This piece with Candice Hare originally appeared in the April edition of Horseplayer Monthly. To read the rest of the issue, FOR FREE, please click here.
Q: What is your favorite track to play, and why?
A: My favorite track to play is Keeneland. Because the meets are short, it seems less overwhelming to really dive in deep and focus solely on that track unlike tracks that race year-round; plus, you typically get large, competitive fields that offer solid wagering opportunities.
Q: Familiarity with a training colony or riding colony (along with the horses) drives betting at some staple racetracks, and it's hard for other tracks to gain market share. What would a newer, smaller signal track have to do to entice you to patronize their betting pools?
A: For me, I think offering one solid "Big Day" per season drives my attention to a smaller track because such days are often more publicized. I'm not typically in tune with even local stakes races at a smaller track, so honestly just making those bigger races known whether it be via social media, print, or radio, it'll capture my interest. The tracks that I don't ever bet are more often than not, the ones I know very little about.
Q: Can you name a track that you may have discovered within the last few years who you feel is doing most of the right things to entice you to become a customer?
A: I'd say aside from the major tracks that run all year-round, I'd say I've really taken to Kentucky Downs. I personally like to play doubles and pick-5s, so the take-out for that meet is conducive to me making those wagers. Plus, they typically get very large fields, and a solid sized pools, so you end up with a toteboard that offers odds that I feel are typically more true to form (not skewed by small pools or short fields).
Q: If you could only play the races (not as a spectator, but as a bettor searching for interesting races and betting value) one day a year (e.g. Breeders Cup Saturday, Derby day etc), which day would you choose?
A: I would choose Belmont Stakes day. I think recent changes in that card have made it one of the best betting days of the year.
Q: The State of the Industry for Customers is ________ Pick one: Poor and needs a ton of work, Ok, but it needs some work, Fine, could be better, with a couple of small tweaks, Great, I am totally satisfied.
A: Fine, could be better with a couple of small tweaks.
Q: What is the number one thing a racetrack could do to entice you to bet more?
A: As I said above, it's all about publicity and making sure the public is aware of what solid races or wagering opportunities are available to me especially if a track offers a low takeout wager. I'll usually give the races a look if that's publicized. Santa Anita, for example, really pushed their pick-5 wager on social media for a while due to its takeout and now it's undoubtedly my favorite bet in the country. I don't need a whole lot of convincing to bet, but tracks do need to do a better job at publicizing what they offer to potential customers like me.
Q: For a little fun question: Who will win the Kentucky Derby?