Starting November 3, Cal-Expo's late Pick 4 will be joining the USTA Strategic Wagering Program with a $10,000 guaranteed pool and a 15% take out rate. I know my recent survey indicates most of my readers don't bother with my selections for the Pick 4 and that is fine. I will discontinue providing my selections for each Pick 4 but will continue to provide selections for guaranteed pool Pick 4s at the Sacramento oval.
Some may wonder why I bother with Cal-Expo? Call it a matter of preference, showing support for a racing outpost stranded all alone on the West Coast. I also like their program. For someone who is unable to watch each race, I appreciate the comments on the race lines. Yes, here on the East coast they race a little late, but it certainly beats wagering the quarter horses at Los Alamitos. To me, there is something nice about being at home, the wife asleep, in complete silence wagering on races clear across the county; without any interruptions.
Too little handle? They typically handle $600,000 plus each night on their races. How many racetracks handle this much money each night? I guess if you are the biggest of gamblers, the pools may not be big enough, but for the typical horse player, there is enough of a handle to make it worthwhile.
I also like supporting the little guy. These horsemen racing out in California love the sport; they can't be doing it just for the money as the purses are small. Yes, the fields tend to be small when compared to other tracks as it is hard to attract new owners to California which makes some exotics tough to play but darn it, they are still going. Like a Timex watch, they keep on running. Maybe things would get better if they were able to coordinate their racing schedule with the tracks in Western Canada to get more horses in the box, but that is something their track management and horsemen must figure out.
Unsure about playing Cal-Expo? Why not give them a shot, even if you play them on paper initially? You can check out their website at http://calexpoharness.com/racing_center.asp where you can find live stream video and sign up for racing news. Who knows, you may find a new track to play; especially on Thursday nights and Saturday nights when they have their special Pick 4s.
Those of us on the East Coast are spoiled. Perhaps it is time to look west for something different.