New Twist on Del Mar Pick-6 Wager

Source: Del Mar

Del Mar’s wagering menu comes with its usual full-range of betting options for 2017 and again is expected to attract some of the highest pools in racing. But additionally this year the track will include a special Pick Six bet sure to add extra buzz and further enhance one the foremost racing cards of the year, the $1-million Pacific Classic Day on Saturday, August 19.

The 36-day racing season, which begins on Wednesday, July 19, will have 14 different types of wagers available to fans throughout the summer, starting with the traditional win, place and show bets and expanding out to several five- and six-horse combinations.

Del Mar racingThe new twist in the format comes in the presentation of a mandatory Pick Six payout that – instead of being offered only on closing day – also will be on the menu for Pacific Classic Day, allowing for the track’s traditionally biggest wagering afternoon to grow bigger still with the potential of a huge payment – or payments – for those who invest in the popular Pick Six.

While new for the summer season, Del Mar initiated the “Single Ticket Jackpot” element to Southern California’s Pick Six wager last fall, setting up a separate distribution pool that could only be captured if one winning ticket existed on an individual day. This pool grew on its own, even as the regular Pick Six paid out winners and consolations on a daily basis. The idea was to build a potentially massive side pool, which in fact happened. Early in the track’s fall season, a single bettor swept the pot clean when hitting the “Jackpot” pool for a life-changing score of $1,041,696.

In the case of this year’s Pacific Classic, the standard “mandatory payout” rules of closing days at all race meets in the state will be in effect. And a Pick Six winner – or winners – would share not only in the regular pool, but the “Jackpot” pool besides. Additionally, consolation winners also would share in the total pool (“Jackpot” included).

“The TVG Pacific Classic is two-thirds of the way through our meet,” noted Josh Rubinstein, a Del Mar executive vice president and its COO. “While there are no guarantees, our hope is that the ‘Single Ticket Jackpot’ pool will have grown to a sizeable amount by this time and our bettors will have the chance to go after a massive Pick Six payout on what figures to be a top-shelf racing card.”

Besides the Pick Six, another favorite multiple-race wager – the Pick 4 – will offer a $600,000 weekend guarantee, the largest of its kind in the country. The bet, which is presented on the day’s final four races and carries a 50¢ minimum, also provides a $300,000 guarantee on weekday cards. For the TVG Pacific Classic Day card, the Pick 4 guarantee rises to $1,000,000.

An additional “exotic” wager on the agenda is the 50¢ Players’ Pick 5, available on the day’s first five races and coming with a reduced takeout rate of 14%.

The full array of Del Mar bets is as follows: $2 win, place and show (all races); $1 Exacta (all); $2 Quinella (all); $1 Trifecta (all); $2 Rolling Doubles (all except last); $1 Rolling Pick 3 (all except last two); $1 Superfecta (10¢ minimum – all); $1 Place Pick All (starts w/Race 1 or 2); $1 Super High 5 (last); $2 Pick Six (last six); 50¢ Players’ Pick 5 (first five), and 50¢ Pick 4 (last four).

Racing will be conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday basis throughout the stand with the lone exception being closing day, Monday, September 4, Labor Day. First post daily will be 2 p.m., with the exceptions of “Four O’Clock Fridays” when starting time shifts to 4 p.m. (except for the final two Fridays – 8/25 and 9/1 — when first post will be 3:30 p.m.). Friday’s races run until sunset and are followed by the hugely popular Del Mar Concert Series.

How Much was Wagered on Haskell day?

 How much was bet on the American Pharoah race?


OCEANPORT — It was a record-smashing day at Monmouth Park. Monmouth Park announced a record-attendance total of 60,983 after American Pharoah beat out a seven-horse field to claim the 48th running of the Haskell Invitational on Sunday. The previous single-day attendance record at the 145-year-old racetrack was 53,638, set on Haskell Day on Aug. 3, 2013.… [Read more…]

Updated 2012 Kentucky Derby odds

With just over 3 1/2 weeks to the 2012 Kentucky Derby, here are the latest future book odds courtesy of Wynn Las Vegas – as April 9, 2012

ALPHA 50/1 12/1
ATIGUN 250/1 125/1
BLINGO 225/1 85/1
BODEMEISTER 100/1 20/1

See the complete, updated list of Derby odds here.

A Simple Way to Get New Fans

The following piece appeared in the Oct. 8, 2011 edition of Thoroughbred Times and has been reprinted with their permission.

Racing needs to pay attention to P. T. Barnum


Mark Simon, editor of the Thoroughbred Times

Mark Simon, editor of the Thoroughbred Times

SOME racing executives or track owners believe the sport has to compete with lotteries. So they come up with bets that are difficult to win and are likely to produce a large payoff. That, they think, will draw attention to the sport, and result in more people coming to the track. It has not worked out that way. If racing wants to attract new fans, it is time to go back to the basics and keep things simple.

Bets such as the super high five, superfecta, and pick six can produce large payoffs, but they are not substitutes for lotteries or competition with lotteries. First, they appeal to two different audiences. Second, they are nothing alike.

Lotteries—and by the same token slot machines and video lottery terminals (VLTs)—require no skill or thought. The results are random. 

With super high fives, superfectas, and pick sixes, the results are not random. The horses with the better form, jockeys, trainers, class, post, distance proclivity, surface proclivity, et cetera, have a better chance of winning or finishing in the first four or five. Handicapping—skill—comes into play.

The large majority of those attracted to mindless lotteries and VLTs because they are mindless and random are poor candidates to ever be involved betting on races. First, they have to find themselves at the racetrack. Second, if they are at the track, how could they compete in a game of skill with no prior experience?

When that fan starts to look at each individual horse and why it could win, then you have someone who may move on to show or win betting.

In racing, those with more money, and who can cover more combinations, have a much greater chance of winning than someone who randomly plays a single ticket.

An advantage that lotteries have on racing is distribution, with countless stores and outlets, as opposed to racing, which has a brick-and-mortar facility, and maybe some off-track betting outlets. Lotteries reach millions of potential players daily, and they are well promoted through television and newspapers ads.

Racing has a difficult time promoting new bets, even to existing fans. The super high five was introduced in 2007, but has not gotten much traction. With a $1 minimum, it also is expensive, so not popular among those with little resources. In a ten-horse field, the super high five has 30,240 possible combinations.

Its unpopularity is evident on racing’s biggest day, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, when all the big bettors come out and play in earnest since all the pools are large.

Last year, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the super high five pool was just $269,513. By comparison, the superfecta had a pool of $3,289,617, the trifecta a pool of $5,983,837, and the exacta a pool of $5,909,080.

Rather than try promoting an obscure bet with limited appeal, racing should introduce a simple wager easily understood by a novice. When a couple goes to the track and one knows a lot more about racing than the other, while one is betting superfectas and trifectas and exactas, the other can get their feet wet by betting an odd-even proposition, for example. If the race winner carries an odd-numbered saddle cloth, that is the bet winner, and if the winner carries an even-numbered saddle cloth, that is the bet winner. In a Breeders’ Cup race, that would give a novice bettor six or seven chances to win.

After a few races, someone making that bet may start to wonder why the payoffs between odd and even are not exactly the same, and you have the beginning of the education of a fan. When that fan starts to look at each individual horse and why it could win, then you have someone who may move on to show or win betting.

That process, of getting new fans started in the sport relatively simply so they are not intimidated to play or worried about looking foolish, is worth far more than the meager returns from an obscure, hard-to-win bet like the super high five.

P. T. Barnum had it figured out a century ago: No one ever got rich overestimating the intelligence of the American public. Do we need any more evidence today than slots, VLTs, and lotteries?

Let’s keep it simple, folks.

Mark Simon is editor of Thoroughbred Times. His e-mail address is