Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland Tops HANA Racetrack Ratings

The Lexington oval led the horse player rankings for the sixth consecutive year.

For the sixth consecutive year, Keeneland topped the 2014 racetrack ratings produced by the Horseplayers Association of North America.

The HANA Racetrack Ratings are based on an algorithm using factors indicative of horseplayer betting value, gleaned from both empirical and academic study. Key factors including takeout rate, field size, wager variety, pool size, and signal distribution are analyzed track by track and weighted to produce a final composite score. Each of the 64 evaluated tracks is listed in rank order.

"With no takeout rate on any bet higher than 19%, a large field size of 9.61 horses per racewhich was up from the previous yearand a race office that focuses on carding competitive cards, Keeneland could not be unseated," said HANA President Jeff Platt in a release.

"For HANA to acknowledge Keeneland as the nation's number one track for a sixth consecutive year is a great honor and tremendously gratifying for our team," Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason said in a statement. "We continually look for inventive ways, like our popular BETologists, to make wagering more fan friendly for our casual fans, while at the same time offer exciting opportunities for our seasoned handicappers. We owe a thanks to our horsemen too, who elevate our racing product with full fields of top-quality horses."

This year's ratings were the closest for the number one spot due to the strong performance of Kentucky Downs. The Franklin, Ky. racetrack races a short, all-turf meet, and offers horseplayers full fields along with an attractive betting menu, with the lowest blended takeout rates in North America. Only four basis points separate the two Kentucky racetracks, which are clear standouts in a crowded field.

Saratoga Race Course, Del Mar, and Churchill Downs round out the top five.

For full ratings coverage including statistics, analysis, interviews, and a list of all tracks ranked, visit "Horseplayer Monthly" at this link.