Sunday, September 29, 2013

An Interesting Interview With Darryl Kaplan

The following interview is reprinted with permission from

I was reading an article on TechCrunch this week written by venture capitalist Mike Butcher. 

He wrote:

“That’s what startups are about: thinking big. Because to my mind, not enough startups do that. Time and again I see pitches from companies that want to create, what in effect is a widget. An application. Something which simply extends an existing ecosystem, or tinkers around the edges. For instance, if I have to see another startup which wants to ‘aggregate travel experiences’ I will gnaw my right leg off.”

In racing, we don’t tend to think like Mr. Butcher, and in many cases – with government partnerships, dozens of alphabets, rules on top of rules -  we simply can’t. Sometimes we don’t even make very good widgets.

However, there are some people out there who like to think big in racing despite the roadblocks, and Darryl Kaplan is one of them. 

As Manager of Industry Communications and Business Development for Standardbred Canada he has directed wagering conferences with outside the box guests and thinkers, and through it developed the most comprehensive framework ever devised to promote harness racing : The Racing Development and Sustainability Plan.  Although the plan failed to receive funding, many of the ideals of the RDSP are currently being implemented by thoroughbred racing, through the Jockey Club. They are having some success.

Since we rarely seem to find optimism and big picture thinking in our sport these days, I thought I would call Darryl for a chat.  I left the conversation feeling an infectious optimism, and I hope you do too. 

 Back at the Canadian Gaming Summit in 2008 a professional gambler noted that “slots are probably going to be much less popular in ten years” as habits and demographics change. Reading the 2012 Ontario Lottery and Gaming Review, they hint at similar and have begun to notice it happening. Do you feel – even if governments keep slot contracts in place like they are in New York  - that by 2025 they will not be supporting purses near what they are now? If not, why?

DK: A combination of an aging demographic, increased availability and a likely explosion in online gambling will have a major effect on revenues generated from bricks and mortar slot facilities. We’re starting to see the makers of social media games entering the gambling fray, and it’s becoming very clear that the way people bet and what they bet on will change dramatically over the next decade.
The only way to ensure revenues continue to flow toward horse racing is to make sure that dollars are directed to products that rely on the live product. Short of that, at the very least, the industry should be looking at creating meaningful partnerships that leverage what’s next in gambling – not those products that are likely to fade away. 

 You have long been a proponent of enhancing harness racing’s business model through the live racing experience.  You’re one of the few people out there who believe if packaged right, the sport can charge a stout admission, and make money on the live gate. Do you believe that this is a viable model if done correctly? What did you see with Standardbred Canada’s Xtreme Horsepower and Adrenaline Festival’s that you liked, and could be built upon? What does the industry need to do to make this happen?

DK: There are numerous examples of sports and entertainment products that have been structured or reinvented to cater to the customer and generate revenues. Minor league baseball, Ultimate Fighting Championship, motocross, monster truck events, and countless other entertainment products are operated to generate excitement, attendance and drive revenues.

Horse racing, if packaged correctly, can be a huge draw. This is proven at events like the Little Brown Jug, Gold Cup and Saucer, and short racing meets like Keeneland, Del Mar and Saratoga. Xtreme Horsepower was about pushing the envelope on what the racing product can look like. With 18 horse fields and other innovations, it proved that horsepeople and management can be flexible and work together for the benefit of the customer. Adrenaline was about creating an event that focused on food, fun and racing, with multiple revenue sources that could serve as a model for future events and festivals.

The amazing thing about Adrenaline was that it generated more in sponsorship and attendance revenues for those three days than we could have if the track had generated $1 million in betting handle. To newcomers to the track, there were very few complaints about paying admission, and attendance remained well above normal for months following the event. But with all of these things, concepts need an opportunity to persevere, improve and thrive. One-offs rarely work and events that fail to generate revenues, like most of the big days currently in harness racing, will ultimately fail.  

The Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) in France, as well as the partnership between Swedish Gaming and harness racing (ATG) has been, by all accounts, a roaring success for their breeding and racing industries. Do you ever see such a partnership occurring in North America?

DK: Unfortunately, in North America it will probably take a break-down of the current models before arriving at something like the PMU or ATG – but it could happen. In Ontario, such a model is now possible (although perhaps not likely) as for-profit tracks quietly bow out of racing, and government takes an active role working with not-for-profits. Racing needs to take advantage of this by creating some centralized strength in the areas of wagering, marketing and distribution. 

In the United States, in many jurisdictions, casino companies are the ones charged with operating racing, which in most cases, will ultimately fail. There will always be a cheaper way to move money to the bottom line than horse racing. This is something that is well understood in other places in the world where, in many cases, racing is run by centralized not-for-profits.

You have worked - through the planning for the Racing Development and Sustainability Plan  - at exploring the creation a horse racing lottery in Ontario, not unlike the V75 in Sweden. What has been the biggest stumbling block at getting it implemented? Can it happen?

DK: For government to implement a V75 wager through their lottery network, the sustainability of horse racing needs to be part of their overall mandate because it is easier and more affordable to determine lottery numbers by bouncing balls than by the results of horse races. It is encouraging in Ontario to hear the premier talking about integration between racing and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. But real action will require enormous change. As it stands, many lottery corporations see horse racing as competitors not as partners. 

There are other options for these wagers that rely on the pari-mutuel network. They are more attainable and could be implemented with much less difficulty. A starting point would be a centralized jackpot wager that is available on live racing at a number of tracks. The initiative would have to be fully supported and distributed to be successful.

It’s been well documented that Bingo, Lotteries, Casinos – virtually all racing’s gambling competitors – possess marketing budgets that dwarf racing’s. Elsewhere, Canada’s milk producers have socked away $67.3 million for marketing this year alone. If I gave you a check for, let’s say, $10 million right now, how would you spend it to market harness racing?

DK: It’s very difficult to theoretically allocate funds to specific areas. There is meaningful work that would have to take place before deciding how to allocate funds to generate the greatest long-term benefits for the horse racing industry. While branding is a key, a $10 million marketing campaign that sends people to the racetrack only to have them disappointed by the experience is a failure. We have to focus on creating a spectacle that excites customers and caters to them. We need a wagering product that bettors feel they can win at. And we need to create sustainable revenue sources and have a way to measure results of our efforts.

You and others embarked on a plan to package harness racing signals in Canada, so that there is little overlap, and distribution of the betting product can be promoted far and wide. What would it take to make this happen? Is it impossible with disparate interests, all fighting for space in the betting landscape?

DK: With some co-operation, this is very achievable and would be a huge win for the sport. What we learned from the exercise is that on the demand side, there is great interest in products being packaged and sold. On the supply side, it seems to be a tougher sell as racetracks have always operated in a relatively independent way when it comes to their signals. Revenues from the export of a signal are also small, especially when put side by side with casino funds. Because of that, tracks haven’t seen the potential upside. As racing is a global market, I believe the opportunities are big. Aside from revenues generated, it is important to send a message to government that customers from around the world are watching and wagering on our racing product, and funds are flowing in globally.

Smaller tracks in harness racing are extremely important to the sport as they support a feeder system, they give a place for lesser animals to race, and also card live racing for horsemen to make a living at. Currently they tend to possess high takeouts, almost no handle, and are not very palatable to many gamblers.  Is there anything you’ve seen in your travels that you think can help smaller tracks get a foothold in the gambling market?

DK: With a branded signal, this is very achievable. If 50,000 outlets around the world carry the branded signal and a number of times per year, the featured product is from Truro Raceway or Dresden Racetrack, we could generate enormous handle, even at small facilities. Under the current model, we expect Truro or Dresden to go it alone – pay to upload their signal, sell it and promote it. They have no ability to do that, and with tracks all competing for the same space, such a scenario would be a disaster for all involved.

With a unified model, every track in North America could have an Old Home Week or a Jug week with huge betting pools and life-changing payouts, as well as paid attendance, sponsorship revenues, on track entertainment and genuine excitement in the community. But it requires vision, cooperation and implementation.

In a 2009 “State of the Industry” issue in Trot Magazine, you and your team asked industry insiders what harness racing would look like in 2050. The responses were not very optimistic. Since that time harness racing has gone through much turmoil – New Jersey racing lost their casino funding, slots money has been taken away from several jurisdictions – and one would suspect the answers today would be even direr. Can I ask you, with the caveat that many of the items you talk about above are solved in some form: What do you think harness racing will look like in 2050?

DK: If the items above, and some others, are solved, horse racing will be extremely popular in 2050. Racetracks and communities will hold events that will turn small town racing into a true tourist destination for days or weeks of the year. Revenues will flow through partnerships with corporations looking to leverage the love of the horse. Wagering handle will explode and betting exchanges will allow customers to bet horses online in a way that is responsive to their needs. Fans will come to the racetrack for the energy it provides, as it will be a tremendous social gathering in a society dominated by impersonal devices.  The product will offer tremendous variety and be integrated into a lean and efficient entertainment offering rivalling the best shows available. The public’s relationship with horse racing will also become about their relationship with the animal and to agriculture – not a sterile spot to cheer for saddlecloth numbers and colours.

The sport will be brought back to the people with racing events held during festivals and fairs, on our beaches and frozen canals. We will be exporting the racing signal as well as the breed to the rest of the world because we will be seen as leaders and we will lead global gaming initiatives to tie North American horse betting into global wagering opportunities. 

Young people tired of their online world will disengage to enjoy an evening at the races, and main event days will once again see 10,000 reserved tickets sold. The entertainment will more closely resemble Medieval Times or chariot racing in The Coliseum than it looks like anything we see today, but it will be an experience for all ages – two hours of unmatched fun!

I told you his optimism was infectious. I sincerely thank Darryl for taking time out to speak with me.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Next Horseplayer Monthly Is Shaping Up, Thanks to Many of You

As many of you know, we've embarked on the new Horseplayer Monthly emagazine. If you have not read the last issue, just click here and you can, for free.

It's truly a labor of love, and the writers and folks who have offered content, have done so for no payment. Our advertisers, like, took a shot with us, too, which is so appreciated.

A week or so after the release we asked you what you'd like to see in upcoming issues, and you responded. We have incorporated some of those suggestions in this issue.

You wanted to know about how someone makes a living betting racing, and this month we have a feature story on Lexington, KY's Mike Maloney, who is doing just that, and has so for some time. We hope his insight will help you become a better horseplayer.

You wanted to know what a newbie thought about horse racing? Many of you have watched the sport for many years, so it is interesting to read something like that. We asked that question on twitter and found one. We hope you find it interesting.

You said you wanted to patronize tracks that make you feel welcome as a customer. What better to preview than the Keeneland meet? We had our crack horseplayer team look at the last three Keeneland Fall meets and provide a comprehensive stat pack for next Friday's opener. Some of these statistics you will not find anywhere.

One of you asked for a little bit of harness racing handicapping content, so we asked HANA member and handicapper Garnet Barnsdale to write and he said yes. We now have a Harness racing column for those of you who enjoy betting that sport, or are a crossover bettor.

We'll have much more for the release next week of October's edition. We are thrilled with the feedback, the shares on twitter and facebook and at tracks, and we thank you for doing it. For industry sites like the Paulick Report and Bloodhorse, we appreciate the mentions, and for chat sites like who have allowed us to promote the e-mag, we can't say thanks enough times.

We look forward to delivering issue two in your inbox next Wednesday. For those who have not signed up for it, you can here.* For those who need to update their preferences you can at that link as well. For existing folks on the list, if you have not been getting the emag, please ensure we are not being delivered to spam folders. That happens to all of us usually.

Thank you again, and we hope you enjoy the next issue.

* - Your name and email address are confidential and we do not license or sell the email list in any way, shape or form. We also do not spam. Very rarely do we send more than two or three emails in a calendar month. We hate getting emails as much as you do.......we'd rather be handicapping!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Lack of Consistency Hurts the Sport

You'll often hear bettors say "I just wish they would call the same infractions at track A like they do at track B and C. And at track D and E too"

It's a fairly common refrain.

At times we as horseplayers sometimes wonder if it is only us this happens to. In this case, it's the participants too.

Today, trainer Reid Nagle had a letter published at the Paulick Report about the Tampa Bay Downs situation. He seems to feel (I hope I am not putting words in his mouth, it's just what drift I catch from his letter), that Tampa Bay Downs is not being consistent in its handling of the Jane Cibelli case.

"Tampa Bay Downs’ response to the Cibelli situation could not have been more disappointing. They ruled the vet off the track within days, but Jane Cibelli, despite the well-known trainer responsibility rule, continued racing for the remaining three months of the meet. When questioned by Ray Paulick, Peter Berube made the false claim that the state’s handling of the case tied their hands. Well Peter Berube, to that I say “horse caca.”

We as bettors, and owners for that matter, don't care who committed what infraction. We don't care how much money someone has, or how many wins they have. We don't care if we like him or her as a jock or trainer, or we don't like them. If they have ten horses in the stalls or just one. We just demand everyone be treated the same, and every infraction treated the same; with consistency. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Does Tampa Risk Losing the Good Bettor Buzz?

This morning, perusing the Paulick Report, we found the Jane Cibelli story. For those who were not following, or do not remember, there is a fairly good synopsis on the Paulick Report.

Tampa Bay, through takeout reductions, and work on their field size, has become a pretty good success story over the last ten years or so. However, reading a DRF report later in the day, a comment struck as interesting:

"I certainly won't be betting on Tampa this winter....they seem to care more for their partners than the well being of horses and the bettors."

 It seems, for one bettor at least, the whole package - care for bettors, customers, horses, and the good of the game - matters.

Work, Life and Handicapping Balance

This article originally appeared on page 3 in this month's Handicapping Monthly. To get your copy for free you can download it here, and sign up for free future copies, as well. 

As a father of two little ones, in a two person working household, with a job that requires a fair bit of travel; free time is at a premium. In my own experience, this game requires a huge time commitment to be effective. Even with the aid of a sophisticated handicapping software provider, time is the single most key ingredient to successful play. Perhaps this is not the case for others, but my best results have been in years where free time was abundant.

I’m sure many of you out there in Handicapping Land are in a similar situation in one form or another. I’ve found myself quite frustrated over my recent handicapping results, but only have myself to blame as no one is putting a gun to my head and placing these losing bets. No matter the reason for a losing run (time constraints or other distractions, bad handicapping, poor ticket construction, swings in short term luck, etc.), the bottom line is that the individual is in charge of their own destiny. If you blame any third party, it’s unhealthy and will lead to more losing. A bad ride, a nose bob, a tough trip – these are all short term uncontrollable events. This tends to even out in the long run one way or another.

One of the most appealing aspects of handicapping is the thrill of hitting a big ticket as the financial rewards are coupled with the satisfaction of being right. Most handicappers I’ve come across have an inherent competitive streak, which is of paramount importance. While that drive is key, the rush associated with it can also lead to addictive behaviors and/or poor habits. We constantly must fight the urge to put money through the windows/ADWs arbitrarily, without thinking it through, and that’s where I find myself. I’m so inherently competitive that I expect to win regardless of extemporaneous factors. In retrospect, in between taking the kids to gymnastics, soccer, and music class, putting down that bet on the second at Saratoga is a losing proposition, but my competitiveness hinders that poor short term decision to make a bet. The combination of less time, forcing too many bets, poor ticket construction, and countless other points are impeding good decision making.

One of the biggest detriments to better results can be boiled down to our own psyche. Too many horseplayers fail to recognize their own limitations, whether by lack of knowledge, lack of introspective thought, or some combination of the two, and waste an incredible amount of time repeating mistakes. That is, we have too much ego to admit failings or not enough collective knowledge to overcome them. Even if we spend countless hours playing the game, we fail to learn about ourselves along the way, and in turn, allow certain personality traits to inhibit success. I’ve learned I need time and concentration to be successful, and without it, I’m a losing player. Each of us, with rare exception, fall victim to ourselves in one manner or another.  

No matter what your specific situation might be, think about what factors outside of the actual fundamentals themselves lead you to handicapping success. I know I need time, time, and more time and will endeavor to only place a bet with ample legwork completed. Each player should objectively look in the mirror, study their carefully complied records, look at the bankroll, and truly assess what makes you successful. More importantly, understand what makes your life as complete as possible and where your handicapping fits into it.

Be honest with yourself, relish your life, and enjoy your handicapping.

Good luck and good racing.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Leadership is Needed When Reporting Violations

It was reported this morning that a trainer with a Class I violation in California received only 30 days and a $3,000 fine. The recommended penalty for a suspension of that nature is usually one year. A Class I is on par with the frog juice positives we saw earlier this year.

In his piece, Paulick notes:

"The ruling did not elaborate on why a Class 1 violation received only a small fraction of the recommended penalty of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, of which the CHRB is a member.
There was reference to a “stipulated agreement” between the CHRB and Vallejo, but CHRB communications officer Mike Marten said a copy of that agreement is not available."

We, as customers, probably all agree: That is simply not good enough.

Explaining to a customer in a gambling game why he or she who bet the second place horse and perhaps had a solid payday that day but did not get paid, is not asking too much. It's common sense. 

Leadership is important in any organization or situation. A leader at a regular job who suspends an employee for 15 days, but does not suspend another for the same violation owes his or her employees an explanation. If he or she does not give one, it hurts morale. If at a restaurant and one table gets a coupon honored, but the next table does not, the manager better explain why, or his or her customers will feel cheated. Racing should be no different.

Perhaps there are valid reasons why this trainer received such a light punishment for such a huge offense. Perhaps it was a mistake, or the product was in feed, or in a supplement. Perhaps there was no wrong doing. Perhaps. But it appears we won't find out and that's not a drug problem or a trainer problem. That's a leadership problem.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blast From the Past: 1959's 'Gambling Games'

There's a fascinating video on youtube that has a look at gambling in the 1950's. The horse racing section is below.

More money was bet on horse racing than any other game in 1959. Apparently tipsters were all considered "hucksters with worthless information", totes were "computing machines", takeout was maxed out at 15%,  and I am unsure when the saying "you can beat a race, but you can't beat the races" popped up, but it was certainly before 1959. The video starts at the horse racing section, so give it a watch if you'd like.

Take a look at the cool video here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A "Kentucky Paradise" And Credit Where Credit is Due to NYRA

Kentucky Downs has been generating appreciable buzz for their current meet. We looked at the handle progression on the weekend here at HANA Blog, and the track that calls itself a "bettors paradise" might not be that far off. Their big fields, low takeout and their willingness to "go get you" as a customer cannot be overstated.

On the weekend, speed was good and the inside posts in sprints were not. If you are playing today that's something you may want to look for. Handicapper Lenny Moon has his selections up today, as he has been analyzing and studying the meet.

Credit where credit is due. For quite awhile horseplayers - on twitter at simo centers, on chat boards - have been asking NYRA to add some horseplayer friendly items to their menu with the advent of slot machine revenue. A lot seemed to think it would never happen. Well, it has. The low takeout pick 5 has been rolling since the Belmont opener and they've now added Trakus technology. This is a tremendous start and for a signal that has been long-popular, it makes a lot of players very happy. Well done!

We were humbled by the response to our inaugural "Handicapping Monthly" pdf e-magazine that we released on Monday. Downloads have been through the roof and the comments have been very appreciated. We want to sincerely thank the Bloodhorse for running our press release, all of you for mentioning it on twitter, Paceadvantage for letting us link it in our forum, and too many others to mention (if we are forgetting anyone, we are truly sorry; it is simply an oversight). A special thanks should go out to Ray Paulick and Scott at the Paulick Report for giving us a feature story in their new Horseplayer Forum. 

For ADW's like and who advertised with us, we thank you. Please horseplayers, check these two ADW's out. They are trying to help you win. 

The Horseplayer Monthly, as Jeff noted in the press release, is something we think can help people become better and more engaged bettors, offer handicapping information you will not find anywhere else, and spread the word about the 'greatest gambling game ever invented'. If you have not checked it out, please do here.

Good luck and good racing from everyone at HANA.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Announcement: The Handicapping Monthly Is Live

The Horseplayer Monthly is an e-magazine that's totally free to both HANA and non-HANA members that is almost 100% focused on handicapping.

This month's edition has an interview with CJ from TimeformUS about making figures, handicapping and his thoughts on the horses we bet each day. We also looked at "When's A Supertrainer Not So Super", Ray Paulick and Seth Merrow were in our "Ten Questions With" segment, statistics, betting math and much more.

 To get your copy of the Horseplayer Monthly, please click here!

We embarked on this project for three main reasons:

1. Handicapping horses is the greatest gambling game ever invented, and we want that shouted from the rooftops.  We feel that horseplayers, new and old, crave handicapping information. By publishing a monthly magazine focused on it, if some of that information helps even one person become a better player, or reaches one person who does not know about horse racing handicapping but wants to, (and he or she becomes a new fan and bettor), we think we've done our job.

2. We feel by publishing the e-magazine, HANA can reach more people who may want to become HANA members, help out, be engaged to promote racing, offer ideas to make it better, lobby their political leaders (if need be) on horseplayer taxation, or uniform rules, or anything else that can help the sport. There is strength in numbers.

3. HANA is a volunteer organization and does not collect dues. Over the past several years, HANA has relied solely on the goodwill of fellow horseplayers through donations or a voluntary contribution through the purchase of a HANA Member Pin. We feel a publication such as Horseplayer Monthly can bring in a nominal amount of advertising dollars. This revenue will be used to help grow the organization in an exciting new direction. Members may visit Horseplayersassociation,org for a copy of our yearly financials.

If you are a potential advertiser who is offering handicapping products to help horseplayers become better, an Advance Deposit Wagering company who is trying to help players win, or a player friendly track who wants to make horseplayers aware of what you're up to, please email us at info @ for rates.

We hope you enjoy the first issue of HANA's Handicapping Monthly. We thank everyone who worked on getting it done, our advertisers, bloggers who allowed us to publish them, and the fine people in the sport who responded to our interview requests.

What can you do to help? Please forward the monthly pdf to horseplayers, or potential horseplayers, tweet it out, or mention it on Facebook. We'd sincerely appreciate it.

Good luck and good racing.

Jeff Platt - HANA President

To get your copy of the Horseplayer Monthly, please click here!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kentucky Downs: Building a Betting Brand

In 2011, while instant racing was being conducted, Kentucky Downs had an average handle of $918,863.

In 2012, fresh off the largest takeout decrease in horse racing history, all the while making the races even more and more bettable, their average daily handle was $1,514,146.

Opening day in 2013, after carding some nice races, and adding another low rake bet, handle set an opening day record of $2,837,897, or 108% higher than last year.

In 2011, the entire meet garnered about $3.6 million in handle. They were close to doing that yesterday.

We congratulate Kentucky Downs on their opener and wish them continued success.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kentucky Downs; Ready to Roll

Here is a snippet:

"Yes, Kentucky Downs is unique because of its undulating, European-style turf course and its all-turf-all-the-time program and the blessed brevity of its schedule, which contributes to a carefree and festive atmosphere. All that’s wonderful. But for the horseplayer, whether serious or casual, here’s wonderful: large fields with good horses, and plenty of betting opportunities with a low takeout. And that summarizes the bettor’s perspective of Kentucky Downs.

It has become one of the most bettor-friendly racetracks in America, a veritable bettor’s paradise. For more than half the Kentucky Downs races (51.2 percent) last year, 10 or more horses lined up in the starting gate. And the racing was very formful — that is, predictable. Favorites won 37.2 percent of the races, and yet the average favorite paid $6.60. Nearly a third of the winning favorites paid $8 or more. In other words, you’re unlikely to find a four-horse field here with a 2-5 favorite that renders all the betting options equally unappealing, a situation that seems to have become commonplace elsewhere. In fact, the Kentucky Downs fields were so typically large that there was only one odds-on favorite the entire season, and Seruni, in an unusually dull effort from the old pro, finished fifth at 4-5."

Who wrote that? A horseplayers advocate? A takeout zealot?

No, the fellow who runs Kentucky Downs.

For the full article and to get ready for the meet with some solid statistics and nuances, please click here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Recommendations for California Racing

@racetrackandy on twitter and other California customers have made some recommendations for California horse racing. The list looks quite detailed and will make sense to a lot of people.

It includes looking at breakage, uncashed ticket revenue, and some exotic takeouts that add to churn. This, in the long run, they believe will help both handle and purses in the Golden State.

Give it a read if you are interested in California racing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Penn National and Belmont Add Joint Thursday Pick 4

Today it was announced a new pick 4, which will encompass the last two races at Belmont and first two races at Penn National was created.

For those of you who avoid Penn National due to high takeouts, the takeout of 15% will provide you with some price relief.

Full details in the joint NYRA and Penn National press release are here. (it's a pdf)