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Old 09-01-2022, 02:28 PM   #1
judehaz
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Why is the Kentucky Downs meet so short, and why are purses so high?

Thank you in advance for your insight, PA.
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Old 09-01-2022, 02:32 PM   #2
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Boutique meet keeps interest and purses high. Purses subsidized by Video Lottery Terminals. All grass races, too much rain causes cancellations. In the middle of nowhere, tough to get to but highly recommended. Great paddock where I met lots of the KY based owners and breeders. Quite informal.
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Old 09-01-2022, 02:53 PM   #3
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Why is the meet so short, and why are the purses so high
The meet is so short because the purses are so high.

The purses are so high because the meet is so short.
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Old 09-01-2022, 03:45 PM   #4
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If the meet were longer they'd have to build a proper announcer's booth..

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Old 09-01-2022, 04:23 PM   #5
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Boutique meet keeps interest and purses high. Purses subsidized by Video Lottery Terminals. All grass races, too much rain causes cancellations. In the middle of nowhere, tough to get to but highly recommended. Great paddock where I met lots of the KY based owners and breeders. Quite informal.
I have not yet been there, but the lack of big crowds lends to that kind of interaction, and the egalitarianism of this sport reminds me of why I was hooked in the first place.
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:05 PM   #6
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To be more serious, Kentucky Downs is an example of one of the few real upsides of the modern economics of the sport. Simulcasting / interstate betting revenue is what makes a meet like this possible: in the old days, a racetrack that couldn't produce decent live attendance couldn't afford purses, and couldn't attract top horses. But KD relies totally on off track betting revenues, and it produces enough to support an extremely high quality boutique meet.
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Old 09-01-2022, 08:27 PM   #7
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If the meet were longer they'd have to build a proper announcer's booth..

https://twitter.com/larrycollmus/sta...69285702295552
But then they'd have to get a proper announcer.
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:28 PM   #8
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Ron Winchell, owner of Travers winner Epicenter , also owns Kentucky Downs as the majority partner 50%>.



You've heard the expression ; Hoisted on its own pretard?

The large purses inflate the horse's earnings, which is how they rank stallions. It's keeps Kentucky bred at the top of the list.
They run 2 year olds , mile 16th, for 600k. Ridiculous imo.

Winchell is a hier to Wendy's restaurant. His dad started Winchell donuts, and was Chairman -CEO of Wendy's after a merger.

Additionally, he's directly involved in the Historical Racing Slot business. The purses are spreading the wealth with Kentucky breeders. He lives in Vegas btw.
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Old 09-01-2022, 09:37 PM   #9
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Thank you in advance for your insight, PA.
Surprised nobody mentioned that the meet is so short because the turf wouldn’t be able to sustain the beating it’s getting. Actually I watched all the races today and saw quite a bit of horses taking a misstep.The track is hilly and has a country meadow type surface. So yeah short meeting because of track conditions.
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Old 09-01-2022, 10:45 PM   #10
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Winchell is a hier to Wendy's restaurant. His dad started Winchell donuts, and was Chairman -CEO of Wendy's after a merger.
Denny's, not Wendy's. Regardless - I will always root for horses owned by donut heirs!

Big fan of Ron Winchell. Doesn't automatically retire horses early, invested back in racing not only through breeding, but also by buying a racetrack. Easy owner to root for.

And with what's now normal in this day and age - my favorite thing about Ron Winchell and his dad was mentioned by Steve Asmussen in an interview on Steve Byk's program on Monday. They are not afraid to run a horse where he may get beat!! He runs his horses. Epicenter's Travers was his 7th start this year (which is only 8 months through).
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Old 09-01-2022, 11:25 PM   #11
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Denny's, not Wendy's. Regardless - I will always root for horses owned by donut heirs!
I met him at the Breeders' Cup the year Gun Runner won. He asked me why the Beyer figures for his last two wins were so slow and I told him because they were wrong. I told him he couldn't possibly lose the Classic. He was a fan of mine for at least a day.
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:21 AM   #12
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Boutique meet keeps interest and purses high. Purses subsidized by Video Lottery Terminals. All grass races, too much rain causes cancellations. In the middle of nowhere, tough to get to but highly recommended. Great paddock where I met lots of the KY based owners and breeders. Quite informal.
Not really in the middle of nowhere, just two miles off of a major interstate (I-65) between Louisville and Nashville, just south of Bowling Green, KY.

It's a bit of a drive but then again so is Saratoga in relation to a major metro area.
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Old 09-02-2022, 10:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by westernmassbob View Post
Surprised nobody mentioned that the meet is so short because the turf wouldn’t be able to sustain the beating it’s getting. Actually I watched all the races today and saw quite a bit of horses taking a misstep.The track is hilly and has a country meadow type surface. So yeah short meeting because of track conditions.
This
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Old 09-02-2022, 12:11 PM   #14
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Thank you in advance for your insight, PA.

The meet is short for basically two reasons:

1. It is sandwiched between Ellis Park and Churchill Downs, which now runs the dates formerly held by Turfway Park. There is NO overlap of dates in Kentucky TB racing because the tracks cooperate.

2. As pointed out in other posts on the thread, the course could not handle much more racing over the course of the 10 days the meet runs.

They leave a few days at the end for make-up days due to rain outs before the Churchill Downs meeting starts.

Also, as pointed out in earlier threads, purses are high because of HHR (Historical Horse Racing) revenue, and KTDF (Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund) revenue. Those revenues build up all year and can be disbursed over a short period, leading to high supplements. For example race 6 on 9/1 had a base purse of $85,000 and a KTDF supplement of $75,000 for a total purse of $160,000. The featured Tapit Stakes had a $400,000 purse including $200,000 KTDF funds.

Last edited by ubercapper; 09-02-2022 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 09-02-2022, 03:34 PM   #15
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To be more serious, Kentucky Downs is an example of one of the few real upsides of the modern economics of the sport. Simulcasting / interstate betting revenue is what makes a meet like this possible: in the old days, a racetrack that couldn't produce decent live attendance couldn't afford purses, and couldn't attract top horses. But KD relies totally on off track betting revenues, and it produces enough to support an extremely high quality boutique meet.
Just wait till the politicans see the purses and start asking why it goes to these people instead of schools, roads, healthcare..etc. It's just a matter of time, ask Woodbine and Pennsylvania.

Then we'll see how 'successful' the track is.
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