Friday, September 12, 2014
Meadowlands To Offer Super Hi-5 Jackpot with 8% Takeout
By Darin Zoccali
The Meadowlands is pleased to announce the addition of a new wager to its wagering menu. It is a Super High-Five Jackpot that will be offered with a $.20 cent minimum on the last race of each racing program. The wager will offer an industry low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%) and the pool will be seeded with $10,000 on its first night being offered, Friday November 14th.
“The W.E.G. circuit implemented this wager this past year and it has had great success,” said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. “The jackpot wager has really caught-on throughout North America and we will take it a step further by implementing an industry low takeout rate of just eight-percent.”
“We are a supporter of the low takeout movement that is currently taking place,” Zoccali added. “But it needs industry-wide support to be successful. We are optimistic that this wager will prove extremely successful and will pave the way to lower takeout wagers in the future.”
The Meadowlands will also give back more each night. “Our carryover will be 25-percent each day as opposed to the standard 45 to 50-percent this wager typically carries,” said Zoccali. “We believe that the low takeout combined with paying out a larger portion of the pool each night will create more handle and larger payouts on a nightly basis. Additionally, the pool will be seeded with $10,000 initially which further reduces actual takeout.”
Meadowlands General Manager and C.E.O. Jason Settelmoir explains that the 8% takeout figure has significant meaning. “Having worked at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs since 2006, I have become well versed on the ‘casino’ aspect of gaming. The average takeout rate of slot machines or V.L.T.’s throughout the country is 8% and while horse racing is a more intellectual game, the result is the same, more churn and more money in our customers pockets.”
Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural touched on the success the wager has had at Woodbine and Mohawk. “On the two nights they have had mandatory payouts, there was around $2 Million bet. Given that The Meadowlands is the highest handling standardbred signal, tied into an 8% takeout rate, with a mandatory payout on Hambletonian Day, assuming the bet carries over throughout the meet, I am certain it will be the biggest pool in harness racing history.”
The Super High-Five is pending regulatory approval and is scheduled to begin on Friday November 14, 2014. Details on the wager are as follows:
Jackpot Super High-Five Details
$.20 Cent minimum wager
Offered on the last race, each race night
Low takeout rate of eight-percent (8%)
Individual must select the first five (5) finishers in one race in the exact order of finish.
Jackpot Super High-Five Payout:
Single Winning ticket: The entire Jackpot High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover pool will be paid when there is one and only one winning ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order.
Multiple Winning Tickets: In the event there are multiple tickets sold that correctly select the first five finishers in exact order, 75% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be distributed to the holders of tickets with the first five finishers in exact order, and 25% of the net daily Jackpot High-5 pool will be carried over to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event and added to any existing carryover pool.
No Winning Tickets: In the event there is no ticket sold that correctly selects the first five finishers in exact order, the entire High-5 net pool, plus any previous carryover, will be carried in to the next scheduled Jackpot High-5 event. There is no consolation payout in the Jackpot High-5.
Pool-Seeding: There will be $10,000 added into the pool on the first day of the wager, by The Meadowlands, which will be Friday November 14, 2014.
Mandatory Payout: The entire Jackput High-5 net pool must be paid out on Hambletonian Day, August 8, 2015. The pool can carryover from one calendar year to the next.
Written by John Pricci
of Harness Racing Update
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
New Meadowlands First Season A Success
By Darin Zoccali
East Rutherford - Despite a relentless winter that seemed to never want to end and an interruption in racing due to the Super Bowl being held at MetLife Stadium, the early returns on the 2014 Meadowlands season, the first in the new state of the art facility are promising.
Through 67 live racing dates, the on-track handle stands at $19,231,729, an average of $287,040 per card. That figure will increase through the final 14 dates of the season which include The Breeders Crown and TVG Free For All Championships.
All-sources export handle through the same 67 live racing dates is $168,020,021, an average of $2,507,761 per-card. With 14 racing dates remaining, export is trending toward surpassing $200 Million for the entire season.
Hambletonian Day was a tremendous success. While some international figures continue to trickle in, the current handle of $8,693,869 is an increase of over $1 Million from 2013 and is the third highest handle in Hambletonian history, behind only 2002 ($8.8 Million) and 2005 ($9 Million).
“I am very pleased with the first year in our new facility,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. “First and foremost, the new racetrack is absolutely stunning and I don’t believe there is a racetrack like it in the country. The most common comments I hear from our guests speak to how beautiful the racetrack is. I think the summertime and better weather allowed people to spread out more, enjoying all the outside amenities and as Hambletonian Day proved, any concerns that the new racetrack would not be able to handle the crowds on our biggest days were put to rest. The outside decks and the rooftop terrace offer some of the best views in racing and those locations are in very high demand in the warmer months. They seem to be attracting new and younger people to our facility which is critical to not only our future, but the future of this industry.”
Meadowlands General Manger and C.E.O. Jason Settlemoir looks back at the 2014 season with a great deal of pride and optimism. “I want to thank our horsemen for supporting us in this pivotal year at The Meadowlands and we look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the SBOANJ going forward,” said Settlemoir. I also want to thank The Meadowlands employees. It took a herculean effort by each of them to put together the season we had and I couldn’t be prouder of the team at The Meadowlands. Last but certainly not least, a great many thanks to our customers who have embraced the changes at The Meadowlands. Without them, none of this would have been possible.”
Looking forward to the Fall and 2015, The Meadowlands will continue its event-marketing strategy and providing its customers with events like Jerseyfest and Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night that proved to be a huge success.
On the wagering front, beginning in the fall, there will be an exciting new low-takeout wager that The Meadowlands is confident when at its zenith will provide the largest pool in harness racing history. More details on the wager will come shortly.
Harness racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday November 14th. That first weekend features the eliminations for The Breeders Crown, with the 12 Championship Finals to be contested on Friday, November 21st and Saturday, November 22nd.
Prior to the return of harness racing, thoroughbred racing will return to The Meadowlands on Thursday September 18th and will run through Saturday, November 1st. For the first time in several years, thoroughbred racing will be conducted at night, with a post time of 7:00 P.M. “I hope people come out to see the thoroughbreds,” Gural added. “This is a great facility for a night-time thoroughbred event and I look forward to seeing how it is received. I think it will expose the facility to an entirely new group of people and hopefully they will come back for the harness racing as well.” There will be six races each night during the thoroughbred meet, with all races conducted on the turf course. The racing dates for the thoroughbred meet can be found at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/calendardates.aspx
The 2015 standardbred dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Written by John Pricci
of Harness Racing Update
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The Speedy Sweet Lou
Ben Ken Weingartner
Only once during his current 10-race win streak has Sweet Lou trailed other horses at the halfway point, but trainer Ron Burke wouldn’t mind seeing it happen again in Saturday’s C$634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (CPD) at Mohawk Racetrack.
Sweet Lou won his CPD elimination last week by a length over stablemate Foiled Again in 1:48.1, ending a record streak of six consecutive victories in less than 1:48, but still good enough to give his connections the opportunity to pick his starting spot for the final. Sweet Lou, with regular driver Ron Pierce, will leave from post three and is the 4-5 morning line favorite.
In his last six races, Sweet Lou has reached the half-mile point no slower than :53.3. The only time he trailed during that span came in the William R. Haughton Memorial final, when he followed Thinking Out Loud in the outer flow and got by earlier leaders Bettor’s Edge and Captaintreacherous in the stretch to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:47.1.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing that trip in the Canadian Pacing Derby,” Burke said. “I’ve got a feeling you’re getting to the point now where people are trying to leave real hard with the intention that if they make the front they know they’re not going to have to cut it because (Sweet Lou) is coming.
“In a way, I’d like to see him race off the back a couple more times because he seems to race that way just as well. It’s tough going these halves in 53 (seconds) every week.
“This race really concerns me in that everybody now is trying to race the same way and all of these horses, one of these days, will end up stringing a half in 51-and-a-piece. I have all the faith in the world in Ronnie that he’ll get us in the right spot, but the right spot, I’ve got a feeling, might not be on the front this week.”
Sweet Lou has won 10 of 13 races and $934,700 this year for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura. For his career, the 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future has won 32 of 68 races and $3.05 million.
“I was a little bit worried last week because he was bearing out a little bit late in the mile, but Pierce didn’t seem to be too concerned,” Burke said. “He said he kind of let him drift and he was fine, so we’ll see.”
Foiled Again, who won the Canadian Pacing Derby in 2012 to become the richest pacer in harness racing history, is the 6-1 second choice in this year’s final and will start from post seven with driver Yannick Gingras. Foiled Again, a 10-year-old gelding who now is the richest harness racing horse in North American history, with $6.37 million, has won 80 times in his career.
“He was vicious in his elimination, 25-(seconds)-and-a-piece out and 25-and-a-piece home,” Burke said. “He couldn’t have been any better. I think he’s as sharp as he’s ever been. He keeps drawing bad in the (finals) because he can’t beat Lou in the eliminations. That really hurt him a lot.
“Now from the seven hole he’s got to go out and earn it. But Yannick always seems to get you in the right position, no matter what.”
Burke also sends out elimination winner Clear Vision and Bettor’s Edge in the CPD. Clear Vision and driver Brett Miller will start from post two and are 8-1 on the morning line while Bettor’s Edge and driver Matt Kakaley will leave from post eight and are 7-1.
Following is the field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line: 1. Modern Legend, David Miller, David Drew, 20-1; 2. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1; 3. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 4-5; 4. Domethatagain, Tim Tetrick, Rene Allard, 10-1; 5. Captive Audience, James MacDonald, Corey Johnson; 6. State Treasurer, Chris Christoforou, Ian Moore, 9-1; 7. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 8. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 7-1; 9. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 20-1; 10. Ellis Park, Steve Condren, Brad Maxwell, 20-1.
Written by John Pricci
of Harness Racing Update