(Photo: Handicappers in the Finish Line Pavilion last year. Grace Clark photo)
Kentucky Downs is expanding the Super Hi-5 wager to all its 17 stakes races in addition to the last race of the day at the upcoming all-grass meet.
The FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs, which offers the most lucrative purses in the country, runs Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 13 over America’s only European-style course. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Central except for 11:30 a.m. Central on Saturday Sept. 9. That 12-race card features six graded stakes, five worth $1 million apiece along with the $1.7 million FanDuel Kentucky Turf Cup (all including $400,000 in purse supplements for registered Kentucky-bred horses).
The Super Hi-5, a 50-cent minimum bet, requires handicappers to select the first five finishers of the race in correct order to win. If no one has the winning combination, the bet carries over into the pool the next time the wager is offered. The exception is the last race of the meet, when there’s a mandatory payout to those with the top four finishers if there are no winning tickets.
The Super Hi-5 previously was held only on the last race of the day. Last year the average 50-cent payoff for the Super Hi-5 was $7,283, according to official industry data-collector Equibase.
Kentucky Downs offers among the best betting products in the country with its large fields, quality racing and big betting pools.
Last year the payout for the Pick 5 (where horseplayers must have the winners of five consecutive races in one combination on a ticket) averaged $19,630 for 50 cents, while the Pick 4 payout averaged $4,464. For exacta players, the $74 average for a $1 bet is among the highest in the country, while the $571 average for the 10-cent superfecta also is very strong.
“Horseplayers should be excited about the wagering opportunities upcoming during our seven-day meet,” said Ken Kirchner, Kentucky Downs’ director of wagering and simulcasting. “In addition to the highest average payouts across all bet types, we’re adding Super Hi-5 betting to all 17 stakes races. That will provide at least 10 more opportunities for the Super Hi-5 pool to grow. Kentucky Downs absolutely personifies the racetrack axiom ‘bet a little to win a lot!’”
The Pick 5 offers Kentucky Downs’ largest betting pool, averaging $553,613 each time the wager was offered last year, according to Equibase. The Pick 5 is offered twice daily, except for three times on Sept. 9.
Kentucky Downs’ 2023 betting menu
Kentucky Downs’ average pool sizes and payoffs by bet type in 2022
King of the Turf Handicapping Challenge begins Aug. 31
Kentucky Downs’ online, live-money King of the Turf Handicapping Challenge again will feature three stand-alone, one-day betting contests, this year starting on opening-day Thursday Aug. 31, Sunday Sept. 3 and Saturday Sept. 9.
Half of competitors’ buy-ins are earmarked for their live bankrolls with the remainder going toward purses and prizes, which include National Horseplayer Championship packages and $10,000 buy-in berths in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. The contest can be played online only through TVG/4NJBETS, Xpressbet or HPI (Canada). All contests are win, place, show, exacta or daily double wagering only.
For more information or to register, email King of the Turf tournament director Brian Skirka at email@example.com.
Aug. 31: $400 buy-in, must bet a minimum of five races at $40 apiece. Based on 150 entries, the prize pool will consist of three NHC seats and $12,100 distributed to the top 10 finishers.
Sept. 3: $500 buy-in, must bet a minimum of five races at $50 apiece Based on 150 entries, the prize pool will consist of one BCBC seat, two NHC seats and $13,900 distributed to the top 10 finishers.
Sept. 9: $800 buy-in, must bet a minimum of five races at $80 apiece. Based on 150 entries, the prize pool will consist of two BCBC seats, three NHC seats and $19,100 distributed to the top 10 finishers.
The cumulative winner, who must compete in all three tournaments, will be feted as King of the Turf: National Turf Handicapping Champion, receiving a BCBC seat and the Global Tote belt at the 2024 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) awards dinner in Las Vegas.
Feeder tournaments have begun on horsetourneys.com. The winners of the feeder tournaments will receive a seat in all three contests.