Two giants of harness racing are not only introducing a new wager that combines their considerable assets this Friday (March 22) but are also tackling an industry-wide source of frustration in the hopes of pleasing the customer.
The “Can-Am Pick-4” will make its debut and requires a player to correctly select the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and two more at Woodbine Entertainment's Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The bet will have a 20-Cent minimum, so players who are accustomed to a 50-Cent wager will have the option to increase their base bet or use more horses in the hopes of catching several longshots during the sequence. It will also sport a low 15 percent takeout.
Leg One of the CAP4 will be Woodbine Mohawk Park's 10th race (post time, 10:40 p.m.), followed by the Meadowlands' 10th (10:52 p.m.), WMP's 11th (11:04 p.m.) is the third leg before the wager concludes with the 11th (11:16 p.m.) at the Big M. If all goes according to plan, the entire bet from start to finish will take 36 minutes, which is certain to be a hit with horseplayers.
“For us, it's important to get things done in a timely fashion,” said Klaus Ebner, Senior Manager of Simulcast Services for Woodbine. “The Can-Am Pick-4 locks up the customer's funds for a short span, allowing them to churn winning money into more wagering opportunities.”
But harness racing's two biggest tracks in terms of visibility and handle have more up their sleeves.
The subject of post-time “drag” will be addressed by both tracks beginning with the Friday races.
“As industry leaders, one of our goals – as well as our friends at Woodbine Entertainment – is to shorten the post-time drag before our races go to the gate,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We will both be doing this as the leaders of this industry. We want to move the needle back on these outlandish drags but it will take an industry-wide initiative to make it happen. We will be taking the first step in doing so and are hoping that our fans will continue to wager the same or more.”
Both tracks are aiming for the following:
· At three minutes past zero minutes to post, countdown clock starts
· At four minutes, call to post
· At five minutes, race goes off
“This will allow the customer to understand when the race is going off,” said Ebner. “It will have some certainty for them. Our main goal is we don't want our customers having to choose between wagering on Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Meadowlands. The coordination of post times will allow them access to the best two harness racing products in the world. We have worked together to stay off one another (not race at the same time) to the best of our abilities and, for the most part, the staffs at both tracks do a great job of doing that.”
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