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Horse Racing, Kentucky Derby at The Downey Profile®

KD Bucks Model in Takeout

8/30/2017

Means More Bang for Players' Betting Bucks

Kentucky Downs offers free admission and parking to its onsite guests at its five-date all-grass meet that begins Saturday. But the price break that customers both at the track and across the country appreciate is the cost of making a bet.

Three things to think about with Kentucky Downs besides the great racing and fun atmosphere, and you get it.

The largest average purses in North American, the largest average field sizes in North America, and the lowest overall takeout in the country mean more horses, better odds and more money in the player's pocket.

The track’s 18.25 percent on exacta wagering — which is second in popularity behind only win betting in American horse racing — is the lowest around, according to the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA), whose rankings algorithm has made Kentucky Downs its top-rated track for the past three years.

"Kentucky Downs gets it. Their exacta takeout is 18.25 percent,” HANA president Jeff Platt said in an email. “That and their average field size of almost 11 horses per race makes them the BEST VALUE thoroughbred track I know of in North America. Now, if they could only run more dates!"

Kentucky Downs’ rates of 14 percent on the Pick 5 and 16 percent on win, place and show wagers are among the lowest in the country, and no thoroughbred track is lower than Kentucky Downs’ 19-percent takeout on trifecta wagers.

A record $22,540,761.22 was wagered on last year’s five-date meet for an average of $4,508,152 a day. That was a 34 percent increase over the previous record total set in 2015.

“Kentucky Downs has been able to go from completely off the national radar to a premier track by going against the norm of the industry, right now, which is to get a higher percentage from less handle,” said professional horseplayer Paul Matties Jr., who captured the 2016 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas to be awarded the Eclipse Award as North America’s outstanding horseplayer. “… We need the exact opposite for the benefit of the game. We need to grow handle and spawn interest, and Kentucky Downs has been a leader on that front. It's not a surprise to me horseplayers have responded and their handle has skyrocketed. Horseplayers are smart and they will gravitate to the best products and the best value for the betting dollar, and I expect that will continue this year.”

Matties believes Kentucky Downs also is successful because the track embraces its uniqueness.

“The races at Kentucky Downs are completely different puzzles than what we face every day,” he said. “For them, it's because of their unorthodox track, but they don't run from it or hide from it. They have downhill turns and uphill straights and they celebrate them. They run unusual distances, and they experiment with different camera angles, and make no excuses for it. That's awesome.

“… There is no reason to have the same conditions, same distances and the same short fields all the time, every day. Try new and different exciting things and the horseplayer and the horse-racing fan will respond. Kentucky Downs is a perfect example of that. Hopefully, the whole industry is taking notice of Kentucky Downs' success.”

On the air, 'net

Gary West, the noted turf columnist and handicapper who is one of Kentucky Downs’ analysts, is on Winning Ponies with John Engelhardt Thursday at 8:15 p.m. Eastern/7:15 p.m. Central. Tune in at winningponies.com. West will be on Race Day Las Vegas with Ralph Siraco Saturday at 10:15 AM Central. Tune in at racedaylasvegas.com.


Edited Kentucky Downs release
 

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