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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Conflicting Post Times Huge Problem

They did it again. At the very instant the field for Saturday's Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park was crossing the finish line in Chicago the horses for the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga were leaving the gate. These were two huge racing events and they happened virtually at the same time, forcing the horseplayer to concentrate on and, likely, bet on one but not both.

This was not good for the fans or for either track. No doubt Saratoga and Arlington both lost some betting handle on those races because they got in each other's way and competed for the attention of the simulcast players. Yet it happens all the time. And this is not one of those vexing problems in a sport filled with vexing problems that are so hard to fix. To fix it would take one or two phone calls and a simple willingness among major tracks to cooperate.

This is worth mentioning because conflicting post times were among the subjects touched upon Sunday in Saratoga in a report issued by the Jockey Club at its annual Round Table Conference of Matters Pertaining to Racing. The Jockey Club contracted with the consulting company McKinsey & Associates to put together a study of, basically, why racing's popularity keeps falling and what can be done about it.
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Another example: 7/31/2011 Ruffian and Haskell.

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