Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

15 July 2010

No More Detention Barn At Saratoga and Beyond




Great news for New York racing with NYRA scraping the dentition barn. This barn did little to protect the public and surprisingly hurt racing integrity. Who knows if the horse you just bet on - a known creature of habit- just pitched a fit in the detention barn? The public was in the dark here as many races were lost in the strange confines of a foreign place. Now NYRA will be a much more appealing destination for shippers. Just like any other track in the country the horses can run out of their own barn. Ever take a pet to a strange place like an airplane? They go nuts and so did many horses in the detention barn.

The big argument for the detention barn was that it shut down suspected "juicer" barns and leveled the playing field. This argument was not supported by the numbers as the "mega-barns" like Pletcher or Dutrow won at the same percentage pre-dentition barn. The additional costs associated with the detention barn chased away small stables and small owners leaving the racing only to the mega-barns. If the barn had no affect on the results what is the point of discouraging shippers, inconveniencing owners with the additional costs-hundreds of dollars a per race and scrambling the form of the horses by forcing them into a strange place?

If anything the detention barn discouraged competition and dropped the class of racing. After five years the detention barn did nothing but take a full field of suspected "juicers" and changed them into a short field of tomato cans. In the end the full field is better as testing is more can weed out the juicers but their is no anecdote for tomato cans. The real threat to racing integrity lies with the recently approved uncoupled entries, which has the potential to lead to more shenanigans but the detention barn did not change a thing.

4 comments:

The_Knight_Sky said...

I really don't have a strong opinion on these detention barns but since you brought up the revamped uncoupled entries rule.

It's a great thing that the NYSRWB finally gets it right. This helps the NYRA product and brings it the "level playing field" around the country.

Okay so Pletcher wins with a longer priced horse of an uncoupled entry. There is no rule that prevents horseplayers to bet both of them on top in the exacta or pick 3's.

We will live. ;-)

Amateurcapper said...

Greg,

We've had uncoupled entries (same trainer, different owners) in Cali and it seems to work. I'm sure there have been times when you've liked the less likely part of an entry but had to consider 5-2 on a horse you thought would be fair at 9-2. Uncoupled, that horse may have gone off at 6-1 and been a terrific value.

The absence of a detention barn should be called the ZENYATTA rule...from afar it seems the only reason it's passing is to lure the amazon to Saratoga to save what some are prognosticating as a down 2010 season. You make a good point that the supposed stronger testing makes the detention barn obsolete.

R.C. said...

Greg, I'm heading to Saratoga for Opening weekend. Will you be providing some plays of the day?

Gregory C. said...

I'll be out on the L.I. Sound fishing. Looks like the play of the day is going to be bottom fishing for Porgies.