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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


JULY 23, 2019, By John Pricci The management at Colonial Downs, which will once again open its doors on August 8, will commence its meet with one of the lowest aggregate takeout rates in the country.

It’s heartening to see that some racetracks are trying to give horseplayers something they want–and need–by stressing its pricing policies. Too bad it didn’t go a bit farther.

Lamentably, as is the industry trend, the lowest rates will apply to a difficult horizontal wager, the Pick 5, which debuts with a 12% rake.

Straight pools will be at competitive at 16% while all other multiples will be taxed with a 20% parimutuel rate, about the industry average.

Purses for Colonial Downs’ 15-day race meet will be augmented by proceeds from historical racing, which could have allowed Colonial to make a much bigger splash had rates on less difficult churn wagers been offered at a significantly lower cost.

The Virginia track missed an opportunity to really make a statement by offering the lowest rates, perhaps even the lowest in the country in all pools.

That could have helped ensure that Colonial would be uppermost in their thoughts of horseplayers as they approach their handicapping research sessions.

How else do you compete with a Saratoga, with a Del Mar?

The Colonial Downs Group reestablished Thoroughbred racing at the New Kent facility for the first time in six years. The meet will offer a minimum of $500,000 in daily purses. Parimutuel rates are as follows:

Win, Place, Show: 16%

All Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Early and Late Daily Doubles, Pick 3s and Pick 4s, will have a 20% takeout rake.

The Pick 5, as stated, will feature a promotional industry low of 12%.

Live racing from Colonial Downs will be widely distributed in partnership with the content management of The New York Racing Association. Colonial Downs will be participating in the Cross – Country Pick 5, which will include races from Saratoga, Del Mar and Kentucky Downs.

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