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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shhhh! Be Very Very Quiet: Tracks Don't Like Disclosing Takeout Rates

By Cangamble (also posted at the Cangamble blog)

Some other thoughts regarding horse racing and disclosure, a topic I touched upon over a week ago here:

Why is it that when you visit a racetrack's website you can't find information on track takeout? It can't be that it isn't important, the DRF has a page devoted to each racetrack and takeout information is shown. Just one page per track, and takeout takes up around 20% of the script.
Check out the DRF description for Woodbine.

Now try to find takeout information at Woodbine's own site. Thousands of pages are there, and not one that I know of, that gives information of track takeout on their own product. I even tried to do a "takeout" search there......no luck.

Does this mean that a track can change the takeout, and if it escapes the media, the player may not be aware of it for months? The answer is yes. Hardly one peep was mentioned when Woodbine changed their takeout back on Win 4's back from 14% to over 25% a few years ago. I didn't realize it for at least 6 months.

I'd figure, in Canada especially, that racetracks would be REQUIRED to disclose takeout information on their websites. Does anyone give a hoot about the consumer anymore?

Lets move on. What about thoroughbred suspensions and fines. If not at the Woodbine site, where again, I can't find any links to recent fines and suspensions, how about the ORC (Ontario Racing Commission) site? They do have a pretty good resource called the Officials' Lists where one can find the Vet List, Stewards List, Procaine List, and the Cryoanaesthesia and Nerve List. But where can I find recent suspensions and fines?
I tried, I really tried. But I came up empty.

Apparently, they are shown in the Racing Form, and the on track programs. But we are in the information age. Why can't we get this kind of information by just making a couple of mouse clicks? I don't want to depend on the media to inform me of whipping or drug violations. I recently read that Chantal Sutherland was appealing her 4th whip violation of the year.

The fact that I didn't even know about the other three is a big problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You bring up some excellent points Cangamble. I've wondered the same thing myself. I usually have to rely on takeout information that may or may not be current. The fact that it is hard to find this very important information leads me to believe the tracks don't want it publicized or they're negligent or both.