After getting a ton of messages yesterday, horse owners, breeders, and trainers all want to understand the specifics of the MN ADW Bill. Here is a great breakdown from the MRC illustrating estimates of how the Minnesota horse industry can economically benefit from the ADW Bill. It's simple and easy to understand!
Since I received several messages from people confused about what the MN ADW bill is, how it really affects MInnesota horse people, and where it stands, here's some "meaningful" information for the over 800 followers of this site and FB page. This information is based upon asking a few questions and my perspective.
Yesterday the House Commerce Committee unanimously approved the bill and it was referred on to Civil Law and Finance committees. A meeting with a State and Local Gov't Senate Committee will take place today, and there may be another 3 or so committees to go after today.
Minnesota horse people should thank the Minnesota Racing Commission for pursuing this!
ADW stands for Advanced Deposit Wagering and providers of this function have existed for many years. They are essentially online gaming providers which let people deposit money, and then use that deposited money to wager on races across the country and world. Wagers are extracted from the ADW accounts and winnings are deposited into the accounts. Again, this has existed for many years and people utilize this function because they can wager anywhere they have internet access with all the data and ease they desire.
The ancient concepts of only on track gaming and pouring over a paper based racing form for 30 minutes between races disappeared from advanced technology gamers years ago, even though I still know a lot of old $2 bettors and MN horse folk who don't know how to use the internet effectively, or a 1980's spreadsheet for that matter.
Anyway, the MN ADW bill allows the MRC to regulate that activity and recapture some of the funds that leave our state and actually reduce simulcasting revenues in Minnesota. The "recapture" will benefit horse people and the MN breeders fund by offsetting certain administrative expenses.
So simply put, IF YOU ARE A MN HORSEPERSON, PASSAGE OF THE ADW BILL CAN ONLY BENEFIT OUR INDUSTRY, and taking the time to indicate your support to your elected representatives can only be beneficial to our MInnesota horse economy!
Again, thanks to the MRC for their efforts in this regard.
It's that time of the year and people are asking the Derby questions. Well here's the BEST publication link I know for handicappers, March Edition. Enjoy.
I thought we ended 2015 with 99 career racing and breeding stable wins. To my surprise, after the annual tax time teeth pulling, I found I missed counting a win in a minor partnership stable. A hundred wins may not seem like much to the big stables but for those of us who race handfuls of horses and breed just a few mares, 100 wins is a big deal. Many thanks to the Canterbury folks, trainers, jockeys, owners and partners who we have been lucky enough to be associated with over the last decade or so. For throw back Thursday, here's our very first win picture reflecting a massive $6,100 purse. Now I'm off to celebrate with a little "vegan" green beer.
Many people know that the Minnesota environment, speed favoring racetrack and turf course offer owners of "versatile" horses unique earning potential. With the new MTA bonuses where a "Minnesota Bred conceived and foaled" Maiden Special Weight or Allowance winner gets a $2,000 bonus, several folks are wondering who the best standing sires of Minnesota Breds are. You see, you have to literally breed, thus "conceive", in Minnesota to get the maximum $2,000 bonus.
To answer this question I go to the factual data to determine which sires have been most successful at siring Minnesota Bred horses. This data is public and easy to find on Bloodstock Research.
Our stallion, Stormy Business, has led the way in this regard for three years running with 15 foaled winners and $386,913 in foaled purses. It is however honest to note that other standing sires have excellent earnings in other jurisdictions, though they have not yet demonstrated meaningful "Minnesota Bred" results.
If you want to breed locally and take advantage of the new "conception" $2,000 bonus, the noted sires on the chart have proven capability for "Minnesota Bred and Conceived" results.
As a follow up to yesterday's blog on Minnesota owners, I was asked about racing and ownership economics. Simply put, there is a difference between well run stables versus those that just throw good money after bad.
For many years I have tracked racing stables by Earnings per Start because that is the best metric related to stable profitability. Though "EPS" is a proxy, we will never be able to exactly evaluate stable expense structures.
In Minnesota, every horse that runs through the summer racing season will likely cost an owner near $10,000 in "racetrack" training costs, $2,000 in miscellaneous costs, $3,000 in racehorse preparation costs and $1,000 in transportation to and from the track. That $16,000 cost estimate means each horse must earn $20,000 in purse earnings to break even because Jockeys and Trainers each get near 10% of your ownership purse earnings. (A 20% rake in total.)
Based on the data, I find that horses run near an average 6 times during the 13 week Minnesota racing season. Consequently, the earnings per start break even point is of course $3,333. ($20,000 in needed earnings per horse divided by 6 starts per horse.) With that in mind, I believe that even the most cost efficient stables need to exceed $3,000 per start to hit a break even profit number.
Interestingly, of the 58 owner entities with at least 15 Canterbury starts last year, 24 (41%) hit that $3,000 per start number, and in my view 19 (33%) clearly had profitable stables at a $3,500 per start level or higher.
In other words, with one out of every 3 owners likely now making money in Minnesota racing, Minnesota racehorse ownership can be economically rewarding.......IF you do it right! I hope this answers the questions asked for some of you new owners and also helps you understand who you might want to look to for advice as you step into the exciting racing game.
If you are wondering, our main racing stable is Astar Lindquist Stables and we were under the $3,000 goal last year for the first time in many years. I hope this also explains why we diversified into stallion ownership and breeding many years ago. These activities generate additional stable revenue every time one of our bred or sired horses earns purse monies.
I was asked who runs horses at Canterbury Park and where we stood in that list.
The Ulwellings continue to run the most horses at Canterbury, with Midwest Thoroughbreds close behind after returning to Minnesota racing in 2014.
I also anticipate Winchester Place to jump up this list in 2016 based upon the racing stock they have available this year.
Though we have run more horses in the past, we still put quite a few on the track ranking 16th among the 635 owners who started at least once at Canterbury in 2015.
Yes, there were 635 owner entities listed in 2015!
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.