- No racing at Santa Anita today, and the outlook is bleak for the weekend's Sunshine Millions.
“Moving to Hollywood Park on a moment’s notice is a logistical nightmare,” said Haines, who added that moving tote equipment without sufficient time to check everything could jeopardize the ability of the track to take wagering. Southern California tracks share in the ownership of the primary tote board, which is moved from meeting to meeting and would have to be shipped to Hollywood Park and then returned.They could bring in some British bookmakers to set up shop if they really wanted to!
“It’s doubtful we could get the tote board across town on one day’s notice,” Haines said. “The funds to operate a mutuel department are astronomical, and to move that money across town, which is insured at Santa Anita but may not be insured at Hollywood, is a very big risk for us.” [Bloodhorse]
By the way, I recall that the Millions was on NBC the last couple of years; but this year, they were scheduled to be shown only on ESPN News, and ESPN2. I'd guess that ESPN News would merely show the live races from 4-5, and that the ESPN crew would take over ESPN2 for the second hour. In any event, it's certainly a downgrade from broadcast television, and even gets second tier treatment - at best - on ESPN.
- I was watching the tote for the 8th at Gulfstream, in which I had picked Ling Ling Qi. The horse opened as the favorite, and was sticking around 2-1/5-2 with a few minutes to go. Suddenly, he started shooting up in price - 3-1 / 7-2 / 4-1 / 9-2 - all in consecutive flashes. I was thinking something was wrong. And then he was scratched. Don't know what happened, but perhaps he didn't look right on the track? Or maybe he decided to do his imitation of the Barbaro statue.
The winner, Make The Point, was making his first start since August, and first for Kiaran McLaughlin. He's by Menifee, out of a half sister to stakes winning Daydreaming, and to the dam of Bluegrass Cat.
- The Miami Herald came out in opposition to slots. It cites the pending deal with the Seminole tribe, on the grounds that the pari-mutuels won't be able to compete; and opines that "Slots generate few professional, high-paying jobs and far more that are low-skill and low paying." And it points to the experience of Broward County:
Broward approved the gambling expansion in 2005, but the slots there have generated less than initially projected. State-revenue forecasters had to lower their estimates by $83 million this year.Er, isn't there something missing in this list? Hmmm, perhaps, something like HORSE RACING?? Well, I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. With all that competition, the sport is fast becoming just an afterthought in the Sunshine State.
Moreover, the promised boost to education from expanded gambling is minuscule at best. This is because the $200 million or so expected from Broward slots is a mere drop in the bucket of Florida's $20-plus billion education budget. And most of the education money generated in Broward doesn't go to Broward schools.
Finally, for those who simply enjoy the thrill of long-shot bets, there already are plenty of options, including the Florida Lottery, Indian casinos, off-shore casino ships and, of course, Broward slots.