2010 HANA Track Ratings – #1 Keeneland Race Course
For the second consecutive year, Keeneland Race Course has earned the distinction as the top scoring track in the Horseplayers Association of North America's rankings of 69 racetracks on the continent.
The HANA ratings are a rating system not based on racetrack popularity, or qualitative factors such as food service, but based on measurable factors with regard to horseplayer value: Takeout rates, field size, wager variety, signal distribution and handle size.
Located in Lexington, Kentucky, Keeneland has become a world-wide draw for top owners, trainers, and jockeys thanks to its two “boutique” meets – one in April and one in October – that showcase some of the finest racing in the world, and the top of the line Keeneland thoroughbred sales. Keeneland has a one and one-sixteenth miles polytrack main track, which was installed in 2006, and a seven and a half furlong turf course. Keeneland is also a member of the NTRA's safety and integrity alliance.
Like last year, Keeneland's spot at the top was greatly aided by its low takeout numbers. Win, place, and show wagers have a 16 percent takeout and all the exotic wagers (exacta, trifecta, superfecta, daily double, pick-3, pick-4, and pick-6) have a 19 percent takeout. This all added up to a takeout score of 3.625 – tied for tops in North America.
Keeneland also has a diverse menu of lower priced options in their exotic wagers, including a 50-cent trifecta, a 50-cent pick-4, a 50-cent pick-3 and a 10-cent superfecta. Aside from those wagers, Keeneland also offers a super high five bet on the final race of the card every day.
Field size at Keeneland is another strong feature. In 2008, Keeneland sent 9.63 runners into the starting gate for every race, and although that number dipped slightly to 9.38 in 2009, that was still one of the strongest numbers in the entirety of the survey and the highest in the top five tracks.
Keeneland added to its total in the pool size component where it also scored outstanding numbers. From just 304 races last year, Keeneland had a total mutuel (win, place, and show) pool of $84,066,463 and an exotic pool total of $155,429,505. That means that on a per race basis at Keeneland, there was a total of $784,149 available in all the pools with $276,534 of that in the mutuel pools and $507,615 in the exotic pools.
When it comes to accessibility via television and advance deposit wagering, Keeneland's signal distribution is rated lower than average. In the United States, all of Keeneland's races are shown live on the TVG network with wagering and live streaming available to customers through their website. Keeneland is also carried by major advance deposit wagering services like Twinspires and YouBet, as well as some smaller ones. In Canada, HorsePlayer Interactive offers wagering and coverage on HPITV. Keeneland is also one of the few tracks that offers free live video and replays right off its own website, and produces its television signal in crisp high-definition.
After combining all these factors into HANA's formula, Keeneland received an overall score of 3.23, which works out to a grade of B+.
Qualitatively, Keeneland tends to be proactive and strives to be at the forefront with technological innovations such as Trakus. In addition, they have added a ‘polycapping' database to their website as a horseplayer resource. To further help the horseplayer, the spring meet marks the debut of detailed weather information, including track temperature, wind direction, average wind speed, rainfall and ambient temperature which is updated every 15 minutes on the scratches and changes webpage at Keeneland.com
In summary, in looking at Keeneland Race Course when assessing tracks to wager on, horseplayers should be immediately drawn to three things. First, the low takeout on all wagers and the diverse amount of wagers offered; second, the high field size, and third, the strong amount of dollars in their pools.
HANA congratulates Keeneland for topping the list of the 69 tracks in North America, and we thank everyone for reading and participating in this year's HANA Track Ratings.
For a summary of the methodology used to calculate the HANA Score, please click here.
If you would like to join us at HANA and be a part of next year's ratings where you can give your opinions on your favorite tracks, you can for free, right here.
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