03/23/2008 11:00PM

Churchill to offer new bet


Churchill Downs was given approval by Kentucky regulators on Monday to offer a new wager during its spring meet that will require bettors to select the first five finishers in a race in order.

The bet, which is called the Super High Five, is currently being offered at Santa Anita in Southern California. Churchill's general manager, Jim Gates, said that the track plans to offer the wager on multiple races each day, typically on ones with 10 or more betting interests. Kentucky's racing regulations require a minimum of seven wagering interests for the five-horse bet.

The wager will have a $1 minimum and will carryover to the next race if no bettor correctly selects the first five finishers, Gates said. In the future, Churchill may put a consolation payout in place for the bet, depending on its popularity.

"Part of the appeal of the wager is the carryover aspect, and so we want to give bettors an opportunity to chase a very big payout," Gates said.

On races in which the new wager is offered, the superfecta will not be offered, Gates said.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority approved the new bet unanimously on Monday. Last month, Keeneland Racecourse was also given approval to offer the bet during its spring meet, and officials at the track have said it will be offered on the last race of each card.