Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Miami Valley Racing kicks off their third meet next month. The southern Ohio raceway has really taken the harness industry by storm with it's solid product and high handles by offering 30 late closing series this upcoming meet.

      A few quotes in that article really caught my attention

  1. From Racing Secretary Gregg Keidel “The condition sheet, which will be released soon, should entice owners and trainers competing here to explore ways to upgrade their stables in an effort to get their share of the pie."
  2. From Racing Operations Manager Helen Karlo "Our third consecutive year of higher purses is driven by the continued success of our property's VLTs. It is a pleasure to see our Ohio-based horsemen rewarded."
  3. From OHHA Track Representative Brett Merkle "Horsemen seem excited about the upcoming meet at Miami Valley. With the increasing amount of money up for grabs, it only makes sense that many are looking for more and better horses to race."
It sure seems that the interests of the horsemen have taken a front seat at Miami Valley. It really is great seeing them being rewarded, I guess. I certainly haven't started wagering on Miami Valley (or Dayton, or Scioto) since the horsemen began being rewarded, and I'm not sure many people have either, but I don't begrudge them.

       But are bettors being rewarded at Miami Valley? You betcha!
  • New wagering opportunities await patrons including the addition of rolling daily doubles on races one through seven, a 50-cent Lucky Pick 5 (with an industry low 12% takeout) beginning on race eight, and a 10-cent Buckeye Hi-5 on the twelfth. The latter two new wagers have carryover provisions until a winning ticket is sold which potentially creates rewarding jackpot pools which attract new interest in the product.
I know the first thing I'm looking for when I start handicapping a card from a no-handle track is whether or not they have an INDUSTRY LOW 50% EFFECTIVE TAKEOUT 12% TAKEOUT JACKPOT PICK 5. But just in case I get knocked out of that JP5, I need to know if I can try to get out with a 10 CENT JACKPOT SUPER HI FIVE.

      I am genuinely confused about who is making the decision to offer these type of wagers at tracks with next to no handle, but I suppose when VLTs, purses, the speed of the track surface and late closing series are the first and foremost thoughts, the quality of the pari-mutuel product falls through the cracks. All I know is that I doubt many horseplayers have felt betting at Miami Valley is a particularly "rewarding" experience.