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Author Topic: CHANGES HAVE THEY KILLED OUR SPORT !  (Read 1711 times)
race track phil
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« on: December 22, 2005, 06:09:48 AM »

               OK GUYS ,     I''m going to give you a list of some changes that concern the true gambler that wants to win and make a living gambling on horses . lets start with the program ! years ago they gave mud marks for horses that won on off tracks just a little mark next to the horses name , each symbol like an X with a circle around it meant he was a superior mudder . anyways they had marks to help the player on off tracks . ok its not that important with the surfaces they race on today . we dont really have muddy tracks anymore , but we do have sloppy tracks that are covered with rain at times . would'nt hurt to have a mark for the horses that excel on rainy tracks . next they started to use abbreviations for horses past performance lines . where its sometimes difficult to know who the horse ran with in his last start , especially if the horse came from another track . the reason this is important is that when you clearly and quickly read the horses name its like a refresher of the race and you dont have to waste precious time trying to remember the race and what happen in that race . some players have the talent to recall the whole race as i did . but itwas easier when the horses name was printed clearly . sometimes they use different abbeviations for the same horse . ok maybe not a big thing to some people . but true handicappers should understand the value of what I'm saying . next to speed up racing they decided to change the recall rules , where your horse may break 1000 yards before the start and thats just too bad ! some poor guy bets a favorite that makes a miscue well before the start loses his paycheck ! do you think its fair and do you think we lost some players with that stupid change in rules that gives the player no chance ! next the great open stratch came which I'm against because horses hardly pull out of the 2 or 3 hole . before drivers had to make a decision on whether to pull or not and that was part of handicapping . many times you could handicap a race knowing the guy will not pull from the 2 hole as a favorite and will get backed threw the field because the leader figures to quit . that hardly happens anymore because the leader gets it too soft , by the time pressure is applied to him by horses coming first over from 4th or 5th he has plenty left and carry the 2nd and 3rd place horses to the turn . the point being the drivers dont have to make as many decisions . the majority of races are won from the top 3 horses which normally have less value . now granted there are exceptions as we all know . but I remember many races that fell apart where a long shot got lucky because the driver did'nt pull from the 2 hole with a favorite . but the thing was you could handicap that situation because some drivers were going to make the wrong decision . ok its hard to explain all the values of no open stretch . next now I know this is a sore subject that we have discussed , but when sportsman park closed all of a sudden a couple guys started training there horses without turning them . i guess they are reasons now that trainers changed . but it seemed like everyone followed suit . now I respect there reasons but I truly as a gambler cant see how it would hurt a horse to the right way at a slow clip and brush the horse an 1/8 of a mile . now I'm really talking about good weather racing . do you older players remember how many guys use to clock warm-ups . plenty ! well there all gone and these players were'nt afraid to bet serious money on warm-ups . many players like myself knew the horse and trainers habits . I did'nt need a stop watch cause I knew every horse and could tell if he was good bad or just average by his warm up . well I'm still here betting , but hardly on harness racing anymore for more reasons than I'm mentioning . but there are'nt many left ! there was a guy called the roadrunner who switched to the t -breds because racing changed so much ! good players lost there edge and decided to gamble elsewhere or just plain got old and died . you have to understand there are'nt enough players today to make up for the players that are gone . good players bet good money and that is very important for the handle . god bless all the smaller players that wager because there needed , but the big players are a must ! well some of you may think that this guy does'nt know what he's talking about and you enjoy racing the way it is , but maybe the changes dont bother you . but too put it bluntly only a small percentage of people beat the horses , but those that did and those that basically broke out even are mostly gone and out of the game like myself . I still bet harness on ocassion , but no where near like I use to ! my edge is gone and so are the big pools that made me love the game . if a guy told me 20 years ago that i would be betting t-breds more than harness and quarter horses . I simply would have told him get away from me you nutcase ! but I have to make a living and there are bigger pools where I bet . believe me it kills me because its hard for me to believe there are many people who loved harness racing like me for 53 years ! yes I was betting at age 6 and at 10 I made my first thousand dollar score . I never tried to do anything in my life except bet horses . some may say thats a sad life ! but to me I 've enjoyed every moment of my life . and I'll tell you a lot of working people I know hate there jobs !
now this is just my opinion on why racing has gone downhill and we all know many other reasons . but these are mainly from a gambling standpoint why the decline of players has hurt the business .  good luck gambling .   Shocked                 RTP
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 06:34:06 AM »

Great post, Phil...

You brought up a lot of thought provoking issues.

I agree 100% with the issue of breaking before the start.
There really should be some changes made to the current rule.

The open stretch has both advantages and disadvantages from a betting standpoint, IMO. And yes, it has changed drastically the strategy of the way a race is run compared to years ago without it, but I believe it's here to stay.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2005, 08:53:23 AM »

...do you older players remember how many guys use to clock warm-ups...I did'nt need a stop watch cause I knew every horse and could tell if he was good bad or just average by his warm up...well I'm still here betting, but hardly on harness racing anymore for more reasons than I'm mentioning...there was a guy called the roadrunner who switched to the t -breds because racing changed so much!...I still bet harness on ocassion, but no where near like I use to!...if a guy told me 20 years ago that i would be betting t-breds more than harness and quarter horses.

RTP,

I am in no way trying to say that the changes you listed have not occurred.  Many changes have become a part of our sport.  Some for the good, others for the bad.  Each item listed could be argued either way by someone somewhere.

I know the topic was covered in the other thread about warm-ups.  However, I believe my comments fit better here.  Most of your replies were from trainers trying to defend and justify the change in warm-up tactics over the years.  I am trying to do what you asked and see it from a bettors perspective.  Please don't take this wrong, as I am not attacking you in any way.  I just don't understand.

Here is what confuses me about all of it:
If the warm-ups are so important in handicapping, how can you switch mainly to betting Thoroughbreds?  As far as I know, there is NO warm-up trip to be witnessed.  Even in races with huge pools like the KY Derby and Belmont, we only see them being walked, ponied, and placed in the gate.  To my knowledge, no one ever "airs out" a TB for even 1/8 of a mile before racing.
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njhorseman
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2005, 08:54:04 AM »

Phil:
I suggest you buy the Trackmaster program, which includes the horse's lifetime record on "off" tracks.
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race track phil
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2005, 12:50:45 PM »

             paul ,       thanks I have used trackmaster programs for that purpose for years , but I really have a difficult time reading there small print with reading glasses . I really dont like them , buy for that purpose I can understand their value .           RTP
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race track phil
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2005, 01:08:57 PM »

RTP,

I am in no way trying to say that the changes you listed have not occurred.  Many changes have become a part of our sport.  Some for the good, others for the bad.  Each item listed could be argued either way by someone somewhere.

I know the topic was covered in the other thread about warm-ups.  However, I believe my comments fit better here.  Most of your replies were from trainers trying to defend and justify the change in warm-up tactics over the years.  I am trying to do what you asked and see it from a bettors perspective.  Please don't take this wrong, as I am not attacking you in any way.  I just don't understand.

Here is what confuses me about all of it:
If the warm-ups are so important in handicapping, how can you switch mainly to betting Thoroughbreds?  As far as I know, there is NO warm-up trip to be witnessed.  Even in races with huge pools like the KY Derby and Belmont, we only see them being walked, ponied, and placed in the gate.  To my knowledge, no one ever "airs out" a TB for even 1/8 of a mile before racing.
      ELSIE ,    you are wrong t -breds do warm -up it depends what track you bet if they show some of the horses warming up . the ones that walk around the track are the ones you should leave alone . appearance and how there holding the bit are very important . its different than harness racing but just as valuable . sometime turn los al on and take a look and you'll see how they warm up . its a huge advantage at los al to see a horse on the bit and moving with a nice stride . there are also simple things like seeing the if the horse sweats up and gets hot . if you were at any t-bred track live you would see certain horses warming up and you would understand what I'm talking about . if your ever at the track come to super booth 1 and I will show you just what I mean .  thanks for your reply and I did'nt expect everyone to agree with me . the point of my post is I think some changes that have been made were not needed like the recall rule for sure that made a lot of bettors quit . and t-breds can break bad or stay in the gate and most likely you lose , but thats what your up against gambling .        RTP   
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2005, 01:36:31 PM »

Race Track Phil, This is a great post !!!! Not many people out there no the information they have taken away from the everyday Gambler is making the sport die even quicker. Would you go to the track and try to handicap races without some kind of program Huh Pretty soon the only thing available will be green sheets with just names and dumb comments.

This is where I believe the IHHA has to be involved. They have no common sense about the Gamblers view, the programs being sold days in advance, the tracks they simulcast, etc. The IHHA is suppossed to be about ILL. racing as a whole not just contracts and Insurance.

This is why the BUST-OUT IHHA and Horseman will be on Strike for 2-months for the start of 2006.
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2005, 02:02:17 PM »

 I think one of the changes that has really killed us is SIMULCASTING !!!
 Years ago we didn't have it and our purses were double what they are now.All the greedy hands were out when this started and as usual the horsemen got screwed. If the Johnsons didnt have simulcasting you better bet they would be Dying to get the contract done. The state also would have been pushing for the contract to be done in order to get the tax $$$$
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njhorseman
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2005, 02:04:04 PM »

             paul ,       thanks I have used trackmaster programs for that purpose for years , but I really have a difficult time reading there small print with reading glasses . I really dont like them , buy for that purpose I can understand their value .           RTP

Phil:
Interesting, because I also wear reading glasses and find the Trackmaster program much easier to  read than Freehold's "official" program, in addition to it's providing additional useful handicapping data.

By the way, I disagree about the recall rule. A fair number of horses get pretty hot behind the gate, and why should they be "punished" because some bad actor can't stay on stride. Also, if a horse breaks early, and you're on the ball, you may be able to cancel your bet in time.
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Richard Breth
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2005, 02:22:18 PM »

I think one of the changes that has really killed us is SIMULCASTING !!!
 Years ago we didn't have it and our purses were double what they are now.All the greedy hands were out when this started and as usual the horsemen got screwed. If the Johnsons didnt have simulcasting you better bet they would be Dying to get the contract done. The state also would have been pushing for the contract to be done in order to get the tax $$$$

In Illinois simulcasting was horsemens side idea. Full 50% all types simulcast bets was horsemens idea. Tracks didnt want it thought players would change to simulcasts they would lose share. Thats where recapture came and tracks were right.

Its done deal too late to turn back. Today if there was not legal simulcasts things would be worse then they are. More people would be playing online even less at tracks and OTBs. The world is changed theres no more monopoly no more captive bettors that has to play whatever crooked garbage gets put on the track. Horsemen has to wake up to that.
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race track phil
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2005, 02:50:24 PM »

Phil:
Interesting, because I also wear reading glasses and find the Trackmaster program much easier to  read than Freehold's "official" program, in addition to it's providing additional useful handicapping data.

By the way, I disagree about the recall rule. A fair number of horses get pretty hot behind the gate, and why should they be "punished" because some bad actor can't stay on stride. Also, if a horse breaks early, and you're on the ball, you may be able to cancel your bet in time.
     PAUL ,  I have a problem reading the lengths behind like 6 1/2  or 8 1/2 it seems to small to read clearly . I understand your point about horses getting hot , but do you really think the average better cares about that . alls they care about is the horse did'nt have a fair chance in their minds and leave broke . and paul its very hard to cancel a ticket at chicago tracks some nights they have 3 0r 4 tellers working and people are betting other tracks and there are always people in line . years ago you had a chance to run up and cancel if you were prepared . today very very hard thing to do . and I really cant understand since you've been around a long time that the bettor does'nt care about anything but his wager . most bettors unfortunately dont care if if there's an accident that causes them to cash , there not concerned with fairness . not saying its right ! but without these people gambling and some leaving the game what do we have . well its clearly dieing . the tracks and horsemen dont understand you have to wine and dine the player just as other businesses do . even if you think its wrong ! but as usual everyone is entitled to their opinion and we all have different views on whats right and wrong in racing . its funny how two long time players like us hardly ever agree . I'll bet we probably would never agree on who to bet in a race !    Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes   RTP
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njhorseman
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2005, 03:00:58 PM »

     PAUL ,  I have a problem reading the lengths behind like 6 1/2  or 8 1/2 it seems to small to read clearly . I understand your point about horses getting hot , but do you really think the average better cares about that . alls they care about is the horse did'nt have a fair chance in their minds and leave broke . and paul its very hard to cancel a ticket at chicago tracks some nights they have 3 0r 4 tellers working and people are betting other tracks and there are always people in line . years ago you had a chance to run up and cancel if you were prepared . today very very hard thing to do . and I really cant understand since you've been around a long time that the bettor does'nt care about anything but his wager . most bettors unfortunately dont care if if there's an accident that causes them to cash , there not concerned with fairness . not saying its right ! but without these people gambling and some leaving the game what do we have . well its clearly dieing . the tracks and horsemen dont understand you have to wine and dine the player just as other businesses do . even if you think its wrong ! but as usual everyone is entitled to their opinion and we all have different views on whats right and wrong in racing . its funny how two long time players like us hardly ever agree . I'll bet we probably would never agree on who to bet in a race !    Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes   RTP

Phil:
I guess that I've spent so many years as a horseman that it has changed my perspective as a bettor. Let's face it, you have a hell of a lot more of your money on the line as an owner than you do as a bettor.

As far as handicapping is concerned, it's possible to disagree on most bets and yet both make money. Very simply I don't bet a lot of races and I'm not interested in cashing a lot of small tickets...I'm looking to make the bigger scores. So, I might hit one or two a night, and you might cash one or two others. We wouldn't have agreed, but we both would have made money!
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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2005, 03:27:22 PM »

Phil:
I guess that I've spent so many years as a horseman that it has changed my perspective as a bettor. Let's face it, you have a hell of a lot more of your money on the line as an owner than you do as a bettor.

As far as handicapping is concerned, it's possible to disagree on most bets and yet both make money. Very simply I don't bet a lot of races and I'm not interested in cashing a lot of small tickets...I'm looking to make the bigger scores. So, I might hit one or two a night, and you might cash one or two others. We wouldn't have agreed, but we both would have made money!

Paul,

I would say things change for the bettor when it's his/her primary source of income.  There are very few owners (not including horsemen, of course) for whom this is true.

But, yes, the beautiful part about capping is that there is a million ways to skin the proverbial cat.  Lots of races going off every minute of the waking day -- all with the opportunity to make your year Wink

Best,
EW
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2005, 04:11:54 PM »

Phil,


     Ok.  Your post was a good one.  I can see your points are valid.  The only thing I can comment on since I am not a gambler just a poor trainer with no handicapping skills at all.  Track conditions are so important.  If you are not here at Balmoral it is tough to determine exactly what the track is like.  When they list it as sloppy, it could be hard underneath and just water lying on the top...which makes it really not bad.  When it falls apart like it will here soon, and it is listed as sloppy, it can be so bad the horses sink in over a couple of inches and it is so damn tiring, you have to bet the front end horses.  No one comes from behind unless they are a brute.  Another plus for actually coming to the track.  This track can be listed sloppy and be three or four different kinds of track
Sometimes when they really screw it up, it will be four inches deep at the rail and hard as a rock two out.  Then horses that will be second or third over will benefit.  Balmoral is tough to figure out.
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2005, 05:57:54 PM »

      ELSIE ,    you are wrong t -breds do warm -up it depends what track you bet if they show some of the horses warming up . the ones that walk around the track are the ones you should leave alone . appearance and how there holding the bit are very important . its different than harness racing but just as valuable . sometime turn los al on and take a look and you'll see how they warm up . its a huge advantage at los al to see a horse on the bit and moving with a nice stride . there are also simple things like seeing the if the horse sweats up and gets hot . if you were at any t-bred track live you would see certain horses warming up and you would understand what I'm talking about . if your ever at the track come to super booth 1 and I will show you just what I mean .  thanks for your reply and I did'nt expect everyone to agree with me . the point of my post is I think some changes that have been made were not needed like the recall rule for sure that made a lot of bettors quit . and t-breds can break bad or stay in the gate and most likely you lose , but thats what your up against gambling .        RTP

Thanks RTP!  I certainly did not know the TB's did any warm-ups.  They must be very different from the Standardbred protocol.  I have only seen live Thoroughbred racing a few times.  In those experiences, the horses were just lead for display or ponied and taken to the gate.  I have watched a lot on simulcast, but never noticed any warm-up.  I do see what you are saying about them sweating.  I did notice that with some of them.  Those horses seemed to be more nervous.  I would love to take you up on the offer to show me what you mean sometime.  It would be interesting!  Where is super booth 1 located?
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« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2005, 07:59:10 PM »

RTP great post from every point of view, IMO

By the way, I disagree about the recall rule. A fair number of horses get pretty hot behind the gate, and why should they be "punished" because some bad actor can't stay on stride.

I disagree with this statement because what if you get a catch driver who is not familiar with the horse and runs him into the starting gate or lags behind from being rough gaited when called to start, why should the connections and the bettors be punished? There is nothing worse than throwing away your ticket at the start of a race! They have delayed the starts of races for less.

I think one of the changes that has really killed us is SIMULCASTING !!!
 

This is half true simulcasting has helped some smaller tracks survive , I feel it is the internet betting
which is causing the overall problem with simulcasting. Severe lack of regulation and pure profit for the business of internet gaming (no overhead)

Just my 2 cents
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2005, 08:13:36 PM »

 Changes that have killed are sport ? Trainers that look like homeless people, that need to take a shower (at least once a week), brush their teeth (at least once a month) or not to mope around the track busted because they lost the traning bill money at the windows. LOL !!!!
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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2005, 03:52:09 AM »

I just want to take this chance to say -- as RTP did -- the open stretch HAS TO GO.

It nearly makes the half unbettable.

Best,
EW
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Zulu
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2005, 11:28:47 AM »

I just want to take this chance to say -- as RTP did -- the open stretch HAS TO GO.

It nearly makes the half unbettable.

Best,
EW

EW

Ths bad part is they hardly ever use it anymore , I have seen countless drivers pull from the two hole and try and go to the outside while the horse sitting third on the rail gets an express trip up the inside. Undecided
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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2005, 12:04:27 PM »

EW

Ths bad part is they hardly ever use it anymore , I have seen countless drivers pull from the two hole and try and go to the outside while the horse sitting third on the rail gets an express trip up the inside. Undecided

It's tough to get some horses ducked in the lane fast enough, and then encourage them to pass on the left.

Overall, it runs the racing, and I wish they would kill it.

Best,
EW
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