08/09/2012 11:44AM

Kentucky Downs to offer lowest exacta takeout in country

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Kentucky Downs will reduce its takeout rates for its upcoming six-day meet so that the rate for exactas will be the lowest in the country and the rates for all other bets will equal the rates offered by Churchill Downs and Keeneland.

Takeout for exactas will be 18.5 percent during the meet, which begins Sept. 8. Takeout for win, place, and show wagers will be 16 percent, and takeout for all other bets will be 19 percent. Both Churchill and Keeneland have 16 percent straight takeout rates and 19 percent rates for all other bets.

Kentucky Downs had previously applied a 17 percent takeout to straight wagers and a 22 percent takeout to exotic wagers.

The reductions come at a time when Kentucky Downs is flush with cash due to revenue from the operation of 350 Instant Racing machines, gambling devices nearly identical to slot machines that use the results of previously run races to determine payouts. Revenue from the machines is also being used to supplement purses at Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park under an agreement with the state’s horsemen.

For the 2012 meet, Kentucky Downs has announced that average purses will be $409,000 a day, an increase of 242 percent over last year’s average purse distribution.

Kentucky Downs also will offer several new bets on its six racing days, the track said. New this year will be two pick four bets on each card, a pick five, and a super high five on the last race of the day. The super high five, which has become popular at many other tracks, requires a bettor to select the first five horses in order.