11/15/2002 1:00AM

Canada to lift superfecta ban


The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency amended a rule it passed on Tuesday that prohibited pick six, pick four, and superfecta bets in Canada after consulting with members of the racing industry and tote companies on Friday.

Under the amendment, superfecta betting will be allowed beginning Dec. 18, according to Steven Edwards, the executive director of Racetracks of Canada, an industry trade group. Edwards said that the CPMA has also agreed to lift restrictions that could have resulted in the voiding of win, place, show and other wagers that had not been merged into the pari-mutuel pools by a certain deadline.

Pick six and pick four bets will remain banned, Edwards said, until the CPMA can review the security of the betting pools in consultation with a task force set up by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

In response to the ongoing Breeders' Cup pick six investigation, the CPMA passed a rule on Tuesday that banned any bets that had not been fully transmitted into the host track's pool by the time the first horse crossed the finish line.

Because of a peculiarity in the way that pick six and pick four bets are processed, the information on the wagers is not transmitted until the next-to-last race in the sequence is run. Information on superfecta bets is not fully transmitted until the race is over.

Canadian racetracks had complained that they were not consulted before the rule was passed. David Willmot, the president of Woodbine, said the rule would have a "catastrophic" impact on the Canadian racing industry.