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Friday, May 27, 2011

Molson Pool Party Picks, Free Stuff and More!

Tonight at about 9:30PM ET the first leg of the late pick 4 Pool Party gets underway at Western Fair. Harness fans, via an online survey, were allowed to pick the races that they wanted in the pick 4. They are scheduled as races 9-12 tonight.

Free Program for the races is here.

Free video link at website as well.

In addition: New Rewards were announced from Horseplayersbet.com, Ibetharness.com and Americasadw.com, specifically for Western Fair tonight if anyone is interested in giving them a try.

As promised we have some resources and picks for you here at HANA Blog. First up, we offer the picks and stats from Ray and his proprietary software package. Ray is a long time poster on the Paceadvantage board.

Stats from "Ray's Robot"

Complete odds line for full card

Analysis

Pick 4 Pool Party Selections
Race 9
Computer likes #8 based on 2yo record (8/14), Post draw and best Speed Rating
Computer mistakenly forecasts tote board odds as large.
Race 10
Computer going with #8 again based on Last weeks personal final half of 54-2 at this track.
Also has D Palone rated as top driver.
Race 11
Computer goes long with #2 based on high rated local driver, improving form trend, good draw
Race 12
Computer rates the rail high at this track, enough to overcome class up.
Play is.........813/83/25143/1 .....30 tickets

Whatwins is a pay site that has been in operation for about a year now. Dave is a computer programmer who has crunched hundreds of thousands of harness races, and comes up with an odds line, value plays and ROI plays. He has graciously offered the card free of charge ($10 value), all you have to do is email him at Dave@whatwins.com and he will send it your way. For the Pool party, Dave allowed us to reprint his system picks here:





"ITP" chimes in next, with his picks. He is a professional player and has been for a great many years. You can follow him on Twitter here.

In what looks to be a probable chalky sequence, it leads to....
 
1. Taking the obvious, which is not what you want to do
 
2. Narrowing one or two of the races down so you can maybe hit it a few times
 
3. Trying to beat Foiled Again as he will be a single on most tickets and that is where the overpay will occur
 
I'm going to play a combo of 2 and 3.
 
9th race looks like a 1,3,5,6,8 spread but I'm going to gamble and narrow here.  Yannick launched #3 Village Janus last week as she rattled off a 27.4 3rd Q in an impressive win.  #1 Monkey On My Wheel was a very good 2nd in her first race off the layoff and gets the rail.  Hoping that Yannick can out-drive Brewer (#5 Camille)...#6 Mach Lady gets roughed up if she leaves...#8 Lauren will be behind #1 Monkey, who has never been passed.  Easy as that #1 & #3
 
10th race seems like Foiled Again is a cinch, but I can't stand keying a horse that will be singled on most and on almost every ticket. So let's try #3 Foiled Again, #4 Aracache Hanover, #6 Art Professor and #8 Atochia
 
11th race seems impossible and can't really seperate any of the top 5 contenders.  Using #1 Call Me Yours, #2 Miss Maverick, #4 Exquisite Alberta, #5 Racy Gal Hanover and #7 Chief Karen....and hope.
 
12th race looks like #1 Blissful Breeze, #2 Daddy Mac, #3 Four Starz Trace, #4 Part Shark and #7 Upfront Hoosierboy.  I like #1 & #4 better than #2 (missed 3 weeks), #3 (not very good last week) #7 (bad post, bad spot).
 
So the main ticket would be 1,3 with 3,4,6,8 with 1,2,4,5,7 with 1,2,3,4,7
 
Extra ticket would be 1,3 with 3,4,6,8 with 1,2,4,5,7 with 1,4
 
If you think Foiled Again can't lose, I would play this ticket multiple times 1,3 with 3 with 1,2,4,5,7 with 1,4

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Notes for a Thursday

** Pool Parties, Jerry JAM, A Horseplayers Favorite Trainer and more this Thursday on HANA blog. **

 We're very happy at HANA to support the Harness Racing Pool Party tomorrow night at Western Fair Raceway. The card, which has about $1M in purses, is the tracks signature event and we as horseplayers and fans believe that signature cards are a real future for our sport. Add the fact that the track has cut takeout to 15% on their pick 4, offer free programs and video, we think it's a no-brainer. To read our press release on the event, please click here. Tomorrow please watch the blog for analysis of the pick 4 from software capper Ray and professional caper ITP. As well we'll have links to Whatwins, a pay service offering out the card for free. A free program is out here.

We especially thank Greg Blanchard at Western Fair for his help. His preview of the HANA Pick 4 Pool Party is below.



We got a note from the publisher of a free magazine this week so we pass that along. The International Racing Digest has a feature story on Jerry Jamgotchian. Jerry is certainly passionate about racing, and for those who are on the JAMMER email list, they sure know he has an opinion!

Calfornia racing is struggling, with massive handle losses this season. Most horseplayers would say that they have struggled in the past as well, with (what players thought) were relatively minor fines for infractions. This time Cali-racing has added some teeth to a Jeff Mullins fine and suspension, but Mullins is fighting back with a lawsuit. This is a very tough sport to police. Hong Kong anyone?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Western Fair Pool Party on Tap for Friday

Horseplayers Have Chosen the Pick 4 Races, Advance Deposit Wagering Companies Climb Aboard With New Rewards for the Western Fair $300,000 Molson Pace Pick 4 “Pool Party”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(May 24th, 2011, Charlottesville, VA) -  The Horseplayers Association of North America’s Harness Racing division “HANA Harness” has organized it’s very first “Pool Party” for the Western Fair pick 4 on Friday, at that tracks’ signature event, the $300,000 Molson Pace.  We are happy to announce the races that were chosen by you – the horseplayer – for the pick 4 sequence are finalized. As well, several Adw’s have jumped on board offering you brand new rewards for the big evening.

“Pool Parties” were first introduced in 2009 where horseplayers gather to bet a specific pool on a specific day or evening to show support for a racetrack who is being customer friendly in myriad ways. Western Fair Raceway has been customer friendly of late, with free programs, a reduction in takeout on their pick 4 of 15%, and guaranteeing pools.

The races which will make up the pick 4 which were chosen by horseplayers via an online survey were as follows: The $300,000 Molson Pace, the $25,000 Molson Pace Consolation/Invitational, a Preferred Pace, and the $130,000 OSS Gold Filly Pace (35%).

We are also pleased to announce several ADWs will be offering brand new rewards for the card, lowering bettors’ effective takeout appreciably.  Ibetharness.com, Horseplayersbet.com, and Americasadw.com have shown support for the Pool Party with rewards on the whole evening of racing, as well as signup bonuses.  Horseplayer Interactive, Woodbine’s online wagering arm, has also instituted a new bonus for the card: 10X reward points on trifectas (triactors).  Please visit these Adw’s directly for their deals, residency requirements and full betting menus. If there are any other Adw's who would like to offer their customers added rewards for the evening, please email HANA and we will be happy to inform bettors.

The card will also be simulcast as a part of the Meadowlands race card on Friday, and is being carried by all major ADWs in Canada and the US.

On the HANA Blog this week, we will be posting the program pages for free, analysis from a proprietary software program, a professional harness horseplayer ‘s picks,  and a link to “Whatwins”, a pay site for harness picks that uses artificial intelligence which is giving out the card for free. Please watch for that this coming Friday.

To keep informed, or to get involved, please join HANA Harness at http://www.horsplayersassociation.org. Please specify “harness racing” when you sign up.

and Twitter here:  http://twitter.com/HANAHarness
Email us anytime 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 approximately 2000 horseplayers (both harness and thoroughbred) from almost all states and Canadian provinces. It currently represents over $80,000,000 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.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shout Out to the Tioga Trendsetters

Nick Salvi and Jason Settlemoir of Tioga Downs spent much of the pre-game show talking about how they lowered their takeout across the board.

Nick said "a lot of tracks are dropping on some wagers, but we were the trendsetters."

They were.

To drop takeout across the board as much as they did is very difficult for a track operator to do - especially with having to deal with horsemen groups. But they did.

Handle at Tioga was up 8% last year at Tioga and in contrast, their sister track (where horsemen did not approve a takeout decrease) was off around 6%.

This season Tioga is guaranteeing a pick 6 each Sunday at $10,000 and their new slogan is splashed across the simo feed: "We take less, so you can bet more".



Harness Fans: Show your support for this little track that cares. Perhaps after HANA Harness's Pool Party at Western Fair at the end of the month, a pick 6 pool party is in order?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Handle Records, Bettor Math, and More

Tampa Bay Downs set another all-sources handle record this past meet. The gain was 8% and according to Peter Berube, their lower take played a part.

Despite the loss of handle from New York City OTB parlors, the Oldsmar oval’s total all-sources handle grew to $411,484,853, up $30,495,981 or 8%. "Overall, we credit our lower takeout, large fields, 18% more turf racing and greater access to the California market as key to our success as well as a larger simulcast following nationwide.” said Berube.

If the tri take or WPS show take is looked at for next season, one can surmise handle will again surge at the Florida track.

Brad Free has been doing an excellent job showing the industry what the low take pick 5 is doing in California.

"Horseplayers have embraced the low-takeout pick five wager introduced this spring at Hollywood Park. Three weeks into the meet, the 50-cent pick five has out-handled the traditional $2 pick six – $1.8 million to $1.7 million.


Call it a victory for the law of supply and demand. With a takeout rate of 14 percent, the pick five is the least expensive wager in California. Meanwhile, the pick-six takeout rate is 23.86 percent."

He goes on to show some very important carryover data for horseplayers and it is a must read.

With all the talk of the "economy" coming out of California and some other states as a crutch, Tampa Bay Downs and the low takeout pick 5 at Hollywood are showing the industry that when common-sense is embraced, along with a little bit of hard work, our sport can grow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

HANA Harness Announces Pool Party at Western Fair. Track Management Asks Customers to Card the Pick 4 Races!

HANA Harness Announces Western Fair Raceway Pick 4 “Pool Party” for Molson Pace night – Horseplayers, in an Industry First, are Asked to “Pick the Pick 4”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(May 10th, 2011, Charlottesville, VA) -  The Horseplayers Association of North America’s Harness Racing division “HANA Harness” is happy to announce a “Pool Party” for the pick 4 at Western Fair Raceway on $300,000E Molson Pace night, Friday, May 27th 2011.

“Pool Parties” were first introduced by HANA in 2009. The concept is simple: Horseplayers gather to bet a specific pool on a specific day or evening to show support for a racetrack who is being customer friendly in myriad ways. Previous pool parties for the thoroughbreds have been held at tracks like Tampa Bay Downs, Hawthorne Race Course and others.

Western Fair was chosen because they recently dropped their pick 4 takeout from 25% to 15%. In addition the racetrack has begun guaranteeing their pick 4 pools, and will be guaranteeing this special pick 4 at $10,000.  There is also a new twist: Western Fair’s management has asked their horseplayers and customers to “Pick the Pick 4” races.

 The Pick 4 (called a “Win 4” at Western Fair) will include the Molson Pace in its sequence, but the other three races are up for discussion.  Horseplayers have often wanted a certain type of race, or race, in a pick 4 sequence only to see the race office card another. It is now their chance to be heard. Via a survey link (below), you will choose the types of races which will make up the pick 4 sequence.

“We are pleased to support Western Fair’s big night” said HANA President Jeff Platt.  “Picking the Pick 4 is a great idea and the track should be commended for engaging customers in such a way. We are excited to be a part of this and encourage all horseplayers to play a few dollars to support the track.”

Greg Blanchard, Western Fair’s Assistant Racing Manager and Announcer noted: “It is very exciting to be the first harness track to host a HANA pool party. In terms of having horseplayers choose the sequence, we think it makes perfect sense that players should have some input into what they want to wager on. We hope this adds to what promises to be a great night of racing.”

HANA Harness is currently working on a few items which we hope makes the night even more player friendly:  We are lining up advance deposit wagering companies to offer special rewards for the pick 4, will be posting free past performances on the website, and offering picks and selections from various players and sources. Currently in Canada, Horseplayer Interactive, the largest ADW in that country, is offering 10X the reward points on the card.

To keep informed, or to get involved, please join HANA Harness at http://www.horseplayersassociation.org and watch for updates on our blog.

If you are a horseplayer and you’d like to vote on the pick 4 races please visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WesternFair

For a web copy of this press release, please visit: http://blog.horseplayersassociation.org/2011/05/hana-harness-announces-pool-party-at.html

-30-

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 approximately 2000 horseplayers (both harness and thoroughbred) from almost all states and Canadian provinces. It currently represents over $80,000,000 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.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Does the RCI Medication Ban Call Have Power?

In late March the Racing Commissioners International called for a five-year phase out of medication on raceday. This was met with some debate - on one side were most horseplayers and fans, some in the media, and several insiders and horse owners. On the other there were primarily horsemen groups. The debate was spirited and good points were made on both sides.

In racing, spirited debate, studies and new policy usually ends up in the trash can, and time will tell if this initiative does as well. However, there is some evidence the RCI has already done some good.

The California Horse Racing Board announced that trainer Jeff Mullins has been forced to "dismantle his stable during a 70 day ban."  This seems to be a shift for the state, where horseplayers - including boycotters of the product who have long asked for more stringent penalties and no "training by cell phone" - have long complained that the board has handled suspensions with kid-gloves.

"The suspension effectively means, for the first time in California, a suspended trainer may not simply turn over the operation of his stable to an assistant while he serves out his penalty." 

It appears that the RCI call - this time - has legs and shows that change can come.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Derby's Big Tent

"If only we could recreate that every day" is an often heard response to the thrill, excitement and general good feel for the Derby. Clearly that is impossible, but if we analyze what the Derby is about from a betting perspective (leaving aside the obvious branding and focus of the event), we might be able to help our sport.

Derby Day is a day where everyone is a bettor, and everyone is a fan: The tent is ginormous.  On the one hand you have the casual fan who has an opinion and might bet $2 across the board on his/her favorite racehorse. You have the professional player who loves the $1 superfectas, because if they go deep on tickets they can really make some money. You have the dedicated horseplayer who can mix around some $0.50 pick 3's or 4's, or get together with a few others who like the same horse in the big one, and pool some cash for a syndicate. Everyone is drawn to the card, because the card is completely "big tent".

Richard Thalheimer's study not long ago focused on field size and takeout as the main components of pari-mutuel handle. The thought is simple: A larger field size gives bettors more choice, and lower takeout helps them last longer and get good value for their money.

The Derby exhibits those two components to a "t".

The large pools, and plenty of "dumb money" in the Derby presents people with some tremendous value. Pants on Fire was 7-1, which means every other horse is an overlay, and that can wipe out a value players takeout to nothing. If these horses are well bet on the board, they are also well bet in exotics - a veritable feast for value players.

In terms of field size, the big tent approach continues. With 20 possibles, with almost countless permutations for pass/don't pass, you will find something you like.

I like Animal Kingdom because he has the pedigree for it and has loved the surface in morning works.I hate Animal Kingdom because he prepped on polytrack.

I love Dialed In because he is a closer and should get a strong pace to run at. I hate Dialed In because he is a closer and will have too much traffic.

I like Twice the Appeal because of Calvin! Twice the Appeal is 10-1 and should be 100-1, so you're crazy. 

On and on and on. There are literally thousands of different reasons to like or dislike a Derby horse.

Set your minds eye to a Derby with five horses instead of 20. The lead up to the race after awhile would be like watching a test pattern.

As all bettors are screaming at once: That is what we go through about 95% of the time!  A 5 horse field at Santa Anita, or Arlington has permeated the landscape of this sport, with disparate interests all fighting for table scraps. When an odds board's implied probability mirrors actual - it is red light for our customer base, big, small or medium. With it we have a pup tent, not a big tent.

When racetracks offer us fields and a pool size where we can have an opinion and act on it, the tent gets bigger and bigger. When they don't we are left with a trickle of handle and a customer base who is not energized about our sport.

We can't give people the Derby every day, but the fundamentals of what the Derby is from a betting perspective should be in the back of every race secretary and executives mind at all times. We can get better, it just takes some work. The roadmap is right in front of us each May.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Derby/Oaks Weekend Starts Early for Players

A double-carryover awaits horseplayers tomorrow at Churchill Downs to start the big weekend early

The pick 6 has a $33,700 carryover. The Super-High Five has a $12,800 carryover.Both bets are at a 19% takeout.

There is a decent sized pick 6 carryover at Belmont, as well. That's a 26% take bet.

Further, Calder's 12% pick 5 continues tomorrow. Twinspires players can take advantage of a 0% takeout Friday's in May.

Derby Works, From Bruno here.

Other news for harness players:

Tioga Downs opens up Saturday.

As most know, Tioga lowered takeout last year to New York State mins, and sports the lowest harness takeouts in North America. They have also added a new pre-game show, and a weekly serial program on Time Warner Cable. In addition they have added a huge stakes sked this year and are quickly becoming a player. They deserve our support.


HANA Harness has also been contacted by Western Fair Raceway and we will shortly be announcing a very first Harness Pool Party. Western Fair recently lowered their takeout on pick 4s to a low 15%.

To everyone: Have a great Derby weekend and good luck at the windows.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Carryover Alerts for Sunday

Calder has a pick 5 carryover today of $24,000. This is a 12% takeout bet and is very good value.

Pimlico has a similar pick 5 carryover today, this one at 19% takeout.