Bobby Zen

by Walter Toner

Rainy afternoon on Cape Cod and I had a few minutes to kill, so flipped the channel to TVG for a quick flutter. I selected the filly Just Like Magic, approaching the gate at 7-5 as the recipient of a $10 win wager in the 3rd race Oaklawn (3/28).

She charged up the rail and won. Final odds were 3-5. WTF. Sorry for the crudeness.

Racing will never engage the next generation of punters with 15-27% takeout and NO fixed odds, when they can bet on sports with a 4% vig and wagers that are fixed.

In the UK, an extremely sophisticated betting market, exchange wagering in its 20-year history now handles 85% of wagers, plus or minus.

Further exacerbating the industry’s vulnerability is the contents of this article. My takeaway from this article is that Stronach and his friends:

Own racetracks
Own offshore betting hubs for friends
From these hubs, friends receive substantial discounts to wager into onshore pools
And we can assume the friends are getting late, direct access to track pools… and perhaps entering the pool after the start

Now the late betting is speculation on my part. It feels like it happens. And from the first four bullets, it seems suspiciously like that might be happening.

This insider activity stinks to high heaven, not just regular heaven.

This beautiful sport is bucking these horrific headwinds of scandal and a less-than-competitive product. Yet racing will always have tremendous potential.

But what is the point of one laboring all night on PPs to arrive at a horse that one feels should be 6-5 or 7-5, only to see that selection drop to 3-5 at the quarter pole?

My introduction to racing was with Win Elliot, the Schaefer Circle of Sports, and Fred Capossella. Old timers can place an era on those names. My first Racing Form cost me 50 cents; what are they now, $10? I can make an informed wager on the Red Sox without that surcharge.

Sadly I am not sure that I’m going to ever see the industry make any real progress making horse racing as competitive and accessible as other wagering products.

Thanks for reading.

The post Letter to the Editor: CAW ‘Activity Stinks to High Heaven’ appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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