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Five Year Handle Trend at Kentucky Downs

PLAYERSBOYCOTT.org - October 29, 2017

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Five Year Handle Trend at Kentucky Downs - PLAYERSBOYCOTT.org - October 29, 2017


Keeneland was down approximately $11.32 Million (-8.52%) over their recently concluded fall 2017 meet.

In a Press Release that ran at the Paulick Report last night, Keeneland spokesman Bob Elliston blamed their downturn in handle on the weather with the following quote:

"These are solid results, especially considering that eight races during the meet were taken off the turf and three race cards were conducted either entirely or partially on an off track," Keeneland vice president of racing and sales Bob Elliston said. "Those factors adversely impacted field size and therefore overall wagering, particularly when compared to last fall when we enjoyed perfect weather every race day."

Note that I bolded the last part of Elliston's quote for emphasis.

If Keeneland is going to blame the weather for their drop in handle, the least they can do is get the facts straight.

According to the Equibase Charts, the Keeneland dirt surface was wet on October 20, 2016 and again the next day on October 21, 2016. Further, races 3 and 6 on October 21, 2016 were taken off the turf due to weather.

From what I can tell after looking at the charts: The truth is that weather played a part in negatively impacting two race dates at Keeneland last fall - and three race dates at Keeneland this fall.

It may be a small point. But Keeneland did not in fact enjoy perfect weather every race day last fall as claimed by Elliston.

Let's move on and take a look at the five year handle trend for Kentucky Downs.



Five Year Handle Trend 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 has seen 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 are tables showing side by side handle comparisons for each successive Kentucky Downs meet over the past five years.

Note that Kentucky Downs has more than tripled their handle during that period.

This, despite losing races due to weather -- and despite being forced to cancel an opening day Saturday race card due to weather and run it on a Wednesday.

Year #1. Kentucky Downs 2012 vs. 2013:

Side by Side Comparison - Kentucky Downs 2012 vs. 2013 
Day 2012 Track Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Day 2013 Track Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
Sat 9/8/2012 KDX 1,358,566 9 89   vs.   Sat 9/7/2013 KDX 2,837,032 10 101 +1,478,466 +108.83%
Mon 9/10/2012 KDX 1,280,018 8 75   vs.   Wed 9/11/2013 KDX 755,360 4 33 -524,658 -40.99%
Wed 9/12/2012 KDX 1,502,315 8 87   vs.   Sat 9/14/2013 KDX 2,818,362 10 91 +1,316,047 +87.60%
Sat 9/15/2012 KDX 1,875,720 10 86   vs.   Wed 9/18/2013 KDX 2,987,637 13 135 +1,111,917 +59.28%
Wed 9/19/2012 KDX 1,554,138 8 74   vs.   Wed 9/25/2013 KDX 3,375,661 13 138 +1,821,523 +117.20%


REPORT SUMMARY - Kentucky Downs 2012 vs. 2013 
Days 2012     Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Days 2013     Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
5 TOTALS   7,570,757 43 411   vs.   5 TOTALS     12,774,052 50 498 +5,203,295 +68.73%
  Per Race   176,064   9.56   vs.     Per Race     255,481   9.96 +79,417 +45.11%
  Per Runner   18,420   411   vs.     Per Runner   25,651   498 +7,231 +39.25%

UP +$5.2 Million +68.72%

This, despite having to cancel after just four races on their on their Wednesday Sept 11, 2013 card.



Year #2. Kentucky Downs 2013 vs. 2014:

Side by Side Comparison - Kentucky Downs 2013 vs. 2014 
Day 2013 Track Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Day 2014 Track Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
Sat 9/7/2013 KDX 2,837,032 10 101   vs.   Sat 9/6/2014 KDX 2,647,179 10 102 -189,853 -6.69%
Wed 9/11/2013 KDX 755,360 4 33   vs.   Wed 9/10/2014 KDX 2,863,083 10 104 +2,107,723 +279.04%
Sat 9/14/2013 KDX 2,818,362 10 91   vs.   Sat 9/13/2014 KDX 4,268,592 10 102 +1,450,230 +51.46%
Wed 9/18/2013 KDX 2,987,637 13 135   vs.   Wed 9/17/2014 KDX 2,573,671 10 98 -413,966 -13.86%
Wed 9/25/2013 KDX 3,375,661 13 138   vs.   Wed 9/24/2014 KDX 3,462,786 10 103 +87,125 +2.58%


REPORT SUMMARY - Kentucky Downs 2013 vs. 2014 
Days 2013     Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Days 2014     Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
5 TOTALS   12,774,052 50 498   vs.   5 TOTALS     15,815,311 50 509 +3,041,259 +23.81%
  Per Race   255,481   9.96   vs.     Per Race     316,306   10.18 +60,825 +23.81%
  Per Runner   25,651   498   vs.     Per Runner   31,071   509 +5,420 +21.13%

UP $3.04 Million +23.81%



Year #3. Kentucky Downs 2014 vs. 2015:

Side by Side Comparison - Kentucky Downs 2014 vs. 2015 
Day 2014 Track Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Day 2015 Track Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
Sat 9/6/2014 KDX 2,647,179 10 102   vs.   Sat 9/5/2015 KDX 3,654,374 10 105 +1,007,195 +38.05%
Wed 9/10/2014 KDX 2,863,083 10 104   vs.   Thu 9/10/2015 KDX 588,436 2 21 -2,274,647 -79.45%
Sat 9/13/2014 KDX 4,268,592 10 102   vs.   Mon 9/14/2015 KDX 3,176,733 10 109 -1,091,859 -25.58%
Wed 9/17/2014 KDX 2,573,671 10 98   vs.   Wed 9/16/2015 KDX 4,343,783 13 138 +1,770,112 +68.78%
Wed 9/24/2014 KDX 3,462,786 10 103   vs.   Sat 9/19/2015 KDX 5,073,589 13 136 +1,610,803 +46.52%


REPORT SUMMARY - Kentucky Downs 2014 vs. 2015 
Days 2014     Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Days 2015     Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
5 TOTALS   15,815,311 50 509   vs.   5 TOTALS     16,836,915 48 509 +1,021,604 +6.46%
  Per Race   316,306   10.18   vs.     Per Race     350,769   10.60 +34,463 +10.90%
  Per Runner   31,071   509   vs.     Per Runner   33,078   509 +2,007 +6.46%

UP $1.02 Million +6.06%

This, despite having to cancel after just two races on their Thursday Sept 10, 2015 card.



Year #4. Kentucky Downs 2015 vs. 2016:

Side by Side Comparison - Kentucky Downs 2015 vs. 2016 
Day 2015 Track Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Day 2016 Track Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
Sat 9/5/2015 KDX 3,654,374 10 105   vs.   Sat 9/3/2016 KDX 4,638,591 10 113 +984,217 +26.93%
Thu 9/10/2015 KDX 588,436 2 21   vs.   Thu 9/8/2016 KDX 4,028,839 10 111 +3,440,403 +584.67%
Mon 9/14/2015 KDX 3,176,733 10 109   vs.   Sat 9/10/2016 KDX 5,792,246 10 100 +2,615,513 +82.33%
Wed 9/16/2015 KDX 4,343,783 13 138   vs.   Sun 9/11/2016 KDX 4,463,276 10 114 +119,493 +2.75%
Sat 9/19/2015 KDX 5,073,589 13 136   vs.   Thu 9/15/2016 KDX 3,672,648 10 110 -1,400,941 -27.61%


REPORT SUMMARY - Kentucky Downs 2015 vs. 2016 
Days 2015     Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Days 2016     Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
5 TOTALS   16,836,915 48 509   vs.   5 TOTALS     22,595,600 50 548 +5,758,685 +34.20%
  Per Race   350,769   10.60   vs.     Per Race     451,912   10.96 +101,143 +28.83%
  Per Runner   33,078   509   vs.     Per Runner   41,233   548 +8,155 +24.65%

UP $5.76 Million +34.2%



Year #5. Kentucky Downs 2016 vs. 2017:

Side by Side Comparison - KDX 2016 vs 2017 
Day 2016 Track Handle Races Field
Size
  vs.   Day 2017 Track Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
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
Size
  vs.   Days 2017     Handle Races Field
Size
Dollar
Change
PCT
Change
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%

This, despite losing their opening day Saturday September 2nd, 2017 card to weather - which they rescheduled and ran on Wednesday September 6th.



There you have it:

Kentucky Downs has achieved year over year growth for five consecutive years -- more than tripling their handle in that time -- despite losing races to weather -- and despite being forced to cancel their opening day 2017 Saturday race card due to weather and run it on a Wednesday.

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 back in 2013.

A horseplayer recently asked me: "If there's one thing you would tell Keeneland they need to be doing different what would that be?"

If you ask me, they need to be doing exactly what Kentucky Downs did back in 2013.

--Jeff Platt, HANA President






• PLAYERSBOYCOTT.org 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)

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