It’s Post Time!

If you play horses from home or at the office, there may have been a time you bet a buck or two on races from Aintree, Ascot, Ayr,  Cheltenham, Doncaster, or Kempton. I am guilty and have to admit it can be fun.

Sometimes if there are a few extra bucks in my wagering account, I find myself making a bet or two in the morning. The thing I have noticed is they run one track at a time, and move immediately to the next. It runs like clockwork, and there is full commentary. They talk odds, trainers, riders, and bevy of other information. By the time you are having your second cup of coffee, you could be rolling in the dough.

Here in the states, things are a little different. We run three tracks at once, and other times there is a 20 minute gap between races. Don’t you just hate to miss your race? The only way to get your bet down is to focus on just a track or two, and even then you will run into time challenges. If I could be granted a wish from the “Wagering Gods,” how about this little schedule change?

Gather up the marquee tracks from New York, Florida, and Kentucky. Florida kicks off the day at 12:55 with a first post from Calder or Gulfstream. Then we head to New York where runners at Belmont are warming up on the way to post. As soon as they cross the finish line, we head off to Keeneland or Churchill and catch the opener. Now, before you start telling me about times, objections, and mishaps, keep an open mind. All post parades are on delay, and we can see the horses taking the track. The talking heads keep us informed, and everything is on schedule. Not because we want it over quicker but to allow everyone to benefit.

The tracks will do better with additional handle as they are the main focus. More handle means better purses, horses, riders, etc…  The real work will be thrown upon the shoulders of the stewards, and simulcast coordinators. All will have a schedule, and it will be kept. If a track cancels, or has a bad mishap, it is skipped, and can be returned to rotation later. If needed, they can take a minute by having the horses circle at the gate, or can hang three less minutes to post for the next race. No more decisions to watch the next at Saratoga, or miss the big turf race at Calder.

I have worked at three tracks. At River Downs on a Tuesday afternoon, there would be a small amount in the win pool as horses made their way to the gate. Then we would have a delay for a minute or two as a saddle slipped. I looked up at the tote board, and noticed the change in the win pool. In two minutes, we doubled our handle. Turfway Park used to take two minutes, and circle the horses twice. All that it took was a call to the stewards, and PRESTO! – $25,000 more in the win pool. We could move the minutes to post for the next race to keep our schedule. Just think, if we did that five times in a week we would see the handle jump for the year.

I didn’t want to insult the Maryland, Chicago, or California tracks. Get the marquee tracks on deck, and the smaller tracks can play around the schedule. Now all tracks are starting to see the plan in motion. All will benefit, and the players have more time to focus their wagering plans. If you doubt that it can work, just keep your eyes on the U.K product. I bet you’ll love it!

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