Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zorn on Downsizing

Cutting racedates has been a hot topic for horseplayers for a long time. We all know, looking at a simo-center or our ADW screen that there is racing going on simultaneously, at tracks we have never heard of, and it is clearly not optimum. Steve Zorn analyzes this and asks if it is time to downsize.

The post will not get him on any horseman group holiday card lists, however the well thought out post, is a must read for fans of this sport. You can read Steve's post here.

When we initiated the HANA Track Ratings System we took some criticism from a few folks in the press for not adding venue setting, track surface, field quality, or even the price of hot dogs as part of the criteria. Some even went so far to call our ratings a 'gimmick'. The simple fact was, our system was not pulled out of thin air, it was done for a reason. For example, we added field size as a main metric because when field size goes up by one horse, players have a better race to play and handle goes up by close to 5%. It is irrelevant if the track has stakes horses, pretty flowers or cheap beer, it goes up by 5 points. We wanted insiders to make field size a priority, to help racing handles. Steve's post, and many others in racing are now talking field size, more and more. This is a good thing because it helps everyone in our business.

In his next post he is speaking of another one of our core metrics in the ratings - pricing. I know he reads the HANA posts and comments here, so let's see what he comes up with.

We're counting on you Steve :)


Steve Zorn said...

Wow! I'm overwhelmed by all the nice words. As for your comments that I'm unlikely to get on horsemen's groups' holiday card lists, well, that's OK, since I'm already on the Board of Directors of the NY Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and, mirabile dictu, have been invited to the Jockey Club Round table in Saratoga. All I'm doing, and what I'll continue to do, is try to tell the (often uncomfortable) truths about a game that I truly love.

zak said...

There is too much low quality, agonizing to watch, horse racing, very nearly 24/7. It's bad for the sport, bad for horses and it takes a toll on bettors. What horsemen and women should focus on is getting the states to devolve horse racing from their inept claws. Get the politicians away from the handle, it's the non slots answer to the slot wars.