04/21/2011 8:44PM

Playing percentages

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The low-takeout (14 percent) pick five that made its debut Thursday at Hollywood Park attracted a modest $103,291 pool.

Three winning favorites made it simple for 236 winning tickets. The 50-cent bet returned $263.55; there were 3,870 consolation payoffs (four winners) that returned $6.85.

Is it a good bet? You be the judge.

California recently hiked takeout to 23.86 percent for exotic wagers with three or more horses.

Under the standard takeout, the winning pick five Thursday would have paid only $233, compared to $263.

Under standard takeout, the amount removed from the pool (the takeout) would have been $24,459 compared to just $14,460. Bettors on Thursday received a "bonus" of nearly $10,000.

The new pick five is not perfect. For example, we can do without a consolation. (Without a consolation, the pick five Thursday would have paid more than $376.)

But the new wager is a forward move.

Thursday at Hollywood Park, the difference between a 14 percent takeout and the 23.86 percent California standard amounted to a payoff “increase” of nearly $30.

A bet that would have paid off at 466-1 odds, instead paid 526-1.

Signficant? You bet.

bob More than 1 year ago
The place is going crazy with horizontal multiple wagers ... do they really need it? ... I'm a vertical player only so it doesn't matter to me. But i like my bet resolved after the individual vertical plays on the races of my choice are run. This allows me to skip the bad ones and there are some every day.
Del More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure they need it, either. They got the pick 4's. With the return to synthetic, I think the pick-six pools should increase. A lot of people actually like the synthetic and there are few tracks with that surface.
Del More than 1 year ago
I played the late pick four at Golden Gate today and the thing paid more than $8,600. (That would be the 50-center.) No, I didn't hit it. I missed the first leg, forgetting that the race was so short that Indian Wells qualified as a contender. But for $6, my return would have been well over 1,000-1. Point is, if I hit it, I wouldn't have cared too much about the takeout.
Nancy Taylor More than 1 year ago
Don't think that the opening-day pool of $100k for the pick five was modest at all, when you consider the races were mostly puny five and six-horse fields. I believe the handle will be huge Saturday with much better horses and full fields. This fan-friendly wager is going to be a huge success and this could be a wake-up call for the decision makers ... to come to their senses and start listening to the players for a change.
charlie More than 1 year ago
I agree with Eric. As a serious horseplayer, I believe the takeout should be in the 7- to 10-percent range. I have not bet a horse for serious money since the Breeders' Cup. The takeout is just too high. I used to bet a few horses at Parx racing. Then I found out the takeout was (high) on trifectas. I have not placed a bet there in a year.
don More than 1 year ago
California needs a big reduction in all its takeout. Fields are much too small for present level ...
Mike L More than 1 year ago
California tracks remain popular despite takeout and horse-population issues. California remains, for all its issues, an excellent show wager oppurtunity. I don't usually play multi-race wagers but will punch a pick five ticket tomorrow ...
Eric More than 1 year ago
I'm digging it. However, to classify it as a"bonus" (even in quotes) is to say it a special situation that isn't always deserving. We as horseplayers need to rid ourselves of that mentality. We deserve a fair price and should demand it!