01/07/2011 5:52PM

Santa Anita does listen


Del Mar did it. Hollywood Park did it. Fairplex Park did it.

The minimum wager for the pick four was lowered to 50 cents last year at most major racetracks in Southern California.

The reduced minimum made the bet affordable for smaller players, and lowered the potential tax liability for the occasional “big score.”

California bettors liked it.

But when the winter meet began Dec. 26, fans accustomed to 50-cent increments were surprised to learn Santa Anita kept its pick four wager at a $1 minimum.

“We had talked about (lowering it) earlier, but it kind of fell off the radar,” track president George Haines said.

In phone calls and emails, bettors let Santa Anita know they preferred a pick four minimum in line with other Southern California tracks.

 “We had numerous requests for a 50-cent pick four, so we decided to implement it,” Haines said.

It starts this weekend.

Both pick fours (first four races, last four races) at Santa Anita will be a 50-cent wager beginning Saturday.

Santa Anita did it. They listened.

misterjoey More than 1 year ago
Trouble with racing is all they seem to care about is slot machines and purse money for the owners. Raising the takeout is always an easy fix because the only people it hurts is the players. Let's face it - horseracing is a dead game unless we give the bettors something other than pick 6's, 4's and superfectas which only kills the small players that support the game. If racing wants to get back to what it was, we need to get away from the tote. I've bet horses that I liked at a price of 4-1 but by the time the race is off the horse is 2-1 and I don't like it at those odds. Fixed-odds betting is the only thing that will save the sport. Remember, racing is the only gambling game that you don't know what your profit will be when you make a wager.
Eri Rickard More than 1 year ago
Go ahead and gamble elsewhere. A winner is a winner. Santa Anita is back. Dirt is back. The world is right again. Ok , I know that is a bit much. However, I can still pick a winner at the great race place, easier than any place else. Hey they did listen. Go racing!!!!!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
I can't stand Frank Stronach and the way he runs Santa Anita, either. But there is way too much whining about the raise in takeout. The purse structure was becoming a laughing stock. Trainers and horses were leaving in droves. They had to remain competitve to retain their place as a premier track. Nobody seems to be offering any ideas on how else to accomlish this. My advice, quit complaing and be happy that we wil have more quality horses running in more meaningful races. And the last I checked a 2-1 horse still paid $6. A 3-1 horse still paid $8 etc...
Joel More than 1 year ago
I'm an Arizona horseplayer that has always loved the CA simulcasts. I was very saddened to see the takeout hike that has been implemented. We have very high takeout rates in Arizona and that keeps me from betting a lot of local races here. California always offered better value and bigger pools. Now, they are pretty much like all of the others and have tiny fields to boot! I will now be much more careful with my wagering habits and take less chances with my money on the California races. A very sad time for someone who has loved to play the horses for the past 25 years or so.
Nick Briglia More than 1 year ago
Pick four? Give me a break. Be happy to pick one. Even at 50 cents most people's bankroll should be keeping them away from these stupid low-percentage wagers. Pick winners, hit exactas, doubles, maybe the pick 3. Leave all these other bets to those with big pockets that hope small bettors throw their money away in pick 4 and pick 6 pools. You aren't getting rich playing this game. It's a HOBBY. Just survive. Get enough back so that you can keep playing without getting hurt too bad. As long as they keep trying to sell this game as something to make big scores at, it will continue to flounder. People that going broke chasing fantasies can't come back the next day. This game needs a major attitude adjustment. It's not the lottery. It's not a casino. You are not hitting the jackpot. It can be a beautiful and fun game to play but it takes the right mentality. Just have fun and try and cash enough tickets to allow you to continue to play.
Liz J] More than 1 year ago
Dirt is back and more horses are getting hurt and or dying on the track. Add that to a larger takeout and I am not betting there. I hope someone has the sense to put in a safe synthetic track that can drain well.
derby 134 More than 1 year ago
I'm an owner and a player. On one hand it's great to run for higher purses, but honestly they're sticking it to the players and what goes around will come around. When So Cal screws up the P6 and that's all they have going, then it will be too late. They seem to think the players are stupid and they will find out we're not.
Nancy More than 1 year ago
Too bad the CHRB and Santa Anita failed to listen to its best customers and went ahead with the 10%-15% takeout hike. This only guarantees a further erosion of the fan base. Racing seven of the first eight days on the calendar was another blunder. Gave us short fields the first week of the meet. Not a Happy New Year for California horseplayers, a large tax hike and short fields, just the opposite of what the players prefer!!!!
Mike More than 1 year ago
Too bad the CHRB won't listen and work to revoke the takeout hike that has caused the so-called Great Race Place to see an 18 percent decline in handle. Until then I'll gamble elsewhere.