On a chat board about two years ago, where a discussion was going on about racing and bettors, an everyday player, "Dan G" posted: "The intelligence of the modern player is lost on many in charge".
If we look at today's Gulfstream results, we think that statement on your intelligence is not only true, but it is becoming more and more so true.
As most know, Gulfstream has done a few good things this meet, and the buzz has been quite good for the Florida powerhouse. First they created a new pick 6, based on a Puerto Rican wager which can grow lights out over time. Second, they created a low takeout pick 5 at 15% to entice value players into the mix.
We will see how this plays out, but we think it is worth a try. The pick 6, at ten cents, relies on carryovers to grow, and it is specifically designed to try and get lottery and slots players over to play it. For your average every day guy at simo, it is not designed for them, nor is it encouraged (although mandatory payout day might be a bonzai). This bet has been very heavily promoted so far this season. The pick 5 on the other hand is tremendous for every day players - not only can smaller players go deep and play like a whale for a day (the min is 50 cents, and with only five races you can cover), they are getting really nice takeout. It has not been promoted that much, but on chat boards and in our HANA mailbox, it has player buzz.
Today, the modern player spoke. The heavily promoted pick 6 received $7400 in handle, while the "inside the beltway" pick 5 received about 700% more, $56,000 in handle. The modern horseplayer chose value.
There is more than one good thing about this: We spoke to Gulfstream about their new bets - especially the pick 6- and they understand completely. They want to try and get some slot money, and lotto money in the pick 6 bet, and are more than happy to take your hard-earned horseplayer cash (with respect) in the pick 5.
At HANA we were happy to speak with GP on your behalf this past week. Their 1 point raise in the supers this year was disconcerting and we let them know that, but we love the pick 5 take and that bet for you, as well as the other fractional wagers they offered, and we think Tim and Steve are on the right track. We feel we'll see more horseplayer friendly things there in the future, as this new management team evolves. We will of course be monitoring them on your behalf, and our phone lines are open if they would like to chat about anything you are concerned with.
It's now up to you - keep supporting that pick 5 like you did today, because it is good for racing, and good for you too. When you choose value, the future of the game gleams brighter.
Note: There is a $35,000 pick 5 carryover tomorrow for those who want to give it a shot.