Here's a link to an interesting article about one of our favorite horses, Aroney. To correct the article, Tom Lindquist and I purchased him years ago. He won 4 times for Tom and Felicia Lindquist, and Debbie and I. He even holds a track record at Canterbury and this is a pic of him setting it.
I frankly can't say I've ever heard of anyone paying for a 9 year old claimer that was running at the bottom and lost by over 10 lengths in their last 7 starts, but nevertheless there was a time when this old boy could "get er done" on any surface for our trainer Gary Scherer, who deserves the credit for his success here in Minnesota.
I'll probably go out and cheer for him tonight because he always give everything he's got, and then I hope he gets retired.
Here's the link to the article:
This weekend I had a few folks ask me why the lowest takeout in the nation thing didn’t work in Minnesota. I’ll tell you what I told people when I first heard about it.
Only nerds like me, gambling whales or actuaries may understand the true mathematical benefit of low takeout, and even if they do, the impact is insignificant to real gamblers who can scan the entire universe of racing to select best bets. Taking 3.5% less out of the pari-mutuel pool is simply fractional related to the payoff odds, and those payoff odds are the only thing that can psychologically motivate a risk taker to gamble on one horse at one racetrack over another horse at another racetrack.
You see, racetracks take in 100% of the money bet and put it into pools. They then takeout money for taxes, profits, expenses and other elements. This takeout is generally around 20% on average. They then return only 80% of the money to the winning betters. The payback odds you see on the tote board change constantly because racetracks mathematically recalculate the odds as bets come in. These recalculations make sure only 80% goes back to the betters.
While the ever-changing win bet odds are posted on the tote board for everybody to see, the same constant recalculations take place in all the betting pools. For example, show betting has its own pool, as does place betting, daily double betting, exacta, trifecta, superfectas. pick fours, and the list goes on and on. However, the odds paybacks that are so easy to understand from the tote board on win bets, are only occasionally posted or offered in different places electronically for the other wagers.
With all of this said, when the takeout is decreased even the win odds are barely affected. For example, a horse that has say 3 to 1 odds at a 20% takeout racetrack, would have 3.14 to 1 odds at a 16.5% takeout track. That odds differential would not even show up as a difference on the tote board. Furthermore, the difference in the other wagering pools would barely be recognized. Where’s the motivation?
Of course, the public and gambling community advertise the desire for reduced takeout everywhere. Why wouldn’t they? Nevertheless. to understand the silliness of this mathematical lack of leverage, even if take out were cut in half to only 10%, from the standard blended average of 20%, a 3 to 1 horse would only show as 7 to 2 on the tote board!
When small scale gamblers are not motivated, and large scale gamblers have options to select “overlays” at many racetracks on thousands of horses on any given day, a fractional change in takeout will never direct gambling interests.
As I always say, if you want to be a winning risk taker in anything you need to understand how the games you play really work.
A new Thoroughbred breeder asked for advice about breeding a mare recently. One of the many things I suggested was that they do some research.
As many of you know, one of the highest "actual statistical" correlations to successfully breeding a high quality racing foal has more to do with the actual racetrack performance of the parents than any other factor. However, pedigree analysis related to sires lines that have been previously crossed to produce successful foals (Nicking) also plays a factor in breeding. Nicking is not nearly as important as the people that sell themselves as experts in this regard would have you believe.
While you can pay nicking services to produce a simplistic grade for you, or pay a bloodstock agent to offer their expert advice, I always suggest going straight to the core data. You can retrieve this data in various places but I personally utilize Bloodstock research for this information. There I can find out exactly what percentage of the time certain crosses are successful, how many crosses were involved and how recent they were.
Be extracting reports based on sire's sire nick, broodmare's sire nick, broodmare's sire sire nick or broodmare's sire with 2nd dam's sire nick, you will have the exact data required to "properly analyze" the importance and credibility of breeding your broodmare to a certain sire. Here's the web address for those BRISNET reports.
Of course this takes more time than paying for a silly nicking grade, but often those grades are based upon ancient generational crosses of next to no credibility.
For more on breeding and nicking, and the best article ever written on why nicking is overvalued (almost 20 year old article). go to our webpage on breeding. Here's the link to that page.
Breeding Web Page
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.