem?
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What is Racing's Biggest Problem?

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Old 11-04-2008, 06:32 PM   #16
proximity
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* 25% takeouts

* 35% trainers

* 45% owners

* wagering accounts with 1.50+ rois and frequent past "off time" cancellations

* the proliferation of conditional claiming races, many with exorbitant purses

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Old 11-04-2008, 06:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john del riccio
I agree with Dan, I was looking for all of the above and I would add the
integrity of the jockey colony to your list. What I have seen over the last year has made me feel like I don't truly know this game for what it has become.

JOhn
I want to ask everyone a question concerning fixed races and jockey integrity. Do you personally know who (individual or group) that is in charge to make sure riders aren't fixing races?

I think that its supposed to be the stewards, but i don't think they are necessarily watching races with the idea that they are looking for fixed races. I don't think the stewards are looking at 'funny looking' rides and then going down to the basement and analyzing betting patterns.

As far as i know, the FBI isn't actively analyzing every cheap claiming races from every track in the USA on a daily basis. They aren't sitting up to the wee hours of the night analyzing betting patterns in all these races that are run throughout the country.

Also, if you feel that you lost money because of the fix being 'in' who do you contact that is going to legitimately research your concerns?

Seriously, do we know who is in charge? Is there a person who's responsibility is to watch the races with binoculars to see that every jock is giving his full effort all the way to the wire? I don't think such a person exists.

Maybe this is all part of handicapping and its not a race 'fix' issue. Maybe as a bettor its your responsibility to know which jocks 'mail it in' on certain occasions and which jocks are going to beat a 5k claimer with a billyclub to garner a 5th place finish on every mount they ride.

Still, i would feel better if i knew someone was watching these little men to make sure they are riding every mount with vigor and energy to the line. A lot of these 'usual suspects' are high profile riders at major curcuits who don't care about getting 3rd/4th/5th if they are beaten for the win with 70 yards remaining.

I consistently read the stewards rulings and very seldom, if ever, notice a jock getting a large fine or suspension for not riding out a mount to the line.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imriledup

I think that its supposed to be the stewards, but i don't think they are necessarily watching races with the idea that they are looking for fixed races. I don't think the stewards are looking at 'funny looking' rides and then going down to the basement and analyzing betting patterns.
john could certainly tell you better than me, but i don't think it's entirely a betting issue. many times this can involve the integrity of the jockey vs his/her (or the agent's) relationship with other connections in the race.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slewis
I've got some bad news for everyone who posted on this thread:


Each of you make good points, the bad news is that it's going to get far worse.
Racing is being controlled and manipulated by a group of elite, well connected and wealthy individuals who want to control the sport (and do) for their own personal gain.
They have reached across state lines to accomplish this and have strategically placed "their" people in prominient racing posts to assure the outcome of their agenda.
Now, with the implementation of slots, the handle becomes less and less of an issue and decline thereof will be countered by infusion of funds from the former.
This makes it even easier for tracks to say "go to hell" to they're supporters, the bettors, and believe me, after dealing with these guys on numerous occasions, those are precisely their words.

The installation of these artificial surfaces is a perfect example of decisions made in this industry without proper research to make an intelligent choice.
Just last week I briefly asked Bill Mott what he thought and he told me what many others are saying: It maybe, maybe, helps in some areas, and is worse in others and clearly not worth racing on it.
He thought that "only for training" might be the way to go.
He also told me of a very prominient jockey (who I wont name) who has complained to him of severe nose bleeds on the evenings when riding on synthetic tracks in the afternoon.
Think anyone bothered to do research regarding possible respiratory issues for jocks when they breathe ground tires and carpet fibers??

Several weeks ago, I posted this "agenda" regarding the banning of toe grabs and mud calks..... I provided NYRA trainers with a study which can be substantiated regarding injury statistics. (I pointed out that the trainers of this elite group that have taken control of the sport dont use toe grabs or mud calks, and they feel they are at a disadvantage to those trainers who do). The study clearly showed what all top trainers knew, the use of toe grabs and/or mud calks have no correlation with injury, in fact in the case of mud calks, horses were less likely to be injured.
I mean realistically, mud calks had been used in racing for over 50 yrs, and if they were excessively dangerous, horses would be snapping their legs with them left and right. I posted a list of the GREAT horses that have raced in them.

So, they ( racing elite )come up with an UNSUBTANTIATED study (probably never thinking in a million years someone would actually have a REAL study) and they implement rules nationwide to control what shoes all horses race in.
When NYRA management was confronted with this ( the REAL STUDY )at a horsemen's meeting, NYRA management were dumbfounded like deer in headlights.

The only way anything is ever going to get accomplished in this sport isn't going to happen.
You need a serious boycott of betting for a good 3 weeks or so.
I applaude HANA and what they are trying to accomplish.... it's a very uphill fight.
For those that think I'm making this "elietist" thing up, well, I'm not alone...
read the following:
http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/tag/steve-duncker
Slewis,
You've almost convinced me, but I have some questions:
1) If Phipps et al are so powerful, how did NYRA lose the BC?
2) Would NYRA go synthetic if it had the money?
3) Who was responsible for the Saratoga track maintenance when the meet went breakdown-free on dirt? Was anything being done differently?
4) Why can't you and supporters of your mud-caulk/toe-grab position legally challenge the regulation?
5) Is their any connection between the "Elite" group and the THG/TOC?
6) Would the Jocky Club/BC-NTRA et al group have to control any national industry governing authority?
a. What percentage of horse owners don't support the elite group both in New York and nationwide?
b. How is the value of racing stock distributed among them percentage-wise?
7) Why does the THG exempt RGS/Elite when blocking signals?
a. What % of whales are horsemen?
b. Can a boycott be effective without whales?
c. What would make a whale be willing to boycott?
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:33 PM   #20
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I voted customer service. The industry has removed "customer" from customer service. If the powers to be were to put the customer (us players) back first, or even included, IMHO, the majority of the other problems would work themselves out.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indulto
Slewis,
You've almost convinced me, but I have some questions:
1) If Phipps et al are so powerful, how did NYRA lose the BC?
2) Would NYRA go synthetic if it had the money?
3) Who was responsible for the Saratoga track maintenance when the meet went breakdown-free on dirt? Was anything being done differently?
4) Why can't you and supporters of your mud-caulk/toe-grab position legally challenge the regulation?
5) Is their any connection between the "Elite" group and the THG/TOC?
6) Would the Jocky Club/BC-NTRA et al group have to control any national industry governing authority?
a. What percentage of horse owners don't support the elite group both in New York and nationwide?
b. How is the value of racing stock distributed among them percentage-wise?
7) Why does the THG exempt RGS/Elite when blocking signals?
a. What % of whales are horsemen?
b. Can a boycott be effective without whales?
c. What would make a whale be willing to boycott?
I'll try answer these but of course some answers will be opinion.
I try and be as factual as possible and I've said before, those who know me on this forum know I dont BS.
1) Trust me Phipps IS racing. I dont think he cares about having the BC in NY.
He has no need to have NYRA financially successful, it means nothing to him, they are locked in for 25 yrs.
He races at Keeneland so I think he's probably open to the poly idea but that's my opinion. But what better way to build credibility for these surfaces then to have successful back to back breeders cup raced over them?
2) Haywood has stated they are entertaining Poly T down the road.
3)The previous track super (who was FORCED out) maintained the track. Hey, let me stress a point here, again opinion:
Hard and bad racetracks break down horses, mud calks and toe grabs DO NOT. State vets allowing horses to race when they should ot contributes more to breakdowns then any shoe. It was no coincedence that this SPA meet had no horses who broke down. I would bet if it could be varified that no horse went to post if there is any doubt regarding soundness, not always the case in the past.
That's what was done differently.
4) Trainers asked NYRA management if NYRA would be held accountable if a horse races on a surface where the trainer is not comfortable, but forced to shoe a certain way. NYRA from what I was told had no response.
Filing a lawsuit would be a waste of time, I doubt a judge would hear the case unless your horse broke down.
5) Dont know this one but I think the names in the Paulick report has it's hoof's everywhere.
6) Uhh.. they WOULD be that such organization... (do you know who a guy like Will Farish is? answer: He was Bush's appointment as ambassador to UK)
Who has more pull and power and money then these people??
a)I dont think many owners know what's taking place, this is a hobby for them and their trainers call the shots.
b)Look at the guys on the NYRA bd and look at the horses they race and how they're bred. Look at who they breed to (stallions) and the money they spend. It must KILL them when some small guy comes along and qualifies for the Derby with an inexpensive horse while they put hunderds of millions into the game and cant get there. Would you not agree that Phipps's racing operation is an argueable failure considering the amount of money they put into the game?
8) Trainers whales? I never met a trainer who's a REAL GOOD handicapper, I respect several opinions. I'm sure they exist, maybe not whales, but big bettors but probably not in NY. Dutrow has the best opinion of those I've delt with, Tagg the worst.
A boycott done effectively will probably (temporarily) force whales to the sideline or curtail their play as well.
Whales, I would think want as much money in the pools as possible so I would think that they would support any action that would lead to that.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
What is racings biggest problem

It lives in the past

Last edited by Charlie D; 11-04-2008 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbauer
"All of the above"

"None of the above"

They're the same. Every problem listed is valid, but in reality they aren't problems. They are symptons. The problem is that the industry's refusal to do what is necessary to make horse racing a robust business for everyone concerned over the long haul leaves it mired in a continuum of quick fixes in response to whatever each month's adverse public reaction places on the table. As soon as the clamor subsides it's back to business as usual.

At one time I was naive enough to think that the industry cared about "me" as a customer. Shame on me.
The industry doesn't know how to make it a robust business, because it is the people that have accomplished that, at those times that it was a robust business.

jdl
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:19 AM   #24
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What about an argument that racing really has no problems and its flourishing as much as can be expected given the fact that 99% of its customers lose money?

I think that racing fans are looking back at how successful racing was back in the day and we are comparing what we have today to what we used to have. But, what if you make the argument that what we used to have was a fluke and racing NOW is the way its supposed to be? Maybe we had more customers in the hey day but racing was destined to change with the times and we live in a completely different time and place in the universe.

Back in the day, there was no phone betting, no internet, no simulcasting and many less entertainment options not to mention ridiculous inflation making it less smart to travel out of your house to make a wager.. Why fight to get customers that we weren't entitled to in the first place?

Also, racing doesn't really get involved in free trade and competition and runs itself as more of a monopoly. Why wouldn't California, Kentucky or NY slash all takeout rates to 10% across the board and turn their own product into a super track that would lure almost every smart bettor around? If NY (for example) slashed all takeout to 10% across the board, would you play any other track? Would you even CONSIDER playing another track? Of course not, why would you?

But, racetracks are like gas stations and they have this price fixing thing going on. You can have a Shell station on the corner at 2.89 a gallon and a completely different gas station owned by someone totally different across the street and yep, you guessed it, that gas station will also be exactly 2.89. Why won't one of these stations lower their price to 2.88? Because the station across the street will do the same. Then, both companies will keep lowering their prices one penny until it gets to the point where it benefits no one. So, both stations MUST be in collusion with each other or how can you explain one station not lowering their price by a penny to steal the customers who don't care which gas they use?

Same thing with racetracks.........there doesn't seem to be 'competition' for the dollar, all tracks stick with the standard 17% win, 20% exactas and 25% trifecta takeouts pretty much across the board.

Why not just treat current customers like gold and stop trying to attract new customers? How many people are out in the USA are going to go to a racetrack for the very first time by themselves? Very few. But, most newbies are going to go with someone who's been there before. Most new customers are going with a current customer. Why not treat that current customer like gold?

I'll tell you why they don't treat the current customer like gold......its because there's no real competition. if you live in Los Angeles, you have to go to Hollywood/SA/FPX or you don't go at all. Only one of those tracks is open at a time, so you either patronize Hollywood (which is currently operating) or you don't go.

And, if you are a phone or internet bettor, every track has the same high takeout rates..........so, why would you bother switching wagering loyalties? It makes no sense to toss away years of experience betting one circuit unless it makes financial sense.........and, since every track pretty much has one standard takeout rate, it doesn't make any sense to switch, you would be tossing away your current base of knowledge to learn a completely different circuit that has the same exact pricing model.

Until one major racetrack breaks rank and lowers their takeout substantially, racing will continue to be one big fat monopoly where you either bet into 20% takeouts or you don't bet at all. Take it or leave it.
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Old 11-05-2008, 05:16 AM   #25
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Way back when it was the only legal gambling in town and you had to go in person.

A generation came along in the 60's and 70's who didn't have interest, rejected tradition of which racing was a part. The sport started to die.

By the time a generation came along that might have been enticed back into the sport, casinos exploded all over the landscape and offered nonstop action which required no special skill or effort, e.g. reading a form. Meantime the sport developed numerous bad habits, symptoms of it's decline if you will.

The sport now is in permanent decline. It's a snake eating it's own tail and which will eventually disappear.

It is fractured, crooked, drug-sated, antiquated, an ever- diminishing pie over which a set of greedy parasites squabble. These feudal barons of racing bleed their customers dry while finding new ways each month to withhold their tattered product from their last few remaining degenerate gambling customers.

If you wrote this up as a Hollywood movie it would not sell due to the absurdity of it - unless you created a racing Superman who flew in from planet Kryptonite and fixed everything and killed Lex Luthor, except in this film it would be Frank Stronich and Drew Cuoto's bastard radioactive love-child, instead of Lex.

Did that answer your poll?
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:59 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie D
It lives in the past
You nailed it.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:43 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imriledup
I want to ask everyone a question concerning fixed races and jockey integrity. Do you personally know who (individual or group) that is in charge to make sure riders aren't fixing races?

I think that its supposed to be the stewards, but i don't think they are necessarily watching races with the idea that they are looking for fixed races. I don't think the stewards are looking at 'funny looking' rides and then going down to the basement and analyzing betting patterns.

As far as i know, the FBI isn't actively analyzing every cheap claiming races from every track in the USA on a daily basis. They aren't sitting up to the wee hours of the night analyzing betting patterns in all these races that are run throughout the country.

Also, if you feel that you lost money because of the fix being 'in' who do you contact that is going to legitimately research your concerns?

Seriously, do we know who is in charge? Is there a person who's responsibility is to watch the races with binoculars to see that every jock is giving his full effort all the way to the wire? I don't think such a person exists.

Maybe this is all part of handicapping and its not a race 'fix' issue. Maybe as a bettor its your responsibility to know which jocks 'mail it in' on certain occasions and which jocks are going to beat a 5k claimer with a billyclub to garner a 5th place finish on every mount they ride.

Still, i would feel better if i knew someone was watching these little men to make sure they are riding every mount with vigor and energy to the line. A lot of these 'usual suspects' are high profile riders at major curcuits who don't care about getting 3rd/4th/5th if they are beaten for the win with 70 yards remaining.

I consistently read the stewards rulings and very seldom, if ever, notice a jock getting a large fine or suspension for not riding out a mount to the line.
I am not advocating that races are fixed. However, if certain jockeys don't try, would that consitute a race being "fixed"? Someone who I respect has conveyed to me on more than one occasion that when you first ride a journeymen rider on your horse, if he hasn't worked him in the AM, you are more likely that not to get a test drive the first time they ride you. The obvious exception is the rider that rides first or second call for a particular barn. Needless to say, I didnt heed his advice on several occasions this year and saw this very thing play out. Just one more slap in the teeth on top of all the other nonsense.

John

Last edited by john del riccio; 11-05-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #28
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Way to many scratches and changes

Race card data is put up for sale 48 hours before a race. If there is a scratch or change after data is put up for sale I would like to see a substantial fine imposed on the owner of the horse which would go unto the betting pool. That way when you have a say a turf race that starts with a field of 12 or 14 and gets scratched down to four or five there would be some real money in the pool. This would make these people get their act together.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:32 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by john del riccio
I am not advocating that races are fixed. However, if certain jockeys don't try, would that consitute a race being "fixed"? Someone who I respect has conveyed to me on more than one occasion that when you first ride a journeymen rider on your horse, if he hasn't worked him in the AM, you are more likely that not to get a test drive the first time they ride you. The obvious exception is the rider that rides first or second call for a particular barn. Needless to say, I didnt heed his advice on several occasions this year and saw this very thing play out. Just one more slap in the teeth on top of all the other nonsense.

John
Yeah, i believe that's the 64 dollar question. If an honest jockey just doesn't ride out his mount for whatever reason, as far as the horseplayer is concerned, there's no difference between the jock losing focus and the jock doing it on purpose. As a player, you don't care WHY a jock didn't ride hard to secure a minor board spot, you just know that he cost you money.

Its not a fixed result in a dishonest way, but the end result for the player is the same,less money in the pocketbook.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:05 PM   #30
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I voted for the drug issue since without legitimate outcomes of races, it becomes ONLY a betting proposition and no longer a sport. When Todd Pletcher wins a Grade 1 race, most people used to think it may be tainted. Now, most people don't really care that much because they know most of the industry is tainted. This is the exact reason boxing fell apart and became a quasi wrestling-like event.

However, there may be one problem bigger than all the rest: The failure of racing officials and stakeholders to possess forward thinking. Most people involved in the industry make decisions only on what benefits their immediate needs and not what benefits the sport in general. Without leadership in this area, it will be a dying carcas torn apart by those wolves looking to scrap a few margin dollars out of the game before it rots away.
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