Kentucky Downs Sets Wagering Record

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Total Handle Up 34% from Last Year at Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs went wire-to-wire with its wagering during its 5-day meet, setting a track record with an all sources handle of $30,246,887. The average daily handle of $6,049,377 was an increase of 34.19% over the $22,540,761 bet in 2016. Off-track betting on the meet was $29,217,935, which was up 35.2% from $21,611,352 wagered last year.

Kentucky Downs low takeout pari-mutuel wagering is clearly a benefit to bettors, and they bet with both hands during the short Kentucky Downs all-grass meet.

“What’s amazing about our meet is that the biggest day we had last year—and it was an all-time record—was Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Day,” said Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs senior vice president and general manager. “And we handled $5.7 million. This year, for five days, we averaged $6 million.

Kentucky Downs had to postpone it’s opening day following a storm that dumped six-inches of rain in Franklin, KY at the track. But even with opening day moved to Sept. 6, Kentucky Downs shattered last year’s betting record.

Kentucky Downs registered its top two single-day betting totals at $8,487,323.27 (Sept. 9) and $6,044,717.15 (Sept. 10). That not only smothered the old single-day mark of $5,769,505.23 last year on the track’s marquee card, but consider that five years ago, the entire five-date meet totaled $7.57 million. The closing-day handle on Sept. 14 was $5,679,416.31, up 55% over last year’s finale.

“Even with the rain-out day, to go over $30 million is unbelievable. It just shows that horse players and casual fans alike love the Kentucky Downs product. And our enthusiastic crowds show they love the entire experience of being at the track in a fun, festive family atmosphere that combines full fields of horses, low takeout rates on wagers, top-class horses, and no hassle.”

On-track wagering was up, totaling $1,028,951.70 for the meet, compared with $929,409.20 last year, for a jump of 11%.

A total of 522 horses ran at the meet for an average field size of 10.44, down from last year’s 10.96, a figure that will at the least be among the highest in the country, if not at the top of that list.

Kentucky Downs doesn’t charge admission so there is no attendance count. However, the eyeball test and large crowds lining the rail and grassy racetrack apron–as well as increased on-track handle–suggest more people than ever came to watch Kentucky Downs racing in person, many from out of state

A total of 522 horses ran at the meet for an average field size of 10.44, down from last year’s 10.96, a figure that will at the least be among the highest in the country, if not at the top of that list.

At the meet, Kentucky Downs launched the Jockey7 wager—allowing horseplayers to bet on individual jockeys and their mounts as a collective group over each card’s last seven races. Wagering totaled $47,460.50, with part of the track’s commission going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

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