From the KY Downs Media Team / Jennie Rees:

Kentucky Downs adds Super Hi-5 bet on all (17!) stakes

King of the Turf Handicapping Challenge begins opening day, Aug. 31

(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



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 The winners of the feeder tournaments will receive a seat in all three contests.


2023 Kentucky Downs stakes schedule

All stakes are on turf and include Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund

Thursday Aug. 31 — $500,000 FanDuel TVG Tapit Stakes, 3 year olds & up who have not won a stakes in 2023, mile and 70 yards.

Saturday Sept. 2 — $1 million Big Ass Fans Music City (G3), 3-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million Gun Runner, 3-year-olds, one mile; $2 million The Mint Millions (G3), 3 year olds & up, one mile.

Sunday Sept. 3 — $1 million National Thoroughbred League Dueling Grounds Derby (G3), 3-year-olds, 1 5/16 miles; $1 million Dueling Grounds Oaks, 3-year-old fillies, 1 5/16 miles: $500,000 National Thoroughbred League Handicap, 3-year-olds & up, one mile.

Thursday Sept. 7 — $500,000 Jeff Ruby’s One Dreamer, fillies and mares 3 years old & up who have not won a stakes in 2023, mile and 70 yards.

Saturday Sept. 9 — $1 million Ainsworth Turf Sprint (G2) *BC, 3-year-olds & up, six furlongs; $1 million FanDuel Turf Cup (G2) *BC, 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/2 miles; $1 million Exacta Systems Franklin-Simpson (G2), 3-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million AGS Ladies Sprint (G2), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, 6 1/2 furlongs; $1 million Castle Hill Gaming Ladies Turf (G3), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, one mile; $1 million Aristocrat Ladies Marathon (G3), fillies and mares 3 years old & up, 1 5/16 miles.

Sunday, Sept. 10 — $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile, 2-year-olds, mile; $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Fillies, 2-year-old fillies, mile.

Wednesday Sept. 13 — $500,000 Pepsi Juvenile Sprint, 2-year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs; $500,000 Pepsi Untapable, 2-year-old fillies, 6 1/2 furlongs.

*BC: Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race – winner gets fees-paid berth in corresponding Breeders’ Cup race at Santa Anita

The Mint Gaming Hall properties
The Mint Gaming Hall at Kentucky Downs

Located near the Kentucky and Tennessee border, just off Interstate 65 and approximately 35 miles from Nashville, Tenn., Kentucky Downs features Historical Horse Racing gaming terminals and conducts live turf racing each September on America’s only “European-style” race course while offering among the highest purses in the world. Kentucky Downs is a pioneer in modern Historical Horse Racing, the electronic form of pari-mutuel betting on horses that has become one of the great financial success stories in the sport’s history. Racing has been conducted at the facility since 1990, when it was called Dueling Grounds.

Address: 5629 Nashville Road, P.O. Box 405, Franklin, KY 42135


Phone: 270.586.7778

2023 racing dates: Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 13.

The Mint Gaming Hall Bowling Green

Address: 2475 Scottsville Road, Ste. 101 & 102, Bowling Green, KY 42104


Phone: 270.353.6400

The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland Run

Address: 777 Winners Lane, Corbin, KY 40701


Phone: 606.620.0250

2023 harness racing dates: Oct. 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31; Nov. 5, 6, 7

The Mint Gaming Hall Cumberland

Address: 244 Penny Lane, Williamsburg, KY 40769


Phone: 606-400-2888