When Santa Anita opened Sunday, the numbers were not pretty. They bet $11,707,276 on the first day of the 2010-2011 meet, a 21.5 percent decline from the previous year and the lowest opening-day handle since 1992. Yet, there were some excuses — primarily a blizzard in the East Coast that shut down a lot of simulcasting outlets — enough excuses to conclude that the dismal handle figure was perhaps an aberration. The following day, $5,529,285 was bet on the Santa Anita card, but there was nothing to compare it to. There was not a comparable Monday, second-day-of-the-meet card in 2009.
But on the third day of the meet, there was a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, a Wednesday card in 2010 versus the same sort of Wednesday card a year earlier. The results were almost exactly the same as they were on opening day. Again, Santa Anita got slaughtered. They bet just $4,038,175, a $1,578,842 decline from 2009. That's a 28.1 percent drop off from a year earlier and less than Tampa Bay Downs handled on the same day.
There can be only one reason why Santa Anita has gotten off to such a wretched start — the takeout increase. It looks like horseplayers actually can be pushed too far. For the rest of the article: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=finley_bill&id=5968859