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June 2012 Newsletter
Dear HANA Member,
We hope you enjoy this June 2012 newsletter of HANA's monthly newsletter series. The newsletters are designed to keep you up to date on current issues of interest and concern to horseplayers, and what's happening at HANA.
Dont' forget that if you have player news for our letters, or requests for HANA, send us an e-mail.
Your HANA Board
Clenbuterol Ban In California
Clenbuterol will be banned for all thoroughbreds at California racetracks for the next year beginning on July 18, according to a recent ruling by the California Horse Racing Board. The bronchodilator has been suspected of sometimes being misused for its anabolic steroid properties, for building muscles instead of simply treating breathing problems. New Mexico passed a similar ban in February, though the drug remains widespread throughout the rest of the country.
In a related story, the Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association have teamed up to launch a new organization and website, cleanhorseracing.org, to advocate for medication reform. HANA polls have indicated that reducing or eliminating the role of drugs in the sport is a major area of concern for horseplayers.
Belmont Tickets and 2012 Triple Crown Attempt
If you want to watch I'll Have Another try for the Triple Crown at Belmont on June 9, you can still get general admission tickets for as little as $10. The last Triple Crown candidate was Big Brown in 2008, which helped attract more than 94,000 fans to the facility. Though the horse went off at 15-1 in the Kentucky Derby and 3-1 in the Preakness, don't expect much in the way of value in the Belmont, as souvenir hunters and future E-bay entrepreneurs will be loading up on win tickets on the horse. NBC figures to be a beneficiary of the Triple Crown quest--since 2000, the Belmont races without a candidate have averaged 4% of U.S. households, while the races with horses contending to be the first TC winner since 1978 have averaged 10%.
Shakeup at NYRA - Top Brass Fired
Heads have rolled at the New York Racing Association. Emails released to the press show that NYRA executives were allegedly aware that the NYRA was overcharging bettors for more than a year, a total of more than $8 million. The NYRA was still using a 26% takeout rate even after that amount was supposed to have been reduced after the law expired in September 2010. CEO Charles Hayward and general counsel Patrick Kehoe were fired. The state has now taken over the NYRA for a three-year period, with new legislation planned to create a NYRA Reorganization Board.
New Jersey Sports Betting Update
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has announced that the state plans to go forward with sports betting this fall, despite a federal ban. According to proposals, the state's racetracks and casinos would be permitted to accept bets on such sports as football and basketball. Expect the feds to contest the plan.
California Exchange Wagering News
Exchange wagering--still not available in the United States--was dealt another blow after John Sadler, the president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, told the state's horse racing board that his group is not prepared to sign an agreement with Del Mar that would include exchange betting. The board will meet June 28 at Hollywood Park for a full hearing on exchange wagering, which is being primarily pushed by Betfair/TVG. If all parties approve, exchange wagering could start as early as the end of July, in the middle of the Del Mar season. Del Mar management is on record as being in favor of exchange wagering, which has proven a big hit with overseas bettors since its introduction in 2000.
HANA Advisor Interviewed on Sports Betting Radio
Caroline Betts, HANA adviser, founder and president of Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue, and USC Associate Professor of economics, was interviewed on the EOG (Eye on Gaming) sports betting hour on May 7. She talked mostly about the rescue program, but also got in some comments about optimal pricing and takeouts.
NYRA Rewards Planned Betting Charge Canceled
NYRA Rewards canceled its plan to charge customers $1 per call for phone wagers made through live operators after player protests.
Canterbury Park Takeout News
Canterbury Park has slashed its takeout on Pick 3 and Pick 4 bets to 14%. The Minnesota track's meet continues through Sept. 3.
Thistledown "Irregular Betting Patterns"
Shades of the old days of pool manipulations took place at Thistledown on May 21 as bettors at two off-track locations bet $15,000 to win at the last second on every one of the other six horses in the fifth race except the 1-5 favorite Eye Look The Part, whose odds then ballooned to 5-1. Eye Look The Part won by 16 lengths and paid $12.80; the $2 exacta returned just $6.20. The typical pool for a race at the Ohio track is $9,000; bets on this race totaled more than $128,000. A likely explanation is that the bettors were attempting to drive up the price on an obvious favorite (that won by more than 16 lengths) to cash bets at non pari-mutuel books that pay off at track odds. The bettors would have had to have wagered nearly $17,000 offshore (and at multiple outlets) on the winner to have made a profit.
We at HANA are constantly looking for help to further our charter of giving you, the horseplayer a voice.
This section of the newsletter will become a regular feature and will list the jobs/tasks in which we are most in need of help. Any member feeling that they have the skill and a bit of free time to help out, you are encouraged to write to firstname.lastname@example.org
. We will accept and answer all inquiries even if just to ask what a given job entails.
* Content generator - this task requires an individual with writing skills to generate content for the blog (thoroughbred, harness or quarterhorse) or via our social media accounts at Facebook and Twitter.
* Marketing - requires a person with the ability to generate artwork and templates for items such as the newsletter and ads to be placed into various racing publications.
* Web Design - we are interested in moving forward with a project to upgrade our website.
* Newsletter editor - person to gather news items of interest to the membership and write short pieces to be formatted into the monthly newsletter.
Visit The HANA Website!
A reminder that HANA's website - http://www.horseplayersassociation.org
- contains dozens of blog entries and other handicapping information. You're a HANA member--use our site (where everything is free)!