Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Good For Them, Bad For the Bet?

The DRF has a story out today that trainer Todd Pletcher has 41 Triple Crown nominations. This is obviously an astounding number.

Reading social media the other day someone said what keeps Hong Kong horse racing competitive, fresh and a top gambling product, is that the top stables are only allowed thirty horses. That's it. Scanning the internet I do not see a reference to 30, but to 60.

If social media correct, Mr. Pletcher has more horses eligible of primarily one sex and only one age than anyone is allowed in Hong Kong, of all sexes and ages.

That's capitalism and that's that. However, if one person has so many horses, doesn't it make the gambling less bettable and interesting? Every MSW race at a half dozen racetrack's with a 3-5 TAP expensive steed is not very palatable.

In similar fashion I read this blog piece about harness racing.The post relates to the fact that the best drivers who are well-bet - some who are named on three or four horses a race - get to choose who they want to drive after the post draw.
  • The successful driver loves the current system as it no doubt leads to a thick bottom line come the end of the year and the trainers of said horses like having any advantage over other trainers.
  • But do gamblers like it?  The casual gambler who plays drivers may like it but is it really to the advantage of the gambler for drivers to be able to choose their mounts after post positions are drawn?  What would happen if drivers had to choose their drives before post positions were selected?
On a half mile track this would make the odds board much more attractive for customers.

Trainers having their barn capped at 30 horses, or drivers having to choose their mount before a post draw will never happen. But I don't think there is one horseplayer or casual fan alive who would not love to handicap those races, instead of the ones customers are currently given. 

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