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Churchill Meet: Takeout Up, Handle Down, Purses Down

Studies show that when you raise takeout, handle declines, and in the long-run - because fewer people are betting your product - purses eventually go down.

This played out about perfectly at Churchill Downs since they raised rakes in April. But amazingly, it did not take a year or two years for the purse component to take a hit.  According to the Bloodhorse, which looks like it reprinted a CDI press release, purses declined in only 36 race days, from $534,942 to $532,903. 

In April, CDI announced that they were so confident that the purses would increase with the takeout hike, they increased stakes by 2.7%.
  • Churchill, however, is counting on a net gain from the higher takeout even if betting declines. The track has already increased its stakes purses for the spring meet by 2.7 percent to $7.68 million for the 24 stakes races
Horseplayers, just like any other betting consumer have spoken with their dollars, with handle for the meet down close to $50 million. This, during a month of May where North American handle gained, as well as June, which looks to be a good handle month, despite challenging field sizes.  For a full update on all Churchill Downs handles and statistics, please click here. 

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