- Oaklawn's purses will average $300,000 a day throughout the meet which opens on Friday. And guess why?
There are 480 electronic gaming terminals and 29 electronic table games on the first floor, and they are projected to contribute $74,000 to $92,000 a day to purses this meet, said Jackson. Of the machines, 350 are terminals for Instant Racing, a parimutuel game that plays like a slot machine. It was introduced in 2000.And they're planning to double the number of machines for next year. Oaklawn is the only track I can think of that was actually really thriving before they added gaming. In the case of many, if not most (all?) other tracks with slots (or, ahem, electronic games of skill as required by law at Oaklawn), it was out of need, if not survival. The gaming at Oaklawn certainly seems to be a good fit; they're not mindless slot machines, and the benefits have been tangible and significant.
"We expect Instant Racing and electronic games of skill in 2008 to generate between $4 and $5 million for purses," said Jackson. "We're awfully close to the point that the limited gaming that we have now is close to generating a third of our purse distribution." [Daily Racing Form]
It makes me think about what it might be like if there were..........
slots at Saratoga!
Egads! Did I just write that? I, of course, would never suggest such a blasphemy. I'm just talkin'. I mean, one might as well propose to burn the American flag, or that I root for the Giants (because they're a New York team blah blah blah).
But I'm thinking about Oaklawn, an already vibrant racetrack before gaming was added to the mix, and what would happen if you put, not slots, but, say, some Instant Racing machines in a tent in the back of Saratoga. They'd probably do quite well, and maybe attract some of the thousands who sit in the back and don't pay attention to the races anyway! The money would help swell the already generous purses to astronomical levels which could attract even more stables and horses from around the country. Hell, since I'm talking (and I'm just talkin') about desecrating the place with gaming, I might as well propose to extend the meeting to two months to accommodate them all - no three, or how about until further notice?
But, y'know, I'm just talkin', that's all.
- Pletcher for seven for 14 at Gulfstream ths far. He has an entry of first-timers, both with a long series of steady works in the 7th, a race in which the horses who have raced look beatable; and they're both 6-1 in the morning line. Magnificent Melody (Unbridled's Song) may eventually be meant for the grass; she's a half sister to Navesink River and the European stakes winner Astronomer Royal. Her first dam, by Easy Goer, is a half sister to Vicar. With Eibar Coa aboard, she qualifies as the "other Pletcher" and thus may be worth a look off some solid A.M. drills. Johnny V will ride Back For More (More Than Ready); she's a half to no less than eight winners, including stakes winner and $300,000 earner Delray Dew.
Also keep an eye on the scratches, because lurking on the AE list is Seventh Street, a $1 million purchase for Darley last February. When one spends that much on a two-year old in training, it's obviously not for the purpose of waiting nearly a year to race, so we can assume all has not gone according to plan; and there's a workout gap as recently as Nov-Dec. Seventh Street is by Street Cry, out of a Meadowlake mare, and though she has some interesting inbreeding (4x4 to Raise A Native, and to Northern Dancer and his half-sister Raise the Standard), there ain't much on the catalog page. I'd wonder why someone would spend a fortune on a filly without much in the way of genealogy such as this one; but's it's Darley after all, and what's a million bucks to them?