Thursday, 2 April 2015

A Keeneland Pick 6. Why?

Keeneland kicks off the spring meet tomorrow, and a new wager is being added to the menu: a $1 Pick 6.


      I don't get this at all. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

      Last meet, the initial dirt meet, the average field size was 8.42. I'm expecting it to be lower this meet. Not "small" fields, but not large fields as we had gotten used to in the synthetic era. The Pick 6's success as a wager depends on carryovers. With a $1 minimum, average sized fields, and likely decent sized pools, I find it tough to picture large carryovers being generated.

     Furthermore, Keeneland's wagering menu is already loaded with multirace bets, two Pick 4s, a Pick 5, rolling Pick 3s and Doubles. The Pick 5 has proven to be a successful wager, and having an overlapping Pick 6 is likely going to hurt the Pick 5 handle.

     In my opinion, this is another step in a negative pattern in Keeneland's product. During the synthetic era, Keeneland had a big appeal, having the lowest tri and super takeout rates, and large fields, leading to very large payouts on churn-creating wagers. In turn, Keeneland ended up with record handles. Now, we've got shorter fields and a focus on larger multi-race wagers, which do not create churn the same way vertical wagers do.


     Al is probably right, but that doesn't make this Pick 6 a long-term good thing. I worry about the future of Keeneland. We'll see how things go this month.

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