Anne M. Eberhardt

Scheduling Tool Targets Simulcast Overlap

Product designed to allow racetracks to maximize handle with a variety of variables.

InCompass Solutions , a subsidiary of The Jockey Club, announced Jan. 18 that it has completed development of an analytic scheduling tool designed to maximize handle for its customer racetracks.

"When the McKinsey team conducted a comprehensive economic study of the Thoroughbred industry for The Jockey Club in 2011, they found that a predictive industry utility used by multiple tracks would benefit tracks, horsemen, and fans," said Brad Kimbrell, the president of InCompass. "It has been well documented that our consumers are frustrated by overlapping post times of simulcast races and the use of this scheduling tool should help alleviate that problem."

The scheduling tool projects handle based on a comprehensive set of variables, including expected field size, post time, and the quality of races being offered by competing tracks. It also recommends the optimal placement of individual races on the card, thus providing benefits to racing facilities of all sizes.

Developed by InCompass and The Jockey Club Technology Services in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, the scheduling tool is already in use at 10 racetracks, and Kimbrell expects it to be adopted by many more in 2013.

The scheduling tool, which complements a post time coordination tool that InCompass introduced in March 2011, is offered free to all Thoroughbred racetracks that are InCompass customers.  

After a successful beta test this past spring at Turfway Park, the scheduling tool is now being used at Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Hoosier Park, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, Parx Racing, Pimlico Race Course, Santa Anita Park, and Turfway.

Sal Sinatra, director of racing at Parx Racing, believes the scheduling tool provides a variety of benefits and efficiencies.

"What I like most about the scheduling tool is that it enables me to place my races, regardless of class, in the most opportune position on the race card after taking into account the schedule of races at other tracks on a given day," Sinatra said.