Equibase.com is a powerful organization in the world of horse racing data.
Horse racing is a statistical data driven sport from the industry side of racing to the betting side. Equibase.com is a website that is a central port for all types of data but at what cost? When you look at other sports that involve gambling usually those sports all have free access to data however at Equibase.com no such luck.
Equibase.com has been operating for nearly 30 years and was created to end the one sided death grip that the Daily Racing Form had on the thoroughbred industry in terms of data. Equibase was created in conjunction with the Jockey Club shortly after Walter Annenberg had sold the Daily Racing Form to an Australian publisher by the name of Rupert Murdoch for 3.2 billion dollars. Equibase.com was formed because many in the industry were afraid that the Daily Racing Form would have an advantage because of all the data they owned. The industry side of racing relies on a lot of information that is gathered to operate so as you can see it was quite a smart move to create another channel for data collection.
The creation of Equibase.com was at the time a really great idea however what happened eventually after the DRF had changed hands a few times they stopped creating their own data and started to get their data from Equibase.com. So here in lies the monopoly once again. One thing I used to think and quite stupidly I admit is that I used to read the charts that were created after races. If I was in a rush or didn’t have the form I would go on Equibase.com real quick and type the name of a horse into the horse search.
You can navigate to the charts of each horses previous races. I never really put much thought into it until a clocker that I know one day told me don’t believe what you see in those charts because they are very fabricated. Come to think about it when he explained to me that literally someone is watching the race through binoculars and telling someone next to them or via tape recording what they see through those binoculars.
You’re really relying on a lot of faith that nobody ever makes mistakes and that’s not likely. I know Thanksgiving weekend last year they had a jockey named as riding a horse at Parx that hadn’t ridden a horse in a year and was home laid up with a broken ankle. I had a friend call me and ask how is he riding at Parx when he has a broken ankle? So there ya have it.
Equibase.com offers the ability to surf around and there are some free statistics like all time jockey, trainer and owner wins and earnings.Beyond horse search and those aforementioned charts everything else you have to pay for. One thing I wish Equibase.com offered was free replays. Many of the ADW’s offer free replays. Equibase.com has free data but it is limited. I see many bettors complaining these days about the cost involved just to be able to bet your money in terms of horse wagering.
They have a point. When I play the horses and were not talking about (being at the track) that’s another entire ball of wax, but when I am betting I am in for at least 30-40 dollars in handicapping data fees for the day before I even make a wager. I am literally down $40.00 before I start. No other sport that has wagering is like this. Then again nothing makes my heart pound as much as watching a horse cross the finish line. I personally do not mind the fees myself but there are several people that do. equibase.com has a really large audience imagine the good they could do by attracting more people to the sport.
One of the most annoying things is the pop ups on equibase.com. I have also had some weird happenings with my computer when I log into equibase.com. I suspect the platform that equibase.com is on may be old and therefore is very buggy. When you have a site that has that much age to it such as equibase.com the more data you add to the site the slower it becomes.
It is essential for a website like equibase.com to update their platform as they get older. Although I cannot imagine the expense and pain they would have to go through to do such a thing.
Equibase.com went from being a solution to becoming the only game in town in terms of racing data. Hopefully the industry as a whole can somehow in some way figure out how to work together to make the sport more accessible for people to participate. The rising costs of data is a major bone of contention with the entire betting public. Sports wagering is making a surge in the United States since it’s inception to many other states once only monopolized by Nevada. The data needed to bet sports is completely free. If equibase.com cannot listen to it’s customers who will they listen to.
There is no other sport like horse racing in the world and the tools needed to be a part of the sport or even to gamble on it amazing in itself. Equibase.com to their credit aren’t stupid by any means. If I had the ability to monopolize something I probably would too, I also feel as though the type of work that is conducted by equibase.com is by no means an easy undertaking. I am sure it takes a mountain of people to put together the mind boggling amount of data that has to be gathered for not only the horsemen, handicappers not to mention all of the publications that feed off of the data that equibase.com puts out. It’s not like there are tons of companies out there jumping up and down wanting to compete with equibase.com either.
Equibase.com could be so much better of a data source if it did some little things to their site. I would start with the user experience itself. The pop ups as mentioned before on Equibase.com once you log on to the site can be quite cumbersome. Most people don’t realize that there is money being generated off of those pop ups equibase.com doesn’t have them installed to just annoy you.
I also think it would be a great idea if equibase.com could work out a scenario with the ADW’s where they all pay a licensing fee to allow customers the ability to access equibase.com products for free as a token of gratitude for gambling on their site. Equibase.com still gets paid for their data and the ADW’s make their clients happy by providing them with free PP’s. Lastly I also noticed that replays section of equibase.com they do not grant access to Churchill Downs replays due to contractual issues. Appearing as if equibase.com does not want to tender the amount Churchill is asking for in order the be able to use their track feed. One would think seeing how their are stately neighbors that equibase.com would be welcomed and they would support each other. Typical of horse racing and not so.
Equibase.com is the major player in data they will be around for a long time to come. I am hopeful that they listen to the customer more often as it will go a long way.