Thoroughbred Idea Foundation

#FreeDataFriday — Volume 36: Kentucky Workout Rules Not Working

Our sport can, and should, always seek continuous improvement. Take last Saturday, [May 23]'s first race at Churchill Downs as an example. Trainer Thomas Drury Jr. had two starters in the race--Step Ten, making his career debut and Baby White Sox, who would make his first start for Drury, but his third start overall, having run twice for Joe Sharp in 2019, the last of those starts coming in mid-September. While Step Ten is shown as having five published works, one most recently at Churchill and four at the Skylight...

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Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – Churchill Offering Free Past Performances

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation BettorIQ's recent podcast, "A Sports Betting Education," featured professional bettor Rob Pizzola, who was asked what might motivate him to model or wager on a new sport. "First and foremost, what does the market looks like?...Ultimately, that's the first thing. The second is what data is available. Is it public data? Is it private? Do I have to purchase it? is it reliable? You want to talk about emotions in sports betting, the instability you have to deal with, with some of the data I have...

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Open Letter to the Industy: #FreeDataFriday: Volume 34

UNDERSTANDING TAKEOUT Ogden Mills Phipps, former chairman of both The Jockey Club and New York Racing Association and a legendary owner and breeder, heartily advocated for lower takeout nearly five decades ago. In December 1976, Blood-Horse outlined the Phipps plea, a source of great concern given the rising competition in the New York market. "With continuing declines in track attendance and mutuel handle, Thoroughbred racing is faced principally with twin threats, witnesses at an Aqueduct hearing stressed. There are the existing off-track betting structure, which has hurt track management and...

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Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – Racing’s Open Data Canyon

Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Two weeks ago, Microsoft announced the launch of its "Open Data Campaign," in their words, "to help address the looming 'data divide' and help organizations of all sizes to realize the benefits of data and the new technologies it powers. "We believe everyone can benefit from opening, sharing and collaborating around data to make better decisions, improve efficiency and even help tackle some of the world's most pressing societal challenges." Now, it is obvious that it is in Microsoft corporate's interests to convince others of this, but...

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How Much of the Wagering Dollar Actually Goes to Horsemen?

The following is an abridged version of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation's #FreeDataFriday entry for this week. The full version can be read at this link. Here is a simple question: How much revenue does a horse race produce for the horsemen running horses in that race? The answer is incredibly complex, and in many jurisdictions, almost impossible to discern. A publication from the Thoroughbred Owners of California in 2016 offers a glimpse into an answer, at least for races run in that state. While these numbers are likely to have...

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TIF Executive Director Pat Cummings Joins TDN Writers’ Room

Thoroughbred Idea Foundation executive director Pat Cummings joined the TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday to discuss a wide-ranging assortment of macro issues the sport is facing, and how it can be more efficient post-pandemic. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Cummings was asked about last week's #FreeDataFriday white paper posted by the TIF, in which he focused on the shockingly small percentage of purse money that is derived from wagering dollars. "It's been happening like this for a very long time...

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TDN Writers’ Room for April 29, 2020 With Pat Cummings

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation issued a paper last week showing just how much of the pie goes to ADWs, and how little to purses, in California. Pat Cummings of the TIF joins us to talk about it.

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Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – A California Wake-up Call

We cannot say this any simpler: American racing does not have a fair and equitable split of the takeout dollar, it has overly and foolishly relied on alternate sources of gaming to supplement purses. So, we remind you--whether you are for or against a 'federal bill,' a Jockey Club member, a commercial breeder, a small syndicate member or anything in between--the status quo is untenable. Something must change. The economics for the sustainability of racing are all askew. ADWs aren't bad--our business REALLY needs them, particularly now. Their percentage of...

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Open Letter to the Industry: Horsemen Struggling, Purses Down – Give Away Free Basic PPs

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation For more than two weeks, Home Box Office (HBO) has offered free streaming via the HBO Now and HBO GO platforms for several of its famous titles, "the first time...this type of programming [is] available outside of a paywall throughout the month of April. The service is usually priced at $14.99 per month." Horse racing is not HBO, but the point is obvious. What a better way to get people to try your product than take the most captive audience period in history and give them...

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Open Letter to the Industry: #FreeDataFriday – Pandemic Exposes Broken Model

This text is an abridged version of today's Free Data Friday release from the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation. Read the full version here. As the famous proverb goes--the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. Despite few tracks going forward in recent weeks and little to no competition for wagering, Oaklawn and Gulfstream have reduced purses, blaming the loss of subsidies from now shuttered casinos and the lack of on-track handle. Oaklawn set a new record for single day handle last Saturday, with...

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Remington Park Fails to Pay Jackpot to Single-Ticket Winner

From the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation: Oklahoma-based Remington Park has failed to pay its single-ticket jackpot to a winning customer, claiming a dead-heat created a second winning ticket, negating the player's unique win. Horseplayer Jeff Arthur structured several non-overlapping tickets playing Remington's Sooner 6ix bet Friday, Apr. 10, 2020. One ticket, costing him $403.20 and including 2,016 combinations, was entered via Arthur's ADW account. An image of the ticket can be found here. Arthur received consolation payouts totaling $8,920, which was the total amount of that night's minor pool, and which...

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#FreeDataFriday – Volume 29: Let the Stewards Speak

The general lack of racing around America in light of local restrictions due to the impact of COVID-19 has focused the attention of customers on a select number of races at any one time. A natural byproduct has been collective social media outrage at a pair of stewards' decisions which demoted winners, once Sunday at Oaklawn Park and another on Tuesday at Fonner Park. This is not a story about the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation's suggestion that North America should shift its rules philosophy to the international standard--known as Category 1....

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