Churchill Downs’ 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot, which totaled $63,034 at the start of Thursday’s eight-race program, will be paid out on Saturday night after the Louisville racetrack received permission from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Thursday.
Churchill Downs Racetrack officials made the special request to move up the mandatory jackpot payout one day to give horseplayers a chance to focus solely on Churchill Downs nighttime card and avoid head-to-head competition with Gulfstream Park’s similar jackpot mandatory payout on Sunday.
Saturday night’s mandatory Single 6 Jackpot payout – part of a spectacular evening of racing under the lights for “Downs After Dark” presented by Budweiser – will span Races 4-9 starting at 7:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first of 11 races on the night is 6 p.m.
The low 15-percent takeout wager includes a trio of stakes events – the $150,000 Ack Ack presented by GE Appliances (GIII) (Race 7); $125,000 Jefferson Cup (Race 8); and $250,000 Lukas Classic presented by Budweiser (GIII) (Race 9).
A total of 59 horses are scheduled to compete in the six-race sequence for an average of 9.8 horses per race.
The multi-race wager begins in Race 4 with a seven-furlong, $95,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies. The field of 10 is led by 2-1 morning line favorite Weekend Fun, who returns to dirt following an unsuccessful 11th-place effort at Kentucky Downs.
In Race 5, a one-mile conditioned turf allowance for 2-year-old fillies worth $97,000, the wide-open field of 10 is led by 3-1 favorite Battleofwinterfell, who won at first asking for trainer Mark Casse and finished third in the $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies.
Race 6 continues with a highly-competitive field of 12 3-year-olds and up running for the $95,000 maiden special weight condition at 1 1/16 miles. The lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite is Pintxos, who finished second on debut at Ellis Park and fifth last out at Kentucky Downs for trainer Brendan Walsh.
The field for Race 7, the Ack Ack, is led by co-favorites at 3-1 on the morning line – Wes Hawley’s seven-time winner Thirstforlife and Woodford Racing’s multiple Grade III winner Timeline. The field of nine also includes 7-2 third choice Air Strike, who invades from Southern California.
The penultimate leg, the $125,000 Jefferson Cup (Listed), is a field of eight 3-year-olds running 1 1/8 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course with tepid 3-1 morning line favorite Tracksmith, who recently finished fourth in the $250,000 Virginia Derby (GIII).
The sequence will close with the featured event of the evening, the Lukas Classic, featuring a field of 10 older horses led by 5-2 morning line favorite Quip. Post time for the Lukas Classic is 10:11 p.m.
The Single 6 Jackpot challenges bettors to have a single winning wager with six winners placed at the required minimum bet value in order to take down the jackpot. If there are multiple winning tickets, 90 percent of the day’s pool will be paid out while 10 percent will carry to the next live race day. If there are no tickets will all six winners, 100 percent of the pool will carry to the Single 6 Jackpot.
The entire Saturday night pool will be paid to the most winners of six races.
As part of Sunday’s Closing-Day program, the Single 6 will still be offered and will feature a mandatory payout.