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Friday, April 24, 2009

Platt Letter to CHRB, And Miller Hawthorne Picks

Two things to update everyone on. First a draft of the letter Jeff sent on behalf of HANA members regarding the meeting today in CA where they are discussing raising takeouts.

Attn: Kirk Breek Executive Director CHRB

Re: Agenda Item before the CHRB


Dear Mr. Breed,

My name is Jeff Platt. I am president of an organization called HANA (the Horseplayers Association of North America.) We have only been around since Sept 08 and in that time have grown to over 1000 members - all of them horseplayers - with collective annual handle in excess of $41 million.

Our goal as an organization is to give the customer a voice within the industry and to communicate customer needs and wants to the industry.

Speaking on behalf of more than 1000 HANA members - horseplayers with handle in excess of $41 million annually - I would like to voice STRONG OPPOSITION to the agenda item before the CHRB to continue an increase in takeout.

Economic studies (Cummings and others) have shown that an inverse relationship exists between takeout and handle. Higher takeout causes racing's largest price sensitive customers to bet less. When takeout is raised handle is driven downwards and revenue as a percentage of handle flowing back to state coffers is reduced not increased.

We believe the staff analysis presented to the CHRB in support of this agenda item fails to take this effect into account.

Sincerely,

Jeff Platt, president

HANA (the Horseplayers Association of North America)
http://www.horseplayersassociation.org

Analysis of the Data and Fundamental Economics Behind Recent Trends in the Thoroughbred Racing Industry - by Cummings Associates:
http://www.nationalhbpa.com/resources/Cummings_report7-17-04.PDF

Secondly, Hawthorne GM and capper Jim Miller has offered out some thoughts on this Saturday's HANA Betting race - The Pretty Jenny Stakes, Race 6 at Hawthorne.

#1 - Lose None - Runs for trainer Scott Becker. Scott is new to the listed trainer ranks, but he knows the game as he has been a barn manager and assistant for quite some time. He is very capable. Lose None probably needed her last start and has every right to improve in here.

#2 - Miss Fontana - Off since last August, the barn was very high on this one last summer. She has been consistent in her drills and is 2 for 2 with Karlsson in the saddle. I just worry that she may need a start.

#3 - Tessies Tilbury - Another that this barn really likes. She has done everything right in her first two starts and looks to be maturing quickly. She is a fine looking filly and looks poised for a good effort.

#4 - B N Graced N Glory - She's my pick, but I really don't know what we have in her. Her last two wins were very impressive, but both came in the slop. She is the most seasoned of any of these runners and has some fast track form. Jock Pitty gets along with her extremely well as he has ridden her in all four of her wins. In my mind, the track isn't an issue, I just think she is very sharp right now.

#5 - Fashionable Lady - Has improved in each start. She can be a price play in this race. Disregard the last work, listed at Delaware, she did not work there.

#6 - Cart's Linda - She will be a part of the pace. She seems to run the same each time out, but I worry that she lacks the late finishing kick.

#7 - Bow Tie Pasta - Another with a world of talent. This OBS purchase has been much better as a three-year-old and looks the part as well as she has grown tremendously. She may be a beneficiary of a quick early pace.

#8 - Cart's Zenforus - Just the one start which was a win, but she didn't beat a whole lot in that race. She will need to improve to win in here and I'm not sure if she's up to the rest of the field.

#9 - Cumulonimble - Still a maiden, but she ran a very good race in the Showtime Deb here last fall. She has been off since that start, but Hobby is nearly 20% off a long rest with a $1.99 ROI.

#10 - Happy Henrietta - Another who has been away since last fall. This is an interesting call as I would expect Thornton had his choice of this one or Bow Tie Pasta. Her works are decent, but she's not going to be in my top three.

#11 - Aptitude in Me - Another maiden who isn't helped by the outside draw. There was a lot of talk surrounding this horse before her debut, but she is yet to run to the hype.

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