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Old 05-26-2022, 05:10 PM   #31
JustRalph
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About?

The fact that tracks are closing already yet field sizes are not increasing?

Or an industry low takeout on Pick X bets at Sam Houston?
You said Texas puts out a good product compared to other states..............no way.
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Old 05-26-2022, 05:29 PM   #32
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You said Texas puts out a good product compared to other states..............no way.
Must judge it differently than I do.

I donít judge good products by 6 field stake races. I judge by good betting takeout.
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Old 05-26-2022, 06:02 PM   #33
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Must judge it differently than I do.

I donít judge good products by 6 field stake races. I judge by good betting takeout.
Thatís not what you said.


The stock is pretty low level and many are rejects from LA racing.

It hasnít been ďgoodĒ for a long time
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Old 05-27-2022, 04:14 AM   #34
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So a few more racetracks close. That's a good thing for the sport. We'll have larger fields, more competitive races at the other tracks.
And I wouldn't be able to wager at all.
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Old 05-27-2022, 09:47 AM   #35
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So a few more racetracks close. That's a good thing for the sport. We'll have larger fields, more competitive races at the other tracks.
Tracks have been closing, and it hasn't led to larger or more competitive fields. Quite the opposite actually. Foal crops the biggest factor in field size and they keep shrinking.
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:03 AM   #36
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Tracks have been closing, and it hasn't led to larger or more competitive fields. Quite the opposite actually. Foal crops the biggest factor in field size and they keep shrinking.
I would assume foal crops are down because the economics of breeding/owning are not good enough to encourage more of both.

IMO, if more owners were doing well, the demand for horses would rise. Breeders would supply them if the demand was high and they could get the prices they need to justify their investments.

The economics of owning are related to costs and purses.

The industry handle has been shrinking for years in "real" terms (inflation adjusted handle) but costs are rising. So despite some consolidation and casino money for some tracks, the benefit has not been enough to offset the overall trends. I think we are sort of treating the problem when we actually need major surgery.

The one thing I'll never understand is why so many owners are willing to pay so much for horses when most are losing their shirt. I can see paying a small premium for the joys of ownership, but the economics are pretty bad for most.
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:33 AM   #37
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Tracks have been closing, and it hasn't led to larger or more competitive fields. Quite the opposite actually. Foal crops the biggest factor in field size and they keep shrinking.
Not enough have closed. When Santa Anita and few others close, it will make a difference. Including Florida.
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Old 05-27-2022, 11:01 AM   #38
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Not enough have closed. When Santa Anita and few others close, it will make a difference. Including Florida.
Santa Anita is too isolated. If it goes away, we are just going to lose horses and owners. That isn't going to help increase foal crops at all.
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Old 05-27-2022, 11:11 AM   #39
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I would assume foal crops are down because the economics of breeding/owning are not good enough to encourage more of both.

IMO, if more owners were doing well, the demand for horses would rise. Breeders would supply them if the demand was high and they could get the prices they need to justify their investments.

The economics of owning are related to costs and purses.

The industry handle has been shrinking for years in "real" terms (inflation adjusted handle) but costs are rising. So despite some consolidation and casino money for some tracks, the benefit has not been enough to offset the overall trends. I think we are sort of treating the problem when we actually need major surgery.

The one thing I'll never understand is why so many owners are willing to pay so much for horses when most are losing their shirt. I can see paying a small premium for the joys of ownership, but the economics are pretty bad for most.
If the current purses at the bigger tracks aren't enough to get more owners, I don't know what the answer is. Places like Oaklawn, New York, and Kentucky are absolutely through the roof. There are obviously some deeper, complicated issues.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:10 PM   #40
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Santa Anita is too isolated. If it goes away, we are just going to lose horses and owners. That isn't going to help increase foal crops at all.
Some of those horses would move east. You cut the amount of tracks in half and the game changes.
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Old 05-27-2022, 12:44 PM   #41
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I sense a parallel between the current state of racing and my dad's small business. Years ago he feared change despite his business contracting. His reasoning being that the change would only accelerate the contraction. And by not changing he made certain the business failed.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:13 PM   #42
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Santa Anita is too isolated. If it goes away, we are just going to lose horses and owners. That isn't going to help increase foal crops at all.
Consolidation is about increasing handle and cash flow per track.

If SA and the other CA tracks closed, the hope would be that a lot of the CA handle shifted to BEL, SAR, AQU, KEE, CD, OP etc.. instead. We saw that kind of shift early in the pandemic when a lot of tracks were closed temporarily.

If it did happen, that would increase the cash flow at those tracks. They would then theoretically be able to make additional investments in their infrastructure, raise purses, and theoretically even lower take (haha).

If they become more attractive entertainment and gambling destinations as a result, maybe that increases handle further. At some point, if handle and purses are high enough, owning becomes attractive enough that more people are willing to put up the cash.

It won't happen overnight. It would take time for all that stuff to occur and for it to eventually flow into breeding and ownership.

Take NY. The reason we have so many NY Breds is because NY made the economics better. People want to own them. You can do quite well with a NY Bred that can get through its conditions and then go into open company. There are also breeder's awards to incentivize breeding.

If I lived in Arkansas, I'd be pretty interested in the training and other costs of ownership there because it probably IS an attractive to place to own right now. It's certainly more attractive than CA.

There are probably all sorts of other issues and problems.

But people aren't lining up to buy horses because it's expensive and they know they are likely to lose a huge percentage of their capital. No one is going to breed what no one wants.

It's either that or I am wrong again.
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Old 05-27-2022, 01:58 PM   #43
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If the current purses at the bigger tracks aren't enough to get more owners, I don't know what the answer is. Places like Oaklawn, New York, and Kentucky are absolutely through the roof. There are obviously some deeper, complicated issues.
Agree.

I would add that for at least the past 10-12 years:

The one thing horsemen have been saying is "We need to get purses up"... to the exclusion of almost everything else.

As a result, that's been the major area of focus by the industry... to the exclusion of almost everything else.

Yet, with the exception of special event days (BC-Derby-Preakness-Belmont-Opening Day at Del Mar) and a handful of meets like Saratoga, Oaklawn, etc, horses have been running in front of empty grandstands.

Let's ignore all the reasons people stopped coming... high takeout, drugs, odds that change after the bell, racing commissions that sweep things under the rug, and slap on the wrist penalties, etc.

Back when racing was widely accepted by the public and horses were running in front of grandstands that were packed:

Foal crops were higher.

Why?

Because demand was higher.

Where does demand come from?

One place is the small number of regulars who go to the races who make the leap from fan to owner.

Imo, demand for the foal crop has always been a function of demand for the betting product.

Way smaller pool of prospective new owners to draw from today than back in the day.


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Old 05-27-2022, 02:01 PM   #44
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People own for various reasons. In north Texas, for a while many owners were car dealers. It was a competition. And, to an extent, good advertising. That's probably part of the solution. Ownership might be up if there were more side benefits.
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Old 05-27-2022, 04:03 PM   #45
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Some of those horses would move east. You cut the amount of tracks in half and the game changes.
Oh sure, short term the horses aren't just going to stop racing, but as their careers end, they won't be replaced.
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