On Monday, December 22, the Woodbine Entertainment Group saw its live standardbred card produce the highest Monday handle since May 15, 2006. WEG did offer a 13-dash card, but, nonetheless, the $1,569,322 handle speaks for itself. Today, Trot Insider spoke with Jamie Martin, WEG senior vice president, Racing, about the ongoing seven-eighths mile racing trial.
Martin reiterated that the five-week trial will not continue into January of 2009. He also told Trot Insider that it is possible that another seven-eighths mile trial period could occur at some point in the future, but there are currently no such plans in the works.
Regarding the feedback he and the rest of WEG officials have received since implementing the shortened-distance trial, Martin said, "it depends on who you speak to.
"[WEG] has received quite a bit of positive feedback from our customers. Understandably, given the nature of the move, we have also received negative feedback, as well."
Listed below are some brief numbers regarding Woodbine Racetrack's live Monday cards since the standardbreds returned from Mohawk Racetrack.
• Oct. 13 -- 11 Races -- $1,167,790 (first Monday card back at Woodbine)
• Oct. 20 -- 11 Races -- $1,183,513
• Oct. 27 -- (card cancelled after four races)
• Nov. 3 -- 12 Races -- $1,334,741
• Nov. 10 -- 12 Races -- $1,366,070
• Nov. 17 -- 12 Races -- $1,298,164
• Nov. 24 -- 12 Races -- $1,142,414
• Dec. 1 -- 12 Races -- $1,394,857 (the first card with 7/8ths mile races)
• Dec. 8 -- 12 Races -- $1,139,274
• Dec. 15 -- 12 Races -- $1,139,487
• Dec. 22 -- 13 Races -- $1,569,322
When WEG first announced the move, and after the first card of the trial process, there was much feedback from fans, horsepeople and owners. Many people said they would not wager on the Monday cards.
"So far things have gone okay," Martin said. "It hasn't hurt our bet to this point. I'm not saying that we handled $1.5 million and change on Monday because of the seven-eighths mile experiment; but I'm also not going to say that we would've had that handle if all the races were raced at a mile distance. After next Monday we'll start to analyze the data from the five cards."
To view the charted lines from Woodbine's Monday, December 22 live standardbred card, click here.