Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

25 November 2008

Tale Of Two Races

Here we have two races, the same distance and it the same track both races effected by the same forces of too much racing but the opposite end of that forces spectrum. First we have Aqueduct race 7 19NOV08 and the Fall Highweight Handicap. The former was a race that was gutted by scratches and latter is a race that has been supplemented by entries way beyond the $100K purse.

A good example of what "too many tracks with slot inflated purses " can do is Aqueduct race 7 19NOV. Here was a really nice starter allowance with nine horses entered. Almost every horse was a hard knocking warrior, just check out the amount of wins in the field and how often they win. I was so exciting to watch this race looking at the PP's the day before but instead of a great race the public got a 4 horse field because 5 of the horses scratched and will likely run in an easier spot at a slot track like Philly. When widely available slot purses enhancements ruin racs like this the game in no longer a sport or a product it is a welfare dole. There are too many races available for these horses and too much racing dilutes the quality of the product. Failed racetracks propped up by slot revenues weaken the game and shorten fields, over saturating the market with race after race day after day. It is sad to see a races at tracks like Presque Isle have slot enhanced purses of $50K and pick threes with $3k handle.

Then we have the Fall High weight Handicap. This was a graded race just a few years ago but was downgraded due allowance, Statebred or claiming horses winning the race year after year. Who really wants their horse to carry 140lbs anyway? This year it drew an outstanding field, it may even be a be compared to the GI Vosburgh from the Belmont meet. Why is it so strong? The main reason this race came up aces is the struggles of Maryland. Many of these horses would have run the in the Grade I DeFrancis Dash but due to that races demise the Highweight has drawn an outstanding field, there are three graded winners in the race even though the race is not graded. Here is an example of how a right sized racing industry will grow stronger, better horses running in interesting races with wagering surging.

With slots propping up New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virgina and soon Maryland/New York only more racing will be carded. It is too much racing and this only continues due to subsidies from slots. This is a poison for the game. While some look at slot money as a savior the truth is that it is the poison that is ruining the product and driving the game into ruin. Tracks are ready to fail, if they were only allowed to fail the racing in the strong jurisdictions like New York, Kentucky and California would flourish. The scarcity of racing would make it interesting to the masses once again. In Hong Kong they only allow Sha-Tin to run and it handles over $60 billion a year. If we only had one or two tracks on the east coast handle would balloon, the races would be awesome, large fields of competitive horses. Allow the market to work and the great game of racing will naturally flourish.

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