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Mutti Aiming To Please Horseplayers

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Published: March 17, 2011 3:57 pm ET

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"We have had a lot of positives here of late and since we had the purse increases we wanted to do something for the players, too. The players and the horse owners are the two most important parts of the business and without either one of them you do not have a business."

Those are the words of Raj Mutti, the Great Canadian Gaming Corp.'s new 29-year-old regional general manager of Racing. His comments come via an article by Bill Finley on ESPN.com in reference to thoroughbred racecourse Hastings Park's increased purses for the horsepeople and lowered takeout rates for the horseplayers.

The takeout for win, place, show, the Pick Four and Pick Five will be just 15 percent with all taxes and deductions included. That will rank Hastings as having one of the lowest takeouts the horse racing industry has seen in decades.

"We are trying to re-engage the horseplayer that we might have lost, not only locally but throughout the marketplace," said Mutti, who also oversees harness raceway Fraser Downs.

"Our ideal goal is a 10 per cent increase in handle at the meet," Mutti explained. "We are hopeful for 10, but are realistically thinking we will have, maybe, a five per cent bump. We are going to do a lot of work promoting and advertising the takeout decrease to the players, so players are more aware of the Hastings product. It's not a product that has been promoted much throughout North America over the last few years so we're trying to get it back on the horseplayer's radar screen. We want them to know it is a good product with good-sized fields and good value."

In addition to the lowered takeout and the modest expectations on its return, the article explains that the track has installed Wi-Fi throughout the grandstand, upgraded its graphics package for its video presentations and created a Pick Five with a carryover component.

(With files from ESPN.com)

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