03/22/2016 2:30PM

Single 6 pool could be seeded by Derby Day carryover


Under a plan approved Tuesday by Kentucky’s racing commission, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., will split its pick six carryover pool this year at its spring meeting if the bet is not hit on Kentucky Derby Day, when the pool typically attracts more than $1 million in bets.

Should the pick six carry over on May 7, the date of this year’s Kentucky Derby, Churchill would place half the carryover pool in a pick six for the following racing day, Thursday, May 12, that would have a 20-cent minimum, a 15 percent takeout, and a mandatory payout at the end of that card. The other half would be used to seed the Friday pool for the Single 6, a 20-cent minimum pick six modeled on the jackpot-style Rainbow 6.

At Gulfstream Park in Florida, the Rainbow 6, which only pays out the entire pool if there is a single winning ticket, has proven to be extremely popular among a subset of gamblers, and the bet’s frequent carryovers have generated simple ways to market the track’s product. Typically, the Rainbow 6 and bets modeled after it have a mandatory payout date, usually at the end of the meet.

Churchill plans to offer a traditional pick six with a $2 minimum and 22 percent takeout for each of its first five live racing dates, May 3-May 7, according to Mike Ziegler, Churchill’s executive vice president of racing. If the pick six is hit on Derby Day, the Single 6 will be offered for the first time May 12. The Single 6 will then be offered every day throughout the rest of the spring meet, with a 20-cent minimum and 15 percent takeout each day.

Churchill received approval for the split of the pool Tuesday after the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission asked one of its members, Frank Jones Jr., to review the proposal. Jones, a horse owner, is a seasoned horseplayer, and he said he endorsed the plan.