Keeneland All Turf Pick 3: Is It A Good Investment?

Chris Adams

This year the Keeneland fall meet introduced a new wager. The all turf pick 3 requires players to select the winning horse in 3 consecutive turf races.

Keeneland Turf Pick 3: A Different Kind of Wager

There are several things about the all turf pick 3 at Keeneland that make it an interesting wager.

Non Consecutive Races

The first difference between Keeneland’s all turf pick 3 and a standard rolling pick 3 that you can find across the country is the sequencing of the races. Every other horizontal wager for a single track connect two races that take place back to back.

There are of course exceptions such as the Cross Country Pick 5, the Stronach Five, and the Oaks-Derby Double to name a few. However, generally speaking most horizontal wagers requires a player to pick two, three, four, five, or even six races in a row.

This often means players are bouncing from turf to dirt or pairing up stakes horses with 2 year old runners. The beauty of the turf pick 3 is that it allows turf specialists to focus in on their strength and play 3 races that match their handicapping acumen.

Chaos at Keeneland

Another great advantage of the wager is the fact that turf races have a tendency to be much closer. It is far less common to see the big margins of victory that can be scored on the dirt. This makes for more exciting finishes and bigger upsets.

While upsets can be bad for lean tickets, they also afford players the opportunity to make massive scores when their opinion deviates from the rest of the public.

Keeneland-Low Takeout

Yet another great thing about the wager is the fact that takeout has been reduced to just 15%. This puts it on par with the pick 5. Compare that to the 22% the track takes out for traditional $.50 pick three wagers. At the end of the day it means 1 thing, a great percentage of wagered money is being payed out to winners.

High Minimums

The most jarring thing for many players is the fact that the new wager does come at a price. At $3 per combination it is the most expensive minimum wager on the grounds. For small bankroll players this can be daunting as even a 2 x 2 x 2 ticket would run you $24. For some players this may be close to half of their bankroll for the day.

However, one of the great challenges of horse racing is computer assisted wagering where massive syndicates can read the pools in real time and place thousands of dollars in bets at the last minute to make the pools pretty efficient.

High minimums push computer players away from the bet, because many of them operate by casting a wide net over all overlaid combinations, the high minimum forces a lot of them elsewhere where their money can go further and cover more combinations

Once again, this means more money comes back to the average player grinding out wins.

A Review of the Keeneland Pilot Weekend

The weekend of October 8th was the first weekend that Keeneland had run the wager. The following is a review of the wager each of the four race days as compared to a player creating a 3 horse parlay on the correct opinions.

October 8

  • Races: Keeneland 2nd, Keeneland 7th, and Keeneland 11th
  • Winners: #5 Gingrich, #7 Cavalry Charge, #1 Camp Hope
  • All Turf Pick 3 Payout: $536.70
  • Self-Funded Parlay Payout with a $3 base bet: $410.80
  • Advantage: Turf Pick 3 (1.3 times the parlay)

The Parlay

  • $3 to win on #5 Gingrich= $11.70.
  • $11 to win on #7 Cavalry Charge=$100.10+$.70 remaining from the first bet .
  • $100 to win on #1 Camp Hope=$410.00+$.80 remaining from the first two wagers.

October 9

  • Races: Keeneland 6th, and Keeneland 8th, Keeneland 10th
  • Winners: #2 Golden Pal, #9 Blowout (GB), #3 In Love (BRZ)
  • All Turf Pick 3 Payout: $837.60
  • Self-Funded Parlay Payout with a $3 base bet: $333.20
  • Advantage: Turf Pick 3 (2.5 times the parlay)

The Parlay

  • $3 to win on #2 Golden Pal= $4.50
  • $4 to win on #9 Blowout (GB)=$25.20+$.50 remaining from the first bet .
  • $25 to win on #3 In Love (BRZ)=$332.50+$.70 remaining from the first two wagers.

October 10

  • Races: Keeneland 6th, Keeneland 8th,Keeneland 10th
  • Winners: #12 I Hear You, #7 Averly Jane, #12 Tiz the Bomb
  • All Turf Pick 3 Payout: $135
  • Self-Funded Parlay Payout with a $3 base bet: $132.6
  • Advantage: Turf Pick 3 (1.02 times the parlay)

The Parlay

  • $3 to win on #12 I Hear You= $18.60
  • $18 to win on #7 Averly Jane=$34.20+$.60 remaining from the first bet .
  • $34 to win on #12 Tiz the Bomb=$332.50+$.80 remaining from the first two wagers.

Is Keeneland’s All Turf Pick 3 A Good Wager?


Based on the data below it is pretty clear that the wager will likely always return a higher sum than trying to play the parlay through each race. If a player has strong opinions in all three races, this wager gives them a definite chance to cash a bigger ticket. This becomes especially true if they can separate from favorites in at least 1 leg.


The one draw back that still exists is that you have to your opinion in 3 specific races as a oppose to a true parlay where the player can pick and choose the races they specifically have the strongest opinions.

Final Verdict

In the end the bet is a welcome and refreshing innovation that the industry needs to more of. It lowers takeout which has been a huge cry from the horse playing community for years and in its infancy is creating great value players by returning overlays on the horses.

Playing the Keeneland All Turf Pick 3

If you are interested in playing the all turf pick 3 at Keeneland this weekend visit Equibase for a complete list of entries. This will also include a wagering menu at the top of each race letting you know when the all turf pick 3 begins.

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Wednesday will open the final weekend of racing at Keeneland. The Kentucky track will race Wednesday through Saturday before yielding to Churchill Downs.