02/19/2008 11:26PM

How He Did It


The winner of the $3.1 million pick six payoff at Santa Anita Monday invested $4,320 on a single 8x1x6x5x1x9 caveman ticket he purchased at The Meadowlands, according to this release from the track's media department:

The lone winner of Santa Anita’s $3.1 million Pick 6 on Monday purchased his ticket at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The $4,320 ticket yielded a $3,120,256 payout, a Santa Anita record.

The winner netted $2,381,423 after federal and state taxes. He also cashed the $7,786 five-of-six consolation payout 24 times, for another $186,878.

A three-day carryover of $1,269,223 heading into the Monday Pick 6, combined with the $3,337,881 that was bet during the card, resulted in a total pool of $4,607,104. Santa Anita’s Pick 6 requires players to pick the winners of the final six races on the card.

The winner is a New York City resident and entrepreneur who wished to remain known only as “D.”

He was, however, willing to discuss how he approached Santa Anita’s record Pick 6. His ticket was the following: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10) with (1) with (4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12) with (1, 4, 5, 7, 9) with (3) with (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13).

D singled the favorites in two races, Norway House ($4.40) in the sixth and Medjool ($8.20) in the ninth.

“I thought the No. 1 was the standout in the second leg,” he said.

“Normally, I only single one horse on the ticket. [Race nine] was an open race. [Medjool] was the favorite and was 5-1, then went off at 3-1. I didn’t feel totally confident that he would win, but I felt he had shown the most ability at the distance. If I didn’t single another horse I would not have had an affordable ticket.

“In the first leg, I really liked the No. 4 horse,” he added. “If he went with shorter odds, I might have singled him, but he went off at 13-1 and I didn’t want to be dead in the first leg.”

The biggest upsets in the sequence were Mymomawzafandancer, a first-time starter who paid $47 in race seven, and Paparazzi Charm, who paid $69.60 in race 10.

“In the maiden race (race 7), I had a lot of negatives against a lot of the ones that had run before,” he said. “These were low profile connections, but the filly showed good works at Hollywood. Then I just hoped for the longest shot in the last race.

D’s prayers were answered when jockey Saul Arias and Paparazzi Charm, a 33-1 shot who had not raced since June, came flying from between rivals to win the last leg.

“Many horseplayers would not play a horse off a layoff like that,” he noted.

“The jockey [Arias] does not win that much because he does not get that many live horses, but when he does, they are longshots. I try to put in horses that have some remote possibilities. Otherwise, it’s not going to pay anything.”

Luck certainly appears to be on D’s side.

He purchased a $4000 betting voucher when he arrived Monday afternoon at the Meadowlands. However, when he went to make his Pick 6 bet, he realized it totaled $4,320. He searched his pockets and came up with an additional $331 – giving him just enough to make the bet and buy a couple of hot dogs for lunch.

D is a regular horseplayer who has had several significant scores in the past. He hit a $500,000 Pick 6 at Del Mar, along with one of the largest in Churchill Downs’ history.

“I’ve been playing horses for a long time, so it does not really change anything for me,” he said.

“I’m getting married in three weeks, so it is great timing. I am still in shock. There are large syndicates playing the Pick 6 and I am sure there were syndicates who put in $40,000 or $50,000 into the pool. The Pick 6 has been very tough lately. All the canceled dates because of the weather have produced huge fields at Santa Anita. There are a lot of longshots, horses coming off different racing surfaces, layoffs. It becomes a lot trickier. I play the Pick 6 when there are large carryovers. I focus a few hours on handicapping and only focus on the Pick 6 races.”

Tomorrow I'll explain how I cleverly used all six winners without managing to put more than four of them on the same ticket, and belatedly get to some of your many other recent questions.