4:53pm

Thu April 5, 2012
Business and the Economy

Keeneland's 75th Running

Friday marks the beginning of the 75th spring meet at Keeneland.  While history is a big part of racing at the Lexington track, officials there are working to incorporate new programs.  Keeneland’s Julie Balog says, over the next three weeks, fractional wagering will be available.  Balog says this approach allows bettors to put more horses in a wager but bet in smaller increments.  Overall, she says, betting figures are starting to rebound.

“It was going up consistently and then when the economy faltered, it was impacting our wagering…people were still coming to the races because coming to the races can still be a relatively inexpensive enjoyable day, but what they were doing was wagering a little bit less..and over the last meet or two what we’ve seen mirroring the economy is the handle is starting to go back up a little bit,” said Balog.

New betting opportunities and new activities for kids will be a part of the  spring meet.  Julie Balog says the facility is offering ‘fractional wagering’ this spring.

‘It’s an opportunity for you to put more horses in a wager but still keep it affordable…so in other words you can bet in smaller increments…so instead of maybe putting a dollar..you can bet that horse at 80 cents,” added Balog.

Balog says this form of wagering is very popular in Europe.  Also new this spring is "wagering central" where patrons can receive face-to-face advice.  Keeneland has also established a new kids’ club.

“And for kids 12 and under all those horse crazy kids in central Kentucky can join for free…and they’ll get to do fun stuff at the track..maybe get to do a special jockey meet and greet.. and get to hang out with our new mascot called Buckles,” said Balog.

Balog says the Toyota Bluegrass race on April 14th is shaping up to be one of the best Kentucky Derby prep races of the year.