06/10/2014 2:57PM

Kentucky Downs proposes new Jockey7 wager


LEXINGTON – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Tuesday tabled a request by Kentucky Downs for approval of a novel multi-race wager based on the performance of jockeys’ mounts in the last seven races of the card.

The commission tabled the vote after several commissioners asked for additional time to consider the wager, which Kentucky Downs is hoping to offer on all six of its race cards this September. The commission is likely to vote on the bet at its meeting in July.

The wager, which would be called the Jockey7, would allow players to bet on 13 pre-selected jockeys and a field entry in win, place, show, exacta, and trifecta pools. The finishing order of the Jockey7 would be based on the number of points the jockey or field accrued in the last seven races of the day, with 25 points being awarded for a first-place finish, 12 points for a second-place finish, nine points for third, and five points for fourth.

“This is something that can really help promote the races and promote the jockeys as well,” said Corey Johnsen, the president and co-owner of Kentucky Downs, during a presentation to the commission.

Under the wager, the 13 pre-selected jockeys that have three or more mounts during the last seven races of the card would qualify for individual entries. The field would be comprised of a string of individual horses selected by the racing office.

To cash a win bet, the bettor would have had to have wagered on the jockey that accrued the most points during the seven races; the place pool would pay off for the two jockeys who accrued the most points. An exacta, meanwhile, would pay off if the bettor had correctly selected the jockeys who had accrued the highest and second-highest amount of points. A trifecta would extend that down to the three highest points-getters.

Although the logistics of the bet appeared rudimentary, some commission members said they would prefer to have additional time to consider the impacts of the wager before voting to approve it. Kentucky Downs, which awarded nearly $1 million a day in purses last year due to subsidies from slot machine-like devices at the track, is scheduled to hold the first card of its six-day meet on Sept. 6.

Johnsen said he expected $30,000 to $50,000 to be wagered into the Jockey7 pools, but he said that would depend on how successful the track is in marketing the bet and in getting information to horseplayers about which horses would be included in the lineup. “It may work and it may not, but Kentucky Downs wants to be a catalyst for change and innovation,” Johnsen said.

◗ Just prior to the KHRC meeting, the commission’s Rules Committee tabled the items on its agenda when the commission could not get through half of the docket during the two-hour meeting because of discussions related to earlier items. The committee was expected to conduct a vote on approving a penalty schedule for drug violations that is based on a model rule prepared by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Members of the committee said they would finish the items on the docket at the next committee meeting in July.