"Santa Anita Finishes Meet Strong."
The above headline is from an an article that appeared in the Daily Racing Form yesterday 11/7/2011.
In that same article, the following two sentences appear:
According to figures released after racing each day, the meeting had an on track average attendance of 6,805. On track average handle was $1,322,702 while all-sources handle averaged $6,631,285.
The 2010 Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting had an all-sources average daily handle of $7,198,000, according to limited data released by Oak Tree after that meeting.
Read the full article at the following link:
We at HANA are confused. The headline misleads the reader into thinking all is well. But actual numbers pulled from the body of the article show a decline in average daily handle of nearly 8 percent.
Here's what we do know:
Boycott or no, Cal Racing handle has taken a direct hit over the past year. The timing of that direct hit coincides with the announcement of the takeout increase bill.
"We offer in California the premier racing product on a year-round basis,” he said, “but we were offering our first-class product at a discount price. We’re changing the pricing model. We left win-place-show where it is. But we came up with a solution that will produce $30 million more a year. That’s a 25-to-30% increase in overnight purses."The above quote comes from CHRB Chairman Keith Brackpool an in an article that appeared in The Blood-Horse on 9/27/2010 at the following link:
We also know the following:
Exacta takeout in California isn't just 22.68%.
It's 22.6 percent HIGHER than NYRA's exacta takeout - and absurdly out of line given quality of product relative to other major tracks.
When handle is analyzed by wager type the negative effect of the takeout increase is glaring. The number of races in California where the exacta pool is $100k vs. the number of races at other major tracks where the exacta pool is $200k, $300k, and $400k tells a story that can be summed up in 3 words:
Bettors aren't stupid.
The reality of those 3 words is starting to dawn on a lot of people in the industry in California - people who have recently changed their minds about the takeout increase - and who are now campaigning (quietly and behind the scenes) for a reduction in exacta takeout.