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Old 04-27-2009, 03:04 PM   #31
andymays
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My home tracks are in California so I still play them. The problem is the pace of the races. Particularly the Pro Ride at Santa Anita. Most of the Jocks have the brakes on early and are running up on heals in the first part of two turn races. The synthetic surface at Santa Anita produced close to 50% carryovers which is unheard of.

On dirt surface when I play pick 3's and 4's I would rarely spread much and would always play $5 to $30 and then go 1 by 2 by 2 by 2. On a synthetic surface it's $1 or $2 and I play 2 by 2 by 4 by 4 and sometimes more.

It's all going to come down to Horseplayers voting with their dollars and the market will dictate who survives!
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:12 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JeremyJet
Once again we agree, Andy. But the surfaces issue is a major topic. The surfaces some of these tracks employ is the only reason the players are turning away. So what does it matter if they're doing everthing else right if the players go bye-bye because of the surface?

Regards,

JeremyJet
Dean already said this, but it bears repeating.

The thing is, the dropoff in hanle is based of of last year's numbers. Keeneland already had the new surface last year, so it shouldn't have had that much of an effect on handle.

Everyone can complain about the surface all they want(and I won't disagree), but the dropoff is post surface change.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:25 PM   #33
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Of particular interest to me while reading Mr. Williams's response to Andy was the second to last sentence. It seemed to me that Mr. Williams wanted to take the opportunity to remind Andy as to why these AWSs were supposedly installed in the first place and appeal to Andy's conscience. The fact is we can all be thankful, for reasons that are self-evident, that there were no catastrophic injuries sustained by any horse competing over the course of the three week meet at Keeneland. Along those same lines many of us were equally thankful last summer when there were no catastrophic breakdowns on the Saratoga main track during the course of its six week meet, a fact that seemed to draw very little attention at the time. Saratoga, of course, is a traditional dirt surface.

Personally, I'll handicap a race on any surface as long as I think I might be able to find value. My own concerns about the proliferation of synthetic surfaces has nothing to do with their complexities as much as it has to do with preserving our dirt track heritage. I do think it's unfortunate that when those with concerns, such as Andy, take the time to communicate these concerns with industry officials that they can expect what amounts to a condescending admonition. Maybe I was reading too much between the lines but that's how it came across to me. This discussion can never seem to get anywhere when one side continues to piously perch themselves on a higher moral plane while devaluing the other side as nothing more than a collection of degenerate goons insensitive to the well-being of the horse and lacking the mental capacity and initiative required to learn something new.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:44 PM   #34
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Let's not forget that keeneland has a vested interest in poly as well. So the safety issue is not as high a moral ground as they profess.
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bobzilla
Of particular interest to me while reading Mr. Williams's response to Andy was the second to last sentence. It seemed to me that Mr. Williams wanted to take the opportunity to remind Andy as to why these AWSs were supposedly installed in the first place and appeal to Andy's conscience. The fact is we can all be thankful, for reasons that are self-evident, that there were no catastrophic injuries sustained by any horse competing over the course of the three week meet at Keeneland. Along those same lines many of us were equally thankful last summer when there were no catastrophic breakdowns on the Saratoga main track during the course of its six week meet, a fact that seemed to draw very little attention at the time. Saratoga, of course, is a traditional dirt surface.

Personally, I'll handicap a race on any surface as long as I think I might be able to find value. My own concerns about the proliferation of synthetic surfaces has nothing to do with their complexities as much as it has to do with preserving our dirt track heritage. I do think it's unfortunate that when those with concerns, such as Andy, take the time to communicate these concerns with industry officials that they can expect what amounts to a condescending admonition. Maybe I was reading too much between the lines but that's how it came across to me. This discussion can never seem to get anywhere when one side continues to piously perch themselves on a higher moral plane while devaluing the other side as nothing more than a collection of degenerate goons insensitive to the well-being of the horse and lacking the mental capacity and initiative required to learn something new.

I think your instincts are dead on when reading into Mr. Williams comments. When Del Mar installed their synthetic surface and anyone spoke out against it they were labeled "Horse Haters" and told that they didn't care if children were traumatized if they saw a breakdown at the Races on a dirt surface. Bob Baffert was villified to no end when he spoke out against synthetic surfaces and he was almost run out of town.

The trend in our society seems to be that it's not enough to disagree you have to destroy the people you disagree with through personal attacks and inuendo. That's part of the reason I am so against synthetic surfaces for racing (not training). There are still injuries and breakdowns on sythetic surfaces (maybe a little less), but the Horseplayer is not served well by these surfaces. When faced with the fact that synthetic surfaces were not what we were sold in the infomercial they just won't concede an inch in the debate. In my opinion they produce a more inconsistent past performance because they can change drastically from day to day and hour to hour. Heck they even change when a cloud passes over and the temperature changes 7 degrees!

That brings me back to Del Mar and last year they decided to water after the second race. In the third race after they watered more horses went wire to wire than in the other races especially the first race. Joe Harper was interviewed and said they keep a thermometer in the surface and constantly monitor the temperature. Oh that makes me feel confident in the surface!

Anyway I have to give Mr. Williams credit for answering and he was very polite and probably a very nice man. My criticism of his surface had to piss him off so hats off to him for responding.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:21 PM   #36
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do you think odds changes have anything to do with this problem?

do you think people like to bet horses that leave the gate @ 4-1 and pay $6.40 when you greet the cashier?

or maybe you even like it better when an exacta drops from $900 in the winners circle to just under a tax ticket when the cashier greets you?

of course we all know why this happens, its the SIMULCAST MONEY every single time. those guys down at the simulcast outlets are alot smarted than those kentucky guys!
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:38 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamboguy
do you think odds changes have anything to do with this problem?

do you think people like to bet horses that leave the gate @ 4-1 and pay $6.40 when you greet the cashier?

or maybe you even like it better when an exacta drops from $900 in the winners circle to just under a tax ticket when the cashier greets you?

of course we all know why this happens, its the SIMULCAST MONEY every single time. those guys down at the simulcast outlets are alot smarted than those kentucky guys!
Computer programs set to bet with a half a minute to post by big bettors are probably a very big reason, as they have to wait until the last possible moment to see if they are getting a overlay.
Too many on the same horse can cause an underlay by the time all bets are in.
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Old 04-27-2009, 06:47 PM   #38
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The thing is, the dropoff in hanle is based of of last year's numbers. Keeneland already had the new surface last year, so it shouldn't have had that much of an effect on handle.
Yes, and, if I played KEE last year then decided to not play it this year, my lack of participation would be a part of the drop. So don't jump to a partially invalid conclusion.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #39
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Keeneland will never admit that the decline in handle has to do with Polytrack.

What a bunch of jokers. They spent millions of dollars to install a surface that horseplayers didn't want.

The players who said they don't care are not winning either. I know you all like to play devils advocate, but you are not winning more money with polytrack. You are either staying the same, or getting worse.

If you can show me a player who was a winning long run player on dirt who is now winning MORE on polytrack, i'll show you 10 who are not.

The only way you can win in the long run as a horseplayer is to be able to really predict the pace of the races with a strong degree of accuracy. You can't just blindly bet on horses who are going to be pace compromised and be a long run winner.

The margin of profit is so thin, that you can't have a few more races Per 100 that you are totally confused about the pace scenario. Most of these races at keeneland and Del Mar are so competitive, so evenly matched, that if you have no idea how fast the pace is going to be, you have to idea whether you should bet a speed horse or a closer. If you see 3 speeds on paper on a dirt track, you know they are going to be going gangbusters. You can actually handicap the race. On polytrack, 2 of those jocks grab hard and one of them gets loose and the entire complexion of the race changes, and not for the 'bettor'. First of all, you don't know which 2 jocks are going to 'grab' and you don't even know IF they'll grab. So, you are left having absolutely no idea how the race is going to shape up. Once in a while you will be right, but you are going to be wrong too often to turn a long run profit.

The inability to predict rider intent on Polytrack is the difference between winning and losing. (not to mention how tricky the surface is anyway even excluding jockey strategy).

Losing tons of money on closers is the fastest way to the poorhouse when you predict speed duels that never develop.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:58 PM   #40
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[QUOTE=Bobzilla]Of particular interest to me while reading Mr. Williams's response to Andy was the second to last sentence. It seemed to me that Mr. Williams wanted to take the opportunity to remind Andy as to why these AWSs were supposedly installed in the first place and appeal to Andy's conscience. The fact is we can all be thankful, for reasons that are self-evident, that there were no catastrophic injuries sustained by any horse competing over the course of the three week meet at Keeneland. Along those same lines many of us were equally thankful last summer when there were no catastrophic breakdowns on the Saratoga main track during the course of its six week meet, a fact that seemed to draw very little attention at the time. Saratoga, of course, is a traditional dirt surface.

Personally, I'll handicap a race on any surface as long as I think I might be able to find value. My own concerns about the proliferation of synthetic surfaces has nothing to do with their complexities as much as it has to do with preserving our dirt track heritage. I do think it's unfortunate that when those with concerns, such as Andy, take the time to communicate these concerns with industry officials that they can expect what amounts to a condescending admonition. Maybe I was reading too much between the lines but that's how it came across to me. This discussion can never seem to get anywhere when one side continues to piously perch themselves on a higher moral plane while devaluing the other side as nothing more than a collection of degenerate goons insensitive to the well-being of the horse and lacking the mental capacity and initiative required to learn something new.[/QUOTE]

Bob, your piece was well said, written and gets a Big Amen BRUDDAH! Be careful, their are some who will say you are a Bigot. Biggoted against what, you ask? I don't know. But, you will have an opposite opinion of what their little minds hold as truths. Therefore, you are the Bigot.

Thanks for expressing (better than I) my Bigotry.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:46 PM   #41
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These debates are certainly interesting. When change happens to us as horseplayers we do not like it, and never have really. I took a completely different look when these surfaces came in though, namely if I want to play racing I have to try and learn them. Why? Because they are going to be a part of racing forever.

European horseplayers embrace all weather, as they do turf racing, and I believe that there is a way to work these tracks into ones repitoire as many here have mentioned: CJ, Jeff, Dave S and others. I know people might not want to hear this opinion, but here goes: Keeneland this meet was about as fair as any track I have played for the last twelve months. If people did not take the time to give it a shot, use the polycapping database and try and model the track and the trainers, they were missing out on some good betting opps, in my opinion.

I hate to post things anymore because everytime I do someone thinks it is a HANA post. This is just me as a player. I blew my brains out the first poly meet at KEE a couple of years ago and was swearing at it just like everyone else. I blamed all my defeats on the surface. But once I started doing some due diligence the track was not this engima. I found it was me. Ever since last year I have had good meets betting there, and every time it shuts down I wish it had not. It is a super place to play racing.

Please do not jump on me because you disagree. It is just my opinion as a horseplayer. I believe we have to be open minded in racing. I am of the opine that if horses race on jello I might not like it, but I would try to model the jello and find some overlaid winners. It is just the way I am as a horseplayer I guess - stubborn.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:22 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by DJofSD
Yes, and, if I played KEE last year then decided to not play it this year, my lack of participation would be a part of the drop. So don't jump to a partially invalid conclusion.
So you're saying that someone might play a meet on an entirely unknown surface the first year it's offered, and then decide not to play on the same surface the next year. Sorry, but that makes no sense to me.

If anything, a new surface creates a learning curve, and the amount of handle should increase as handicappers become familiar with the surface. If you invested last year, but not this year, then you really can't blame the surface.

That's just my 2 cents, but I think a lot of players are using the surface as an excuse. (I'm not saying I did any good at KEE myself this year, I did terrible)
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:28 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Charli125
So you're saying that someone might play a meet on an entirely unknown surface the first year it's offered, and then decide not to play on the same surface the next year. Sorry, but that makes no sense to me.

If anything, a new surface creates a learning curve, and the amount of handle should increase as handicappers become familiar with the surface. If you invested last year, but not this year, then you really can't blame the surface.

That's just my 2 cents, but I think a lot of players are using the surface as an excuse. (I'm not saying I did any good at KEE myself this year, I did terrible)
I think a lot of players have the attitude "why should i HAVE To learn a new surface?"

If every surface in America was poly or Synth, than you would be forced to learn. As it stands now, you are not forced to learn anything, you can bet dirt if you want to and you won't have to waste your time relearning how to ride a bike again.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:41 PM   #44
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I think a lot of players have the attitude "why should i HAVE To learn a new surface?"
That's a good point, and I agree.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:23 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Charli125
So you're saying that someone might play a meet on an entirely unknown surface the first year it's offered, and then decide not to play on the same surface the next year. Sorry, but that makes no sense to me.

If anything, a new surface creates a learning curve, and the amount of handle should increase as handicappers become familiar with the surface. If you invested last year, but not this year, then you really can't blame the surface.

That's just my 2 cents, but I think a lot of players are using the surface as an excuse. (I'm not saying I did any good at KEE myself this year, I did terrible)
No, it was not an unknown surface. And, no, I am not blaming the surface.

Given a preference, I'd have regular old dirt. But as has been stated, AWS is not going to go away, so, I'll pick my spots. And so I've choosen not to play the main track at KEE. Is that a condemnation of AWS? Perhaps. However, I am looking forward to DMR especially if it is the DMR surface of 2008 and not the surface of 2007.

I've always played turf and have found that for the amount of time I have available for handicapping, turf races offers more. I understand racing and pace when it comes to the green stuff. For the AWS at KEE, I found I did not understand it very well. For those that do or find other more traditional approaches to handicapping KEE, that's great. For myself, well, I just try to remember what Dirty Harry says: a man has got to know his limitations.

There is a learning curve for AWS. Perhaps the decline in the handle means a majority of bettors are not very high up the curve.
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