Extra $8,000 Paid Via Delaware Exacta 'Bonus'

A bonus experiment has returned more than $8,000 to horseplayers at Delaware Park.

After the first three days of its “exacta bonus” experiment, Delaware Park returned more than $8,000 to players on track, according to figures released by the track the week of Sept. 6.

Through Nov. 6, when the 2010 meet ends, Delaware Park is effectively reducing pari-mutuel takeout on exactas from 19% to 10% for wagers made on track only. So those who cash exacta tickets get roughly 9% more than they would if the bet had been made off site.

The experiment began Sept. 4, when winning players earned an extra $3,556. On Sept. 6, they got $3,411, and Sept. 7, $1,202. (Most of the daily handle on live races at Delaware Park comes from offtrack sources.)

The largest $2 exacta payoff over the three days was $617.80. For those who hit it on track, the payoff was $686.40, a bonus of $68.60.

The shortest $2 exacta payoff over the three days was $7.60. With an 80-cent bonus, the ontrack return was $8.40.

Delaware Park officials said they plan to monitor the experiment throughout the rest of the meet and may perhaps offer bonuses for other wagers in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Delaware Lottery, which oversees sports betting at Delaware Park and two harness tracks in the state, is launching a $100,000 contest that will return $50,000 to the players who picks the most winners during the NFL season. The cost to play is $250.

The tracks also offer weekly parlay wagering on NFL games. More than 9% of revenue from sports betting goes to purses at Delaware Park.

The Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association "Owners' Day" will be held at the track Sept. 11. The program features three stakes, including the grade III Endine, and purses for overnight events have been boosted.