ad-fullscreen

Oaklawn Park shows new wagering options for opening day

The horse racing season is coming out of hibernation and there is no better sign of that than opening day Friday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The track has long been on my bucket list. It is located in the bucolic Hot Springs National Park. The biggest day of the season is when more than 70,000 fans attend Arkansas Derby day. The daily racing product has gotten better and better, too.

The jockeys, trainers and owners in horse racing are a lot like pro golfers. They go where the money is. Oaklawn purses have climbed steadily each year due to profits from Instant Racing and other casino type games.

Their management has done well to prosper in today’s competitive entertainment environment. There was a time when their betting menu was best described as old school. Oaklawn had to be dragged into the new era of exotic multi-race and multi-horse bets kicking and screaming.

But now they offer a betting menu and product as good as any in the country.

A new idea Oaklawn is trying this meet is truly a “back to the future” style move. Show bets made on-track will have a low 10 percent takeout. Show bets made off-track will still have a 17 percent takeout. What this does is create a 7 percent bonus in the price of show payouts made on-track.

This may seem like small potatoes, but it is not. Win, place and show straight bets used to be the only wagers offered at the track. Now they are treated like a bad stepchild. I like the move and here is why.

Jackpot pools make news because of the potential for large payouts. However, a systematic flaw is by its very nature it takes money out of the hands of many and rewards the very few. This has a dramatic negative effect on churn which is what helps increase overall handle at the track.

Straight bets are cashed a lot more often. For newcomers to horse racing, straight bets are easily understood and nothing beats the feeling of cashing tickets.

Churn is also healthy for a pari-mutuel business. It not only increases a track’s overall handle but it extends the life of a player’s bankroll.

Maybe the show offer can help attract the sports bettor mentality. For example, most sports bets pay 11 to 10 odds and your team must win. A show bet wins if your horse finishes first, second or third. Add in the 7 percent bonus and a big bettor could grind out a profit.

In other Oaklawn changes, Vic Stauffer will be the new track announcer. Stauffer has not called full-time since the closure of Hollywood Park in 2013, but he is one of the best in the business.

PEGASUS WORLD CUP

One by one the field is taking shape for the $12-million Pegasus World Cup to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28. The probables now include Arrogate, Breaking Lucky, California Chrome, Eragon, Keen Ice, Neolithic, Semper Fortis, Shaman Ghost and War Story.

There are three spots open in the maximum 12 horse field. Those will be filled for two reasons. One is each stall was previously purchased for $1-million and secondly there is a $250,000 participation bonus for starting and finishing the race.

Richard Eng’s horse racing column is published Friday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. You can buy his Santa Anita Park picks at www.racedaylasvegas.com. You can email him at rich_eng@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @richeng4propick.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 13
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 13 of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt give their picks for week 12 of NFL football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for college football week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Bob Scucci go over their picks for NFL football week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 10 of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 11
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt preview Week 11 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 10
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming Sports Book Director Bob Scucci preview Week 9 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Review-Journal reporter Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart and The Mirage sports book director Jeff Stoneback preview Week 8 of the NFL season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Alan Berg go over their picks for NFL week 7.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci make their picks for NFL Week 6. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci maker their picks for Week 7 of college football. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and CG Technology Sports Book Vice President Matt Holt go over their picks for week six of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week five of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Wynn Sports Book Director John Avello go over their picks for week four of the NFL and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the second week of NFL football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Boyd Gaming sports book director Bob Scucci talk about their best bets for the third week of college football in this weeks sports betting spotlight. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Denver Broncos 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Denver Broncos. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Miami Dolphins 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Miami Dolphins. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Jets 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New York Jets. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week One 2017 Season
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Matthew Holt discuss their top picks for the first week of the NFL in this Sports Betting Spotlight.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New England Patriots 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the New England Patriots. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Kansas City Chiefs 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Kansas City Chiefs. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Buffalo Bills 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Buffalo Bills. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Oakland Raiders 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the Raiders. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
College Sports Betting Spotlight: Alabama, Florida State and UCLA
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and VP of CG Technology Sports Books Matthew Holt preview the first week of the college football season. They go over the biggest bets including Alabama, Florida State and UCLA. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Arizona Cardinals 2017 Season Preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and Wynn sports book director Johnny Avello preview the Cardinals’ season in the 24th of a series of 32 NFL team videos in 32 days. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight: Detroit Lions 2017 season preview
The Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey, handicapper Kelly Stewart (@KellyInVegas) and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito preview the Lions’ season in the 15th of a series of 32 NFL team videos in 32 days. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like