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Monday, May 24, 2010

Tale of Two (or Three) Tracks

I've read about a million posts on how great the Monmouth fields were this weekend and how it's going to change the racing landscape nationally. I admit (holding hand up in the air) that I played it all weekend based on the hype and the great fields etcetera, etcetera. But the accountant in me decided to dig into the opening weekend numbers to figure out what exactly transpired. For full disclosure I got my assed kicked all weekend, although I sniffed some huge horizontal payoffs with big starts to Pick 3's in Just a Coincidence and Top Two Notch Road only to be done in by horses I just didn't see coming. What's worse is I on Sunday I forecasted the correct singles in Jet Set Vinny and Ibboyee at decent odds, but got crushed at inoportune times in both plays. I think I called it a "bloodbath" at some point. The worst was on Saturday, where I played Congressional Page in the Knight Sky's cyberbucks contest (which ironically I placed second) and "forgot" to include him in my P3 only to be nosed out by him of a $350 P3 score. Oh well, that's why they call it gambling. I had fun nonetheless.

But delving into the numbers to see what happened versus the competition opened my eyes after the fact. At first I wanted to just compare MTH to Hollywood Park as I noted watching the twitterverse (and particularly the frustration of one, Mr. Hritz) that the difference in number of starters and the gate odds of the winner of each race was so small at HOL vs. MTH that it was worth analyzing on the blog. But as I was comparing the chalkfest that was Hollyrock this weekend, I wanted to see how ole' reliable Belmont Park was doing against the Monmouth hype take a look at this and draw your own conclusions....

Interesting that Belmont wasn't that far off the number of starters (8.4 on Sat), wherein MTH averaged close to 10 over the weekend compared to 7 at HOL. Sunday, not so much as the first four races at BEL only averaged 5 starters. Hollyrock was a disaster where the winner's could barely average 2-1 odds all weekend (open mouth, insert chalk). But when comparing the win odds at Belmont Park (with less starters) they held their own averaging between 6 and 7 to 1 versus 6.7-1 at MTH. It might have seemed like MTH had some big scores over the weekend, but Belmont had four double digit odds winners versus Monmouth's five over the entire weekend with less races. Of course, the proof is in the pudding and MTH had the benefit of opening weekned hype, so we'll see how long folks will play low level claimers running for big purses.

Switching gears, I was at a luncheon in Buffalo today with 500 strong and a big topic with anyone I ran into was the panic that Saratoga won't be open this summer due to NYRA's funding issues due to NYCOTB (the only bookmaker in America that can go bankrupt). Funny how rumors spread.....see ya at the Spa in a few months....

1 Comment:

The_Knight_Sky said...

I think Monmouth Park management considers it major flattery that people from coast to coast are already comparing the handle figures to Belmont and Hollyrock.

It was but one weekend yet the goal remains the same: 25% to 50% increase in all-sources handle. That is supposed to be enough for Monmouth Park to conduct a racing meet at "decent" level without slot-subsidies.

Apparently the fans are voting at the windows with an emphatic yes, and the summer hasn't yet begun.

BTW the horse's name is Two Notch Road. I have a couple of pics of this new horse-for-course on my page. Good luck to everyone who is playing nationally. A big 3 bagger of action coming up Memorial Day weekend.


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