Thoroughbred Idea Foundation

Wagering: American Racing’s Top Priority Going Forward

Courtesy Thoroughbred Idea Foundation   Racing needs a long-term plan which will put the sport on a path to raise handle to nearly $50 billion annually with more than $5 billion held by the industry by 2040. Sound optimistic? Falling well short of that goal would still be a monumental accomplishment given we are on track for another year at just $11 billion in handle, and down nearly 50% in the last two decades, adjusted for inflation. So where are the plans from the industry to start thinking long-term about...

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A Conversation About Accuracy: 30,000 Falsehoods Annually

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation While Aunt Pearl's performance in the [GII] J.P. Morgan Chase Jessamine S. Oct. 7, 2020 was an impressive gate-to-wire score in a sizzling time, smashing the stakes record by more than two seconds, the pesky un-timed portion of nearly every American race played a role in the eye-popping clocking. "Run-up" is the distance from where the gate is placed and the timing of the race begins--that is, the point at which the horses reach the published distance of the race. The Jessamine, and nearly every other...

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Racing’s Biggest Hope: Embracing Fixed Odds Betting

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Have you noticed the explosion of sports betting legalization around America? As it stands now, horse racing is offered almost exclusively as a pari-mutuel wagering option, which often renders impossible the co-location of racing with other fixed odds sports bets. Be it Draft Kings, Fanduel, the new Barstool Sportsbook through Penn National Gaming, or any other provider in the growing number of states legalizing sports betting--racing is not amidst those offerings. That puts U.S. racing at a monumental disadvantage. In February 2019, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation...

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The Best Interests of the Industry: #FreeDataFriday, Final Volume

by Thoroughbred Idea Foundation This is the final installment of a year-long series we called #FreeDataFriday. We have greatly appreciated your attention and feedback. To share your thoughts with us, please contact us by clicking here. In March 2019, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation published a white paper calling for Equibase to do four things: Provide free, raw data feeds for registered, non-commercial users. Provide free, basic past performances on all North American tracks. Provide responsive channels to regularly address errors and omissions in the data. Partner with universities to study...

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Free Data Friday: Tracks Running Races at the Wrong Distances

From the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Saratoga, Gulfstream and Kentucky Downs have all run races over wrong distances within the last six weeks - at least one half-furlong longer than the races were scheduled. This 50th volume of #FreeDataFriday is not an explanation of some obscure method of timing races, it offers merely a sobering fact, easily exposed BECAUSE of the way in which America times horse races. First, understand that nearly every distance of a race run in North America is not the actual distance traveled, but the distance which...

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TIF Biennial Report Released

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation has published a biennial report covering operations from its launch in August 2018 through the end of July 2020. The report provides a brief overview of TIF work and engagements from that period, high-level financials and more. "We are pleased to present the TIF Biennial Report, covering our first two years of operations," said TIF founder and board chairman Craig Bernick. "We believe a report is necessary to be transparent with the activities we have undertaken and with our spending to accomplish that--primarily funded to date...

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TIF’s Cummings Takes on Issue of Timing Problems

One day after Bill Finley wrote about inconsistencies in timing at a handful of racetracks in the U.S.--both big and small--in Wednesday's TDN, Pat Cummings, the Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, has penned a piece of his own, explaining why accuracy in timing is paramount to the game and offering a framework for how to move forward. "The state of race timing in America is not improving as the years pass. It is getting worse," writes Cummings, who served as the director of racing information for Trakus for...

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TIF Special Report: Racing Not Only For the Elite

Instead of #FreeDataFriday, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation is released a special report: "Racing Not Only For (the) Elite," which focuses on wagering and the horseplayer, The TIF stated that: "The report is the culmination of months of research, conversations across informed pockets of the industry and extreme frustration. The frustration is grounded in an assessment of the current state of racing when combined with the realization that the industry commissioned a detailed study that identified these current issues 16 years ago, when their impact was far smaller than it is...

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Open Letter to Industry from TIF: Decision to Run Saturday at Gulfstream Affront to Integrity

The following is an open letter from the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation: "Will this action foster increased participation and confidence from horseplayers and horse owners?" This should be the question considered by all decision-makers in horse racing. Strong storms cascaded through the area around Gulfstream Park on Saturday morning. Besides races on grass being shifted to the dirt and that course being downgraded to sloppy, there was another significant change on the day. The storm knocked-out several camera positions, including head-on views and a remote camera positioned to capture starts deep...

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Levy Joins TIF Board; Wagering & Integrity Issues Committee Launched

Michael Levy has been added to the Board of Directors of the The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF). Levy is the founder and president of Muirfield Insurance, a full-service equine insurance agency based in Lexington, Kentucky. Along with wife Meg, they own and operate Bluewater Farm and Bluewater Sales. Throughout his career, Levy has served on a variety of industry boards, including the American Graded Stakes Committee, Breeders' Cup and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. "Mike brings a lifetime of experience to our board, and with it, a willingness to think...

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#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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