This week kicks off some great summer racing. Opening day for Del Mar is today Thursday July 17, 2014. Opening day for Saratoga is tomorrow Friday July 18, 2014.
Link to a Press Release on the Del Mar website: Here.
The press release contains the following quote:
"In a new arrangement for this meeting, Del Mar will drop its takeout rate on its "rolling" Daily Doubles to 20% after previously offering them at 22.68%."
While it may be true that at 20% the takeout for doubles at Del Mar in 2014 will be lower than the 22.68% takeout Del Mar had for doubles last year: It is also true that the 20% takeout for doubles at Del Mar this year is HIGHER than the 18% takeout rolling doubles offered at the recently concluded meets at Santa Anita (April 26, 2014 through June 29, 2014) and Los Alamitos Race Course (July 3, 2014 through July 13, 2014.)
There is an untold story here. I think it is important that you the player understand how 20% takeout doubles (instead of 18%) came to be at Del Mar.
Sources are telling me it was the TOC (Thoroughbred Owners of California) who, at a meeting on Friday July 11, 2014, voted to discontinue 18% rolling doubles at California tracks.
I ran handle numbers for comparable dates between Hollywood Park 2013 and Santa Anita 2014: Here.
As you can see, handle for Santa Anita 2014 vs. Hollywood Park 2013 was up 16.81%.
I also ran comparable date handle numbers for Double pools in isolation:
As you can see, handle for 18% doubles at Santa Anita 2014 vs. 22.68% doubles at Hollywood Park 2013 was up 24.05%.
To put this in context: The growth rate for 18% takeout doubles at Santa Anita was more than 1.43 times the growth rate for handle in general.
We at HANA think the wagering public deserves answers to the following questions:
If 18% takeout doubles were up 24.05 percent vs. 22.68% doubles from the previous year, why vote to discontinue the program?
Wasn’t the program doing what it was designed to do: Make the California wagering menu more attractive to players so that California tracks can grow handle?