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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tioga Challenge

What's Mightier, the Pen or the Micro-Chip? Contest and Handicapping Tools Announced for Tioga Meet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



(April, 28, 2010 - Charlottesville, VA) - In March, Tioga Downs, a harness track in Nichols, New York, announced they were offering decreased takeout on all bets for their meet, which opens May 1st. To show support for the track, who has been listening to their customers, HANA would like to announce the "Pen and Micro-Chip Challenge".

Each raceday, picks for Tioga will be given out from four handicappers. Two are computer programs, or data crunchers, and two will be from talented 'pen and paper' handicappers. At the end of the series we will tabulate the results, and declare a winner. A donation, supplied by HANA and Mike at Paceadvantage.com, will be made to the Standardbred Adoption Society of the winners choice.

The protagonists for the challenge:

In the micro-chip division we have Ray. Ray is a 67 year old retired chemist and self-taught computer programmer, living in Clarion, Pa. His interest in Standardbreds began in the 70's leading to part ownership of some trotters racing at The Meadows in the '80s. He laughingly claims to hold a perfect attendance award at the track from 1985-1991. Ray's home-grown handicapping program has shown positive ROI for several years, and he was recently featured in Trot Magazine's Horseplayer Edition.

Also representing the computers, Trackmaster (and the United States Trotting Association) has graciously donated the services of the "Chatsworth Consortium". These picks regularly sell for $10 per card, but they will be available free via the pick board, for the meet.

In the human category, we have assembled two handicappers with a wealth of knowledge. "Bobby Z", 55, started working at the Meadows Racetrack near Pittsburgh in the early 1970's. He was hooked, and has been since. Bobby also worked as an online race analyst for several tip sheets.

"There has been some off time the last two years and I actually thought I was done with it, but Tioga Downs' dropping of the takeout rates has brought me back online for the summer." he said.

Our final human handicapper is Mel. Mel is 64, from the Philadelphia area and has been playing for over 40 years.

"I started out with harness at the old Liberty Bell Park and Brandywine Raceway and was there for so many live racing days I cannot remember."

Mel mainly plays online, and is a dedicated and frequent poster to the picks section of Paceadvantage.com.

The challengers will be posting their picks in the harness racing section of Paceadvantage.com, and Tioga Downs is working on their handicapping website to post the picks there as well. If any thoroughbred players would like to lend a hand by betting into a harness track that is listening to them, now is your chance. These picks should give a good indoctrination into the harness game, from seasoned veterans, and excellent software.

HANA would like to thank both Tioga Downs for working with us, and the handicappers who are taking the time to support the track" said HANA President Jeff Platt. "We would like to give a special thank you to Trackmaster, for donating picks from a product that are normally part of their standard product line."

We will have continuing updates on our blog, and a side contest, with prizes, will be occurring on Paceadvantage.com in the harness section for any players who want to join in.

We wish Tioga Downs and everyone who supports them good luck and good racing.

To contact us at HANA, please email us at info @ hanaweb.org.

The Horseplayers Association of North America is a grassroots group of horseplayers, not affiliated with any organization, who are not pleased with the direction the game has taken. HANA believes that both tracks and horseman groups have become bogged down with industry infighting and have completely forgotten something: The importance of the customer. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, wagering integrity, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry’s handle losses can be reversed. HANA is currently made up of over 1500 horseplayers (both harness and thoroughbred) from almost all states and Canadian provinces. It currently represents over $70,000,000 of yearly racing handle.

Our web address is http://www.horseplayersassociation.org and interested horseplayers can sign up there for free. We are horseplayers, just like you and we are trying to make a difference. We need, appreciate, and ask humbly for your support.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Attitude Changes

As reported at Bloodhorse.com this morning, there seems to be a slight shift in attitudes from those in racing regarding pari-mutuel pricing:

"A national reduction in (pari-mutuel) takeout is another way of attacking the pricing model,” Basler said.


........Nick Eaves, president and chief operating officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group, indicated racing can’t afford to wait for change.

“It seems to be that the ultimate determinant of a pricing is a customer’s ability to pay,” Eaves said. “Is there something the industry—horsemen and tracks—can do in the meantime. If we wait, I think we’re all finished.”


Just two short years ago the prevalent mindset with ADW especially, was to try and cut into the ADW share by asking for more money, while leaving the takeout alone. We at HANA have reported on why we believe this would not be beneficial to racing, and have done so for some time as one of our planks.

We are encouraged that at the very least racing is speaking now in terms of gross takeouts - i.e. how the pie is split up is not the problem, the price of the whole pie is. We believe this is a tremendous shift in thinking from racing and if they can keep focused on lowering the price to "a customer’s ability to pay", we will make progress in stemming the massive handle losses racing has seen over the last several years.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trip To Three Chimneys

As a part of last weeks HANA Day at the races a tour of Three Chimney's took place.

Here are a couple of snapshots.

Big Brown:



Good Reward. I think he is saying, visit HANA's Facebook page for more. Well not really, he probably just wants a carrot, but please do visit our facebook page for more 3 Chimney's photos if you are interested.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HANA Day At Keeneland; Some Pics

Our 2010 HANA Day at the Races at Keeneland was a lot of fun. Here are a few pictures. If you attended Keeneland this past weekend, feel free to pop your pictures up at Facebook as well. Two things we like at HANA? Low takeout, and racetrack pictures! :)

A nice day for racing



Treasurer Theresia imploring to HANA VP Mike Maloney to put all his money on the ten horse



Calvin Borel and group at Jockey Karaoke. HANA members had a good time, and donated a little of their bankrolls to the worthy cause



Mike at the Keeneland sales ring. One might think he is motioning and saying "I was a kid and I put my hand up like this and bought the first son of Secretariat ....



HANA members with Keeneland President Nick Nicholson in the winners circle.



For more pictures of Keeneland and some members having some fun, please visit our Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HANA Update on CHRB Meeting

Agenda Item #9 called for Los Al to present handle numbers to the Commissioners so that they could vote whether or not to continue the 2% takeout increase experiment approved for Los Al back in January.

I attended the meeting. HANA was there to challenge the handle numbers Los Al and CHRB audit staff were attempting to put in front of the Commissioners prior to the vote.

I used numbers taken directly from Equibase Charts to create a spreadsheet. On one side of the spreadsheet were handle numbers from 2010 for each race date since the start of the experiment (1/21/2010) through the end of March, 2010. On the other side of the spreadsheet were handle numbers for the same time period from 2009. At the bottom were totals for each column along with percentage change.

Comparing 2010 handle numbers to 2009 handle numbers, my spreadsheet very clearly shows a 30 percent drop in Los Al's on track handle since the beginning of the increased takeout experiment.

Numbers presented to the CHRB by Los Al (as well as numbers prepared for the Commissioners by CHRB audit staff) showed little or no change in handle since the start of the experiment.

How can this be? Handle is handle, right? What's really going on here?

The answer is complicated.

I see three things at work here:

1. Data Source
First, handle numbers in the Equibase Charts aren't "official" by any stretch of the imagination. In California, "official" handle numbers actually come from a company called CHRIMS.

One of the things I asked for during the meeting was that I be given access to data from CHRIMS. The Commissioners have assured me they will see to it that this happens shortly.

2. Field Size as a Determinant of Handle
Second, Los Al dropped their weakest day of the meet: Thursday.

That means they now are running fewer races in 2010 vs. what they ran in 2009.

Running fewer races means they have increased avg field size.

According to all of the industry paid for studies, increased field size is a determinant that drives handle upwards.

This means that improved field size is helping to drive handle upwards at Los Al.

Los Al admitted this during the meeting.

Commissioner Rosenberg asked me to verify this. I agreed. It should appear in the meeting transcript once that becomes public.

3. Handle Numbers: What Should The Commissiners be weighing before they vote?
Perhaps the most important thing of all when it comes to handle numbers is:

What matters the most?

The numbers prepared by both Los Al and CHRB audit staff attempt to emphasize average handle per race.

If you look at their numbers in a vacuum, you'd never realize on track business is down sharply this year vs. last year since they began charging a higher takeout.

The numbers in my spreadsheet examine total revenue during the time period of the experiment.

If you look at my numbers in a vacuum, you notice that business is off sharply - but avg handle per race is completely ignored.

One of the things I said to the Commissioners was this:

"What's more important? Average handle per race? Or maximizing your total revenue? You have a decision to make."

Based on the challenge by HANA to handle numbers presented by Los Al and handle numbers prepared by CHRB audit staff:

At the 4/15/2010 CHRB meeting the Commissioners decided to table voting on the agenda item until such time as handle numbers acceptable to all could be presented to the Commissioners.

Sometime in the next few weeks I will be meeting with Los Al and CHRB Staff. The purpose of those meetings will be an attempt come up handle numbers that are acceptable to all parties so that the Commissioners can use these numbers for their vote.

-Jeff Platt

Monday, April 19, 2010

Internet Gambling in Arizona Heats Up

From the Prescott Daily Courier.

Online gambling on horse races has a special exception from the federal law through the Interstate Horseracing Act, but many states outlaw it.

Arizona is the only state that allows horse racing but not online betting on it, said Boomer Wry, Yavapai Downs racing director. And it's the only state in which online horse wagering is a felony, said Jeff Platt, president of the non-profit Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA).

Now simultaneous efforts at the federal and state level seek to legalize both those forms of Internet gambling. Supporters at both levels say the federal and state laws against these forms of Internet gambling are vague anyway.


More at link. For a background on what we've been working on in Arizona, please click here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Integrity and New Penalty Database

It was a busy week with several HANA folks meeting this year at Keeneland. We should have some reports on the week that was in the days that follow.

One gentleman who has been particularly active lately is Mike Maloney, HANA's vice President of Regulatory Affairs. First Mike was involved with the Safety Alliance with the NTRA, which was discussed this week:


"HANA supports the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance's new wagering security guidelines," said Mike Maloney, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA). "We believe the guidelines are a good step toward proper security of the wagering pools.


Please read more about NTRA's efforts and the details here. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know via email. We will make sure Mike gets it.

For another look at Mike and others work on the pari-mutuel side, click here.

In addition, HANA members have been involved with reporting mechanisms for trainers who receive positive tests. It has been a long-held complaint that these penalties are not transparent. In addition, when penalties are reported without details of said penalties, it tends to lead to horseplayer frustration. In a good first step, a database of infractions, available right over the web was designed by the rmtc:

Also during the board meeting, RMTC Director of Communications Hallie Lewis announced the creation of a Recent Rulings Database to go live immediately on rmtcnet.com.

“I am excited about this project because I believe it fulfills a need in the industry,” said RMTC Executive Director Dr. Scot Waterman. “Members of HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America), racing fans and participants have voiced their desire for transparency and easy-to-access data on drug-related rulings. To our knowledge, this is the only database in existence that allows viewers to see not only the infractions but also a description of the possible uses and effects of the drug in the horse. We hope that this will begin the process of better clarifying the difference between medication management mistakes and more serious drug violations.”

To access the database and to learn more about the therapeutic and non-therapeutic drugs that occur in racing, please click here. Just mouse over the violation if you want to receive and explanation.

We hope to have Mike's interview on TVG up this week sometime, and as well, HANA President Jeff Platt should have an update on the CHRB board meeting that he attended last Thursday. And of course: hopefully a blog post and a picture or two from this past week at Keeneland!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

California Lottery Opts To Raise Net Revenues By Decreasing Takeout

"There are more prizes to give out, so people are going to win more often," said lottery director Joan Borucki. "When people win more often, they feel like playing more often, which in turn will increase sales, and as sales go up . . . our contribution to education goes up."


In the world of gambling, the psychology of the gambler is king. Increase their payout, and they will keep coming back, and they will come back faster, even if they aren't even cognizant as to why they are compelled to come back so fast.

For example, Vegas figured it out. They found that they made more in net revenues when the payback on slots is set between 92-95% as opposed to 85-88%.

Unfortunately, in most instances, horse racing as yet to figure it out. Even though some have, it is like pulling teeth to get the track operator, the horsemen, and the state all to come to the same realization, and it does take all three of these entities to agree.

It appears that another group has figured it out now. The California State Lottery has decided to increase the payout (lower the takeout) on their Scratchers from 57.5% to 61%. Yes, it is still a takeout of 39%, but lotteries have a different optimum takeout than horse racing, as does blackjack and slots.

It was apparent that a 57.5% payout percentage for Scratchers is below the optimum payout level for Scratchers: "Of the 10 most populous states with lotteries, Borucki said, California has had the lowest per capita sales and overall payout percentage."

"In other states where prize pools were enlarged, sales went up, Borucki said.

In Florida, sales and profits from Scratchers tickets more than tripled between the 2002 budget year and 2006, after that state's lottery increased prizes, she said.

Other states whose sales rose when prize pools increased include New York, North Carolina and Texas, (Bill) Ainsworth (lottery spokesman) said."


Well at least somebody in California gets the gambling business. Lets hope it is contagious.

HT "Breakage" on the Track Champions Forum

Sunday, April 11, 2010

12% Pick Three: Analysis

We are continuing to look at some value tracks/low take bets (spreadsheet available here), and illustrate how players can take advantage of them if they so wish.

Let us have a look at Retama Park and Sam Houston's, 12% pick 3. The 12% pick 3 is a bet that gives a regular player the chance to compete with larger player in terms of prices. It also allows him or her to grind away, and take home more money than he or she would playing a regularly priced pick 3, hopefully making the game a little more fun, and helping racing in the process.

Here is a chart of 12% pick 3 payoffs versus 15%, 20% and 25% takeouts (for two levels, a chalk hit, and a larger hit). The average in terms of take for a pick 3 is about 24%. Notice just how much more money a player receives when he bets into a low takeout pool. And to the business - notice how much more handle you can receive when you help a player win.



Let’s take a player and see if we can illustrate. He is a smaller bankroll player, but he takes his game seriously and he tracks his bets. Pick 3 bets are all he does, he loves them and thinks he is good at them. He has been playing at track “A” where the pick 3 takeout rate is 25%. He takes $12 tickets five times a day and rarely looks for bombs; he tries to up his hit rate at the expense of payoffs. He hits two of them a racing night, on average, and his average payoff is $26.60. At the end of the meet (over 200 race dates) Jim is a losing player as shown below:

Tickets: 1000
Handle: $12,000
Return: 400 times $26.60 = $10,640
ROI: 0.89
Loss: ($1360)

Now he has read the spreadsheet looking for some value to try and has decided to switch his pick 3 play to Retama. He begins to do his due diligence, he gets trainer and jock stats and plays on paper for a little while. After he feels at home he dives in, playing the exact same way he did at his old track. But this time he gets a 12% takeout on his bets. Using the exact same hit rate and payoff, he notices he has a few extra dollars in his pocket at the end of each week. Instead of getting paid $26.60 at his old track, his new wins pay $31.20. Not much of a difference it seems, but let's look deeper.

Tickets: 1000
Handle: $12,000
Return: 400 times $31.21 = $12,484
ROI: 1.04
Profit: $484

This one small change turned him into a winner - something that 98 or 99 out of 100 players are not. Overall he is $1844 richer by the end of the session, just by shopping for low takeout. His ROI has jumped from 0.89 (better than throwing darts) to 1.04 (a hard-to-come-by figure).

The interesting point with the above study, is that in case A with a 25% takeout, he has gone broke if he started with a $1,000 bankroll. He goes broke long before the meet finishes. We see today how much this has hurt the game as people are reloading their bankrolls less and less now. In effect, there is a good chance that he does not even last long enough to play that full $12,000 handle. In case B, playing at Retama, he does not have to reload. He is not broke; his $1000 bankroll is now $1484. Is he going to go buy a new car with the profit? Of course not. But he might do a few things:

1) Believe he can win
2) Up his bet size and play more
3) Have more fun
4) Have a bankroll to continue to play racing

The pick 3 pools at Retama are about $5500 for each pool. This is not tiny, so you can go bomb searching (as long as you think about the parlay like we spoke about here) from time to time. In the above spreadsheet it shows just how much a 12 versus 25% takeout can help a player who tries to take down pools. In a pool where there are 5 winners, this can mean an increase of $140 per payoff. That is a ton of money for a player over time.

We are well aware that there are some horseplayers who will play into 25% takeout pools, and do so happily. We also are well aware that some horseplayers want to bet a higher class of horse, regardless of the price charged. But there are some players out there who believe it is not worth almost $2000 profit to them to them at equal strike rates to watch those races, and play those tracks. For that type of player, they might want to take a look at some of the offerings of places like Retama and Sam Houston. A potential ROI hike from 0.89 to 1.04 on equal wager size and hit rates is something to think about.

Benefit to the Industry

In the big picture, it shows pretty well how much a 12% take also adds in handles for the business.

Money placed in players pockets over 200 race dates at reduced take: $840,000
Churn Rate Estimate: 6
Excess Handle generated by Retama and Sam Houston's low takeout pick 3: $5,040,000

Now if we could only get more tracks to offer players lower takeout bets. We might be able to turn that 5 million handle increase into much more.

Please join us at HANA, we need your help

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spotlight: Tracks With The Lowest Takeout

This is the first of a few blog pieces which will analyze the underlying numbers that comprised the 2010 HANA Track Ratings and we start out with the pre-eminent issue that our members across the board deem to be the most important, takeout.

Takeout directly impacts horseplayers and their level of activity and is a cost borne solely by horseplayers. It is because of this that horseplayers who primarily play the lower takeout tracks will have a greater chance at profitability and more money in their pocket at the end of the day. As a lot of us learned in ECON 101, higher prices (which in this case is takeout) lead to reduced demand and negatively impacts consumer behavior as they cut back consumption and take a closer look at substitutes (which in this case is alternative forms of gaming).

The focus of this analysis is solely on raw takeout, not net effective takeout after rebate, since the presence of insidious source market fees and other restrictive business practices limit the availability of rebates for many (I live in a state which gets the award for most punitive source market fee ensuring that its racing industry will never meet its full potential, Virginia).

In addition, the focus of raw takeout is important as it directly impacts all of those loyal patrons who show up regularly at the track and put money the windows in this day and age of declining attendance.

Lowest Takeout Tracks

• Keeneland
• Churchill Downs

Since takeout was the heaviest weighted component in the 2010 HANA Ratings, it should be no surprise that the two top HANA Rated tracks have the best overall takeout structures of the 69 tracks ranked in North America. The takeout for all wagers at both tracks is quite simple and as flat a structure as takeout gets here in North America. Takeout is either 16% for Win/Place/Show or 19% for all exotics, so no matter what your wagering preference you will receive a competitive takeout, relatively to other tracks (albeit still a bit higher than optimal).

Those horseplayers, like myself, who primarily play exotics should take special note of the 19% takeout on all exotic wagers ranging from exactas to Pick 6s. As a result, both Keeneland and Churchill Downs offer the lowest takeouts of the 69 tracks ranked for Trifectas and Superfectas and occupied the runner-up spots for Pick 6s (Gulfstream), Pick 4s (behind Monmouth) and Pick 3s (behind Retama and Sam Houston, tied).

So if you want to enjoy wagering on boutique Spring or Fall Racing at Keeneland, the spectacle that encompasses the Kentucky Derby/Kentucky Oaks or the 2010 Breeders Cup, you can at the very least feel that you are getting the best deal available for your wagering dollar due to not only the low relative takeouts at these tracks but, also the fact that they also lead the way best wager variety (Dime Supers, 50 Cent Trifectas, 50 Cent Pick 4 and 50 Cent Pick 3) allowing more flexibility to horseplayers when structuring their wagers.

Lowest Takeout Tracks – Honorable Mention

• Del Mar
• Hollywood Park
• Santa Anita
• Tampa Bay Downs

• Golden Gate Fields


While Kentucky Bluegrass may be the theme of the top tracks, Fun and Sun take center stage as the second best tracks in terms of overall takeout are Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Santa Anita and Tampa Bay Downs. The Southern California grand old dames of Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita have identical takeout rates and like their competitors in Kentucky, maintain a simplified two tiered takeout structure. These tracks sport the lowest Win/Place/Show takeout in North America at 15.43% and the 20.68% takeout for all other wagers puts then in the runner up spot behind Keeneland and Churchill Downs in terms of best trifecta takeout and honorable mention behind Gulfstream, Churchill/Keeneland for the takeout on their Marquee product, the Pick 6, and its sometimes gaudy pools. The least competitive exotic wagers from a takeout perspective are the exacta and daily double.

Tampa Bay Downs is an excellent example of a track which is doing all the right things from both an on track customer service perspective (which was not included in the rankings). Responding to player demands, Tampa Bay Downs has reduced its takeouts on exacta, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Pick 6, as well as daily double such that is now the second best in the country at 18% and its Pick 3s, Pick 4s and Pick 6s have the same low takeout as Churchill Downs and Keeneland at 19%. Unfortunately Tampa Bay Downs does have two wagers with high takeouts which all horseplayers should be aware of and that is the trifecta and superfecta which sport a highly unpalatable takeout of 25.90%.

On one last note, now that we have reviewed the 7 best tracks in terms of raw takeout rates. I have had the pleasure of attending the races at all of these tracks (almost all of them many times) and not only are they tracks which you can play at home knowing you will be receiving very competitive takeouts rates relative to most tracks throughout the country, but provide an enjoyable afternoon or weekend at the races if you happen to be in the mood for some live action.

TM

To take a look at full statistics for 69 thoroughbred tracks across North America, click here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

69 Tracks, with Takeouts, Field Size and More

We have updated our webpage with our 2010 compiled data. All 69 rated tracks are listed and you can sort by takeout rates on several bets, field size and more. If you were bookmarked and were using last year's sheet, please update it to this year's.

You can access the webpage here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

HANA Track Ratings: Keeneland #1, All 69 Tracks Released Here

For Immediate Release


(HANA, Charlottesville, Virginia) – The Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA) is proud to announce its second annual Proprietary Track Ratings have been released. This year, just like last, Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky finished in the top spot. (To read about Keeneland click here.)

"No takeout on any wager higher than 19%, average field size of 9.38, and pool sizes that give the player every opportunity to make a big score. When we looked at the raw numbers, hands down, Keeneland was North America's highest rated track," said HANA President Jeff Platt. "We congratulate Keeneland on being tops in North America for the second year running."

“We were surprised to have won last year and thrilled to win again this year. I want to thank all the great people at Keeneland who make this possible,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson.

The HANA Track Ratings are based on an algorithm designed by HANA Board member Bill Weaver, a retired engineer of Houston, Texas. Using studies and empirical data which are directly correlated to horseplayer value and handle growth, namely takeout rate, field size, wager variety, pool size and signal distribution, a composite score is tabulated, and tracks are ranked from one to sixty nine.

HANA’s top five tracks were released this week on the Paulick Report, with full feature stories on each track. The top five in order were: Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream Park and Oaklawn Park. HANA would like to thank everyone at the Paulick Report for being a part of this year’s release.

To have a look at all 69 racetracks and where they ranked, here they are in order from one to sixty nine.

1 Keeneland
2 Churchill Downs
3 Tampa Bay Downs
4 Gulfstream Park
5 Oaklawn Park
6 Ellis Park
7 Evangeline Downs
8 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
9 Atlantic City Race Course
10 Retama Park
11 Turfway Park
12 Kentucky Downs
13 Santa Anita Park
14 Delta Downs
15 Hollywood Park
16 Saratoga
17 Indiana Downs
18 Colonial Downs
19 Fairplex Park
20 CharlesTown
21 Will Rogers Downs
22 Fairgrounds
23 Sunland Park
24 Sam Houston Race Park
25 Ca. Racing Fairs
26 Aqueduct
27 Belmont Park
28 Louisiana Downs
29 Prairie Meadows Racetrack
30 Woodbine Racetrack
31 Hoosier Park
32 Golden Gate Fields
33 Fonner Park
34 Monmouth Park
35 Hawthorne Race Course
36 Arlington Park
37 Mountaineer Park
38 Remington Park
39 Lone Star Park
40 Delaware Park
41 Beulah Park
42 Finger Lakes
43 Canterbury Park
44 Penn National
45 Turf Paradise
46 Zia Park
47 Emerald Downs
48 Hastings Park
49 Yavapai Downs
50 Fair Meadows Tulsa
51 Calder Race Course
52 Portland Meadows
53 Fairmont Park
54 Thistledown
55 Philadelphia Park
56 Pimlico Race Course
57 Northlands Park
58 Los Alamitos
59 SunRay Park
60 Albuquerque
61 Ruidoso Downs
62 Presque Isle Downs
63 River Downs
64 Suffolk Downs
65 Fort Erie Race Track
66 Laurel Park
67 Arapahoe Park
68 Pinnacle Race Course
69 Assiniboia Downs


We will again be adding our full 2010 numbers for all 69 rated tracks as a player resource on our website, including data on takeouts, field size and much more. This data will be sortable, and we hope players will be able to make sound wagering decisions based on the listed categories.

HANA would like to thank Greg Reinhart, HANA member and racefan, for writing this year's feature stories.

To join us at HANA and be a part of next years ratings by offering your opinion, click here. It's free.

To look at our methodology and algorithm for the ratings system, please access the player resource section of our website here:

To contact us at HANA, please email us at info @ hanaweb.org.

The Horseplayers Association of North America is a grassroots group of horseplayers, not affiliated with any organization, who are not pleased with the direction the game has taken. HANA believes that both tracks and horseman groups have become bogged down with industry infighting and have completely forgotten something: The importance of the customer. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, wagering integrity, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry’s handle losses can be reversed. HANA is currently made up of over 1500 horseplayers (both harness and thoroughbred) from almost all states and Canadian provinces. It currently represents over $70,000,000 of yearly racing handle.

Our web address is http://www.horseplayersassociation.org and interested horseplayers can sign up there for free. We are horseplayers, just like you and we are trying to make a difference. We need, appreciate, and ask humbly for your support.

2010 HANA Track Ratings: #2 Churchill Downs

Please check out our feature story on Churchill on the Paulick Report.

After #1 we will be releasing all 69 rated tracks, so stay tuned if you are interested to see how your favorite track scored in the ratings system.

If you would like to let Churchill Downs know about their product, takeout, or whatever is on your mind, please leave a comment at Ray's site.