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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pick (n) Blues; Breeder's Crown Returns to the Poconos in 2013

Recently, a reader of this blog let me know of a frustrating situation involving Pick-3s and 4s and dead heats.  In particular, he wants to know why if there is a dead heat, there is a single payout and the pool isn't split as in the case of Daily Doubles.  Specifically, he wrote:

Here's the problem, instead of paying separate payoffs for the deadheat, they combine the two amounts wagered and split the pot????  Are you kidding me?  If you play favorites, you're rewarded.  If you play longshots, you're penalized?  Can any explain how this is fair?  They pay different amounts for the other gimmicks, why not P3-4's???

Why do I care?  Last Saturday [September 15] at Mohawk, they had a deadheat between the 4 and 5.  I had 6 $0.20  tickets on the combination using the (13-1) 5 horse Jepson Hanover and none using the (4-1) 4 horse, Whippet Good.  I had a DD that paid $150 with the 5.  The DD with the 4 only paid $50....makes sense so far.  Expecting a similar ratio in the P3 payoffs, to my amazement, both P3's came back at $98 for a buck.  Are you kidding me?  This is criminal.  What the hell is going on around here?  This should blow every horseplayer's mind, even if they don't play Picks.

Well, I did some checking on this and it turns out WEG is simply following the ARCI model rules concerning Pick (n) wagers.

The following is from the ARCI model rules which explains a dead heat in Pick (n) pools:
(3)        If there is a dead heat for first in any of the Pick (n) contests involving:
        (a)        contestants representing the same betting interest, the Pick (n) pool shall be distributed as if no dead heat occurred.
        (b)        contestants representing two or more betting interests, the Pick (n) pool shall be distributed as a single price pool with each winning wager receiving an equal share of the profit.

However, ARCI model rules do allow for Win 3 wagers to have the type of pool distribution the writer is saying should be followed.  In the event of a dead heat, the model rules for Win 3 wager do allow for what they call "profit split"; where the pool is split and then paid proportionally to the number of tickets sold on each winning combination.   So why isn't WEG following these rules?  It is because WEG doesn't allow for consolation Pick 3s which are provided for in the Win 3 rules; they use the post time favorite in the place of a scractched horse.  As a result, WEG has to adhere to the model Pick (n) rules for their Pick 3.

Ignoring for a moment the fact WEG uses the Pick (n) rules for their Pick 3 instead of the Win 3 rules, the question remains is it fair that bettors holding a winning Pick 4 ticket with a 13-1 horse instead of the 4-1 horse in a leg with a dead-heat are paid the same?  I would say no.  Perhaps when you are looking at wagers like a Pick 5 or greater as a jackpot wager it does, but Pick 4s are not jackpot wagers.  The ARCI needs to adopt separate rules for Win 4 wagers instead of lumping it with the rest of the Pick (n) wagers and state racing commissions need to adopt the new rule..

What this situation should telll you is horseplayers need to remember when you make a wager, you are entering into a contract with the racing association.  A person never (well, shouldn't) enters a contract without knowing the terms of it so why are horseplayers blindly making wagers?  A horseplayer should never buy a ticket without knowing the rules which apply to the wager.  The rules of all wagers should be printed in all racing programs and for the benefit of simulcast and ADW customers, posted on association websites so a gambler may check the rules which apply to a wager.

The 2013 Breeders Crown returns to Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs after two years at Woodbine Racetrack.  The 2013  finals are scheduled for October 19 with eliminations the weekend before.  Even if not for the case that Woodbine Entertainment is in no position to host the Crown next year with so much uncertainty, Pocono Downs is a good choice as the 2010 event was a success from all accounts.  Thanks for agreeing to host the 2013 Crown belongs to Mohegan Sun and the PHHA as it requires a huge financial commitment from all parties to pull this off.

In a unique twist, the PHHA is offering a $1 million bonus for the three year old trotter that sweeps the Earl Beal Jr Memorial, Colonial Trot, and Breeders Crown final which means the top three year old trotters will have Pennsylvania on their mind next year.

Did you know that Northfield Park offers their Pick-3, Pick-4, and Pick-5 with a 14% takeout rate?

Did you know there was harness racing in Malta?  Visit their website.

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