Peculiarities Of Bowie Betting.: Wherein the Mutuel System There Differs from Those Used on Other Tracks., Daily Racing Form, 1917-04-12


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PECULIARITIES OF BOWIE BETTING. Wherein the Mutuel System There Differs from Those Used on Other Tracks. By J. R. Jeffery. Washington. D. C. April 10. — Growing familiarity with the operation of the Bow ie system of conducting pari-mutuel betting has dissipated practically all of the criticism that was levelled against it. The Bowie system differs from all other pari-mutuel systems used in the United States and Canada in that no machines are employed for the registering of individual wagers. Instead, the wagers are registered on a central totalizator by means of the use of the telephone from the various stations at which tickets are sold. Experts agree that the Bowie system is simpler than any other in use and that it possesses distinct advantages for the s|M-eulative public. Nowhere else in America is there a totalizator in use in connection with pari-mutuel betting. At all other tracks where the mil tnels are used, the speculator who desires to obtain an approximation of the odds that any particular horse will pay must gather his own statistics by first reading the various machines where the wagers are recorded ami them making his own totals. At Bowie all this is done for the benefit of the speculator at frequent intervals during the progress of the betting, and the result appears on the face of the totalizator, so that a glance will enable the bettor to determine just what any individual horse will pay. It is remarkable how closely the odds may lie approximated by this method. Of course, it sometimes happens that last -minute support for some particular horse will change the odds, but the same condition applies to any other mutuel method used. Speed of Calculation Is a Feature. It is the experience of two seasons at Bowie that on the average from 0 to 95 per cent, of the pari mutuel sales can be posted on the totalizator before the horses are dispatched from the barrier, and if there is the least delay at the post, it generally happens that the complete transactions are recorded. The same information available at tracks employing the individual machine registers only by the expenditure of much alertness ami effort. Mortimer M. Malmi-ey is the genius of the Bowie system of conducting the mutuels. It was he who devised tin- plan and under his direct inn it has been developed to its present state of high efficiency. Mr. Mahoneys experience as a betting ring master ant-dates tin- recent wholesale introduction of the niuliels on American race courses. In the days of bookmaking he had charge of various betting rings in the eastern part of the United States and Canada. As the mutuels came into vogue he devoted himself to a study of how best to handle the details of the new method of betting and when .lames F. OTIara and "Gad" Bryan, the principal owners of the Bowie track, decided to install the pari inutue] svstem of betting in tiie fall of IMS, Mr. Mahoneys ideas appealed to them as so practical that he was given a free hand to install the s. stem which he had evolved, instead of following the path blazed by other racing associations using the mutuels. At tin- hegta ■tag, tie- new method was subjected to severe criticism, as many innovations ate. Bat one by one the objections have beea disposed of and the average patron of the mutuels now concedes the superiority of this system. The chief objection raised against it was based upon the assunipt ion that it offered a greater opportunity for fraudulent manipulation than the system under which individual sales of tickets are registered. Those raising this objection failed to take into account the errors in registering that are sometimes made by the machines and probably were unaware of the fact that where the machines tR used their register is not depended upon, all final ealcula tions being based upon the record of sales as shown by the number of tickets remaining unsold, which is exactly the method followed at Bowie. An Elaborate System of Checking. An intricate system of checking and counter checking has been devised to ensure the honesty and accuracy of all transactions and of any dishonest practice should be attempted it would at once become apparent to any one ef the numerous checkers. Whose duty it is to watch for just such things. The writer was given an opportunity a day or two ago to observe the inner workings of the Bowie system and was particularly impressed with the length to which the i lagement of the track goes to safeguard the interests of the speculating public. It is safe to say that no banking institution is conducted with greater nicety and more scrupulousness for the interests of its patrons. Mr. Malon. y has been identified with the speculative end of rat lag in an official capacity for some fifteen years. Indor the bookmaking regime, hi exercised saperviahM aver the betting rings at Pimlico. I.iiffa! i. Providence. Blue Relucts and Windsor. Nowadays, in addition to Bowie, he manages the pari-mutuel departments ;1t P.lue Bonnets. I orval. Ottawa Bad Pimlico. Concerning the operation of the Howie system of conducting the mutuels. he made the following points when interviewed: Our method of conducting the niutu-ls at Bowie has been improved upon from time to time since its institution and has now reached the point where it is difficult to forsee in what direction further improvement can be made. We are on the alert, however, for opportunities for its further refinement and are always ready to consider suggestions to that end. We believe we have in operation here a system combining the best points of all other mutuel systems. The only way in which it might possibly be rendered more helpful to its patrons would be by the discovery of some method that would permit the instantaneous recording of all transactions at a central iHiiut. Electrical experts say they know of no way in which this could be practically done without providing more confusion than our present method entails. So until the electricians are able to provide a practical method, we shall continue along present lines. "Phone" Operators in Place of Clickers. "Aside from the initial expense of installing the machines, our system costs practically as much to operate as other mutuel systems. What wo save by the elimination of "clickers." is almost balanced by the expense of maintaining a staff of expert phone operators and calculators to run the totalizator. But our system is superior in various ways. In the first place, our ticket sellers can handle much more business than at other mutuel establishments, because they have absolutely nothing to do but attend to the business of selling tickets. Consequently we can outsell, with an equal lane, any other mutuel plant in operation. Then again we give the public a In-tter line of the progress of the betting than it is possible for them to obtain at any other track. This is a more important point than would ■aajaar at first consideration. We sometimes post as many as sixteen reports of the progress of the straight betting on the totalizator during the twenty-five minutes devoted to betting on each race. It is our aim to show as accurately as aaaaMe the fluctuations of the betting and a special effort is made at all times to record the placing of any particularly large commission that would specially ■feet the odds. How closely it is liossible to forecast the probable odds is demonstrated by the following comparison of the official payoffs with the approximation of the odds worked out from the figures of the betting displayed on the totalizator last Wednesday, when the bell rang for the cessation of betting as the horses left the i ost: Winner. Official Totalizator Odds Approximation Marmont $ 6.10 $ ti.90 Swift Fox 3.00 3. SO Pharaoh 7.10 7.00 Indian Chant 5.00 5.00 Dartworth 3.10 3.00 Royal Meteor 7.70 S.20 Yodeles 27.20 2S.00 "Of course, if sufficient time should elapse between the closing of ticket selling and the sending of the field away from the starting post, all transactions would appear on the totalizator. 1 understand that in foreign countries where the totalizator is employed, the selling of tickets is brought to a close five minutes before the horses go to the post. I doubt if such an arrangement would lie satisfactory in this country, for many American bettors are anxious to inspect the horses on their way to the post before definitely committing themselves. How Departments Check Each Other. "Our mutuel plant at Bowie is operated in three general divisons. each of which provides a check against the other for the safeguarding of the Interests of tie- public and of the track as well. These division.; are the ticket department, the cashing department and the calculating department. They must all check properly aganst each other at all times. A balance is struck after each race before the prices are announced and before the days business is concluded there is a general checking up of all the days transactions. So we know exactly where we stand In-fore six oclock each day At some other tracks, the same general checking is not completed until noon of the following day. The suiM-riority of our way of handling the checking is shown by the fact that the combined shortages at Pimlico. Bowie, Blue Bonnets. Dorval. Ottawa and Toronto, where the checking system referred to is in use, did not amount to more than $ 00 or 00 last year, which probably is lcssxthan the individual losses at some other tracks. "At no other track will you find the mutuels more accessible to public inspection th.-iH at Bowie. The plant was constructed with that object in view and we at all times welcome public investigation of our methods of operation. It is notable that in addition to all the information given the public at other tracks, we are generally able to post a detailed statement of the entire record of mutuel sales before the race has been finished and the result known. This is practically impossible except under the Bowie system, the best proof of the growing popularity of which is reflected in the constantly increasing volume of its transactions. "We are especially favored at Bowie in that our meetings occur at a season when no other mutuel plants are operating. We. thaw Haw, have our pick of the men who are employed in other mutuel plants and the 145 attaches of our mutuel department represent the ream of the pari-mutuel operatives in this country. We bring experts together from all sections of America and this gives a highly efficient working force. We have practically no errors and our calculations are made with invariable celerity and accuracy. Often the official payoffs are available for announcement in a trifle more than one minute after the finish of a race and the average time does not greatly exceed two minutes, which, of course, is a condition that must be highly satisfactory to the patrons of the track." More Praise for Omar Khayyam. Good judges who have had Omar Khayyam, the Kentucky Derby canddate of Messrs. C. K. 6. Billings and Frederick Johnson, under observation at New Orleans and Hot Springs during the past winter, have a wholesome respect for his chances in the great three -year -old classic at Chun hill Downs on May 12. One ami all they agree that this English bred colt has improved wonderfully over his two-year-old form and most of them are indued to believe that if he does not go stale in the meantime he will be a tough nut for the rest of the eligiblcs to the big race to crack. In some quarters then- is a disposition to qaestiea trainer Charles T. Pattersons ability to keep the colt on edge for such a long period as will 1m- necessary, it lning the general opinion that the colt is ready even now to fill his engagements for the nee. Some of his recent work-outs for the race at Hot Springs, where the Billings and Johnson stable is quartered, is described as sensationally good. Those who have seen him say that while he has improved in appearance, he is still a small horse, although of the chunky type and that he gives the impression of being a good weight carrier and a Stayer of ability. Trainer Patterson has the reputation of being a hard taskmaster with his horses and no doubt exists that he will have the COM ready to stay the Derby route. There is a division of opinion among horsemen as to whether the good mare Pan Eareta will ever again show tie- wonderfull consistency that marked her races in the colors of her Breeders J. F. and II. S. Newman, previous to her temporary retirement from racing in P.H . Close observers are of the opinion that if K. T. Colton. who recently purchased her from H. S. Newman for Sl..~i00. following the same method of training her that yielded such satisfactory results whb- the was carrying the Newman colors, she will continue to race in winning form. The mare is without a blemish -md is as sound as the day she was foaled. Pan Batatas series of disappointing races during the past winter areascribed by good judges to the act that she was required to race through the mud at New Orleans when not thoroughly fit for such an exacting task after her summers respite. As everybody knows, sack an experience blunt-for a long time. Some good judges who saw Pan Eareta race at New Orleans are firmly of the belief that she will a back to the races a good mare later on in the season and that she will win out her purchase price in purses before lie- year is over Fruit Cake a Filly of Great Promise, Jerome B. Respess is generally accounted one of the shrewdest of American turfmen, and seldom makes a mistake when it comes to sizing up a horses merits. It would seem, however, that his judgment was a bit at fault when In- parted with the filly Fruit Cake last fall at what might be termed a nominal figure. In the light of her performances since Mr. Respess sold her to E. T. Zellicoffcr. it must be conceded that the is entitled to class with the best of her age and sex in training in all America. The daughter of Dick Welles— Parish-lino has already won seven or eight races for her new owner and has not once been unplaced in his cetera, not withstanding that she has constantly been called upon to concede weight to worthy opposition. l ot!i of her own ago and more mature racers as well. She has a high turn of speed and. being equally at home in wet or dry going, is a most valuable racing tool She has won at as far as seven-eighths of a mile and it is quite possible that she may be able to carry her speed to a greater distance. She has won her only two starts of the eastern s.-asou at Bowie ami enjoys a local popularity of much tie-same sort that the good man- Pan Eareta possessed in her palmy days. The filly was accorded an ovation at Bowie last Thursday when, with an impost of 120 ■onaaas, she made a show of her opposition in the Preliminary Handicap. The veteran owner-trainer Green B. Morris, who probably is entitled to the distinction of being the oldest man actively identified with American racing at the present time, is at Bowie daily, but has no horses. He is now in his eighty -fourth year. His first connection with racing was as a lad of 12 years, when he rode quarter horses in Missouri. The only period since that time that he was out of touch with racing was from 1S52 to IMC, which he spent in the mines of California. Immediately upon his return to Kansas City in the year last named, he reengaged in racing and he has been interested in the sport ever since without a break. This is undoubtedly a record that few horsemen have ever duplicated. Tom Lynch Now a Maryland Farmer. Thomas K. Lynch, widely known turf correspondent and chart compiler, is the latest accession to the ranks of those turfmen who have acquired a residence in Maryland. Mr. Lynch has just purchased a finely improved farm of seventeen acres at Catonsville. not far from Baltimore, and will make it his home wheal his duties permit. lie has no intention of retiring from the turf at present, but will devote such spare time as he can command to the enjoyment of the rural delights of his new place, which is Jfct a finely developed locality and is likely to prove a sound investment. Charles Koerner. who for a considerable period of years rode successfully on the flat and later on became a steeplechase jockey, is among the regulars at Bowie. To see him nowadays, one would hardly suspect that he ever was small enough to fill the jockeys role. J. B. Dunn, who forsook the turf for a period of years to engage in vaudeville acting, is racing Bird Man at Bowie. He formerly owned a string of horses that he raced on far western tracks with no little success. Last season he returned to the turf as trainer of Monocaey for T. Trovato, another vaudevillian. with whom he had some business differences involving the earnings of the horse, that are still occupying the attention of the Canadian courts, settlement of ■which is expected at Windsor in about a month. It will be recalled that Monocaey was attached by trainer Dunn and. after figuring in several court proceedings, was released to his owner under bond. Frank Bain is among the latest arrivals at Bowie. He stient the winter profitably in laying odds at New Orleans and then made a flying trip to California, with a profitable side trip to Tijuana. Starter Dade has placed Flecha Negra. Montreal and Energetic on the schooling list at Bowie for" the purpose of bringing about an improvement in their post manners.

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