07/11/2002 11:00PM

Speedier tote test goes well


Officials of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations said Friday that a test this week of new software that updates odds every 45 seconds had gone well, with no apparent problems. The test will likely clear the way for rapid implementation of the software, perhaps by the end of July.

The TRA and the country's three tote companies - AmTote, Autotote, and United Tote - conducted the test at Delaware Park on Monday and Tuesday.

The software asked the totalizator system to update the odds every 45 seconds, rather than every 60 seconds, and to display the odds updates throughout the simulcast network and on Internet wagering sites.

Chris Scherf, the executive vice president of the TRA, said no problems were detected during the test, which was scheduled to resume over the weekend. He also said Saratoga Race Course plans to use the more rapid cycling when its meet starts on July 24.

The TRA asked the tote companies to develop a more rapid update cycle to partially answer concerns about late-odds changes. TRA officials are hoping that the more frequent updates will allow bettors to pick up betting trends more accurately, especially in the last few minutes before post, when the majority of wagers are made.