Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Horseplayer Mike Maloney: 'Horsemen Groups Bought Churchill's Pick-Up Line"

The takeout increase by @churchilldowns has spawned quite a bit of reaction. Today we heard from horseplayer Mike Maloney. Mike is a long-time Kentucky resident and is a quasi-advisor to the Racing Commission and some racetracks.

Here's what he had to say:

"The increase is certainly frustrating for me personally as I've always tried to bet as much as possible at Churchill because my net cost of a wager was reasonable. Now the percentages tell me I have to slash my handle there.

The takeout hike also frustrates me from an industry standpoint because I think in the long term everyone involved makes less not more. Any reasonable observer knows moves like this mean fewer players betting less money in the long run and what industry can prosper by discouraging and/or eliminating it's core customers? It's a shortsighted money grab by CDI and shows a total lack of understanding of the elasticity of betting handle by the horsemen groups who were sold this idea as a long term solution. You would think by now the horsemen groups would do more due diligence before buying Churchill's pick-up line.

Now we must hope that in the long term best interest of Kentucky racing the Ky Racing Commission will adjust the regulation to require Keeneland and Churchill to operate under the previous takeout limits. And given the strong influence that Churchill routinely exhibits over the racing commission which is charged with regulating them, I am not optimistic.

Meanwhile, in the world where the laws of economics still matter, the horseplayer's highest rated track Keeneland, immediately announces no increase to their takeout rates and small but growing Kentucky Downs continues to lower takeout far below the max rates available."

We'll try to share more gambling economics, player reaction and otherwise here on the blog this week and next.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The View From Vegas on Churchill Downs - "Stupid, stupid, stupid"

We've heard a lot about the Churchill Downs takeout increase, announced last week, via email, or on social media, chat boards, through phone calls from HANA membership, or in the trade press. Most of this reaction is fervently insider led, from the people who live, eat and breathe horse racing.

Tonight we stumbled upon what we might call an outside view while surfing on twitter. We saw a gentleman with over 10,000 followers speaking about horse racing, and we were surprised, because we've never seen him before.

Chris Andrews, from his bio, booked his first bet as a fifth grader. Through high school Andrews and his cohorts continued booking bets and operating card games. Andrews paid his own way through college, hustling bets and making book to fund his education. After graduating cum laude from Robert Morris College, Andrews came west to Las Vegas. The next two years were spent at two of Las Vegas’ legendary sportsbooks, the Stardust and Barbary Coast, where he learned the old Nevada method of being a bookmaker. He took the knowledge from that experience and at twenty five was hired by Club Cal Neva. He turned the tiny Reno sportsbook into one of the biggest and most successful sportsbook in Nevada.

Chris, and his "cohorts" are exactly the people racing tries to reach. There's gold in them hills, because these are the players with a bankroll who like betting - racing included.

Chris's view of Churchill's decision to raise the juice is not unlike many horse racing gamblers, but it is a different view.

He writes:

"One reason circulated by those who think they know but don’t, is young bettors don’t have the patience to read all the data in the racing form.

That’s a complete load of crap.

Young sports fans, whether they are bettors or merely fans, have taken analytics to a level unimagined a generation ago. It started with baseball, and then evolved to football and basketball.  Now even hockey has metrics that were unheard of a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, the first thing these potential horse bettors analyze is the percentage they have to overcome to be profitable.

To win at football, basketball or hockey, it’s about 4.5%.  Baseball is about half that.  When they see horse racing’s house edge is north of 17.5% it’s an easy and logical decision they make to concentrate on other wagering options.

They probably have heard the horseplayers’ prayer.  You know, it goes “Dear Lord, please let me break even today.  I could use the money.”


"Churchill Downs Incorporated announced they were increasing their pari-mutuel takeout from 16% to 17.5% on win, place and show bets, and from 19% to 22% on exotics.

Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Horse racing wants to attract sports gamblers and others who enjoy the pursuit of catching a winner and making a little bit of money. If Chris's article is indicative of those people, Churchill Downs is not helping the cause.

To read Chris's article in full, at, it's right here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Horseplayers Association of North America’s Annual Track Rankings: Updated 2014 Data Released, Churchill Downs Plummets

For Immediate Release

(Charlottesville, VA, April 12th, 2014): The Horseplayers Association of North America has re-released their 2014 Track Ratings.

“Although we normally release the ratings only once in April, and then update new numbers on our master sheet on our website as we crowdsource, we felt it very important to update the final ratings this year," said HANA President Jeff Platt.  "The recent increase in Churchill takeouts – win takeout up from 16% to 17.5% and exotic takeout up from 19% to 22%, as reported in the Courier Journal – needed to be reflected as a service to horseplayers.”

Churchill Downs, which originally ranked 5th, fell to 22nd in the 2014 ratings. Other Kentucky racetracks like Keeneland (1st), Kentucky Downs (2nd) and Turfway Park (9th) all cracked the new top ten.

The HANA Racetrack Ratings are based on an algorithm using factors which are indicative of horseplayer betting value, gleaned from both empirical and academic study. Key factors including takeout rate, field size, wager variety, pool size, and signal distribution are compared track to track, weighted, and a final composite score is given. Horseplayer and Industry Analyst Mike Dorr, a graduate of Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management supervised this years algorithm.

For full Ratings coverage including statistics, analysis, interviews, and a list of all tracks please visit, “Horseplayer Monthly” here:

The master sheet has also been updated and it's available here.

The Horseplayers Association of North America is a grassroots group of horseplayers who are not affiliated with any industry organization. HANA hopes, through proactive change on several key issues (including but not limited to), open signal access, lower effective takeouts, affordable data and customer appreciation, the industry’s handle losses can be reversed. HANA is made up of over 2,500 horseplayers. 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Some Reaction To Churchill Downs Takeout Increase

This is only the first hour. We'll have more later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Handicapping Freshman Sires

This article by Melissa Nolan appeared in the April edition of Horseplayer Monthly. To read the remainder of that issue with more Keeneland previews, HANA's sixth annual track ratings, interviews and insight for free, please click here. 
Every year one unknown all horseplayers have to work around is the crop of new sires who have their first crop of foals now of racing age.  It takes time for patterns to emerge but hints from a sire's pedigree, race record, and temperament can yield value for players who catch on early to the next Tapit or More Than Ready.
Here are a few Freshman Sires and pedigree patterns that I'll be keeping an eye on throughout this year.  I'm also including insight from pedigree consultant and bloodstock analyst Pete Denk, who along with Kerry Thomas, will once again be publishing the "Patterns of Motion Kentucky Derby Report" available on for $20.
Early stallions: The sires listed below are ones that I think will have precocious and early two-year-olds who should be winning early and often at sprint distances.
MAJESTICPERFECTION: One of the reasons the owners gave for retiring this crack sprinter to Airdrie Stud is that farm's reputation for developing stallions, including this colt's own sire Harlan's Holiday.  I worked for Padua Stables when the Sanans purchased Majesticperfection at the two-year-old sale and I know how much the team thought of this colt and his conformation and raw brilliance.  
These beliefs were validated when the colt was finally healthy and made a splash at Prairie Meadows in winning the Iowa Sprint in a stellar 1:07.24 for 6 furlongs.  Shipped to Saratoga, Majesticperfection won the G1 Vanderbilt on the lead the entire way in 1:08.63 defeating G1 winners Bribon and Big Drama.
In addition to being top notch a physical specimen and sprinter, Majesticperfection also boasts a perennial leading two-year-old sire as his own.  The recently deceased Harlan's Holiday is the sire if recent Champion Two-Year-Old Shanghai Bobby and the hot third crop sire Into Mischief, who himself had sired stakes winners Vyjack and Vicar's in Trouble.  Everything seems set for Majesticperfection to enjoy a fast start at stud.
Pete's Notes: "They look very strongly built and fairly athletic. I expect them to be hard-trying and fairly early developing, speed types. Sprint to middle distance. They warrant some attention out of the box."
MUNNINGS: Late-running sprinter by Speightstown won on debut at Saratoga with an appreciably impressive performance that was a glimpse into his vast talent.  After a third in the Hopeful and a second in the Champagne, both to Vineyard Haven, Munnings would return at three to win the G2 Woody Stephens and defeat older horses in the G2 Tom Fool before finishing his career as a four-year-old with a win the G2 Gulfstream Sprint Championship.
Munnings is out of a classy dam by Holy Bull, La Comete, who herself is a half-sister to G1 winner Icon Project and multiple graded stakes winner on turf, Lasting Approval.  His interesting speed over stamina pedigree with some turf inclinations through his sires and female family leads me to believe he will have early runners successful at sprint and middle distances and especially on grass.
Pete's Notes: "The Munnings yearlings and two-year-olds I have seen look like little Speightstowns. They are balanced and they consistently have nice strong hips. They should have speed, and although the sire was a sprinter, I could see them getting a mile. He is one of the new sires that I predict could produce winners early and often."
MIDSHIPMAN: Champion two-year-old colt of 2008 who defeated both Munnings and Pioneerof the Nile in that year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita over the synthetic surface.  Unable to overcome training interruptions, the colt missed much of his three-year-old season and didn't make it back to the races in 2009 until September where he won an allowance on dirt at Belmont and then shipped back to Santa Anita and ran third in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile once again over the synthetic track.  Midshipman retired at four after winning one of two races in Dubai (once again over the synthetic surface) for Godolphin.
I think his oft-interrupted schedule combined with dubiousness surrounding his synthetic track wins made Midshipman relatively hard to market as a stallion even with his esteem as a Champion two-year-old.  His first crop of only 71 foals makes him a less potent in terms of raw quantity of potential runners but I think he's worth watching based on the recent success of another son of Unbridled's Song, Old Fashioned, who finished 2013 as amongst the leading Freshman Sires.
The precocity of Old Fashioned and another perennial leading two-year-old sire by Unbridled's Song, Songandaprayer, leads me to believe Midshipman has sneaky potential to be an important two-year-old sire going forward, and especially on synthetic tracks due to the fact his own sire has many progeny who are proficient over the synthetic tracks as well as his own proclivities towards that third surface.
Pete's Notes: "They get over the ground ok and look like sprinter-milers. Not too big, and they have some athleticism. Optimistically you could view them as Unbridled's Song light, but they'll need to prove they have some class on the track."
Additional freshman sire considerations:  The stallions may yield hidden value as they were known for success on one surface or as an older/younger horses and may pass along more recessive inclinations that create value in the odds.
DISCREETLY MINE: I'll admit I wasn't much of a fan of his while he was racing but I changed my tune when I saw him at a Lanes' End Farm Stallion Open House.  He's a very "handy" horse of good medium size and well-balanced.  Though he probably is best known for winning the 2010 G1 King's Bishop and G2 Amsterdam Stakes at one-turn at Saratoga, Discreetly Mine  was also a Kentucky Derby contender who stretched his talent out to 8.5 furlongs to annex the 2010 G2 Risen Star.  
Discreetly Mine - Melissa Nolan photo
Given that he's by Mineshaft and out of a Private Account mare, sprinting proclivities probably weren't at the top of his connections’ expectations but perhaps it shouldn't have come as a surprise seeing that Discreetly Mine's dam Pretty Discreet also produced cracking miler Discreet Cat as well as the dam of nice middle distance racemare Awesome Maria.
I wanted to include Discreetly Mine because I'm interested to see how his progeny develop and if they are as versatile as their sire.  In terms of betting his first crop this year, my approach will be to eschew his early starters in favor of those who get going as the distances increase.  The tendency might be for people to see "sire was G1winning sprinter" in pedigree write-ups and think his babies will be early and sprinty but the Mineshaft influence means the value comes by waiting until late summer when his two-year-olds begin to stretch out.
Pete's Notes:  "Handy, speed-minded types that seem just ok to me. I'll make them prove their ability/class before I am betting on them consistently."
SUPER SAVER: This 2010 Kentucky Derby winner wasn't initially amongst the stallions I wanted to include but based on Pete's bullish impressions and recent two-year-olds in training results, I knew he'd be important to include.  The biggest attribute Super Saver may have going for him is his female family, and especially his second dam Get Lucky, which has been nothing short of prolific in the commercial sales arena and this active pedigree has another nice representative in current Kentucky Oaks hopeful Got Lucky.  Furthermore, Super Saver has had 19 two-year-olds in training go through the ring this year and they must be nice looking because their average sale price has been a robust $226,997.
As a two-year-old, Super Saver broke his maiden in his second start going one mile at Belmont Park and then promptly wheeled back to run fourth next out in the G1 Champagne S. while rank and on the pace.  He finished his two-year-old season by winning (and setting a stakes record) in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club at 8.5 furlongs at Churchill Downs in his first two turn attempt.  After a slow start to his three-year-old campaign, Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby over a sloppy track to give his deceased sire Maria's Mon his second winner in that American classic.  Super Saver retired later that season after never regaining his early season and two-year-old form.  
As a runner, Super Saver had classy speed and it will be interesting to see if that trait is passed along to his runners.  Additionally, since he stands at the grand stallion station WinStar Farm, you know Super Saver received excellent support and a book of classy mares.  I'll be bullish on his runners out of the 2yo sales and if the results mirror what we saw in the auction ring, I won't hesitate to bet his babies throughout the year.
Pete's Notes: "Consistent two-turn bodies and distance minds. The sire won the Derby, and I'd say the Derby dream is still alive for his progeny. I'd be looking to bet them as the distances increase in August and beyond. I would also give them a chance to run well in two-turn turf races."
DESERT PARTY: Similar to Discreetly Mine, Desert Party did his best work sprinting at Saratoga, though he's by a distance-inclined sire who won at 9+ furlongs on dirt in the United States.  Winner of the G2 Sanford Stakes at two for Darley Stables, Desert Party was shipped to Dubai to prepare for the Triple Crown and after two wins at Nad al Sheba his form began to tail off as evidenced by a second in the UAE Derby and and 14th place finish in the Kentucky Derby.  Off for the remainder of his three-year-old season, Desert Party was shipped back to Dubai and reappeared at age four to take another stakes at six furlongs.  Shipped back to the United States in summer 2010, the son of Street Cry took the Donald LeVine Memorial H. at Philadelphia Park in his final start. 
Desert Party - Melissa Nolan photo

Out of the Tabasco Cat mare Sage Cat, Desert Party entered stud in 2011 at Darley at Jonabell for a $10,000 fee.  Interest with the KY breeders must've waned because the horse was shipped to New York in recent seasons and will stand at Sequel Stallions in 2014 for $7,500.  His yearling average price is $64,367 and his two-year-old average price is $55,437.  Of note is that the auction sale price for his colts is significantly higher for his colts than his fillies: $51,006 versus $40,494 overall.  Perhaps he's a being perceived as a "colt" sire and those horses might be nicer at this point in time than his fillies.
Once again the value with this stallion's progeny will be in not betting them early in their two-year-old year but rather as they begin to stretch out.  Likewise, Street Sense, another son of Street Cry, has sired numerous runners on turf and it will be prudent to see if Desert Party follows a similar pattern.  Expect success in the NY-bred ranks with Desert Party sons and daughters as they go two turns for the first time.
Pete's Notes: "He bloomed out early on the track. Expectations weren't too high, but his first-crop yearlings pulled good prices in relation to his stud fee. I have seen a number of strongly made horses by Desert Party. He will be on my radar as I'm handicapping the 2yo races."
QUALITY ROAD: This brilliant runner is an interesting proposition because he had world-class talent but by a stallion, Elusive Quality, not necessarily known as a sire of sires.  The best sons of Elusive Quality at stud thus far are Smarty Jones and Raven's Pass, so prospects are far from certain that Quality Road will be successful as a sire, but the type of brilliance he possessed is hard to ignore.
This colt was brilliant from six to nine furlongs and set three track records (two at Gulfstream and one at Saratoga) during his racing career.  Not only did he win a sire-making race in the Metropolitan Handicap, he won a variety of graded stakes ranging from the Amsterdam to the Woodward to the Florida Derby.  Never tried on grass, Quality Road's female family is full of classy grass winners so the potential is there for turf proclivity.
Additional considerations with this sire are the foot issues that plagued him throughout his career as well as mental idiosyncrasies such as the fit he threw before the 2009 Breeders' Cup, leading to a gate scratch, and his well-known aversion running on the rail and inside other horses.
Expect Quality Road progeny to be speedy, solid up to middle distances, and grass-inclined.  With his two-year-old in training average price currently at $197,225, expect his runners to be relatively early and precocious.
Pete's Notes: "They seem to have big, long two-turn bodies, and they share a lot of mental characteristics of Quality Road. I think they will be speed-oriented, forward types, but will they have the sire's running ability?"
LOOKIN AT LUCKY: Son of Smart Strike, Lookin at Lucky was a dual Champion Male at ages two and three and the winner of five G1 races with three of those (Norfolk, Cash Call Futurity, and Del Mar Futurity) coming as a two-year-old.  Also of note is that Lookin at Lucky was not only a G1 winner in two different seasons, but help also won at the top level on both dirt and synthetic surfaces.
Things were beginning to look a little dire in terms of Smart Strike being known as a sire of sires but another son of his, Curlin, has really come on strong in 2014 with winners like Palace Malice over a panoply of surfaces.
Given these facts, I'm waiting to bet Lookin at Lucky's progeny at longer than sprint distances and especially on turf.  I would not expect his horses to be early developers.  
Pete's Notes: "I liked him as a racehorse, and I was very excited to see his progeny, but honestly I have been a little underwhelmed. There was one good looking one at the Barretts two-year-old sale, but I felt like I should have seen more quality in his yearling crop. Maybe all the good ones are home-breds...or maybe they won't look pretty but will prove to be runners, like his sire Smart Strike."
Best of luck with your wagers and I hope these stallion points coming in handy with the fast approaching two-year-old racing season.  Happy 'Capping!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Seven Reasons to Play Keeneland

This article by Rich Nilsen appeared in the April edition of Horseplayer Monthly. To read the remainder of that issue with more Keeneland previews, HANA's sixth annual track ratings, interviews and insight for free, please click here. 

   Gracing a picturesque stretch of Kentucky bluegrass that is surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful farms, Keeneland Racecourse is unique in its beauty and history.  Visit Keeneland once and you will quickly see that it is an incredible social event. Every day, weekend or weekday, hundreds of co-eds, mostly from the University of Kentucky, make their way to their local track for an afternoon of partying.  Visitors come from all over the country.  Although they all make for a very crowded atmosphere, the hundreds of inexperienced racegoers present at Keeneland contribute to large wagering pools as well as the occasional overlay.

   However, as handicappers, we require more than aesthetics when choosing which tracks to invest in.  We shouldn't be playing a track just because it is glamorous or popular.  As handicappers looking to turn a profit, we need solid reasons to tackle a track that could easily be dubbed “the Saratoga of the Midwest.”

   As Keeneland offers a unique meet, handicappers should first understand how the 16-day condition book is written. The racing cards cater to the high profile barns that ship in from out of state for the short meet. There are a few claiming races written, and the ones that are offer small purses in comparison to other tracks. The real reward to the Thoroughbred owner is winning a race at prestigious Keeneland.

   The Racing Secretary does not card claiming races on the turf despite the fact that demand is high for these events. The only turf races are allowance events, maiden special weights and stakes. In addition to the winner’s purse, a pewter julep cup is given to the winning connections of all such races. To many owners, winning a race at Keeneland is equivalent to getting multiple pictures taken at another track.

   Let’s look at a few of the valid reasons why we would want to tackle this oftentimes challenging meet.

1- Low Takeout
     Kentucky racing offers one of the best takeout structures in the country. Straight wagers (win, place, show) are ‘taxed’ at only 16%, meaning 84% of the handle is returned to the betting public. Where it really gets good is with the exotics, especially multi-race wagers. All exotic wagers have a low 19-percent takeout, well below the national average. Compare this to the fact that many of the top tracks in the nation have takeouts of 23% or higher for wagers such as Trifectas, Superfectas, Pick-4’s and Pick-6’s. Keeneland is bargain hunting for the shrewd horseplayers who factor in the price of their wagers.  This is one of the major reasons that Keeneland always ranks very highly in the annual HANA Track Ranking report. 

2- Quality Racing
    Keeneland offers a 15-day condition book this spring that is jam-packed with great racing. In fact there are 16 stakes races totaling $3.75 million in purses. As mentioned, the racing cards cater to the high profile barns that ship in from out of state, so the condition book and daily cards reflect this. There is a stakes race nearly every day, always part of the popular late Pick-4 wager.
   The Central Bank Ashland and Toyota Blue Grass are worth a hefty 100 points each to the winners on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), respectively.
   “Our number one goal is to provide the best racing program in the country,” stated Vice President of Racing W.B. Rogers Beasley. “We are exceptionally proud of this schedule and the exciting racing and wagering opportunities it offers our horsemen and fans.”
   Five graded stakes, including three Grade 1 events, worth a total of $1,625,000 will rank Toyota Blue Grass Day as one of the nation’s strongest race cards. The undercard will feature the $300,000 Madison (G1), for older fillies and mares going seven furlongs; the $300,000 Jenny Wiley (G1), for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf; the $175,000 Commonwealth (G3), for older horses at seven furlongs; and the $100,000 Shakertown (G3), for older horses at 5½ furlongs on the turf.  Racing cards don't get a whole lot better than this. 

3- Turf Racing
   Opened in 1984, the beautiful Keeneland turf course is one of the few sand-based turf courses in United States along with Churchill Downs, Tampa Bay Downs and Turf Paradise.
   The Keeneland grass course consistently benefits closers. One must be an exceptional horse, or find the rare field with absolutely no pace, in order to wire a turf field here. Most front-runners collapse at the 1/8th pole while the winner is often seen making a sweeping, strong rally on the outside. 
   Always be on the lookout for runners from top turf barns such as Glen Hill Farm and Augustin Stables.  It's surprising how often they will score at a price.
   Finally, look for horses that have run well over this grass course in the past. These horses for courses often run well again at Keeneland, winning or finding their way into the exotics at a price.

4- The Trainers
   Many barns point for this meeting and arrive loaded for bear. There are also many fine local trainers who fare exceptionally well during the short meet, and knowing who they are behooves the horseplayer.  Every spring and fall, author and handicapper Art Parker updates his very comprehensive trainer database and he compiles the results in the bi-annual guide "Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns." 
   Parker's digital book covers all the horsemen who have won races over the past eight Keeneland meets, and most importantly, how they did.  Were the winners making class changes?  Surface changes?  What kind of work pattern did they have coming into the race?  What jockey did they use and who were the owners? Parker details just how these horses were prepared by their winning trainer, providing players invaluable insight into the methods of these successful horsemen.
   With Parker's book, for example, you'll learn not only how often trainer Tom Amoss wins with layoff horses (9 of his 17 winners), but also the workout patterns of those winning runners. Or how about local trainer Rick Hiles, whose three winners all sported the same handicapping pattern and won at odds of 9/2, 21-1, and 39-1, respectively.  If a trainer has won at Keeneland, you'll gain insight into how they did it.  It's a great guide for players that like to dive into the raw data.
   Parker's "Keeneland Winning Trainer Patterns" is available free to members of [enter promo code HANA when joining] or can purchased at my website,  

5- Track Bias on the Main
   Exploiting the Keeneland track biases used to be one of the many reasons that professional players salivated at the thought of opening day. The old dirt oval could be one of the most biased courses in the country and ‘being tuned into it’ proved to be very lucrative.  Many handicappers believe that went out the window when management switched to Polytrack.  That is not entirely true.  The Keeneland Polytrack can oftentimes be very biased, especially when weather changes in the Bluegrass state.
   One factor you can almost always rely on involves two-turn races on the dirt, specifically the 1 1/16-mile events. The starting gate for this commonly run distance is close to the first turn and the stretch run is short, ending at the first finish line, making it conducive to horses with tactical speed breaking from inside posts. 

6- Focus on the Premier Jocks
   At meets such as Keeneland, it is not surprising that the high-profile riders win most of the races. The best jockey agents get the best mounts for their riders, and the result is a lot of victories for a select few number of jockeys.
   The first few days usually set the tone for the remainder of the meet. Stay away jockeys who start off cold. These jockeys rarely recover from a poor start at Keeneland and will subsequently burn a lot of money.

7- Wagering Menu
   If there is a wager you like, Keeneland pretty much has it. With rolling Pick-3s, dime Superfectas, and early and late Pick-4 wagers with guaranteed pools, Keeneland offers a comprehensive wagering menu.  It's a far cry from one of the first times I visited the track in the late 1980s.  In one race I liked two horses ridden by Pat Day and Randy Romero, respectively, and both were juicy odds of 8-1.  Needless to say, this was a rare occurrence at this track for either rider.  There was no exacta in the race, and I had to sit there in frustration as the future Hall of Fame riders ran one-two.

   Keeneland offer the best of everything, from low takeouts to just overall great racing.  If you are fortunate enough to attend this track in person, you'll likely enjoy a wonderful day of horse racing.  Spending an afternoon in Lexington attending live racing can remind us why we fell in love with this sport in the first place.  Best of luck this spring!