As horseplayers we have learned a strong lesson the past year - although tracks put on the show and take the bets - they do not have ultimate power.
Hollywood Park management, having little control over the takeout hike in the state, has tried to do something for the customer this meet, both on track and off.
Horseplayers are fairly steadfast in their position in California, and stayed away from Santa Anita's meet. A thread popped up on Paceadvantage.com last evening and it shows this to some degree, with over 50% saying they will still not look at Hollywood because of the TOC/CHRB takeout hike, this position is solidified.
One poster we think put it nicely:
"I used to really enjoy SoCal racing. Being on the East Coast, it fell into a perfect time slot for me to concentrate on the last 4-6 races on an almost daily basis. Then, they showed a blatant lack of respect for the customer by the takeout increase. To make matters worse, I couldn't believe some of the words directed at us, the customer. All the "takeout doesn't matter, gamblers will bet on anything", "the boycott is nonsense and won't have any effect" rhetoric, etc. Honestly, I don't miss it one bit. I've found better things to do with my time."
With tracks like Tampa lowering a couple more exotic takes this season, Hastings with a massive across the board takeout drop (and free PP's on their website) and several other tracks like a Woodbine at least moving in the right direction on pricing, a lot of horseplayers have found outlets to spend their hard-earned betting dollars.