Commentary: Gulfstream’s Delayed Post Times ‘Put Me In A Bad Mood’

by | 01.30.2018 | 10:42am
Gun Runner takes the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park set new wagering records for the facility on Pegasus World Cup day last weekend.

According to a statement from track officials, “the $41.983 million handle – a 4 percent increase over last year's previous Pegasus record handle of $40.217 – is the largest handle in Gulfstream's 79-year history excluding Breeders' Cup Days.”

Even with the record handle and great day of racing at Gulfstream, there was at least one area where the track could use some improvement, according to at least one veteran handicapper.

In his latest column for Gaming Today, Jon Lindo says that one of the most frustrating things Gulfstream does everyday is that they never start their races at the scheduled post times.

Regarding the post time delays and the effect on Saturday's card, Lindo writes, “When Gulfstream Park continually started their races some 4-8 minutes later than the announced post times, the overlap resulted in running many of their races at the same time their sister track Santa Anita was running races during their Cal Cup card. It forced TVG to show races via split screen or on tape delay.”

“Neither solution is best for horseplayers.”

Read more at Gaming Today

  • Pete A.

    Mr. Lindo is a veteran horseplayer and fan of the game, and seems like a good guy. But he needs to understand one thing very clearly….there are 3 main entities in the racing game – the tracks, the horsemen, and the bettors.

    And no one of the groups gives a crap about the other 2 (which is why the industry seems stuck in the mud, at times). The bettors want lower takeouts and things convenient for them, and don’t care how much money the tracks or horsemen make. The horsemen want what’s best for the owners and trainers. and don’t care about the tracks or bettors, and the tracks just wanna make as much money as they can. There is virtually no good compromise that ever happens, or that all 3 groups would agree to.

    So if Gulfstream Park can make more money by bleeding the bettors of their money for an extra 4-8 minutes each race, they’ll do it. In fact, I’m shocked Santa Anita, Laurel, and the other Stronach tracks haven’t followed suit. Until it’s proven that the track (Gulfstream) will make LESS money by dragging their post times, they’ll continue to do it.

    • RayPaulick

      For the record, Jon is also a horse owner.

    • Andrew A.

      Here’s what Horseplayers want:

      Optimal Takeout (Defined)

      The price point that drives total wagering handle upward to where total long term revenue becomes maximized for tracks, horsemen, and governments.

    • CEOmike

      Its Florida, nothing is on time.

    • OopsyDaisy3

      And the horses would be the 4th entities. Plus it gives bettors a little extra time to place a bet.

    • That is a very jaded point of view and one that I consider to be incorrect in terms of neither group caring about the needs of the other.

  • gus stewart

    On post time topic. Sunday santa anita 8th race. 10 horse baffert favorite horses loading in gate 4 to 5 odds. Horses break out of gate and i was there and had bets on both. 10 horse goes to 8 to 5. 3 horse went from 10 to 1 to 5 to 1… most players would like to see 1 min cut off on betting to stop these kinds of things..

    • Kerry Metivier

      I think the tremendous drop in odds comes when the ADWs drop their handle in at post time. If post time was really post time and no wagers were accepted after that, it would certainly be safer for the bettor, but if pools were closed and your (hypothetical your) Horse flipped in the gate, wouldn’t you rather have the chance to put in your b, c and d bets rather than merely get a refund?

      • gus stewart

        Thanks for your response i usually get time warped people who seem to not understand my points. Yes as a bettor i would like that option. Unfortunately racing has a pr problem. It’s all bad and no one in this industry looks long term for the future. To say im sick of the leadership here in california is being nice. All good folks, just have no clue on how bad public perception is and how the mainstream media veiws the sport. So no i wouldn’t mind a refund if it meant public perception would improve. Tooting my horn, i know more about sports marketing then ten of what are currently doing so in the industry. Finally they put a option on donating to after care for horses on tote machine. What 5 years ago i said do something like this bins whatever, so the public understands you care.. 5 years it took. Anyway keep on hoping but the cast of characters are still locked into the past

    • Tom Davis

      Cutting off betting at 1 minute to post won’t stop the odds fluctuating. The late money coming in will just come in at that time.

      • gus stewart

        It’s perception changing when horses are running read my other comment.

  • snowchrome

    The tracks that are the most punctual with the post times are the NYRA tracks. They break from the gate when it’s the actual post time.

    • Kerry Metivier

      Yes they do. They also have the best gate crew in the industry. Double plus.

      • Susan heller

        NYRA track mutual Mgr( former Florida mutual head) back when Stronach bought Gulfstream ran a great mutual department as I worked for him also as a parimutual and most not all races got off on time. Betters always wait for the last 2 minutes to bet because of odds shopping but cant do any more cause odds change after race goes off because of simulcast betting

      • Rachel

        and they don’t wait, if there’s a gate scratch, they back that horse out, lead them off, rarely back out any others to check them, have an assistant starter climb up to take the number off the gate, and they’re off, usually, just a minute or two later

  • kramhslew

    Frustrated frustrated and more frustrated with Gulfstream’s post time’s. I play the races for enjoyment, not post time frustration. I spent 35 years working parimutuel’s and this delaying post times has been tried many times before with miserable results. History shows it loses race fans over time.

  • McGov

    It is truly one of the more annoying ideas I’ve come across in horse racing. Personally, I avoid GP mostly for this reason. I advance bet only at this track, if at all.
    Call it a pet peeve lol. Who likes to wait?

    • laterush66

      Gulfsream just does not get it!!!

  • Billy Johnston

    Playing nowadays mostly on-line at various tracks. Toooo uncomfortable at GP.
    *Noticed – Keenland board goes to -0- as asst starter reaches to load first horse.
    Another track (N. Mexico?) Starts a clock on the loading time.
    **Gulfstream Park – clock goes to -0-
    as horses begin to warm-up ~ customers go for a bathroom break ~ then get a beer, check their PPs again ~ go to automatics to place a bet –
    Wait for the race to start!
    (never was like that when Doug Donn ran a major league style operation at his GP)

    • Patrick

      I can routinely leave my office in downtown Louisville as the MTP goes to 0 at Gulfstream, drive home and watch the race at home. That is a problem.

      • Billy Johnston

        That says it all – will it change – not with names like:
        tiny Tim Ritvo – struflex Stronach!

  • wmk3400

    It’s totally bush and I agree with the previous posters. I bet when the horses begin to load however long they lollygaggle. I don’t bet more. I want to see as many horses loading as possible before I place my bets. Gulfstream annoys me to the point that I frequently don’t bet that track for this very reason. Another Florida track that is piddling beyond reason is Pompano.

  • kuzdal

    As I step up to a betting window or machine, I know what my bets will be. No time for studying the Form, the Sheets….or prayer. My money is ready and I know what my bets will cost. I don’t chat with the people on the line when it’s busy and I get out of the way when I’m done.

    That said, you know what I think of the tactics employed at Gulfstream.

  • Terri Z

    I guess I am one of the minority. I only bet at the track and I really appreciate the increase in time to place a bet. I had been locked out at the machines and/or window during busy racing days.
    I like to wager at the venue and not on line.

    • Meg Hiers

      I think most venues now have an app you can download on your phone so that you can place bets from your seat or anywhere on the premises. At Keeneland, it even worked on the Hill which was a dream on BC Day rather than having to wait in line for the machines/clerks.

      • Terri Z

        Meg, I don’t bet on the phone or do anything financial on my phone since I have an android not an I Phone.
        Also, I will not have an on-line account to bet on as my father was a big time gambler. I used to break into a cold sweat going into a casino.
        And the only sort of wagering I do is on the ponies.

  • Michael Castellano

    I suspect that the idea behind delayed posts it is to handle at the track bets with less people behind the windows by stretching out the times. So everyone doesn’t head there at once. More experienced gamblers more or less know how fast the lines move and when to get on line, but less experienced fans can easily get shut out or can’t use a betting machine. My guess is they get a lot of late money bet. Old Yonkers was the worst at trying to get in a bet on time. On a busy night you had to get on line 10 -12 minutes before post. And hope you didn’t get a guy in front playing dozens of exacta or triples.

    • I remember large individuals who looked like mob enforcers at the old Western Harness meets. They would gather at the $100 windows at Hollywood Park and prevent bettors from placing bets in large denominations when they wanted to hammer one home.

      • Michael Castellano

        We had a great system in the 1960s at Yonkers. There were a couple of windows with monitors that could be scene while facing the betting windows. If you know race patterns of the time on 1/2 mile tracks, you often got “boat races| where they all would follow the leader, with a “dead horse” riding cover for him. If you knew for sure that you had an outside post horse leaving (driver’s often give this away before the race starts), it was often a horse that the wise guys were going to place in front and protest him, at a price. Unless a horse was a favorite, they rarely left from the 7 or 8 hole. So when this happened it was often a “bomb” or a crooked race. The idea was to let betters pass you and try to arrive at the window about 15 seconds before the start, watching to see if anyone on the outside was leaving. You first hand the teller the bet then quickly called the number. We caught a number of winners that way, one of which was bet down from over 99-1 to 25 – 1 in the last two flashes from the 8 hole. It almost precipitated a riot. We were glared at, at the cashing window, but since our bet was small, we were left alone. They eventually removed the monitors.

  • Steve

    The track announcer at Gulfstream used to announce that the race would start at the scheduled post time. Now he just says “the race will start in a few minutes”. Gulfstream is being very disrespectful to the players by not starting the races at or near the scheduled post time

    • mondatta

      100%. It shows they do not care about their customers time.

  • Scott

    I agree with all of you ,this tactic of squeezing every dime with delays ruins the anticipation of the race. How do jockeys time their warmup with 8 minutes of stalling? SAD,I would expect this at a “B” track.

  • Michael Infurna

    Since when does Gulfstream, NYRA or CDI care about the horse players? Its all about the bottom line!! If you don’t like it, bet off shore so no one gets to collect their takeout on wagers.Once their handle goes down, they will listen but not until then.

  • george crimarco

    the stewards have the absolute authority to close the tote machines any time after post time. This was a regular occurence at the old tropical park. Since the stewards work for the racetrack except for the Stae Steward, it is highly unlikeley that this will be done at any time so I will stick to playing NYRA where this never seems to be an issue.

  • Threerules

    Delayed post is like the person that moves there clock forward 10 minutes so they are never late. It’s stupid and just annoys fans. While we are complaining can someone explain to me why I can’t watch a race from Oaklawn live? I don’t care about contracts or who owns the network I want to bet on the best product available.

  • dennis mcgarry

    Yes, the delayed post times are annoying, but let’s get real. You are a player at the track, OTB, or using your ADW, if you are playing multiple tracks across the country, then you are investing anywhere from 6 to 8 hours watching races. Does a 4 to 8 minute delay really make that much difference to your day? If you already are aware that this is “policy” at Gulfstream, then just adjust your play accordingly.This is simply not a big deal! As a player, if small things like this are going to upset you, or ruin your day, perhaps you should think about calming down and concentrate on what is really important, namely picking winners, and turning a profit As for the changing odds after the gates open, this has been going on for decades, and is caused by the delay in posting the wagers taken in from all other sources. The only way you change that, scrap the parimutuel system and go back to bookmakers posting their individual odds right up until the gates open. I have used that system extensively in Ireland

    • gus stewart

      No not going on for decades. Since technology has been in play, this has been an issue. You play online poker dennis? If u do, you think that there are partnership that play together or do u think that there are not ways to hack into certain systems. Well hasn’t this been done a few ttimes already in the horse racing biz. Yep majority of gamblers just want the action, but again racing has a huge problem with perception much bigger then a post tiime delay. And if you do close all window one minute till post and race starts 2 minutes after. All off track and online bets would be calculated, odds would be set b 4 gates open and the hacking problem would be taken out of the equation. But of course you and others that run racing seem to want to find reasons not to adjust to a different time and world. I’m speaking about calif and us racing.

      • Chalk player

        Sounds like Gus Stewart is a chalk player based on first comment and is upset when his 4 to 5 goes to 8 to 5 and he doesnt have the chalk anymore. Gus, sit down read a form, odds shouldnt matter who you bet. If you are capping based on odds brother, play Yonkers, the 1 to 5 shot always wins. Booom! Drop the mike….

        • gus stewart

          Lol u have a sense of humor. I had ten in pk 5. I bet win and exacta with 3. My point to this comment is folks its not a big issue go get some water take a walk. Let’s refocus on racings much bigger problems. This one isnt going to change

      • dennis mcgarry

        Yes, it has been going on ever since simulcasting was instituted DECADES ago. Not every jurisdiction sends in their wagers in a timely manner, and are not required to do so, as there is not now, nor ever has been a concise unified regulation requiring them to do so. Some tracks close wagering when the First horse enters the starting gate, others continue taking wagers until the gates open. If there is no uniformity from track to track, how can you expect the odds not to change!

    • Neigh Sayer

      If people are aware of this policy having become accustomed to it then they can become accustomed to it being a class act and first rate track by starting on time and people will get used to that which is far better for many reasons.

      • dennis mcgarry

        There is no uniformity from one jurisdiction to another, never has been. If you are looking for perfection, then find another game, until then if you insist on continuing in your pursuit of a winner, just accept reality! Gulfstream is going to continue to operate as they please, and there is no entity that can make them change. You and others need to get over it. How does a late post time affect the number of winners you select on any day?

        • Neigh Sayer

          LOL, are you serious with that? Jurisdiction? Running a race on time has what to do with jurisdiction? Find another game? I’ve been handicapping and playing horses for more than 40 years and was a breeder and owner, I was in the game, I put my money in the game and I know what I’m doing and your juvenile insults are out of line. A late post gets in the way watching those races I bet on when they run on top of another race, it’s about acting like a first class facility. And if you want to insult my wagering without the knowledge to do so, how about I book your bets and you book mine and guarantee you I will collect.

          • dennis mcgarry

            I have been playing the ponies for 50+ years, and wager win bets only, I use a “due book” for money management, and have turned a profit every year. You will lose money booking my bets, in fact I make additional funds loaning money to others that lose continually, the vig is just gravy for me.As for jurisdiction, most of them have guidelines, and regulations as to how a track operates, for instance at Woodbine, the racing authority in Canada dictates the time when no more wagers are taken. Other jurisdictions have similar regulations. Florida racing has always been an outlier, from the State setting race dates, to allowing fake races to allow an operator to have a casino, such as what is happening at Hialeah.So it should surprise no one that accurate post times are not on anyone’s agenda. I wager at my home track, and use a betting carrel, with multiple screens, so watching more than one track is no problem. With the plethora of tracks, it is unavoidable in having races going off at the same time, whether the post time is accurate or not has no bearing on this

          • Neigh Sayer

            Are you actually explaining to me what a jurisdiction is and what it does? That’s hysterical. Do you actually think a post time is regulated by law? What happens when there is a delay for a serious reason, no more wagers can be taken during the delay? Are you kidding? You are confusing two issues. This is about one thing only, the bush league low rent obvious and childish intent to milk every dime having no respect for the intelligence of the wagering population to get used to actual post times having some meaning.

          • dennis mcgarry

            I would agree with you, but then we would both be wrong! Intelligence of the wagering community? Are you kidding me? 90% of that wagering community loses money every day. There are only a few of us that turn a profit. Delayed post times, for whatever reason are an unimportant issue, and should not adversely affect your bottom line.

          • Neigh Sayer

            Again, this has nothing to do with jurisdiction or bottom line, it has to do with acting like a bush league track, the same thing Penn National does.

  • Scott

    Gulfstream ineptly delays post time and then runs races over sister tracks. Only concerned about Gulfstream. Not even concerned about sister tracks and certainly no concern for the bettors.

  • David

    Used to work for a track and calls from the Mutuel Mgr to the Stewards to the lead out-rider to “take ’em ’round a couple of times” wasn’t uncommon. But, unlike GP, tinkering with post time was actually accommodating on and off-track patrons as much as it was about squeezing every time possible from players. GP is way over-the-top and has refined needless manipulation into policy. It’s a joke and they’re a joke

  • The policy to drag out post times is demeaning to players and owners because it sends a message that management thinks horseplayers are so stoopid that they cannot manage their time. They really should knock it off.

    • Four Race Horses

      They think they are stoopid enough to gamble more. And clearly, they were correct . . . as the additional $15,788,224 in revenue during the 15-minute time lag attests (see the complete story at Gaming Today). Besides, they learned the technique from the old days at Hialeah, where races would be delayed for 20 or 30 minutes. Or even an hour, or more, legend has it . . .

      • We have seen the tactic employed at many tracks over the years, but it would be interesting to know if it really does pay off and more dough is actually bet.

      • Rachel

        on TVG, they refer to it as, ‘The Caliente Shuffle,’ referring back to those days in Mexico, where, allegedly, they’d circle the horses, waiting for those last few Pesos to flow into the betting pools

    • Bryan Langlois

      It goes deeper that that in my opinion as I want to know the effect on the horses being out there pre race longer than they really should be. If I were a horse owner or trainer whose horse was known to get very worked up pre race and would expend that much more energy pre race because the post time was delayed and he or she was just out there on the track getting more worked up, I would be furious.

      • I understand your concern. At most tracks, this would be a problem, but not at Gulfstream, for the simple reason that they leave the walking ring with 7 or so minutes from post time. If this were a different track, it would be a concern. I asked a rider last month if they had enough time to warm up and he assured me that they did.

  • nodouble

    I remember signs being posted years back at many tracks that read “Strict Post Time Observed” I hate the way Gulfstream ignores PT. To me it’s bush league.

  • David

    If further evidence that Racing can’t get out of it’s own way was needed (which as we all know isn’t), everyone contributing comment herein is spot on. But, guess what, in the infinite wisdom of those in charge at GP, there will be ‘more of the same’ going forward.

  • McGov

    If the problem is those few minutes before post time where people have waited to bet….then a better solution is increasing services to meet this demand peak…ie having enough people and machines for the ‘worse case’ scenario of collecting bets.
    Intentionally delaying the start of a race is bad for so many reasons….others have pointed out most from longer pre race on track presence contributing to greater waste of energy and effecting performance… risk factors that exist during this phase from saddling to gate ie revved up horse given lots of room to play around …to how bloody annoying it is in this mult task world to have to repeatedly check to see if they are nearing the gate ( if there was precision in the delay that would be one thing…just add x minutes etc lol).
    Bad idea that hopefully has an expiry date.

  • morris shalom

    All valid thoughts. However, if you place close attention, after the official result from the previous race, GP lists post time for the next race at around 18 minutes. NYRA tracks usually list 25+ minutes to the next race, especially on weekends. So If the Gulfstream race goes off 5-7 minutes after the official post, in essence the waiting time is pretty much the same.

    • David

      So then why doesn’t GP do what NYRA does? The implication is GP is best practice and it’s everyone else that is wrong. Yes, you get to the same place but what’s underlying all this is that the core customers are insulted.

  • Bman

    “If we don’t run that race within 5 minutes of the ordered post-time, the next $2 bet is free, guaranteed.” Players would tune in just to see if they pull it off. No charge for the brilliant marketing idea.

  • CJP

    When he states “demanding fair odds requires horseplayers to wait as late as possible to see what the true final odds may be” he is making the case FOR the post time drag. Also, this is a business decision/strategy by Gulfstream, isn’t it? Perhaps one should only bet race tracks that run at published post times and the free market will correct this problem.

  • eric

    I became so fed up with Gulfstream’s post-dragging that I stopped playing the track last year. Running races at scheduled post times obviously hasn’t hurt NYRA’s handle. Gulf’s track management needs to put an end to this nonsense once and for all. Ditto for Tampa Bay Downs, which is easily the second worst offender in this regard.

  • Rupert Pupkin

    They could use some help at the ticket window as well. I’d say a hundred at least standing in lines that didn’t move.

    • David

      Approximately 90% of their sales are off-site. Doubt they will take on disproportionate staffing expenses to move the needle on-site.

      • Rupert Pupkin

        At $50 a crack they can’t afford not to

  • nucky thompson

    In the grand scheme of things its no big deal. You know the races are not going to start on time so you plan accordingly. Heaven forbid they actually did go off on time then I would really have to join the rest of the moaning minnies on this page. I am much more concerned about illegal medications, horse welfare and blatant cheating to get my knickers in a twist over delayed post times.

  • Doug Bennett

    I couldn’t help but laugh just reading the title of this article as “Gulfstream minutes” has recently become part of my lexicon. I was talking to a bettor friend over the phone this weekend and he asked how many minutes. “0 Gulfstream minutes to post”. “Ok, cool, I’ve got time.”

  • Neigh Sayer

    It’s far worse than 4-8 minutes past post. At some point it’s 12 minutes or more and it is very frustrating for horse players. Gulfstream was once a great track and this time of year a premiere meet and should never do this which of course is done on purpose.
    When it’s five minutes past the announcer would say, you still have plenty of time to make your wager, and with ten minutes past post he would say, you can still get your wager in. All the time announcing the size of the pools. Clearly, he is getting word as well as the outriders to hold up the race. It is bush league at best and the same thing Penn National does and it’s ugly on many levels. They have created a very bad habit for no reason. If they went back to starting on time it would hurt handle a bit for a time but then people would get used to just as they have gotten used to this bush league tactic.

  • donald altemose

    the key word i got from reading the posts is: disrespect. GP to bettors: your too dumb to know when too bet

  • David

    today’s 7th is listed for a 3:35p ET post; off was 4:41 which is pretty good for them. To your point it can go to double digits when they’re pimping a pool or, not pleased with what’s in there (pools) so far or a couple of bad actors disrupting things during the load. To be sure this is amateur hour at its best.

  • mike

    they slow post times down so people can wager more thus more money in there pocket

  • Steven Tyre CPA

    Never bet a track with 17 percent takeout on straight bets…a recipe for the poor house.

  • talkingman17

    Its a bad idea considering the average horseplayer is 86 years old….who knows how many die waiting…thus they don’t cash their winning tickets…more for the Gulf…

  • Tom Davis

    Frank Stronach grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • Rachel

    I know this article is about Gulfstream, but, their tardiness is NOTHING, when compared to Penn National, and, especially Charles Town! CT is, past race 3 or so, 10, 20, even 30-40 minutes past listed post time, by the time they’re at race 6, 7, and 8….as an example, race 1 last night, was 4 min. late, race 2 was 5 min. late, race 3 was 7 min. late, race 4 was 9 min. late, race 5 was 14 min. late, race 6 was 23 min. late, race 7 was 25 min. late(approx. listed post time of race 8), and race 8 was 33 min. late (10:15 pm -> 10:48 pm)!….now, if there was an accident, a wait for the horse or human ambulance, fine, I understand that, absolutely, but, according to the charts, no horses lost their jocks, or finished in distress, or were vanned off last night, so, why the ever-increasingly-later post times? and this is, basically every night….who wants to sit up, watching and waiting for these races? can’t set a program to record them, unless you set for about an hour, just to be safe…dear CT, if you need more time between races, fine, just change your listed post times for more accuracy, that’s fine, no problem, but don’t list post times you’re never regularly, for whatever reason, going to make

    (as an aside, I once wrote to Equibase, asking about the post times being so off, I think, at the time, Hawthorne was regularly racing about 10 minutes *earlier*, believe it or not, than the listed post times, not, like, a one-time thing to beat weather, like, everyday, and I was told that Equibase only lists the post times, as provided by the track, that they have nothing more to do with it, so, yeah, it’s on you, tracks)

    thank you for reading my rant

  • Tony Pies

    Only when you are losing you complain post times……

  • pallyhubris

    A couple/few years back Larry Collmus made an extraordinary announcement prior to the last race of the day. Weather radar showed that storms were imminent…Collmus came on the PA to say “Ladies and Gentlemen, your attention please! The last race will go off at post time…Please note, the last race WILL go off at post time!”

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram