Don’t Go To Santa Anita on September 30, 2010: And A Serious Issue For Computer Handicapping

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Along with the humorous story about the needless drive, this is a real issue for the developers of online past performances (see and handicapping software (for example How is this to be designated in the past performances? When the Oak Tree meet ran, there was a change in the designation of the track in the past performances to OSA. Even though it was the same track, same surface. Yet, it required creating a new track abbreviation, and updates to all software using the old SA abbreviation.

Now what? SAH: Santa Anita at Hollywood? OSAH? Oak Tree Meet, Santa Anita, At Hollywood? 

Whatever it is, it will be another new abbreviation, adding further confusion, especially to the newer fan and handicapper. Which is what the sport must attract to keep viable, right? And all software must be changed. Again and again. 

How about just leaving it alone and using the abbreviation of the track at which the horses are running? If they're running at Hollywood, designate it as Hollywood. HOL. Full stop. If they're running on the Santa Anita track, it's SA. Period. The racing fan and bettor couldn't care less what meet is running. 

Here's the article:

A number of years ago, a good friend of mine, who can take or leave Fairmount Park, drove the 250 miles from St. Louis to Keeneland for a day of racing. Trouble was, it was Good Friday, and in those days that was a dark day at the Lexington track. My friend may have lingered in town for lunch, but I believe he just turned around and drove back. When I told the story to Jim Williams, then the PR man at Keeneland, he said: "He wasn't the only one." Yeah, but he might have been the only one who needed to fill up his gas tank on the way home.

Come September 30, the Oak Tree Racing Assn. will run its 42nd consecutive meet, and in a perfect world it would have been at Santa Anita, which has been its landlord since time began. But California racing is so far from a perfect world, it's in the ionosphere. As the gunsel Eddie Dane put it in the Coen brothers' "Miller's Crossing," "Up is down, black is white."

Meet No. 42 for the good folks at Oak Tree will instead be staged across town, at Hollywood Park, and already the numbers crunchers are formulating the over/under on how many cars, perforce of habit, will pull into parking lots at Santa Anita on the final day of September. Hey, Frank Stronach at Santa Anita has been telling everybody that he's got pocket paralysis. Maybe he should just charge them, anyway. 

Posted via email from Michael Pizzolla On ValueCapping™, Horse Racing, And Technology

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