Due to a contract impasse, bettors at New York Racing Association tracks and NYRA Bets account holders won’t be able to wager on the upcoming Kentucky Downs meet.

Kentucky Downs-NYRA impasse
Due to a contract impasse, horseplayers at the three NYRA tracks, including Saratoga, won’t be able to bet on Kentucky Downs races during the all-turf track’s six-day meet. (Image: Kentucky Downs)

That shuts out the country’s fourth-largest advance deposit wagering (ADW) platform from access to the six-day, all-turf boutique meet. Kentucky Downs opens Sunday, races on Labor Day, and then on Sept. 8, 9, 11, and 12.

The move also denies horseplayers at NYRA’s three tracks, Saratoga, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct, the opportunity to play Kentucky Downs’ races. Bettors at New York state’s regional OTB networks, however, can wager on the track’s races.

Kentucky Downs officials said the track reached agreements with the other major ADW platforms. This means TVG, Xpressbet, and TwinSpires remain unaffected. Owned by FanDuel, TVG is the track’s official ADW.

There’s also further fallout from the impasse. During its meet, Kentucky Downs is the host track for inter-track and whole-card wagering in Kentucky. Because of the impasse, horseplayers onsite at Kentucky Downs won’t be able to bet on the final two days of Saratoga’s meet.

That means Kentucky simulcast bettors at any Kentucky track – not just Kentucky Downs — are shut out of betting two Grade 1 races involving 2-year-olds. Those are Sunday’s Spinaway Stakes for the fillies and Monday’s Hopeful Stakes for the colts. Standout juvenile, Wit, the early buzz-horse for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, headlines the Hopeful Stakes.

“We are disappointed and saddened by NYRA’s decision, but also understand and accept it,” Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ vice president for racing, said in a statement. “We want to let horseplayers know in advance so they aren’t caught off-guard. We are confident that New York horseplayers will find alternative ways to wager on Kentucky Downs and look forward to resolving this issue at some point with NYRA.”

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