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Old 05-25-2010, 05:44 AM   #1
Turfday
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Hollywood Park's handle vs. Monmouth's handle this past Saturday

This was brought to my attention. I don't follow the handle on any circuit, let alone for comparative purposes. But I surely found this interesting and wanted to share it with the board.

Hollywood Park vs. Monmouth all sources handle for this past Saturday:

All sources betting handle at Hollywood Park was $9,560,260.
There were 67 horses that ran on the 9-race card

At Monmouth, they handled $9,357,444 (but I understand there's a problem with NY OTB and betting Monmouth). There were 126 horses on the 13-race Monmouth opening day Saturday card.

Considering both situations, I didn't think the above would be possible. Your commments?
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:35 AM   #2
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Monmouth is going directly against Belmont, Hollywood doesn't have any direct competition for that timeslot (4pm eastern as first post).

East coast bettors get to start betting Hollywood at 4pm their time but west coast bettors dont even get out of bed and they are already on the 4th race at Monmouth. Big advantage West Coast signal.

Also, California is a much bigger state than NJ and has many more residents. California residents, for the most part, concentrate most of their racing needs on Hollywood. East Coast residents, have a bunch of tracks that are running in direct competition w Monmouth.

If NJ was as big as California in size, they would have many more horseplayers betting their racing.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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It proves that bettors prefer synthetic tracks and small fields.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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I wonder what the handle at Hollywood would be if the poeple that ran California racing and screwed it up over the last several years had done the right thing.

It seems like all of their energy goes into one upping one another and promoting their synthetic surfaces.

What if there energy had gone into getting some horses out here by raising purses with all the money they've flushed down the toilet?

It's too late now but if these guys had built a strong foundation years ago in California they could probably have weathered this storm and the handle would be 15 million with an average field size of 8.

These guys had to work real hard to screw up a good thing and the screwing up began when the first Indian Casino went up. They could have made a good deal back then when they had the upper hand. Now they're almost powerless to stop the slide.

Last edited by andymays; 05-25-2010 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turfday
This was brought to my attention. I don't follow the handle on any circuit, let alone for comparative purposes. But I surely found this interesting and wanted to share it with the board.

Hollywood Park vs. Monmouth all sources handle for this past Saturday:

All sources betting handle at Hollywood Park was $9,560,260.
There were 67 horses that ran on the 9-race card

At Monmouth, they handled $9,357,444 (but I understand there's a problem with NY OTB and betting Monmouth). There were 126 horses on the 13-race Monmouth opening day Saturday card.

Considering both situations, I didn't think the above would be possible. Your commments?
It would suggest by these numbers, there shouldn't be anyway that Hollywood would be losing money. Every one in this industry seems focused on Gross dollars wagered and not the tracks "net income from all revenue streams."

"Butts in the Bleachers" wagering, eating concessions, buying programs and parking will net the host track much more operating income than just spreading thier betting signal. Simple business economics.

Wake up Racing Industry Management and smell the coffee. If this weren't so, then why are smart management teams trying to get the fans to return. Besides Monmouths efforts, I'll example Churchill and their night racing. (JMHO)
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andymays
I wonder what the handle at Hollywood would be if the poeple that ran California racing and screwed it up over the last several years had done the right thing.

It seems like all of their energy goes into one upping one another and promoting their synthetic surfaces.

What if there energy had gone into getting some horses out here by raising purses with all the money they've flushed down the toilet?

It's too late now but if these guys had built a strong foundation years ago in California they could probably have weathered this storm and the handle would be 15 million with an average field size of 8.

These guys had to work real hard to screw up a good thing and the screwing up began when the first Indian Casino went up. They could have made a good deal back then when they had the upper hand. Now they're almost powerless to stop the slide.

It, the past few years, has been interesting to view from a distance. The energy expended by those who resisted synthetic surfaces from the beginning, those who have relentlessly pursued an effort to ensure that they fail, those who's every day seems to be consumed by efforts to undo, to reverse, to discourage others from wagering on synthetics, has certainly had a greater impact than those who quietly adapted to the change.

Just how good/bad the surface actually is, how many unfulfilled expectations of less maint. and greater consistency/safety that had been promised, ---- it doesn't really matter at this point. Those who resisted have won.

Might things have been different under the same set of conditions.... sure. Absent the ponderous anti-synthetic movement we might very well have had a different result. Synthetic surfaces are wagered on every day and there are actually some players making money betting them. Will Arlington and Keeneland endure the weight? Time will tell.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
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I can tell you that here on the west coast, southern Cal is played hugely more than any other track. back east it gets split up pretty good amongst ny, nj, ky, fl, chicago, maryland etc,

but over here, everyone is playing so cal. they have for years and it's always the number one game in town. in our otb's and in our off track at the track, southern cal is consistantly the highest and usually double of any other track. ironically golden gate is usually second, and ny third.

i remember being at river downs otb for del mar opening day and people back east didn't even care. over here it's like a holiday.

people on the west coast will always bet so cal, no matter how small the fields, what the surface is or anything.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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I've always been baffled by the fact that the nation plays the CA Pick Six more than any other track or circuit. Hollywood's pick six even outdraws Saratoga's Pick six.

Last edited by delayjf; 05-25-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turfday
This was brought to my attention. I don't follow the handle on any circuit, let alone for comparative purposes. But I surely found this interesting and wanted to share it with the board.

Hollywood Park vs. Monmouth all sources handle for this past Saturday:

All sources betting handle at Hollywood Park was $9,560,260.
There were 67 horses that ran on the 9-race card

At Monmouth, they handled $9,357,444 (but I understand there's a problem with NY OTB and betting Monmouth). There were 126 horses on the 13-race Monmouth opening day Saturday card.

Considering both situations, I didn't think the above would be possible. Your commments?
Big mutual pools are big because bigger bettors bet into them. And field size isnít the most important factor to big bettors, pool size is.

Bigger bettors need big mutual pools to minimize the negative impact their wagers will have on the payoffs. Hollywood Park traditionally has much larger pools then Monmouth Park, so most of the big bettors played Hollywood (and Belmont)

Of course, Monmouth probably attracted some bigger bettors and/or their regular bigger bettor bet larger than normal in order to the the handle growth this weekend, as many regular horseplayer's were expecting Monmouth to have one of their best handle days ever.

As I stated before, racetracks are in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to pool sizes. In order to get big pools you need big bettors, but to get big bettors you need big pools.

It will be interesting to see the handle at Monmouth Park this Friday. Saturday handle was helped out by being opening day, and I am sure the handle on Sunday was helped out by the Pick 5 carryover.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #10
andymays
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deepsix
It, the past few years, has been interesting to view from a distance. The energy expended by those who resisted synthetic surfaces from the beginning, those who have relentlessly pursued an effort to ensure that they fail, those who's every day seems to be consumed by efforts to undo, to reverse, to discourage others from wagering on synthetics, has certainly had a greater impact than those who quietly adapted to the change.

Just how good/bad the surface actually is, how many unfulfilled expectations of less maint. and greater consistency/safety that had been promised, ---- it doesn't really matter at this point. Those who resisted have won.

Might things have been different under the same set of conditions.... sure. Absent the ponderous anti-synthetic movement we might very well have had a different result. Synthetic surfaces are wagered on every day and there are actually some players making money betting them. Will Arlington and Keeneland endure the weight? Time will tell.

I'd say it was just the opposite for the first two years. The propaganda from the con artists who sold that junk was overwhelming. 70% of trainers want it gone for a reason.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:38 PM   #11
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My opinion on the interesting Turfday question mainly lies in what players are used to. It is really hard to change behavior for groups of bettors. As we see from the HANA survey, or even the little survey here, upwards of 80% of bettors have played for 25 years or more. You get your habits and those habits are hard to break. NYRA and Cal have players who are married to the circuit and will play it with smaller fields, or less quality racing, or even if takeout goes up like it has. A smaller, or less popular track is fighting an uphill battle when they make changes, or even if they offer a good product out.

I think it is why tracks are unwilling to change, or show more fight for new customers - their old ones hang around through thick and thin. The problem with that, of course, is they do not last forever.

I think what MTH has done is nothing short of outstanding. They got existing players to notice their track. It is no small feat with our demographics and habits which have formed over decades, imo.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:45 PM   #12
andymays
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Originally Posted by DeanT
My opinion on the interesting Turfday question mainly lies in what players are used to. It is really hard to change behavior for groups of bettors. As we see from the HANA survey, or even the little survey here, upwards of 80% of bettors have played for 25 years or more. You get your habits and those habits are hard to break. NYRA and Cal have players who are married to the circuit and will play it with smaller fields, or less quality racing, or even if takeout goes up like it has. A smaller, or less popular track is fighting an uphill battle when they make changes, or even if they offer a good product out.

I think it is why tracks are unwilling to change, or show more fight for new customers - their old ones hang around through thick and thin. The problem with that, of course, is they do not last forever.

I think what MTH has done is nothing short of outstanding. They got existing players to notice their track. It is no small feat with our demographics and habits which have formed over decades, imo.

You're right on the money. I was married to California racing for decades but they way I look at it now they filed for divorce a few years ago due to irreconcilable differences.

Nobody loved California racing more than me but at some point you have to do what you think is best for yourself and play where you feel you have the best chance to win. For me it's gonna be Monmouth the rest of the meet. I do best on a one mile oval with a dirt surface and always have. Anything I play besides that will be in spots.

Last edited by andymays; 05-25-2010 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rutgers
And field size isnít the most important factor to big bettors, pool size is.
Making the most money is the most important factor. Pool sizes are an important consideration, but not to the exclusion of all other factors. Making the most money is a combination of your edge (including any rebates), the total amount you bet on that edge, and the minimizing of payout reductions caused by your own wager. It is easier to identify an edge (or a bigger edge) with larger field sizes where many different opinions and confusion exist, versus smaller fields where profitability is much harder to find. A smaller field which offers the benefit of large pool sizes but a smaller edge may be shunned in favor of larger field opportunies with smaller pools but a more favorable edge. Making the most money is therefore a delicate balance of a number of factors.

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Old 05-25-2010, 03:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jballscalls
people on the west coast will always bet so cal, no matter how small the fields, what the surface is or anything.
I have stopped betting 90% of the time on So Cal tracks. Fields are just too small. I have never liked the flubber tracks, but a couple of years ago the heavy track at Del Mar was very kind to me. Now the small fields have made the 3:1 and 4:1 shots 3:5 and 4:5.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:45 PM   #15
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Monmouth is dark this Friday.

It would have been a interesting day to see attendance and handle.

I doubt they would have had 5,000 at track
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