Well, It’s Still 2020

And now we are talking about “Post Time Drag.” Who knew? But as the saying goes, “if not now [2020], then when?”

Press release from The Jockey Club, December 3, 2020 — The Jockey Club commends Gulfstream Park for committing to run races at their scheduled post times during the track’s championship meet, which began December 2, 2020. Not only does post time drag frustrate bettors, but it also has a negative impact on handle.

At the 2017 Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing, Ben Vonwiller of McKinsey & Company spoke on the importance of race scheduling among different racetracks to maximize total handle. According to McKinsey’s models, a more synchronized race schedule could lead to an annual handle increase of $400 million across the United States.

“Our question was ‘Do the preconditions for schedule optimization exist in racing and can applying scheduling analytics really drive value?’ We left that exercise with real conviction that the answer is yes.”

In response to these findings, Equibase established a scheduling office to assist tracks in communicating to each other about their post times to minimize overlap. Through a scheduling hub, tracks submit their proposed off-times, and Equibase suggests changes based on a tool developed by McKinsey & Company. On race day, any changes to post times can be communicated to other tracks. The Jockey Club encourages racetracks to participate in this service for the benefit of the horseplayer and of the racing industry.

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