Horse Racing Needs to Market its Competitive Advantage

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D.S. Williamson

May 30th, 2015

With the Belmont Stakes less than a week away, horseplayers and the public in general will constantly be bombarded with reasons why horse racing needs American Pharoah to win the Triple Crown. One of he arguments is that to the American Public horsing racing has fallen out of favor because their is no star in horse racing. Although that is a valid point, the issue that thoroughbred industry is most capable of addressing now has to do with basic gambling and marketing.

Betting on horses requires an odds number being assigned to each horse in each race based on mathematics. The starting morning line is a fictional description of what each morning line odds maker believes to be the likely end result of all of the dollars being bet on all of the horses in each one of the pools. This gives horse racing customers a competitive advantage and is very different than wagering on a sporting event like tonight's NHL Hockey Game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks are at -135 on the money line while the Blackhawks are at +115. In order to make a profit of $100 on the Ducks, you have to risk -135. In order to make a profit of $100 on the Blackhawks, you have to risk $85. The better bet is determined by what you feel the chances of the Blackhawks or the Ducks have of winning tonight's match up.

In horse racing, you can use methods to get the odds that you want. Check out the chart for American Pharoah's Preakness victory. American Pharoah's win payout was $3.80, which means that he went off at 4/5. If you wanted to juice those odds, you could have bet the exacta, where the payout ended up at $124.40 for a $2 bet after Tale of Verve, the longest shot on the board, finished second. The trifecta paid an incredible $985 for $2 after Divining Rod finished third to American Pharoah and Tale of Verve. The superfecta?  How about $1,906.90 for $1?

All of these massive payouts occurred after the Kentucky Derby winner won the race at 4/5! There simply isn't another gambling game on the planet that can produce massive payouts for such small investments like horse racing. Making a lot while via small risks is the dream of every stock broker and professional gambler on the planet.

Only horse racing allows individuals with limited bankrolls the ability to do this. Why bet on horses? You should bet on horses if you are a gambler because it is the only gambling instrument in the world where you can make $2,000, outside of State Lotteries, or more for only $1. What horse racing needs to do to get more fans is to describe this, to make the distinction among horse racing, sports betting, and wagering on table games and slot machines. American Pharoah winning the Belmont Stakes and becoming a star would be nice. But horse racing's real competitive advantage is in its ability to make individuals with limited investment funds a lot of money with small risk. That's what needs to be marketed in the industry.