05/02/2010 1:17PM

Sixty Cents


How much did that contest winner's $100,000 bet on Super Saver affect the Derby winner's payoff? People have guessed everywhere from nothing to two full odds points, but it appears the correct answer is 60 cents.

The chart below shows the final win pools as posted at tvg.com, then repeats them to the right with the $100,000 wager hypothetically removed from the $30.6 million win pool:

The $100,000 increased Super Saver's share of the win pool from 8.97 % to 9.27 %, dropping his odds from 8.36-1 to 8.06-1 (after breakage, from 8.30-1 to 8.00-1.) So it appears that Super Saver would have paid $18.60 rather than $18.00 to win had the bet not been part of the pool. Conversely, had Ice Box finished first rather than 2nd, he would have paid $25.40, but without the bet he would have paid $25.20.

Putting aside the contest bet, let's look at a different version of that chart, with horses ranked in order of favoritism in this unusually-bet Derby that had the highest-priced favorite and lowest-priced longshots in the history of the race:

Given that each entrant would attract 5.00 % of the pool if the money were simply spread equally among them, the bettors effectively said that only one horse was barely twice as likely to win as a random choice and that nobody was only half as likely to win as a random selection. Obviously there's a lot of money being bet on names and numbers on Derby Day, but I still don't get -- and I'm truly not knocking anyone's selections -- how in a pool of this size a horse like Backtalk is 23-1 instead of something more like 53-1.

3:00 pm: Taking a $924 shot at today's $96k double-carryover at Belmont as follows:



6:00 pm: Well, thanks to one of the two gate scratches, I had it twice for $340 each instead of once for the original willpay of $506 but....ick. Spent all day wondering whether the first-leg victory by a neck of a 2-1 "A" over a 38-1 "C" was going to be a blessing (if another B or C won later on), or a curse (if I ran the table with five A's).

Lucky me, I ran the table with five A's.

So let's see: $924 in...$680 for the two 6-of-6's..$292.60 for 38 consos (16 of them twice, six of them in the finale once) at $7.70 each...total of $972.60. Looks like I hit the pick-6 twice and made $48.60!