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Old 09-21-2023, 04:00 PM   #76
classhandicapper
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I can understand from a business perspective a small track closing because they cannot generate enough revenue to pay their expenses. What I can't understand is how closing the small tracks will help the large tracks survive. The handle from the small tracks, if moved to the large tracks, is hardly enough to make any difference. Also, what could be done, realistically, to meaningfully lower the cost structure for the remaining tracks?
You would be trying to lower the cost structure of the industry not the individual tracks, although if you could do both that would be great.

If I bet $100, $500, or $1000 at PARX this weekend PARX's expenses will remain the same. In the online era you don't have to hire more clerks, concession workers, maintenance workers etc... as your online handle rises. All else being equal expenses are going to be relatively flat. So if you consolidate a small track and even 50% of the handle moves to BEL, CD, SA etc... most of that drops to the bottom line of one or more of them. Knock out 30 tracks fairly quickly and someone is going have a lot of free cash.

It doesn't seem to be working so far not because money isn't shifting. We know some of it shifts from our experience with the pandemic. It isn't working "noticeably" because the industry handle is shrinking in real terms even faster than the benefit of the consolidation. Inflation is increasing costs and horse players are dropping out.
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:01 PM   #77
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bingo

sooner or later those are going to go away, a lot of people need handouts and most agree that is not race tracks.
Trifecta on this one.

Somewhat discussed above - going forward, which jurisdictions could support horse racing without any sort of gaming subsidy?
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:06 PM   #78
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Racing has consolidated 50% in the last 30 years (50% fewer races in a year now than then). Is racing better now than 30 years ago?

The problem with the "handful of jurisdictions" idea is it's impossible, so you can be in that camp, but you can't demand 25 or 50 separate private businesses close down. If we get there via tracks slowly closing and/or cutting racing dates, it will take decades, and racing will continue as it is. Will it be better in 2050 when there are only 10 tracks? Who knows, but only five whales will be left betting by then anyway.
As I said in my last post, players are dropping out, handle is falling in real terms, and expenses are rising. That trend is more than offsetting the benefit of consolidation. Without the consolidation, the financials would be even worse.

No one is going to force anyone to close. Their losses on racing will keep growing and the offers for the land will keep rising. They will close because you can only be insane for so long.
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:09 PM   #79
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I'm hardly going to mourn the loss of TUP but this will keep happening so long as each state sets its own race dates. Racing needs more big days, spread out and across the country, not less. It needs shorter meets that consolidate out of state simulcast for bigger purses to make these big race dates happen.

The long, extended, pointless meets that trainers like for their day rates are a parasite on the industry



So in your perfect scenario of shorter meets, wouldn't that require a nomad workforce? Wouldn't that mean that the people who own and run the racetracks have fewer dates to produce revenue to pay for their facilities? Wouldn't that also make finding employees to work at the track more difficult? And I am sure the horse owners wouldn't be too enthusiastic about paying more frequent shipping costs.
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Old 09-21-2023, 06:17 PM   #80
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So in your perfect scenario of shorter meets, wouldn't that require a nomad workforce? Wouldn't that mean that the people who own and run the racetracks have fewer dates to produce revenue to pay for their facilities? Wouldn't that also make finding employees to work at the track more difficult? And I am sure the horse owners wouldn't be too enthusiastic about paying more frequent shipping costs.
Every day that a track is open, excluding Saratoga, Del Mar, and Keeneland, is a day where the track owner spends more than it takes in. Their money is in host fees and OTBs.

Backside workers would have to move more often, yes. Horse owners would I'm sure like to run for bigger purses. The losers are the trainers and the day rates they charge. They are sinking the ship.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:14 PM   #81
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Every day that a track is open, excluding Saratoga, Del Mar, and Keeneland, is a day where the track owner spends more than it takes in. Their money is in host fees and OTBs.

Backside workers would have to move more often, yes. Horse owners would I'm sure like to run for bigger purses. The losers are the trainers and the day rates they charge. They are sinking the ship.

Are trainers overpaid? Can day rates be negotiated?
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:32 PM   #82
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Are trainers overpaid? Can day rates be negotiated?
Of course, and many owners negotiate by simply not paying them.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:54 PM   #83
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Of course, and many owners negotiate by simply not paying them.
Oh my god.

That was spot on CJ .

That or threatening to take their horses from you unless you used what the several were using which I refused to do.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:59 PM   #84
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Those of us who want contraction of tracks will probably get contraction of breeding.
It's already 'contracting' based on the trend of foal crop numbers overall.
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Old 09-21-2023, 09:57 PM   #85
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It's already 'contracting' based on the trend of foal crop numbers overall.
Yep...Foal count has dropped below 20k in 2022. IN 1990, the count was TWICE that number.
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:01 PM   #86
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Yep...Foal count has dropped below 20k in 2022. IN 1990, the count was TWICE that number.
Thatís my point. Does your state breed horses? If they do, you can fill races. If you can fill races, you have a product to bet on. On top of that does your state have a race that attracts 70 to 100 thousand. Yeah if youíre New York you can attempt to change the Triple Crown into a Belmont and Travers closing. How has the Triple Tiara done? Does anyone talk about a filly Triple Cown anymore? New York squeezed out the Black Eyed Susan. How has that worked out for racing? If you lose the 150 years of tradition with the Preakness , does that minimize stature of racing? Iíd say history says most definitely.
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Old 09-22-2023, 01:16 AM   #87
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The last thing racing should be doing is monkeying with something that actually works...like the Triple Crown

So I assume they will mess that up too, somehow
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Old 09-22-2023, 12:33 PM   #88
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Now, if you have a boutique meet that can generate live attendance and handle (Del Mar, Oaklawn, etc.), you can escape that, but otherwise, not.
As to the etc... - Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, and to a lesser extent Ellis Park and Turfway Park (not that anything about the new venue supports any type of large crowd), not to mention Sunday through Derby day at Churchill Downs, which technically is the boutique meet within the larger meet that supports the rest of the spring-summer meeting with the exception of a couple of other major racing dates.

To some extent it's truly fortunate that Kentucky and New York politicians had the will to support the industry to the extent it has, which will sustain it in those states for decades to come, and unfortunate that most other states politicians lack the political will to do the same.
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Old 09-22-2023, 08:20 PM   #89
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As to the etc... - Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, and to a lesser extent Ellis Park and Turfway Park (not that anything about the new venue supports any type of large crowd), not to mention Sunday through Derby day at Churchill Downs, which technically is the boutique meet within the larger meet that supports the rest of the spring-summer meeting with the exception of a couple of other major racing dates.

To some extent it's truly fortunate that Kentucky and New York politicians had the will to support the industry to the extent it has, which will sustain it in those states for decades to come, and unfortunate that most other states politicians lack the political will to do the same.
When mutual pools were legalized during the depression racing expanded to states that didn't have breeding farms to support it. States that had breeding farms supported many of the new tracks. States like New York, Kentucky, Maryland, California, and Florida have a racing tradition. They have the support of voters and politicians because the tracks weren't created only for tax collection from gambling. I just think that's where racing survives. We're pretty much going back to a pre-depression racing product. Racing will have to compete with baseball, football etc for gamblers in states that don't have tracks. Just like football, racing needs to clean things up to make the product more fan friendly and safer. This crap of a jock pushing horses three paths outside so he has a chance to win needs to be snuffed out. Racing needs to do whatever it can to eliminate breakdowns. Whatever is safest it's worthwhile, so racing can always say we did this and this to try to eliminate breakdowns and injuries... because we all know horses and jocks get hurt
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Old 09-22-2023, 09:54 PM   #90
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great, great game

horse racing is the greatest

global game as well

could go to many different countries, and that the fundamentals of the game would be true at most.
Wagering, consulting, etc... The knowledge is pretty much universal. I could go to Japan and bend down through doorways, and contribute to a team.
Those opportunities are mostly closed due to the people who run the game/industry, and the people in position to be the syndicates, as in any other profession, - having many barriers to entry beyond merit/competence.

However, wagering as a civilian with zero or minimum rebates at a relatively high take is usually available as a meritocracy.

Love the game. It's a blessing.

Every bettable race to handicap for possible mispriced horses is a blessing.

forget the negativity echos

as far as 'Turf Paradise'??

once in a while, I have a flawed horse pop up at a low price from one of my watch lists, so I'll bet-against it.

Other than that, I seldom would scan their cards.
I don't know if it remains the same, but their win takeout used to be 20.75%!!

Not too sad about Turf Paradise apparently closing, but if it was a sentimental thing for you, or a track you benefited from playing there, or working in the industry there, that sucks. Sorry for those few of you.
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