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  #1  
Old 05-24-2014, 10:57 PM
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Calzone Lord Calzone Lord is offline
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Default The heinousness of takeout increases. Two of the worst ever

From Daily Racing Form:




The O'Dwyer Bite is the most infamous takeout increase in the history of horse racing.

Apparently, there were a lot of people, in racing at the time, who thought it wouldn't have much effect. From DRF:




Things got so bad in New York -- that New Jersey was supposed to emerge as a viable competitor. The fairly new Atlantic City and Monmouth Park were suddenly very legit competitors.

Until...New Jersey injected cancer into their horse racing program, by increasing the takeout 2% and upping the breakage from a nickle to a dime.

Here is the impact that the great New Jersey takeout increase had on betting handle in just 1-year:




For just $4,528 more per racing day, the State of New Jersey flushed the future of it's horse racing product down the toilet.

Garden State Park isn't even around any more. Atlantic City barely is around. Monmouth Park only runs 3-days a week.

This is what Garden State Park looked like in 1947:



It is now the site of a development of stores, restaurants, apartments, townhouses, and condominiums.


In my lifetime following horse racing, the two major tracks who campaigned the hardest for takeout increases were Hialeah Park under Brunetti, where they raised the takeout so high, it was 29% on trifectas.

The other was Rick Baedeker, the President at Hollywood Park in 2004. Baedeker's succeeded in getting the takeout raised for all Southern California tracks in 2004, and he seemingly single-handedly led the fight for it. He was the only guy talking it up to the press.

Was Hialeah saved by increase takeout rates? Was Hollywood Park saved by increased takeout rates?

Takeout increases NEVER produce the expected and desired results in the short-term, and they are the most heinous form of cancer to horse-racing in the long-term. Keep in mind, this is a sport who was once only rivaled by Major League Baseball, in terms of press coverage.

Imagine this...how would horse racing look without off-track wagering? Without exotic wagering? Without Advanced deposit Internet wagering? Without slot machines?

We even have table games in Pennsylvania. At 3AM, all I have to do is drive 2 miles, and I can play craps, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, pai-gow (whatever the hell that is) What hop does Pennsylvania racing have left? What's the next shot in the arm? On-site Prostitution?

The bottom line is that increasing the takeout does very harmful things to the horse racing product.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:15 PM
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Great old photo of Garden State Park. I remember the very end, late 90's-01, when racing quality was so poor that you really had to travel across to Philadelphia Park.

It still was a great clubhouse and a fun place to watch the races.

Very sad day when closed.....
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:03 AM
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I'm amused by some of the other explanations given as to why horse racing was so successful from 1880 through the mid 1940's.

The most popular one was that state lotteries weren't legal...so there wasn't competition.

My grandfather told me how easy it was to play lotteries. How easy it was to bet sports and horses with a bookmaker. How he'd play dice games like barbooth and craps all the time. How clubs in the city also had card games like poker and blackjack.

If you listen to some people in racing, you'd think it were impossible to bet anything but horse racing in that era. That's nonsense. And big off-track betting, in those days, was done through bookmakers at pool halls. The tracks weren't in with them.

At one point, pool halls in cities all over the country served as books and handled massive amounts of money on horse races. Pittsburgh Phil got his start betting horses, first from the pool halls in Pittsburgh and then from the pool halls of Chicago. He was a bookmaker at Monmouth Park for a little while before he became truly famous as a bettor.
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:15 AM
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Good stuff Doug. Reminds me of the Pete Seeger song , Where have all the flowers gone -- Just substitute RACETRACKS OR HORSEPLAYERs for flowers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxEU-YQaqKw
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Old 05-25-2014, 07:39 AM
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I live right up the street from Garden State and so wish it still around. I was too young to have been in to it then, and wish I was able to see it in its glory days.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone Lord View Post
I'm amused by some of the other explanations given as to why horse racing was so successful from 1880 through the mid 1940's.

The most popular one was that state lotteries weren't legal...so there wasn't competition.

My grandfather told me how easy it was to play lotteries. How easy it was to bet sports and horses with a bookmaker. How he'd play dice games like barbooth and craps all the time. How clubs in the city also had card games like poker and blackjack.

If you listen to some people in racing, you'd think it were impossible to bet anything but horse racing in that era. That's nonsense. And big off-track betting, in those days, was done through bookmakers at pool halls. The tracks weren't in with them.

At one point, pool halls in cities all over the country served as books and handled massive amounts of money on horse races. Pittsburgh Phil got his start betting horses, first from the pool halls in Pittsburgh and then from the pool halls of Chicago. He was a bookmaker at Monmouth Park for a little while before he became truly famous as a bettor.
One of my fav reads on the bookies and gamblers is: "Saratoga Stories: Gangsters, Gamblers & Racing Legends".

Some great background in the book on Pittsburgh Phil, Arnold Rothstein & Diamond Jim Brady, etc. Also, a fine description of Saratoga Race Course in the 1800's until early 1900's.

The author discusses some of the thoroughbred greats from that era as well - Sysonby, Omar Khayyam, and Man O' War......
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithting View Post
One of my fav reads on the bookies and gamblers is: "Saratoga Stories: Gangsters, Gamblers & Racing Legends".

Some great background in the book on Pittsburgh Phil, Arnold Rothstein & Diamond Jim Brady, etc. Also, a fine description of Saratoga Race Course in the 1800's until early 1900's.

The author discusses some of the thoroughbred greats from that era as well - Sysonby, Omar Khayyam, and Man O' War......
Just downloaded it.

Thanks for the turn on.
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone Lord View Post
I'm amused by some of the other explanations given as to why horse racing was so successful from 1880 through the mid 1940's.

The most popular one was that state lotteries weren't legal...so there wasn't competition.

My grandfather told me how easy it was to play lotteries. How easy it was to bet sports and horses with a bookmaker. How he'd play dice games like barbooth and craps all the time. How clubs in the city also had card games like poker and blackjack.

If you listen to some people in racing, you'd think it were impossible to bet anything but horse racing in that era. That's nonsense. And big off-track betting, in those days, was done through bookmakers at pool halls. The tracks weren't in with them.

At one point, pool halls in cities all over the country served as books and handled massive amounts of money on horse races. Pittsburgh Phil got his start betting horses, first from the pool halls in Pittsburgh and then from the pool halls of Chicago. He was a bookmaker at Monmouth Park for a little while before he became truly famous as a bettor.
I remember my grandfather telling me virtually every newsstand in Chicago and they were on almost every corner were mobbed up and acting as a one stop shop for betting horses, sports or the 3 number lotto (that had a derogatory racist name). I also accompanied him to a pool hall on Milwaukee Ave (that was used for the movie Color of Money) anytime there was a death in the family as the funeral parlor was right down the block. I never saw him play pool in his life so I suppose while I played the 'shuffleboard' bowling game he played the ponies.

I believe the lotto payoff was 600-1 with real odds at 1000-1 and they (the mob) made a fortune. Like the superfectas of today you could also play it for a dime. They used the last three numbers of the Treasury Balance on weekdays and the last three numbers of the handle at Maywood or Sportsman on the weekends to decide the winning number.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:19 PM
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ah sportsmans park the sout side palace...really west side but you know what i mean.juvinal diaz and fairmount shippers..
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