Oh, the trend is heading in the wrong direction for horseplayers (myself included).
Today I just learned (from DRF article) that NYRA is planning to install a one-mile synthetic track inside its two turf courses at Belmont Park.
“The time is right to add this option for use during both training and racing,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA’s senior vice president of operations and capital projects, in the press release.
David O’Rourke, NYRA’s chief executive officer, told the board that NYRA plans to write races for the artificial surface during the winter months, provided that racing is consolidated at Belmont Park under a plan sought by NYRA to use a state loan to rebuild the track.
In the spring, O’Rourke said, the synthetic track would only be used in the event that weather or wear-and-tear forces races off the turf.
Okay, let's hope that it's not a regular occurrence like Gulfstream Park does with its races, in which, they are mixing both dirt and Tapeta races 50% / 50% ratio.
In other words, Gulfstream Park is running dirt races 50% of the time and also running Tapeta races 50% of the time.
That is quite a lot for me to stomach.
If NYRA goes the way of Gulfstream Park they will lose my wagering dollars as I will not put my money on synthetic or Tapeta races.
Synthetic and Tapeta races are so unpredictable and tough to handicap.
And that's why I have an unfavorable view of these two surfaces and I rarely play their races.
Hopefully, NYRA limits their synthetic and Tapeta races to an absolute minimum.
If not, they will see their wagering handles decline just like Gulfstream Park is experiencing since they've installed the Tapeta surface.
I don't know if Gulfstream Park realizes it or not -- how significant a negative effect on their wagering handles are since they've installed the Tapeta.
I've noticed that their wagering handles are a lot smaller than the pre-Tapeta surface handles. And the declines are not coming back either. They are not temporary one-time blips here and there -- they are permanent.
These are not an industry-wide declines like Gulfstream Park may have suspected -- they are the result of the Tapeta declines.
I hope the industry wakes up and realizes it before it went by the way of the demise of the Arlington Park fiasco (and to some extend Golden Gate and Turfway Park).