Seeking to highlight the value of adding fixed odds betting options to complement long-standing pari-mutuel pools, the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF) will offer a free-to-enter contest around the 2023 running of the Kentucky Derby.

The TIF Derby Prop Contest will feature 20 prop-style questions on the race, the types of which are regularly offered to bettors in markets with legal, fixed-odds betting options, though rarely, if ever, on racing.

The top five players with the most correct selections will choose from four racing charities to direct $20,000 in donations. First place will direct $10,000, second $4,000, third $3,000, fourth $2,000 and fifth $1,000. Contributions will be made by the Lavin Family Foundation, of which TIF founder and Glen Hill Farm’s president and CEO Craig Bernick is a director.

The selected charities for the TIF Derby Prop Contest are the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs, New Vocations, Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and Second Stride.

Entries for the contest will open on TIF’s website and via Twitter on Wednesday, May 3.

“Sports betting has been legalized in Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will serve as the regulatory agency overseeing it,” said TIF Executive Director Patrick Cummings. “But fixed odds betting for racing has not really been in the conversation and we are hoping that dialogue can pick-up in earnest in the near future.”

“Horsemen are justifiably concerned about ensuring purses receive a fair slice of handle from fixed odds betting, though the exact percentage splits will likely be different than pari-mutuel wagering,” Cummings added.

“Horsemen in many jurisdictions have enjoyed purse supplements from other forms of gaming. That should inspire them even more so to push for the introduction of fixed odds betting on U.S. racing for U.S. customers. Given how wagering on U.S. racing has evolved, and the extreme growth of sports betting, it’s impossible to imagine a future for racing that does not include fixed odds along with a renovated pari-mutuel product.”

Only New Jersey offers fixed odds betting on racing, with the 2022 meet at Monmouth Park the first to do so. It is believed that customers in the state will enjoy both mobile and simulcast wagering at fixed odds for the first time in the coming weeks and months.


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