04/04/2006 11:00PM

25-cent pick six at Pimlico

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Pimlico Racecourse will offer a 25-cent pick-six wager with a $5,000 guaranteed payout beginning with the opening of its meet on April 20, an official of the company that owns the track said Wednesday.

Lou Raffetto, the chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Pimlico and Laurel Park, said that Pimlico decided to offer the bet after officials talked with customers in an effort to devise an alternative to 10-cent superfecta bets, which have become popular at many tracks.

Pick-six wagers are popular in two areas of the country, New York and California, attracting the biggest bettors with the biggest bankrolls. Raffetto, citing the $2 minimum for those pick-six bets, said he hoped the Maryland wager would lure some of the smaller players in those pools.

The Maryland pick six will have a 25 percent takeout, and bettors will be required to bet at least $1. If no ticket includes all six winners, 25 percent of the pool will be paid out to the ticketholders with five winners, and 50 percent of the pool will carry over to the next race card.

Raffetto said that the Maryland Jockey Club will almost certainly continue to offer the 25-cent pick six when racing shifts to Laurel Park on Oct. 1.