Horseplayers Boycott Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Handle Update May 26, 2014

Home     Handle Updates   Press Releases   News   Links   Contact   Twitter   HANA Sign Up reports Churchill handle down sharply through May 26, 2014 on regular race days.

Key Executives at CHDN have made a calculated decision to hit horseplayers with a takeout increase. WIN-PLACE-SHOW takeout at Churchill Downs was recently raised to 17.50%, an increase of 9.375% vs. last year's takeout of 16.00%. Takeout for all EXOTIC wagers at Churchill Downs was recently raised to 22.00%, an increase of 15.79% vs. last year's takeout rate of 19.00%.

Churchill numbers through the first 19 days of their meet:

DOWN $28 Million (-8.5%)

However, in our May 11, 2014 Handle Update we pointed out that Kentucky Derby Day Saturday is the single highest handle day in all of North American racing. Likewise, Kentucky Oaks Day Friday is also one of the highest handle days in all of North American racing.

So what happens if we break the Kentucky Oaks Day Friday and Kentucky Derby Day Saturday cards out as special event days - and remove both of them from the above table?

This is what the numbers look like for the 17 regular race days run so far this meet:

The above numbers - for the 17 regular race cards so far this meet - are telling:

• Avg Field Size is down 0.78 starters per race. -10.03%

And yes, you'd expect that to have a negative impact on handle - but not to the extent handle has fallen for 16 of the 17 regular race days so far this meet:

• Total handle? DOWN $27 Million (-26.76%)

• Avg Handle per Race? DOWN -$128,206  (-22.35%)

• Avg Handle per Day? DOWN -$1,589,297 (-26.76%)

Do the above numbers suggest everyday horseplayers are staying away?

Well, something is causing this. Is it possible that everyday horseplayers are saying "no" to higher takeout?

Churchill's meet is 37 days long. There are 19 days in the books and 18 days left to go. You the everyday horseplayer still have a very big say in all of this.

Stay the course for the next 18 days and the racing world will hear your message loud and clear.

• is asking horseplayers to consider the idea that horseplayers are consumers and that every handle dollar bet not just at Churchill Downs, but at CHDN owned tracks Arlington Park, Calder, and Fairgrounds, along with every handle dollar bet through CHDN owned ADW, and every dollar spent downloading data and reports from CHDN owned data provider is a vote for higher takeout everywhere.

• also wants horseplayers to know there are plenty of tracks running this summer whose wagering menus offer better value than Churchill and that players have other options when it comes to choice of ADWs and data providers.

* 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)

Tracks you may want to check out this weekend:

• Woodbine: 14.95% WIN takeout

• Belmont: 16.0% takeout WPS    18.50% takeout Exactas and Doubles    15.0% takeout 50 cent Pick5 races 1-5    (arguably the most insightful pre-race TV analysis of any track out there.)

• Santa Anita: 15.43% takeout WPS    18.0% takeout rolling Doubles    14.0% takeout 50 cent Pick5 races 1-5.

• Gulfstream: 15.0% takeout 50 cent Pick5

• Hastings Park: 15.0% takeout WPS, Double, Pick3, Pick4, and Pick5

• Northlands Park: 14.50% takeout WPS    10.0% takeout Pick5    (the LOWEST WPS and Pick5 takeout of any track in North America)

• Prairie Meadows: 15.0% takeout 50 cent Pick4

• Monmouth: 19.0% takeout Exacta and Double    15.0% takeout 50 cent Pick4 and Pick5

NEW! Printable Takeout Guide for your Wallet! click here

NEW! Printable Takeout Guide for your Desk! click here

These two printable PDF charts point out, at a glance, Player friendly wagers available at North American thoroughbred tracks. "Player friendly" is defined as less than 17% for WPS and less than 20% for all other wagers. Focusing wagering handle on these pools is a way to send the message to all tracks that lower takeout rate wagers will be supported and that lowering takeout rates on all wagers is the most efficient path to future wagering handle growth. Please also note that while several wager types for Arlington and Calder appear on the list at this time we recommend avoiding them during the boycott of their parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Copyright 2014