Horseplayers Boycott Keeneland

Kentucky Downs Handle Update - October 12, 2017

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Kentucky Downs Handle Update - - October 12, 2017

Keeneland was down approximately $1.2 Million (-20%) yesterday.

But instead of Keeneland, let's take a look at Kentucky Downs.

For those of you who may not be aware, prior to their 2013 meet, Kentucky Downs approached HANA with the idea of lowering their exacta takeout from 19.00% to 18.25%. They asked if we would help promote the decrease in takeout by getting the word out to as many horseplayers as possible.

We thought it was a great idea and were happy to help.

So how did it work out?

Kentucky Downs saw record handle in each of the ensuing five years 2013-2014-2015-2016-2017 and has more than tripled their handle in that time.

Keep in mind that this came about by taking the novel approach of asking a horseplayers association to help them promote a three quarter point drop in exacta takeout.

Below is a table showing a side by side comparison between the Kentucky Downs 2016 meet vs. the recently concluded Kentucky Downs 2017 meet.

Note that Kentucky Downs lost their opening day 2017 Saturday September 2nd card to weather - which they rescheduled and ran the following Wednesday September 6th.

Kentucky Downs 2016 vs. 2017:

Side by Side Comparison - KDX 2016 vs 2017 
Day 2016 Track Handle Races Field
  vs.   Day 2017 Track Handle Races Field
Sat 9/3/2016 KDX 4,638,591 10 113   vs.   Wed 9/6/2017 KDX 4,616,320 10 104 -22,271 -0.48%
Thu 9/8/2016 KDX 4,028,839 10 111   vs.   Thu 9/7/2017 KDX 5,439,170 10 109 +1,410,331 +35.01%
Sat 9/10/2016 KDX 5,792,246 10 100   vs.   Sat 9/9/2017 KDX 8,163,362 10 106 +2,371,116 +40.94%
Sun 9/11/2016 KDX 4,463,276 10 114   vs.   Sun 9/10/2017 KDX 6,070,876 10 106 +1,607,600 +36.02%
Thu 9/15/2016 KDX 3,672,648 10 110   vs.   Thu 9/14/2017 KDX 5,651,010 10 97 +1,978,362 +53.87%

REPORT SUMMARY - KDX 2016 vs 2017 
Days 2016     Handle Races Field
  vs.   Days 2017     Handle Races Field
5 TOTALS   22,595,600 50 548   vs.   5 TOTALS     29,940,738 50 522 +7,345,138 +32.51%
  AVG/RACE   451,912   10.96   vs.     AVG/RACE     598,815   10.44 +146,903 +32.51%

UP $7.35 Million +32.51%

Unlike Kentucky Downs, which saw record handle again this year after announcing a decrease in exacta takeout back in 2013:

Keeneland made a calculated decision to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase. They raised WIN-PLACE-SHOW takeout to 17.50%, an increase of 9.375% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 16.00%. Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers except the pick5 was raised to 22.00%, an increase of 15.79% vs. last meet's takeout rate of 19.00%.

The first four days of the Keeneland Fall 2017 meet are in the books:

Even though the boycott is off to a decent enough start and Sunday saw them down 30%, and yesterday saw them down 20%, I fully expect them to use "It had nothing to do with the boycott" and "the weather" and "field size was down" as excuses.

So let's keep to the task at hand and remember what we're boycotting for.

We're boycotting because we're trying to send a clear message.

We're boycotting because other tracks are waiting to see what happens and we want them to think twice before having takeout increases of their own.

I'm asking each of you to take it upon yourselves to reach out to other horseplayers.

Tell them about the boycott.

Ask them to join us.

Together we can convince Keeneland to reverse their decision.

Oh, I almost forgot. Last night I had a conversation with a fellow horseplayer who asked me:

"Jeff, If there's one thing you would tell Keeneland they need to be doing different what would that be?"

I thought about it for a minute and said: "Lower takeout. But do it incrementally. And measure the response."

But after I got off the phone it hit me. I really should have said: "Tell them they need to be doing exactly what Kentucky Downs did back in 2013.

They more than tripled their handle over the past five years by taking the novel approach of asking a horseplayers association to help them promote a three quarter point drop in exacta takeout."

--Jeff Platt, HANA President

• is asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet at Keeneland is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.

* About the above numbers: The above numbers were compiled by horseplayers who spent volunteer man-hours combing through the charts hand keying pool amounts into a spreadsheet. If you notice an obvious mistake please let us know by email at: info @ hanaweb . org (remove the blank spaces first)

Copyright 2017