Jessica Chapel / Railbird

Meetings Taken

Santa Anita and Del Mar executives recently met with horseplayers to discuss the January 1 takeout increase and other concerns. Art Wilson reports:

A HANA-backed boycott of California races is believed to be a factor in Santa Anita’s declining handle numbers this meet. HANA president Jeff Platt and the group’s California representative, Roger Way, met with Santa Anita president George Haines and Allen Gutterman, the track’s marketing director, on Sunday at Santa Anita and with Del Mar president Craig Fravel and marketing director Craig Dado on Monday … Aaron Vercruysse, hired recently by the Thoroughbred Owners of California to advise the group on betting matters, attended Sunday’s meeting …

The meetings are evidence that horseplayers, as represented by HANA, have gained the clout to compel conversation about customer issues. And while conversation isn’t action of the sort that’s going to end the players’ boycott, it is a start, one that went over well with Andy Asaro, a California horseplayer who attended both meetings. I talked with Asaro last night and he was positive about the discussions, describing the Santa Anita and Del Mar executives as “very interested” in the bettors’ perspective and open to making adjustments. He was less appreciative of the TOC, represented by Vercruysse. Although Asaro found Vercruysse pleasant and knowledgeable, he felt his presence was perfunctory. “He was there for the TOC to be able to say they talked to us,” said Asaro, suggesting that wasn’t enough. “They need to show goodwill.”

1/31/11 Addendum: HANA president Jeff Platt answers questions about the meetings. Noted: “However, I think there might be at least partial support at this point within track management to rescind the takeout increase. I say that because they reached out to us. They are looking for solutions.”


4 Comments

You’re quoting Andy Asaro as a relevant player in California? Huh? Andy has posted thousands of anti-Zenyatta and anti-synthetic postings on Pace Advantage and has done everything possible to diminish Western racing…

He is just an old goofball with nothing to do but post daily anti-Western nonsense on as many boards as he can find, while simultaneously kissing the a**es of the administrators at Pace Advantage.. who are of the same mind…

We all need to quit the game when men like them have influence.

Posted by Zenyatta fan on January 30, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

What Asaro thinks of Zenyatta or synthetics isn’t relevant in this instance, Zenyatta Fan. He was one of several participants in last week’s meetings, and as such, his impressions are of interest (and were mostly confirmed by others I spoke with about the meetings).

Posted by Jessica on January 31, 2011 @ 7:04 am

This is a clear step forward for HANA.
Santa Anita and Del Mar need to rethink going forward.
So does Hollywood Park but they didn’t have a rep at the meeting.

The TOC and the CHRB must get out of the way and let the people who know the wagering business run the business.

As it stands the California trainers and horseowners
are behaving like 5th graders taking a college level Calculus exam. And they’re flunking badly BTW!

Posted by The_Knight_Sky on January 31, 2011 @ 11:35 am

[…] are considering going to the CHRB to ask that it rescind the takeout increase,” said Platt, who took part in recent meetings with track executives. “The TOC is being very tight-lipped about this. This was a horsemen’s idea, after all, […]

Posted by Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 - Noted and Noticed on February 3, 2011 @ 10:02 pm