Letter to the Editor: Computer Assisted Wagering

For the Flag dropped from 6-1 to 5-2 during the running of Sunday's fifth race at Keeneland | Coady photo


Thoroughbred Daily News has written extensively about Computer Assisted Wagering and the players and clubs that by using such methods have placed a stranglehold on our pari-mutuel system.

Just a week ago in this space, Dan Ross had a wonderful column on the subject and what it has done to handle in California.

It is hard to say no to someone wanting to bet a huge amount on Thoroughbred racing, and it is understandable in giving them rebates to reward their action.

But it is harming the game and small players such as myself.

I witnessed an example April 23 in Kentucky when I bet $200 to win on For the Flag in the fifth race at Keeneland. She was 6-1 when the gates opened, 3-1 as they entered the first turn, and 5/2 as they exited the turn. She won and paid $7.98.

You can sell all the yearlings you want, have 2-year-olds work in great times, etc., etc., etc. Enjoy the big stud fees. Put together syndicates. But when the $2 bettor has had enough, or in this case the $200 bettor, then all you have left are the computer players and the folks who have a Derby party and are interested in racing for an hour a year. Maybe that is all that is needed for the game to continue.

But by doing so you are losing people such as myself. I find myself wagering less and less every year because the sharp change in odds while horses are running infuriates me.

No one loves the sport more than I do. No one enjoys handicapping more than I do. No one finds Keeneland to be as special a place as I do.

Make their last dump of money into the pools happen with a few minutes to the post. Or take them out of the win pools. Or …

Just do something. Because these kicks in the gut are becoming more than people like myself can take. This is supposed to be fun. For me, it is not any more.

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