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Author Topic: A recommendation for AP's 4 day racing weeks  (Read 3960 times)
pjcleve
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« on: September 20, 2006, 10:27:19 PM »

Probably very unlikely to happen, but here is my suggestion for the 4 race day weeks that AP will have in 2007 (I'd actually implement this the entire meet if allowed by the IRB and ITHA).

Friday 3pm start 11 races
Saturday Noon start 12 races
Sunday Noon start 12 races
Monday 3pm start 11 races

Total races 2007 = 46 per week (2006 meet = 45)
Monday live racing instead of Thursday (Fewer tracks open, more simulcast revenue).
Monday 3pm start = larger on track attendance much like Friday's 3pm success
Saturday and Sunday Noon starts and 12 races to encourage more fans to attend live racing

Other Benefits:
This should be acceptable to Itha which get 1 more race per week than 2006.
AP on track attendance should increase because more races to watch each day making trip to track more worthwhile.
Longer racing day results in more fans buying more beer and food.

Pete   
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BeauNarro
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 11:08:04 PM »

pj,

It makes no sense at all. The reason AP asked for 4 days a week was to rid them of the short fields of the last few years. If they increased the daily race number, then they would be defeating their purpose.
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pjcleve
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 11:19:07 PM »

pj,

It makes no sense at all. The reason AP asked for 4 days a week was to rid them of the short fields of the last few years. If they increased the daily race number, then they would be defeating their purpose.

Beau, I respectfully disagree with you if AP's purses increase which they should with greater simul rev, greater on track attendance/betting, Jan-Feb dark money, (and maybe that elusive 3%). You're right if we assume no increase in horses coming to AP/IL next year. Purses will be the key.

Pete
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Jim C
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2006, 11:33:20 PM »

Pete, Beau is right the reason they cut back was to provide more races with full fields. I would expect 10 races for the 4 days Maybe 11 on Saturdays if they can fill them OK. If they have enough horses I'm sure they will increase the number of races though.
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BeauNarro
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2006, 11:37:22 PM »

Yup. if and I say "if" the horse population balloons due to real purse increases at the beginning of their meet next year - then it would be great to see 10 or sometimes 11 races per day for the 4 day weeks. Right now it's an unknown for all concerned.
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Trackman
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2006, 11:56:51 PM »

"Probably very unlikely to happen, but here is my suggestion for the 4 race day weeks that AP will have in 2007 (I'd actually implement this the entire meet if allowed by the IRB and ITHA)."

Friday 3pm start 11 races
Saturday Noon start 12 races
Sunday Noon start 12 races
Monday 3pm start 11 races

Pete,

I would love to see an earlier Saturday-Sunday start time and if they can fill 10, run 'em. But 11 or 12 is a bit of a stretch. You are proposing 1 more race per week than what they had this year in a five day week. If the money shows, and the horses show, I'm ok with that but I don't think that's a realistic possibility. We'll just have to wait and see how things shake out.

Regards,
 
Trackman


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pjcleve
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2006, 12:07:18 AM »

Pete, Beau is right the reason they cut back was to provide more races with full fields. I would expect 10 races for the 4 days Maybe 11 on Saturdays if they can fill them OK. If they have enough horses I'm sure they will increase the number of races though.

Jim, I certainly hope they can do it. I agree fewer race days will provide an avenue to increase field size, but don't you think the key to larger fields is purses, filling the stalls and writing races that fit those horses on the grounds. Two years ago Arlington was routinely running 10 races on Friday and either Saturday or Sunday while operating 5 days a week. That equals 47 races per week. It can be done, and I'd certainly like to see at least 10 - 11 per day.

Jim, you and Beau probably know racetrack economics better than I but here's how I would look at it from AP's viewpoint. One less racing day per week = 10-15% lower operating expenses and potentially greater revenue on live race days due to increased attendance/staying around longer to bet, eat and drink more. More races per day facilitates more multi-race wager opportunities per day. The simul crowd seems to embrace these bets and the takeout is higher.  

Again, I think 4 days per week with 10 - 12 races a day would benefit all parties and can be done. But that's just my 2 cents.

Pete  

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pjcleve
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2006, 12:16:30 AM »

"Probably very unlikely to happen, but here is my suggestion for the 4 race day weeks that AP will have in 2007 (I'd actually implement this the entire meet if allowed by the IRB and ITHA)."

Friday 3pm start 11 races
Saturday Noon start 12 races
Sunday Noon start 12 races
Monday 3pm start 11 races

Pete,

I would love to see an earlier Saturday-Sunday start time and if they can fill 10, run 'em. But 11 or 12 is a bit of a stretch. You are proposing 1 more race per week than what they had this year in a five day week. If the money shows, and the horses show, I'm ok with that but I don't think that's a realistic possibility. We'll just have to wait and see how things shake out.

Regards,
 
Trackman

Trackman you're right. 12 is probably a stretch but it's routinely being done currently at Turfway and Calder (as many as 14 in a day on weekends!). Again, I say the key to full fields is filling the stalls and writing races that fit the horses on the grounds. That's obviously been a problem for AP in recent years.

Like you, I would like a noon start on weekends. I would also like a 3pm start on the 2nd week day.

Pete
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Trackman
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2006, 12:27:28 AM »

"Two years ago Arlington was routinely running 10 races on Friday and either Saturday or Sunday while operating 5 days a week. That equals 47 races per week. It can be done, and I'd certainly like to see at least 10 - 11 per day."

Don't know if there have been any studies done on this, but I believe that most sensible people come to the track with a certain amount of money to gamble. Let's say $100. If it's a nine race card, they'll budget $11 a race or pass some heats. If it's 10 races, they'll budget $10. If it's 12, they'll budget $8. I could be all wet, but that's the way I see it. I think after eight races, you run into the economic theory of diminishing returns.
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Jim C
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2006, 12:28:40 AM »

But I think Calder is only running 3 days a week. Any of that would be fine but as Beau and Trackman have pointed out we need the horses here first. Yes higher purses will bring more horses here but not right away. That will take time. I am still hoping a deal will be worked out this fall with the casinos to get that 3% going and maybe even a new bill passed after the elections that will address expansion and maybe slots or a permanent 3% instead of slots and of course account wagering too.

That is a good point too about too many races in a day and the race day just being too damn long.
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David
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2006, 01:50:43 AM »

Less competition on Monday for simo signal, but also much less people at OTB's and tracks to play your signal and at home to a degree. Works well for some lower tier signals (who may never get on the menu on Thursday) but I don't think AP would benefit.

Do like the 3 pm start, but I think anything over 10 races a day is pushing it, and even at that they should reduce the time between races a bit.
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BeauNarro
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2006, 09:36:29 AM »

Here's another thought. If everything goes as hoped for AP - higher purses, more horses per race, and more races per day. How about if they shortened the time between races?

I as well as many of us on here don't mind the 23 to 26 minutes between races, because we are mostly "die hard" race fans that enjoy handicapping and talking about the next race. However, for the average occasional or new patron - it would make it more exciting because they would see a win or loss in less time. Over the years I've seen many articles written regarding, and I've also heard verbally from lots of new players that it's so long between races. I think many just plain lose interest in watching when they don't know what to do with themselves. They quit coming to the track because it's not exciting enough.
They do know however what to do at a casino - drop another coin in the slot..
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2006, 10:22:50 AM »

Pete, Beau is right the reason they cut back was to provide more races with full fields. I would expect 10 races for the 4 days Maybe 11 on Saturdays if they can fill them OK. If they have enough horses I'm sure they will increase the number of races though.

One of the news articles about dates meeting said the track and horsemen agreed to 10 races per day on three of the days. The other day presumably will remain at 9 races.

The idea of going to a four day week is to force horsemen to run their horses in races that might not be just what they wanted, because there will be less choice. All those extra races Pete proposes would defeat that.

Of course, less races overall and less choice could also backfire, if some out-of-town trainers who come here every year, like Asmussen or Calhoun or some such, decide it doesn't fit the horses they've got, or if some local trainers decide that's not enough opportunity for their horses to make money and sedn their stock elsewhere. The number of trainers who are going to send MORE horses here to run 4 days a week for marginally higher purses is going to be slim to none, IMHO. And the question is whether or not they really will be marginally higher. Remember horsemen, you will be looking for a purse increase compared to Hawthorne, not a purse increase compared to what Arlington paid this year during that time.
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Moon
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2006, 11:30:22 AM »

For me and other (1000? 500?) people who take the train, they should have 11 races on Saturday and we can all get the 6:29 train. Otherwise, you have a quandry. Do I leave after the 7th race and catch the 4:29 or do I watch the last 2 races and sit at the train station for 1 1/2 hours?

The 8th race has been going off at 4:25 or so, which doesn't leave enough time to see the 8th and get to the train. I usually left after the 7th, and so did many others. Nobody wants to sit in boring Arlington Heights and wait for a train for an hour and a half.
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David
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2006, 11:52:39 AM »

The train time should be coodinated either by Metra or the track, society wants to encourage mass transit - the least we could do is use some common sense about time schedules.
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pjcleve
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2006, 11:53:33 AM »

For me and other (1000? 500?) people who take the train, they should have 11 races on Saturday and we can all get the 6:29 train. Otherwise, you have a quandry. Do I leave after the 7th race and catch the 4:29 or do I watch the last 2 races and sit at the train station for 1 1/2 hours?

The 8th race has been going off at 4:25 or so, which doesn't leave enough time to see the 8th and get to the train. I usually left after the 7th, and so did many others. Nobody wants to sit in boring Arlington Heights and wait for a train for an hour and a half.

I agree with you Moon. My point in suggesting more races on fewer days, starting earlier on the weekends and running longer, is that it allows and encourages more fans to attend because they can adjust a track visit to their schedule. If you schedule 12 races starting at noon some fans will come early and leave before the end, others will come later and stay later, and some will stay the entire time. The benefit of having more races is people will be able/encouraged to come to the track because they won't be limited to 3 or 4 races due to their schedule.

I just read Mike Spellman's article in the Daily Herald and one suggestion that appeals to me is to race only three days a week (Fri, Sat, Sun). Those are obviously the peak attendance days and would make a visit to the track a bit more "special". It probably will never happen here but it sounded appealing to me.

Pete
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our favorite omen
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2006, 02:54:28 PM »

Hey Moon, "boring Arlington Heights?"  My town is the gem of the northwest suburbs. Within a half mile of the Wilke gate you can have a cocktail or soft drink at Jimmy D's, have a fast food burger at EITHER McD's or BK, grab some of the best thin crust pizza anywhere at Waynes' Pizza, or go less than a mile into downtown AH and have many, many options for entertainment and pleasurable time passing.

So please refrain from calling my home town boring,

Thank you,

OFO
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David
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2006, 03:01:21 PM »

Omen,

I live in AH as well, and I will agree it is boring, even look at your post you say go eat at McD or BK, sort of funny in it's own right that this would consititue the relief to boredom.

In regards to Downtown AH, I guess if you want to go there and get irritated with a bunch of spoiled 12 year olds riding thier skate boards or trying to look cool drinking Starbucks  or eating at CPK - that would be the place for you to go.
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our favorite omen
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2006, 03:13:19 PM »

David, what could be more fun than a Friday night fish fry with the octogenarians at Eddies Lounge, ( oh wait, it is changing over to an Irish establishment very soon.

Go have a cocktail at the last 8:00 AM bar in Arlington Heights, ( oops sorry, Bill's Inn closed 4 years ago.)

25 cent drafts at the Vail Lounge, ( my mistake, The Vail burned down the same year that old AP did.)

Penny candy at Len and Irene's, ( sorry Len's closed int 1969.)

Watch the homeless congregate at either the downtown train station or library.  By the way this my biggest pet peeve of my relatively well heeled burg.
s


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David
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2006, 03:26:57 PM »

Omen,

Sort of funny the things you point out, a guess it could be summed up that even with, or perhaps due to, all of the "improvements" and "tif" spending - Arlington Heights was still a more interesting place before they went about trying to "fix" it.

The McD across from the track is loaded with homeless as well especially in the mornings, they congregate there and then make thier way to the I think PADS place that is a little west of there on NW Highway in what used to be a carpeting store just past what used to be Wee Willie Weiners.
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Moon
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2006, 03:28:33 PM »

Hey Moon, "boring Arlington Heights?"  My town is the gem of the northwest suburbs. Within a half mile of the Wilke gate you can have a cocktail or soft drink at Jimmy D's, have a fast food burger at EITHER McD's or BK, grab some of the best thin crust pizza anywhere at Waynes' Pizza, or go less than a mile into downtown AH and have many, many options for entertainment and pleasurable time passing.

So please refrain from calling my home town boring,

Thank you,

OFO

HA! Boooorrrrring. So after you spend 20 minutes at McDonalds (which I do), what do you do for the next hour. Nobody's going over to a stinky smoke filled bar after a long day of handicapping. Once I start drinking after that long day, I need a place where I can fall down, if necessary; like my apartment or something VERY close to my apartment.


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our favorite omen
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2006, 03:38:22 PM »

In there infinite wisdom, the Union Pacific put up a 5' high fence along Norhtwest Highway so you can't just walk directly over to BK or Mickey D's.  The poor commuters who get dropped off have to walk all the way around now.  Probably a safety issue, I have seen more than 1 near accident while Mommy is kissing Daddy off for a good day in the Loop earning his daily bread.

We used to call the homeless hobos, (spelling?), now they take up valuable space in my tax dollar paid for library, stinking to high heaven, washing from head to toe in a non-bath or shower restroom, and cussing and leering at our female folk.  What have we come to?
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Round Table
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2006, 03:53:12 PM »

In there infinite wisdom, the Union Pacific put up a 5' high fence along Norhtwest Highway so you can't just walk directly over to BK or Mickey D's.  The poor commuters who get dropped off have to walk all the way around now.  Probably a safety issue, I have seen more than 1 near accident while Mommy is kissing Daddy off for a good day in the Loop earning his daily bread.

We used to call the homeless hobos, (spelling?), now they take up valuable space in my tax dollar paid for library, stinking to high heaven, washing from head to toe in a non-bath or shower restroom, and cussing and leering at our female folk.  What have we come to?

Why not shut your mouth and stick to horseracing.
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They ought to return to Tampa and fix the mistake they made.
BeauNarro
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« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2006, 03:59:45 PM »

Have you guys forgotten what really made Arlington Heights famous?? And you guys say that you're Arlingtonians?? LOL

It was the Cellar!!

Every young person went there almost every week-end through the mid 1960's to see such groups as Eric Burton and the Animals, Ted Nugent, The Shadows of Night, etc..it only cost $1 to $2 bucks. Man we loved that place.
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David
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« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2006, 04:05:44 PM »

I'm too young to remember that, other than the stories everyone told of it. I think the Who or the Stones played there a couple times or something or so the stories go. I know it was featured on a Bob Sirott special not that long ago.
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Round Table
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« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2006, 04:07:14 PM »

I been to there but didn't know i was in AH. I was knocked out.
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APCD Dan
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« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2006, 04:22:29 PM »

Why not shut your mouth and stick to horseracing.

There are better ways of saying this, not a very nice reply.  Even though it was sort of an OT discussion, it was interesting.  I just hope they keep the homeless at Arlington Heights, otherwise they might stay on the train and wind up here in Crystal Lake.
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Moon
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« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2006, 04:31:27 PM »

In there infinite wisdom, the Union Pacific put up a 5' high fence along Norhtwest Highway so you can't just walk directly over to BK or Mickey D's.  The poor commuters who get dropped off have to walk all the way around now.  Probably a safety issue, I have seen more than 1 near accident while Mommy is kissing Daddy off for a good day in the Loop earning his daily bread.

We used to call the homeless hobos, (spelling?), now they take up valuable space in my tax dollar paid for library, stinking to high heaven, washing from head to toe in a non-bath or shower restroom, and cussing and leering at our female folk.  What have we come to?

That fence is climbable, especially where the gate. I just assumed it was to keep out dogs or other animals.

Hobos? I've never seen a hobo near AP. Ha.

If they had a 3 day weekend racing schedule, it MIGHT turn into something like Hong Kong's Sha Tin! That wouldn't bother me at all.
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Round Table
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« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2006, 04:36:16 PM »

There are better ways of saying this, not a very nice reply.  Even though it was sort of an OT discussion, it was interesting.  I just hope they keep the homeless at Arlington Heights, otherwise they might stay on the train and wind up here in Crystal Lake.

Not nice? Heading your way, I hope he puts a stick in your eye. You won't see.
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Moon
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2006, 04:36:41 PM »

The train time should be coodinated either by Metra or the track, society wants to encourage mass transit - the least we could do is use some common sense about time schedules.

There USED to be a 5:29 train, which wasn't any good because of the way AP ran their races back then. You would miss the 9th and 10th race because the ran a race every 30 minutes instead of 25 or so that they do now.

Of course, as soon as they changed the schedule to 6:29, AP started running only 9 races on Saturday and shortened the time between races, so now the last race is 4:50 or so.

/I can't win.
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Moon
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« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2006, 04:39:52 PM »

B. Ginnings in Schaumburg and the Park West in Chicago were my music hangouts. I saw Elvis *** for $5 at B.Ginnings on his first tour! The drummer threw his sticks at the end of the concert and hit me in the eye! (Fortunately, I was wearing those big-ass safety glass glasses that WE.ALL.WORE in the 70s - don't make me call for pictures)
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« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2006, 05:10:49 PM »

j
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Moon
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2006, 05:17:08 PM »

The only time I ever went deaf was at a Bulls game in the old Stadium (before Jordan, believe it or not), although my ears did bleed once at a Zappa concert at the Auditorium.

/Aaaaaah, the good ole days.
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« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2006, 07:31:43 AM »

One last classic Arlington Heights legend.  Ray Herr, a member of the group the Ides of March.  Still a local resident.
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« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2006, 12:35:31 PM »

OK..anyone know or remember Dave Grunhoffer (sic) from Arlington Heights?
He was the lead singer for an obscure band called the "Huns", and then when on to "Greenwood County Farm" where they cut a few minor albums.
He was another of my "almost" brother-in-laws..LOL
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« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2006, 01:41:14 PM »

Helo everyone, agree 4 days early on is good for AP. However what is the actual plan? They could still mess this up...... AP should play to it's strengths and if they don't this will fail horribly and then DD will cry about something else the state needs to do to help his track........ AP should run only 8 races a day on both Wednesday's and Thursday's any time of year. This will save more races for when they willhave more impact. Friday has clearly always outhandled Weds and Thurs, yet those smartguys continue to treat them equal, why? Friday should have a minimum of 11 races on Friday. No if's ands or buts. Saturday should have 11 and Sunday 10, that's 40 races with 4 days. 48 when 5 days........... If they add a races on Sunday it does much less than if it were Friday or Saturday. All those families with all their fat wallets are gone for supper by 5pm suppertime..... All I'm saying is AP better not go equal across the days, if they do they fail again on something that should be good for Illinois racing............I just wonder if AP has the right people working for horse racing making a comeback......... and please don't laugh at this, Arlington Park has a huge upside for racing.
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« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2006, 01:44:36 PM »

With the late start on Friday and no lights, they would really be pushing it to run 11 races, wouldn't they?

/Of course, they could start earlier.
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2006, 04:32:41 PM »

............. All I'm saying is AP better not go equal across the days ............... Arlington Park has a huge upside for racing.

Agree with you JDM. I do support 4 days of racing per week the entire meet. However 5 is fine as long as all weekday racing starts at 3pm like it does on Friday. AP's Friday attendance and total handle is usually the best of the week, closely followed by, or alernating with, Sunday. Unfortunately I seem to remember that the IRB or Harness guys blocked an AP attempt to go to additional weekday 3pm starts a few years ago. That may have changed and if so, AP should absolutely make the switch.

I also agree with you that AP Mgt should differentiate the number of races carded each day. I suggested in a previous post that Sat and Sun have 12 races each with a start time of noon. Your argument that the Sunday family crowd leaves early for dinner is partially correct. But the Sunday "stayers" still far outnumber crowds on every day but Friday. (I know because I missed only one weekend at AP this past summer). Further, as the day progresses, the mutuel pools grew SIGNIFICANTLY as the west coast players and east coast players jumped in. That's the big reason why I'm against shortening the racing day by fewer races or speeding up the of the end of the day's raciing. The handle per race is much greater later in the day.

Because Friday racing starts at 3pm, 10 and no more than 11 races makes sense to me. Summer daylight is fine for safe racing through at least 7:30pm. If the other weekday start times can be 3pm, I'd suggest 9 races. A number of posters have raised a valid question that there might not be enough horses to support decent size fields for this many races. I respectfully disagree. I look at other tracks that have more races and much larger field sizes. (Check out Turfway). I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, just that it can be done. Again, under my scenario, total races per week under a 4 day scenario Thur - Sun = 44 (9,11,12,12) and for the 5 day scenario, cutting back 1 race each from Friday and Sat, 2 from Sun = 49 (9,9,10,11,10).  Two years ago AP averaged 47 races per week, This year they averaged 46.

Call it wishful thinking, but JMO it can be done.

Pete   
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