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Author Topic: Arlington Park...A Track Trudging Toward Tragedy!  (Read 472 times)
Stats Master E
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« on: May 25, 2016, 06:57:11 PM »

The topic title is purposely obtuse..."A Track Trudging Toward Tragedy" would be my name for some sort of theatrical production currently ongoing...Kabuki theater of sorts.  Political posturing.

I am glad to stand corrected on all of this...but how much of the following seems true?

It seems like what's going on here is that AP/CDI is attempting to make a profit off of the shrinky-dinked purses, resulting in further live handle shrinkage, resulting in further shrinky-dinked purses and more recapture money at the point when it is awarded.  MEANTIME, the few big days are tilted more to the one-timers...increased admission prices as well as the sale of concessions do not count against the recapture calculation (think July 4th fireworks day, for example).  AND, the screws continue to tighten somehow (not sure how, exactly) on the IL legislature to bail out the tracks by awarding slots.  Someone at CDI thinks this will, in fact work...otherwise, they'd be selling the track to whomever.  They've said as much on the CDI conference calls.
 
Just to kind of refocus the argument, and my understanding, how much of this is right?  Corrections?
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faster horses
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 10:39:56 PM »

Well, pretty much nobody has a decent purse structure without access to some kind of casino money (by running a racing or getting a cut), so that part has to be true regardless of how much of the rest of that is in the plan.  Also, middle-aged, hard-core horse players are dinosaurs, and attracting younger players is going to require racing to be sold as entertainment/events, so money from gate, concessions, etc. pretty much has to be part of the approach, too.  None of that has anything to do with CDI specifically, it's just the way the industry is going.  Look around.
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mottoman
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 07:08:24 AM »

FH  - I agree with you 100%.
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1st over
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 09:02:50 AM »


   But, arguendo, to discount the fact CDI/HQ is allowing the Duchossois Arlington Park to run its natural course is to overlook a critical component of laissez-faire emanating from the wonks on Hurstbourne.

   Without slots and with the specter of getting slots much too late, if ever, CDI's continued declination to sell AP arbitrarily discounts shareholder value.

   To this point in time, for a multitude of reasons, the single biggest stockholder in CDI wants to: a) continue operations if as normal at AP; and, b) present no worse than a "break-even" accounting of full-year operations at the listing oval.

   Said shareholder failed to deliver a "break-even" year in 2015 - the historically disastrous "Petrillo Summer of '15." Said shareholder did manage to present a tricked-up accounting of 2015 ops at AP that suggested minimal loss.

   That minimal loss disregards the fact that the majority of the remaining 79 percent of CDI shareholders would undoubtedly prefer a $280 million one-time drop to the bottom line (and rise in stock value in the here and now) that the sale of AP would bring.

   Most intriguing are recurring reports that significant CDI shareholders have been quietly polled in recent months about their opinions of the immediate sale of AP. No one in a position of authority within CDI will confirm this. Some shareholders polled will.

   As is, in a 24/7, seven-day week, AP is currently a ghost town (with a 60-hour window of "live main plant activity" Friday afternoon-thru-Sunday afternoon.

   It's scary. Racing officials reportedly have a total of app. 1,050 horses on the backstretch (by foal-paper count) with at least one quarter not in current racing condition.

   Call Alabama the Crimson Tide. And call it "AP Blues."

   We are not looking at the end of an era. We are looking at a death watch.

   If not for the indisputable degree of self-inflictedness, it would be construed by some as sad.
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Stats Master E
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 09:24:20 AM »

I'm still intrigued by the "recapture" part of this Goldbergian mouse trap.  Can someone shed light on how these monies are calculated and disbursed?  And what movement, if any, exists to eliminate "recapture?"
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Stats Master E
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 09:32:00 AM »

AND, the status of the statute that mandates, in an unfunded way, the state reimbursement of horsemen for recapture.  Just interested.  And 1st, sorry to tell you, I'll be out there Friday...and Saturday...and Sunday.  They still do a good enough job for me to spend some of my valuable time.  Just being fair...I have no personal axe to grind.
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1st over
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 02:31:15 PM »

   "Stats," God bless; Initially I elected to work nights as a security guard at a south suburban low-tech firm specifically so I would have afternoons free to play the ponies; now, I've given up 90 percent of my race-going (OTBs included) and 100 percent of any hint of attending APee or betting on their D-list product; life is simply too short and there are far too many other pastime options in as grand and diversified a metropolis as Chicagoland.

   Further positive news: I've actually constructed yet another income stream with a daytime dog-walking concern. The little goos are generally fun to be around (and quite often, amazingly reflective of their owners personalities) and it is absolutely remarkable what a "social lubricant" dogs are. I've met more women since March 17 than a massed shut-in like "The Flaccid Flannel Flea" will in nine lifetimes (or young boys, whichever batter's box he's hitting from these days).

   As far as your choice about attending APee, it's no crime. But as one fellow who has made his livelihood from the game for decades said of the wary home of the already disappointing "Petrillo Summer of '16" said: "I have no idea why anyone would pay to get in here this summer. Most days, it's an empty, hollow place with a bunch of faces you've seen for years now wandering around looking like lost ghosts. Chr*st, if you want to play the game effectively, open an account, stay at home and get your action on the racing channels. Much more comfortable and your don't feel like a goof for surrendering a chunk of your [bankroll] to try and ease the dump's bottom line."
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 08:18:25 PM by 1st over » Report to moderator   Logged
Stats Master E
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 07:18:05 PM »

Pay to get in?  Uhhh, no.  Racing channels?  ADWs?  Check, check.  So, the question is:  Is the live product worth traveling the 3 miles?  OK, 6, round trip.  And yeah, for me, it is.

But I understand your point.  Back when Silver Series and Run Dusty Run did battle in the homestretch of old Arlington, the product was so much more attractive.  Times change and racing has to find its way in this new gas-station, scratchoff world.  (And BTW, they may have had this same discussion at old Coliseum Downs, when old Judah Ben-Hur topped the driver standings.)

This brings me back to my original question...maybe this is simply some sort of ego-involved vanity's last stand by RLD.  Or maybe it's The Producers II:  Springtime for Schnitzeler.  But maybe it is I have portrayed it above....they are having their cake and eating it too.  Recapture providing that cake.  No one here seems willing or able to discuss the role of recapture in a long-form way.  Anyone?  Bueller?

« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 07:25:00 PM by Stats Master E » Report to moderator   Logged
zanzibar
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 09:42:34 PM »

Stats Master E, recapture has been discussed on this forum ad nauseum....and then some.  People aren't unwilling to discuss, they're just sick of the subject.  Here are a couple of links to get you started.

http://www.itharacing.com/docs/default-source/advocacy-documents/adoptedrules.pdf?sfvrsn=4

http://www.harnessracing.com/news/billtorepealillinoisrecapturepassesoutofcommittee.html
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Stats Master E
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 10:17:54 PM »

Many thanks.
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honest & balanced terry
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2016, 10:51:26 PM »

Stats Master E, recapture has been discussed on this forum ad nauseum....and then some.  People aren't unwilling to discuss, they're just sick of the subject.

Exactly. Covered here at least 1,000,000 times.

Sorry stats E

But the main problem is people are not betting through Illinois wagering terminals. Recapture would be non-existent if DD and Mordell had not set Illinois handle on a death spiral path starting in 1995 with their short meet.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 10:54:16 PM by honest & balanced terry » Report to moderator   Logged

Better Red.
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2016, 07:06:17 AM »

http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/columns-blogs/matt-youmans/horse-racing-losing-ground-bettors
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1st over
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2016, 10:50:05 PM »


   Personal to "Stats": Careful --- isn't "obtuse" the word that got Andy [Tim Robbins] time in the hole in "The Shawshank Redemption?

   Use polysyllabic words like that one "BTW" and you lose almost 50% of the audience.

   Especially "The Flaccid Flannel Flea," whose copy-cat style should be flattering but actually is quite scary.

   Lonely man. Nothing left to lose. Coulda been a horseplayer. Now has nothing left to chase but BTW Post. No. 20,000 and his frightening stalking of the ghost of the great Jim O'Donnell.

   Rather bathetic, obtuse lifestyle, couldn't one conclude?
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