Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

02 July 2008

Ellis Park Closing-Handicapper Friendly Owner Out Of Game

Ellis Park owner Ron Geary reported that the upcoming Ellis Park meet will be canceled. As for plans on opening late or next year “I don’t have any plans on opening it again as a racetrack,” Geary said in a telephone interview. “That’s for sure.” While Geary was a handicapper friendly owner, one less track is good news for stretched thin horse populations.

Geary was a inventive owner who introduced handicapper favorable bets like the 4% takeout pick 4. Unfortunately the bet did not help the Ellis Park bottom line. The increase in handle on the pick 4 did not negate the loss in takeout, showing that horseplayers prefer action over a edge. The bet was to be canceled for 2008.

This is a good thing. The good news in all this is that field size should increase at tracks like Arlington, Colonial, Mountaineer, River Downs, Indiana Downs, Presque Isle etc, etc, etc. With Calder turning into a complete joke many of the connections have moved to New York improving fields up north. So many tracks on the "B" circuit dilute the product. With tracks closing the product will be bolstered elsewhere.

Yes it is preposterous to compare Ellis Park to a boutique meet like Keeneland but these boutique meets are special because they are something to look forward to and do not drag on endlessly. There are so many American horse racing meets that drag on like an arctic winter or a herpes infection. Royal Ascot is special because it is run only one week a year. Saratoga is special because it is a meet filled with quality in a area with no flat racing ten and a half months of the year. When something is rare and of quality the public clamors for it and looks forward to it. Racing would do good to let the natural market forces cull quantity and increase quality.

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