10/22/2008 12:00AM

Churchill maps out new bet


Churchill Downs Inc. will begin offering a multi-track Super High Five wager between two of its tracks when the company’s flagship track opens its 26-day fall meet Sunday in Louisville, Ky.

Called the Z-5, the wager will alternate between Churchill and Calder every day, beginning with the third race at Churchill, moving to the sixth race at Calder, and finishing with the last race at Churchill. Any Super High Five carryover applies to the next race, or the next day, whenever no tickets are sold using the correct combination of the first five finishers.

The Z-5, so named for its zigzag nature, is a $1-minimum wager with a 19-percent takeout at both tracks. Tom Aronson, a vice president of Churchill Downs inc., said races from another Churchill track, the Fair Grounds, “possibly” could be added into the Z-5 rotation after the New Orleans track starts a 4 1/2-month meet next month.

“We’ll test the concept with Churchill and Calder over the next month and work from there,” said Aronson.