There are some in the industry who think the Horseplayers Association of North America is a group of crying bettors who should just shut up, wager and be happy with the status quo.
Apparently, track management is not among them.
The Stronach Group and Hollywood Park have sent a letter, dated July 26, to the Thoroughbred Owners of California asking that takeout be reduced for the fall meets at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park on an experimental basis.
For instance, they’ve asked the TOC to:
* Lower takeout for daily doubles to 15.43 percent from their present 22.68 percent.
* Takeout on exactas and quinellas to be reduced from 22.68 percent to 21.68 percent
The letter, signed by both Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau and Santa Anita president George Haines, states: “Santa Anita and Hollywood Park believe that the requested changes are in the best interest of racing in California and that the implementation of the requested changes would be of benefit to all segments of the racing industry, particularly the wagering public.”
Pacific Racing Association, operator of the inaugural Santa Anita autumn meet that begins Sept. 30, requested that the changes also be concurrently effective for its meet in Northern California.
In an email, HANA president Jeff Platt said: “In my opinion the proposed adjustments to the takeout rates are supported not only by Horseplayers, but by the majority of Owners, Trainers, and Track Executives. If the proposed changes are approved California Racing will be well on their way to pricing their product in a more optimal way – which will ultimately lead to increased handle and bigger purses.”
So the ball is in the TOC’s court. We’ll see what they do with it.