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  • #16
    I like the idea of a Procott and was in on the original meetings for HANA. They are good people and need to just stick to their guns, rather than try to make everyone happy.

    One race per week should allow all of the information vendors to post FREE information for that race and maybe even get some new business out of this. Perhaps on a single web page, the race is listed, the vendors post links to their stuff, and the people participating click some link with their name and "amount they pledge" to bet in that race.

    Perhaps this all can be done on the HANA site, but my impression of that group is there is too much "bending over backwards" for certain people, rather than trying to move the group forward and leave the few malcontents behind.

    One race per week is a great idea in my opinion. Everyone bets whatever they want in that race and handle has to increase. There should be some goal set before the effort and a notice sent to Track management of our intention to HELP them.

    Keep going with this idea, it is a good one!


    • #17
      I like your idea NJ, our "selections" forum would be a great board for dissecting the chosen race and everyone could chime in with their analysis - then we could bet anything from $1 to $100 to help the Procott depending on our finances. It would make it more exciting for all of us.

      We could even make a group bet for those that only have a few bucks, i'll take a $5 or $10 from those with PayPal and put in a larger superfecta or something. Pooling a wager would make it more fun as a group.

      Exposure is the important aspect to this. All good ideas evolve and change with feedback. But we have to start and do something. For that I appreciate Mayo's initiative.

      My vote is for TUP for the first track. No slots-small handle-try hard for fans and they would be responsive to the effort. Later, EMD would be a perfect choice for night time. Someday we might find some tracks inviting us to participate. That is the ultimate goal.


      • #18
        I'm for it as long as we don't procott, NYRA, MEC, CDI, OP, or any CA tracks!!!


        • #19
          And 100% no for Woodbine.


          • #20
            I'm seeing it more Henry's way, too

            I'm thinking that if we took a running start on a word of mouth campaign, and passed it along word of mouth at the tourneys, and told our friends to tell their friends that horseplayers were going to boycott a MAJOR race on the calender, that that is the approach that would be more likely to succeed in getting noticed. The last thing a venue will want is to have their premier race boycotted by the bettors. The tracks already think horseplayers are just throwing money at them anyway (what are they doing to attract our action anyway?), so why should they pay you any more attention when they get a random 30k handle in one race every once in a while? What's that net out for track management, $1500-2000? On the other hand, let them know what you are planning to do months in advance and then do it. Cost them $5M handle on one race on one day. That just may get their attention. That might even get us a seat on the TRA board. Or are we so hooked on playing every single big race that we just can't help ourselves? In which case the tracks are right.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Hovard View Post
              Cost them $5M handle on one race on one day. That just may get their attention.
              You got my attention here! You get together enough horse players to withhold 5 million on one race and I am nominating you for President of ANY organization you choose.

              I wonder why you cannot see the other side of this. If you think bettors can withhold that much money, why wouldn't you think they can bet that much money? Isn't that just the other side of the coin?


              • #22
                Mayo, really? you thought my post was a negative response to your proposal? If so, I apologize, it was not intended as such. Actually, I'm all in favor of something to show the owners that horseplayers should be listened to. Heck, I'm a union kinda guy. I just misunderstood what seemed to be an important component of the proposal and I guess I was mistaken in that I thought that raising an innocent question about that component would not be perceived as an attack against the proposal itself.

                Perhaps it was the following that gave me the wrong idea of the "betting minimum" that seemed to be an important part of the proposal:

                Our group would bet a predetermined amount of money (say $50-100 per person) into the pool of the selected race.
                Letís say 300 of us bet $100 each into the fourth race at Turfway Park on a Wednesday afternoon. That would be an extra $30,000 that hit their pool and they never saw it coming.
                As our numbers grow, we then move to the larger tracks. We envision eventually having 3 to 5 thousand members at some point as this venture grows. That would then allow us to perhaps cut down the amount of our individual wager to perhaps the $25 to $30 range.
                The only requirement to be a part of this plan is that you agree to provide an email or and have access to a computer. There are no dues or fees. All that is asked is that you bet the selected race each week in the amount determined.
                Something about those comments led me to believe that there was a set bet amount that would be required to participate in this movement.

                The greater point, however, is not whether a procott is preferable to a boycott. Instead, its whether any question raised should be perceived as a negative that should be avoided at all costs. Its been my experience that horseplayers are a pretty varied lot with a lot of diverse opinions. If counterpoints are perceived as negative simply because they are raised I fear that any plan will have a tough time generating sufficient enthusiasm to have the desired impact.

                I really don't want to be the naysayer guy in this discussion but given my general belief that working out the details is best done BEFORE a plan moves forward than midway through the exercise of that plan, let me go out on a limb here and raise another question. Hopefully this will not be perceived as a negative.

                Okay, lets say this plan works in the sense that the participants grow to the 3 to 5 thousand members that you referred to in your initial letter and the movement has the ability to impact a track's handle by something like $200K in a single race. Now you want to actually use that new-found voice and bring about a change. What is the primary objective that the movement is attempting to accomplish? Is it lowering take out and do we therefore threaten to withhold action until a track lowers take out? Or is it testing for drugs and publishing the results of those tests and we threaten to withhold action until both steps are taken? Or is it dealing with the issues related to tracknet and other ADW's? Or is it a myriad of other issues? Who decides? And what happens to that portion of the movement that may have had a different idea of what the primary objective of the movement was?

                One final question. You close the letter on the Horseplayers Association blog with the discussion of the use of a boycott to accomplish our objective once our voice is heard. Thus, there does not appear to a fear of using that tool to accomplish the movement's objective. I am not sure I understand how a boycott changes from a boycott simply by prefacing that boycott with a procott. If the objective is to have sufficient numbers so that the boycott we will ultimately rely on will actually have an impact, how does asking horseplayers to pay before joining the movement accomplish that objective faster than simply organizing for the boycott itself?


                • #23
                  Mike, I'm with you and HANA either way you want to go. In theory, mine anyway, a show of pool strength followed by a withdrawal of handle may backfire. It smacks of coitus interruptus, and may prove as ineffective.

                  The debacle our leveraged economic malfeasance has wrought seems to heighten a business's willingness to promote a less greedy stance. The remarkable ADW menu availability of late is a prime example. I think our recession and likely depression offers horseplayers a rare opportunity to exhibit and "force" all we ever wanted, a level playing field.

                  It may not sound like it but please count me in.


                  • #24
                    Hey Folks,

                    Thanks to Mike for the link; I get to follow along here.

                    Things went down as Mike said in his post. Ross, himself, along with us had a nice chat about Mike and Rossís idea. We thought it was something worth looking at. Since we started HANA one thing we know is true, horseplayers have individuality and strong opinions. We hear of many ideas at HANA and a lot of them are simply not realistic or workable. We all want to change the game for the better, but things have to be achievable. We thought Mikeís idea was doable and we think it may do some good.

                    As another poster mentioned, betting $50 a week or whatever is real money. But who knows. Over a year if you can get a 0.90 ROI on these bets it is only a $5 a week thing. For $5 a week I think it might turn out to be a solid investment.

                    For example, what if this worked? Like Mike spoke about, I am sure a lot of you know that exotic takes in Australia are mandated at a 16% takeout - it is a law that takeouts can not be higher than that. What if this worked and each track here, say next year, made one bet per track a 16% takeout bet in response to this? Maybe each horizontal bet, like a pick 4 and pick 3. If you or I hit one or two pick 4's and threes a week at a 16% take instead of the weighted average 26% take racing has, it might put $100 in our pocket to rebet a week, maybe much more. Over 52 weeks the $5 we spend now, could come back many times over. And non-selfishly - it would grow the game of racing.

                    From speaking with Mike everything is in the early stage, and the end result is up in the air. No one knows what racing does if it succeeds, but we think it is better than just accepting what they have given us over the past year: Calder raised takeouts, Maryland raised takeouts, horseman fought with tracks shutting off signals, Las Vegas and racing fought. All for more of a shrinking pie at the horseplayers and racings expense. This has to stop or this game will not be here as we know it; and I applaud Mike and Ross for trying to get something going.

                    If you choose to climb aboard and see where this takes us, and maybe have a little fun along the way with a bunch of like-minded horseplayers handicapping a race a week, give it a try. You can sign up here :

                    If you donít mind, just pop a note in the comments box that you are signing up for Mikeís idea. That will help us with next steps and allow us to build a list specific for this purpose.

                    Thanks fellas and thanks to Ken for allowing this on he board and being behind it.



                    • #25

                      Sometimes it takes going to the gym to fully understand what is going on. All of a sudden while working out it occurred to me that what Mike was suggesting was not, as alluded to in phantom's post, the idea that everyone would bet on the same horse in the same race. Rather, it was that we would all just bet into the pool of a specific race. In fact, that is exactly what Mike's original letter stated. Sonofagun. Now I understand a little better. I still have questions but this happens to make a lot more sense than what I had thought previously.


                      • #26
                        Reply to NJ Curveball

                        The fact is on big race days (Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Travers, BC) horseplayers bet many, many multiples of $5M on a single race. The income from these day and these races is budgeted. A threat to these cash flows becomes a major issue. A planned boycott discussed and passed alone for months starting with a seed group of national handicappers can produce a result of this magnitude. How many of you will play $1000+ on one of these races? I think a committed, planned one day boycott can find 5,000 mid to big players to sit out a big race for once in their lives. These races are a focal point to begin with. A boycott would utilize that focus and turn the event into a political statement.

                        On the flip side, a procott asks players to play a race they might never have noticed, at a track they may never play, on a date they probably have other things planned, and with new betting capital (other than their normal play). The impact of making an action bet on a random race will be much less than withholding play on a major race on which most spent months forming an opinion and look forward specifically to watching and playing that race.

                        The ability to get people's attention and have them understand what you are doing is the key to having a political impact with either a procott or a boycott. The random bump of a procott is much less likely to get either the players attention or the tracks. On the other hand, you have everyone's focus when it comes to the premier races, including, and maybe especially, the media's. Of course, when the Bloodhorse, TB Times, and Form come asking why you are boycotting this race, you better have a very good, concise, and valid answer. A procott may generate better feelings and make fuzzier goals more acceptable by the industry journalists, but you'll be lucky to get half a column on page 5 after the third attempt. While a national betting boycott of a major race will get noticed, probably well outside our insular community.

                        How about this for an idea, boycott BC Friday, it's a bad idea anyway.


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Hovard View Post
                          How many of you will play $1000+ on one of these races? I think a committed, planned one day boycott can find 5,000 mid to big players to sit out a big race for once in their lives.
                          I know a lot of players and I could not find you five that bet $1,000 on the same race. You find 5,000 and organize all of them to sit on their hands and you are my choice to be King of any organization you choose to form. Seriously!

                          I do like your thinking, so again I have to ask. If you could have this much clout to withhold money, why not put it to a positive use and tell everyone to bet Beulah for one day and increase their handle ten fold?

                          If I were in the position to bet $1,000 on the Derby and thought I could win $10,000+ there would be no way I would pass the race. WHY? The Derby is a once a year opportunity. So even if you had 5,000 heavy hitters agree, I doubt come race day you would do anything important. Seriously.

                          The Derby handles 115 million from all sources. You take out 5 million and Track Management just says it was a down year. Now you have 5,000 people who won't help the next time. That is the exact thinking I read all the time in the HANA threads and why I gave up on HANA after a few meetings. They listen to a loud few, rather than just going forward for the silent majority.


                          • #28

                            Originally posted by njcurveball View Post
                            I know a lot of players and I could not find you five that bet $1,000 on the same race. You find 5,000 and organize all of them to sit on their hands and you are my choice to be King of any organization you choose to form. Seriously!
                            I think a BC race or day boycott would have real impact. The fact that you think none of your friends could sit on their hands on a big race day is exactly why track management have no respect for horseplayers.


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Hovard View Post
                              I think a BC race or day boycott would have real impact.
                              Now you are progressing to a day boycott. A whole day? A certain track for the day? What does that prove in a world of simulcasting? You need to take a step back as this is starting to sound just like chain email about boycotting a gas station for a day and thinking that would drop the price.

                              I see the same attitude in other forums trying to do something positive. That is why I usually stay out of these threads. You go ahead and pick a race and I wish you luck.

                              As an investor if I see prices that are overlays, I will always be jumping in. Sending a positive message will get people noticed. A negative one will get them ignored quickly.

                              Good luck to you!



                              • #30
                                I really need to stop reading all of the HANA posts. Now they have turned this whole idea into a donation to charity.

                                Perhaps horseplayers will never agree on anything, but organizing people to give money away and then shake your finger at Track Management and say "na na na na" this could have been yours is bordering on Insanity.

                                Shame that great ideas break down like this.

                                I will now just "lurk" again and if I see a Procott I will do my best to join in. Wasn't that the original idea?