Thoroughbred Idea Foundation

Computer Assisted Wagering: 101 for California Stakeholders

Last June, Pat Cummings, executive director of the National Thoroughbred Alliance and former executive director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, issued a stark warning about the encroaching impacts from Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) to the men and women trying to forge a living through horse racing in the Golden State. CAW players constitute a small group of mostly anonymous, high-volume gamblers with an outsized impact on the betting markets--including in California--due to their use of sophisticated wagering technologies and the inducements offered to them in the form of attractive rates...

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Pat Cummings Q&A: “Our Struggles Are Entirely Collective”

Late last month, owner Mike Repole announced the formation of the National Thoroughbred Alliance (NTA), an organization charged with providing emergency triage to an industry struggling with fiscal ill-health for quite some time. For executive director of the NTA, Repole tapped Pat Cummings, who previously headed the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, an organization focused on instituting change for racing's primary customers, the horseplayers and horse owners. At a press conference for the NTA's launch, Repole discussed his intentions in broad over-arching terms that were light on specifics. To put some meat...

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Repole Announces Formation of National Thoroughbred Alliance, Hires Cummings as Executive Director

Owner Mike Repole's efforts to form a group that he hopes can help solve some of the sport's problems and create growth in an industry that has been in a downward spiral for decades took a step forward Thursday with Repole announcing that he has formed what he is calling the National Thoroughbred Alliance (NTA). Pat Cummings, who has headed the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, has been hired as the alliance's executive director. Repole said he picked the name because he thought using the term alliance sent a message that the...

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TIF Reports Prairie Meadows Hit By Pool Manipulations

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is investigating a spate of pool manipulation incidents which seem to have occurred on three races run at Prairie Meadows in the last eight race days, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) said in a release Friday morning. Daily double pools on Sept. 4 (Races 2/3), Sept. 1 (Races 6/7) and Aug. 25 (Races 5/6) were subject to massive bets on combinations the manipulator(s) expected to lose. In each case, the bets were made in the final betting cycle when projected payouts for each combination...

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Technology, Engagement, and the Future the Focus of Annual Round Table Conference

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - A panel on computer-assisted wagering (CAW) and its pros and cons, and another on trainers' reactions to the new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) regulations, took center stage at the 2023 Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing held in Saratoga Springs, New York on Thursday. Patrick Cummings, the moderator of the panel on CAWs, is the Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, a racing-industry think tank. Cummings took the panel through a brief history of parimutuel wagering and the changes...

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Pat Cummings Joins The TDN Writers' Room Podcast

Computer Assisted Wagering (CAW) has been a hot topic of late. What we know is that there are a handful gamblers that use computer algorithms to formulate their wagers, are allowed to make their bets at the very last second and receive substantial rebates. But there's a lot we don't know, like how much are they betting, what pools they most prefer and what affect has that had on the "regular" player? In his latest report for the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF), entitled Sharks & Minnows, TIF Executive Director Pat...

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Pat Cummings Talks CAWs on TDN Writers' Room

Pat Cummings joins this week's TDN Writers' Room to discuss the expansion of CAWs and their longterm impact on the sport. This week's episode is sponsored by Keeneland, the Green Group, Coolmore, WinStar, the PHBA, the KTOB, XBTV, and West Point Thoroughbreds.

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TIF Issues Alarming Report on Computer Assisted Wagering in CA

Nine of the 11 largest betting pools have shown declines from all customers except computer-assisted wagering groups over the past four years, while the handle of the largest CAW groups grew dramatically, according to an extensive study of data released Monday by the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF). "The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation's analysis of data from Del Mar between 2018 and 2022 showed on an inflation-adjusted basis, per-race (or per-opportunity basis for certain bet types) CAW betting, from what is believed to be 17 accounts, has grown tremendously in the last...

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TIF Says Triple Crown Pre-Race Inspection Reports Should Be Public

While veterinary scrutiny has increased, communication has not, as U.S. racing has fallen short in the transparency space both this year and many years in the past, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) said on their website on Wednesday. According to the TIF report, there were more than 33,000 races for Thoroughbreds in the U.S. in 2022, but if you asked the public to name just three of them, chances are they would be the GI Kentucky Derby, the GI Preakness S. and the GI Belmont S. The report takes the...

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More Than $1 Million in Breakage Returned to Winning Bettors Across Oaks and Derby Days

Courtesy Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Winning horseplayers at Churchill Downs and around the world betting into the pools across Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days enjoyed more than an additional $1 million in winnings thanks to an amendment to Kentucky law which now rounds winning bets to the penny. The practice, known as breakage, has been in effect across all of American racing, relatively unchanged, for more than a century. But Kentucky's legislature passed an amendment to existing laws in March 2022. The measure took effect in July of last year,...

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TIF Hosting Derby Prop Contest For Racing Charities

With 20 questions and a tiebreaker facing contest participants, entries are now open for the 2023 Thoroughbred Idea Foundation Derby Prop Contest, the organization said in a release Wednesday. The entry portal closes at 11:00 a.m. E.T. this Saturday, May 6. Players should keep track of their answers as you will not be able to revisit the survey portal once you submit your entry. Should a horse named directly in a prop be scratched, all answers to that prop may be counted as correct. Winners will be notified by email...

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Letter To The Editor: Craig Bernick

No business can change what it does not measure. Racing's public measurement of support, via wagering, hides serious issues. Recent stories have continued to cite declines in total handle, wondering just what is at play. How that handle has been derived has changed dramatically, but that's not reflected in the overall numbers. Over the last century, U.S. racetracks have reported total handle on their races and, for most of that time, it was one metric that accurately depicted the health of the business. But in our modern era of simulcasting,...

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