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HISA needs to address CAWS   HRN Horse-Races.Net General Discussions

Started Aug-14 by Wintertrian; 4608 views.

From: TexSquared


SameSteve G said:

Woodbine is probably the best run track in N. America.  I can't think of one better.

You'll enjoy this interview with Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson, talking about the synthetic tracks and how it's safer. And later in the clip he said exactly what I said -- yes drugs are a big issue, but going to synthetic will save more lives vs. all of HISA's efforts against illegal meds.

  • Edited September 1, 2023 11:58 pm  by  TexSquared
SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G


Thanks, Tex.  Lawson is a top notch as that interview reveals.


From: TexSquared


He is retiring from the role at the end of this year but clearly his legacy will be standing up to certain horsemen and going with Tapeta when the Polytrack needed replaced.  As he said there were calls to go back to dirt.  That takes bravery and foresight to say what he did... the part about distinguishing ourselves. We aren't going to attract top U.S. dirt horses to our dirt track, so he stuck with synthetic and added a second turf course, to attract Europeans and top U.S. turf horses.  Would a different CEO have caved and put dirt back in? We'll never know.

SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G


What is irrefutable?  Synthetic is 3.5 times safer than dirt.  The sample is too large not to be accurate.

The powers-that-be have all expressed deep concern over race fatalities.  Also, a true statement.

If we know Tapeta is at least 3.5 times safer than dirt and we know the powers-that-be profess a desire to save horses' lives, what possible valid reasons could the major jurisdictions and the jurisdictions that are rich with casino money have for not tearing out the dirt and installing Tapeta?

That is the question.  It all boils down to money over saving horses' lives NOW.  So, I end up concluding that their deep concern is mere hypocrisy.


From: smartyslew


That was a good read, he comes across as a listener surrounded by great documentation people

that is what a good leader should be. The journey from Poly to tapeta and another turf course

in that scenario ,no backbone problems for him, Sounds like he is leaving Woodbine in good hands

good for him.




Is there a way to tell which tracks allow the CAWs?  I was wondering that about KD, bet some of the early races there and was there this last weekend.  Prices were not what they use to be.  I kept seeing 10-20-30 to 1 horses bet down to favorite status or at least less than 4-1.  I had a 10-1 ML on the backend of a double that was bet down to the even money favorite that even paid like it was the favorite in the double.  30-1 ML down to 2-1 fav, happened the entire meet.  I think it may just be whoever was doing the ML just was way off, but was wondering what affect CAWs may have caused.   Prices were not worth it.


From: TexSquared


It's safe to assume anything owned by 1ST Racing (Stronach Group) should be avoided since they own one of the CAW hubs. NYRA is a partner in that one but supposedly cuts them off at 3 min to post. So don't bet a NYRA race until inside 2 minutes and hopefully you'll avoid an odds drop.  Del Mar seems to be hit with odds drops a lot, and that Financial Times article showed a Keeneland example.  So there's a start for your "blacklist". 

Kentucky Downs claims to be "pro-player" with its low takeouts so it wouldn't surprise me if they welcome the CAWs with a red carpet - as you observed.  It really isn't fair to compare KD to any other North American track.  I mean, this is a track that operates a casino year-round... which funds a boutique race meet with crazy purses and crazy low takeouts.   Kind of like a Keeneland (which uses the commissions from its auctions) on steroids, or if the UAE and Saudi Arabia allowed wagering and used their oil money to not only fund purses but keep takeouts low since it's not like they care if they turn a profit or not....

I don't think Woodbine's odds drop anywhere as bad given how it's so hated by those yahoos. So maybe give us some business :-)  However our pools are nowhere as big as NYRA so just a few big bettors (I don't mean CAW either) can move the needle.  

I agree with you that the ML is often so off you might as well disregard it. I mean look at the ML's for big races like the Derby.  You'll see maybe a 2-1 favorite, some 5-1's, some in the 10 to15 range, then the no-hopers (hello Rich Strike!) are randomly assigned anything from 20 to 50.  Oddsmaker comes off as lazy.   

The ML is just a tradition that dates back to when we used bookmakers, where the oddsmaker (the bookie himself) needs to be skilled or else he will take a bath as the early money bets on his overlays and locks in those odds.   Using your KD example, if you were in the UK and your 30-1 "ML" (or what they'd call the opening odds) was your pick, you go on and hammer him and get paid 30-1 when he wins even if the horse closes at 2-1 (what they call the SP, starting price).   

It really serves no purpose in the parimutuel arena other than as a rough guide to novice bettors on who the contenders are.   I mean, who's to say if the oddsmaker/"handicapper" really believes a horse should be 2-1 but makes him 5-1 ML and his "false favorite" the 2-1 ML choice so  that more rookies hammer that 2-1 and maybe he gets 8-1 on the horse he's really picking? There's no way to know.

  • Edited September 20, 2023 4:53 pm  by  TexSquared
SameSteve G

From: SameSteve G


Thanks Tex. I'll give it a listen for sure.