02/18/2008 1:29PM

Gargantuan Carryover


Other than hoping your bank is open on Presidents Day (mine is) if you've had a rough holiday wagering weekend so far (I have), how should one approach today's $1.2 million pick-six carryover at Santa Anita? Dive into the pool or pass on a tough-looking card and root for a $3 million carryover into Wednesday?

I'm diving, not because I have any illusions about hitting for seven digits or outhandicapping better-bankrolled people far better versed in the subtleties of California racing than I am. My strategy with these mammoth carryovers is to hope it's a day where the sequence proves "easy" enough that I can be one of 50 to 500 winners and collect a severely inflated payoff.

Let's say they bet $3 to $4 million today, making the front end of the pool around $3 million. Forty percent of that 6-of-6 pool is free money from the last three days. So a 50-winner payoff would be around $60,000 instead of $36,000 and a 500-winner payoff would be $6,000 instead of $3,600.

---In regard to Friday's "Some Global Perspective" post, seth says "I think the top 12 is missing some countries," and goes on to mention Canada and South America, and Dave also asks, "Did you overlook your neighbours to the north?"

I used only the 12 countries for which The Jockey Club reported a 2006 handle of over $1 billion, and the United States was the only such nation in North or South America. Canada ranked 14th in global handle with $524 million in 2006 and no South American country topped Chile's $209 million.

Here's the complete list, with Western Hemisphere countries in boldface:

Source: The Jockey Club

Green Mtn Punter More than 1 year ago
The country-by-country annual races run/handle comparison data says a lot about the less than promising outlook for flat racing in the the good ol' USA. It's like so many things when they are too readily available, too commoditized: The quality inevitably suffers, the product becomes watered down, any aura of being special, or exclusive, vanishes, and bordeom sets in. The only way to fill all these race cards is to tolerate inferior breeding, lame and injured horses with symptoms covered up with drugs, steroids, and other foreign substances, increasing demand for synthetic tracks to supposedly prevent further damage and public breakdowns shocking to the average fan and uninitiated, and generally foster the cycle of mediocrity we now find ourselves in. Stop trying to apply Band-Aids and instead truly reform the game by first closing marginal tracks and reducing the number of races run in this country. Those meets can be replaced with simulcasting and VLT's to keep the greedy pols income stream flowing. That would be a start, it would allow the better quality tracks to attract more handle and thereby increase purses, wouldn't it? Isn't this the obvious course the racing industry should be taking? But of course there are how many greedy state legislatures to convince that their tracks are the ones needing closing? And then the breeders will need to be mollified for their years of over production. Unless racing decides to address the real issues even the major tracks will continue to see slippage in attendance and handle, the slow, inexorable eating away of their lifeblood. Why must this be tolerated?
Flip Dawson More than 1 year ago
To kmac1470, call me at 905-579-1116 in Oshawa, Can., and I'll attempt to explain the net pool pricing. Flip Dawson
Tim More than 1 year ago
Steve, were you the 1 person who hit the SA pick 6?! Tell us about how you played it and what your tickets looked like.
El Angelo More than 1 year ago
Steve: I'm curious how much (ballpark) you would invest in the Santa Anita Pick 6, with the hope of getting a $60k return. Because if it's over $450 (and I'm guessing it is), you're basically hoping for 150-1 or less to hit on a Pick Six, which to me, seems like a bad bet for the investment, given that the Cali circuit isn't one that's in your wheelhouse.
Kevin Price More than 1 year ago
Steve, With regard to the recent Jockey Club Fact Book post I agree with your observation that the United States runs too many races. However, I disagree with those who suggest that consolidation and elimination of racetracks is the best solution to the problem. Setting aside corporate imperatives such as asset utilization and revenue maximization, having more racetracks running fewer dates rather than fewer racetracks running more dates seems a better approach. If Japan and Australia are routinely cited as racing success stories I believe at least part of the reason is an organized and thoughtful approach to presenting racing that is interesting and competitive regardless of venue size. Wagering via the Internet and OTBs is fine but live racing, provided its done right, is the point at which a person stops seeing racing as just another way to gamble and starts thinking of it in the same way you do - "A treasured cultural asset".
steve wolfson, sr. More than 1 year ago
more is not better; and less is best. what would happen if top-rated tv shows were on every night? what if the nfl were not a seasonal commodity? it is no coincidence that your figures clearly indicate that [w/the exception of great britain] the handle per capita interest is directly proportional to the glut of races. 4 time eclipse winning, hall of fame trainer laz barrera opined 30 years ago that racing in ny should cease every winter for the sake of horses and humans alike. the sport has long been dominated for so long by myopic thinking, stupidity, selfishness, and greed; and recent decisions and policymaking offer scant hope for change, or a new and different direction to the precipitous downward spiral.
Las Vegas More than 1 year ago
Well Steve, I decided to dive too. I played 4 different tickets for a total of $264. The best I did was 3 out of six and after relooking at everything I felt 3 out of 6 wasn't bad. I would be very curious on how much the single winner spent. By the way, my fantasy caveman ticket was over $70K and I still wouldn't have hit it. How much did you spend and how did you do? Anyone else out there spent less then $264 and did better then 3 out of 6? If so, I'd like to know your thoughts on why you did what you did. If the winner is reading this I'd really like to know how you did it. Thanks.
rawlawltd More than 1 year ago
To Steve Wolfson: I couldn't agree with you more. I would imagine you will be signing up for the NHC Tour & I see where entry also enrolls you in something called the "Horseplayers Alliance". If you & I & others like us demand to be heard as horseplayers, maybe something could change. No one cares about us because we are an unorganized, apathetic bunch. I, for one, would be willing to give of my time to better our lot. Up until now, I have mentioned this to several powers that be & have always gotten the, "we've tried & they don't listen to us" routine. This could be a golden opportunity to achieve something big. If it were to fail, so what, the way racing is headed we won't have long to worry about it anyway. Would be glad to talk with anyone with similar views.
vegan More than 1 year ago
Just a boost here for my erstwhile hometrack, Bay Meadows, where a $90,000 carryover beckons. Real dirt, too (yippee !!), so it's arguably handicappable.
kmac1470 More than 1 year ago
Where can I find an explanation of how net pool pricing works? I am a professional accountant by trade but I can't make sense of the info I have been able to find on it. For example, the big pick 6 payoff at Santa Anita today was $US 3.1 M. At my local track in Canada the price was posted as C$2.9M. I understand that the difference in the payoffs is due to the difference in the takeout but what happens to the 200k (assuming that a Canadian wins which wasn't the case this time)? Surely my local track doesn't benefit 200k because I hit that kind of ticket. If they do I want free parking for a while!!