Churchill Downs Unveils New Pick 6 Tied to Kentucky Oaks, Derby Cards

As the Kentucky Derby approaches, Churchill Downs has introduced a new wager that ties the track’s six biggest races of the upcoming weekend.

This weekend bettors will have a chance to bet on Game Winner (above) and other Kentucky Derby horses as part of a special Pick 6 involving Grade I stakes races at Churchill Downs. (Image: Horsephotos)

Bettors will have the chance on Friday to bet on the Oaks/Derby Pick 6, a unique take on the multi-race wager. Instead of trying to pick the winner of six consecutive races, the Oaks/Derby Pick 6 asks bettors to pick the winners of all six Grade I stakes races the track will run on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, other races involved include the La Troienne, the Humana Distaff, the Churchill Downs and the Old Forester Turf Classic. The La Troienne will be part of the Oaks undercard on Friday.

The Derby/Oaks bet is a minimum $2 wager, and Churchill Downs will guarantee a $250,000 pool with a 15 percent takeout.

No Head-to-Head for Derby

One betting option Churchill Downs decided not to offer this weekend was head-to-head betting, where two horses would have been pitted against each other in a bet.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission gave preliminary approval to Churchill Downs to allow such bets at its April meeting. The commission did so after its staff reviewed the track’s request and found that it did not violate Kentucky racing laws. However, commission officials said they wanted to review the final format by April 29 for official approval.

In the statement announcing, the Derby/Oaks Pick 6, track officials said they would not offer head-to-head wagering this year but did not disclose the reason. A message to Churchill Downs officials was not returned.

In a March letter proposing head-to-head racing to the commission, Mike Ziegler, the executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc., said the head-to-head wagers could be horse against a horse or groups of horses pitted against each other, such as one trainer’s stable against another.

Track officials proposed a 10 percent takeout for the head-to-head bets.

Single 6

In addition to the Oaks/Derby Pick 6, Churchill Downs is also offering a Single 6 throughout its spring meet.

For 20 cents per bet, bettors can pick the winners of six consecutive races. However, only one person can hold the winning ticket in order for the entire jackpot to go out. If there’s not a single winner, a portion of that day’s pool will be divided among bettors who picked all six winners, and the remainder will be carried over into the pool for the next racing day.

If there’s a carryover on the meet’s last day, then the jackpot would be split among all winning ticket holders. In March, Florida’s Gulfstream Park saw its Rainbow 6 jackpot escalate to more than $14.4 million.

Both the Single 6 and the Oaks/Derby Pick 6 will be available to bet on TwinSpires.com, Churchill Downs online betting application which is available in 30 states.

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