01/28/2012 7:10PM

Letters to the Editor Jan. 29

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Track voice calls for accurate closing odds

The self-described "four regular guys" who eruditely conveyed their frustrations in the Jan. 8 letter to the editor "Game loses its fun when players find they can't win" fell directly into stride with me concerning closing odds.

I wear three hats: As an announcer, I can't believe I'm so stupid as to still risk referring to a horse as "the favorite" in running. As an occasional punter, I've completely given up win betting, restricting myself to a few 50-cent pick-whatevers. Most painfully, as a potential "fisher of fans," I've had University of California, Berkeley, students absolutely enthralled at the idea of intellectually determining "worthwhile investments," highlighting the one enormous advantage that horse racing has over casinos - the overlay. But how can you look seriously at this gold mine of future business, knowing that 3-1 can become 7-5 after a quarter of the race has been completed?

If technologically superior America can't catch up with a minnow-like Australia - which has had accurate closing-tote odds at the start of every race since I lived there in the 1980s - please bring back bookmakers. I guarantee they could not possibly be viewed with more skepticism than this archaic system.

Michael Wrona - Track announcer, Golden Gate Fields