The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s changes for horse racing

While betting on the Kentucky Derby is legal in the US (as well as around the world), the industry is regulated by the state. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission or the KHRC is an independent government agency that regulates betting on the horse races as well as related activities. The KHRC prides itself on the safety and rectitude of horse racing plus the well-being of the horses. Horse racing, including the Kentucky Derby, has long had a reputation of being rife with medicinal boosters for horse performance. This is said to discourage bettors from involving themselves in an industry that possibly promotes animal abuse. The KHRC has worked hard to change this perspective by banning steroids and enforcing riding crop and whip rules.

Recently furosemide, an anti-bleeder medication that is used on race day was brought up in a proposal to be banned. Better known as Lasix or Salix, furosemide is already banned in European races. While studies show that long-term this medication can hurt the health of a horse, it prevents hemorrhaging during the race. Without anti-bleeder medications, it is more likely that horses will bleed through their nose during races and in some cases suffer from hypertension or edema. If a horse bleeds more than three times in their racing career, then the horse is banned from racing for its safety. In the end, the proposed ban failed to pass in a 7-7 vote.

The KHRC also debated the possibility of drive-through wagering. The results are in that betting on the Kentucky Derby will be made easier this year. Keeneland Association was approved to offer drive-through betting at Kentucky Horse Park and the Thoroughbred Training Center for this year’s Kentucky Derby. A parking lot is being leased to accommodate the drive-through betting booths. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission amended track licensing to allow pari-mutuel betting to occur on a rented property for the Kentucky Derby 2012. Pari-mutuel betting has to be hosted by a license holder on their premises. Previously a rented location did not count as licensed premises. 

The Horse Park gets 50% of the wagering revenues from betting the Kentucky Derby. The Keeneland Association will cover the cost of setting up the betting booths and receive the other half of the wagering revenue. Hopefully this will help cover some of a $3.5 million budget shortfall for the Kentucky Horse Park. The benefit of having a parking lot filled with betting booths is how many people will be betting the Kentucky Derby for the first time due the curbside appeal.

Concurrent to the drive-through betting, Keeneland’s sale of most of its interest in Turfway Park was approved by the KHRC. The buyer was Rock Ohio Ventures, which is constructing a casino in Cincinnati, Ohio. The casino is placed right across the state border from Turfway Park with Rock Ohio now having a 40% interest in the park itself. Keeneland still has a 10% interest in Turfway.

The Turfway is an all seasons track and used to be known as Latonia Race Course. From 1883 until 1937 the Latonia Derby was run at this track and rivaled the Kentucky Derby. It is ranked the tenth best race park in the United States.

The Kentucky Derby Festival 2012 rages on with the celebrations leading up to May 5th 2012. With all the KHRC decisions out of the way, it’s time to solidify your preparations for betting on the Kentucky Derby, as well as your fashion and food choices. Union Rags is still the favorite but the 2012 Kentucky Derby has an immense amount of pedigreed talent on the field. The biggest payouts will be the exacta, trifecta and superfecta bets, but if you are unsure, pick a single horse to win or two horses to be first or second. Make sure your bets are in a few minutes before the race begins as you do not want to get locked out. Remember, it is okay to make multiple bets for different horses to win the Kentucky Derby. Placing multiple small bets can help keep your losses minimal while allowing you to find a lot of enjoyment out of watching to see who wins or places. If you’re a first time bettor, betting in the Kentucky Derby in 2012 is a good time to start as you have a great chance to get that long shot win even if you don’t do too much research.

Published On May 3, 2012