02/27/2008 12:00AM

Fortune Six carryover pool rising again


The 25-cent Fortune Six at Beulah Park is still alive and well, but its value is far from the $364,589.50 it paid out on Jan. 30, 2007. That payout, which was for a 25-cent ticket, was the highest ever for a wager of less than a dollar in the U.S.

The Fortune Six is like a pick six except the pool is paid out only if there is just one winning ticket. It also has a guaranteed minimum pool of $5,000. The bet was hit three days in a row in late January of this year, with actual betting pools between $1,500 and $1,800, forcing the track to inject its own money.

"Maybe they should change the name to win Charlie Ruma's money," said track announcer Bill Downes, referring to the track's owner.

The carryover into Friday's card is $11,193, as the bet was last hit on Jan.o30 for a payout of $5,844.

On a day when there isn't a single winning ticket, 40 percent of the pool is paid to holders of the tickets with the most wins, and 60 percent goes into the carryover pool.

"It is actually easier to win when the pool first begins," said Gary Johnson, a trainer who is also author of the track's tip sheet. "The pools are smaller, so you are going against a lot less people and a lot less combinations. As the pools get larger and more people play, it gets tougher and tougher to have the only ticket."

Small fields also inhibit one from having the only ticket, and with a number of recent weather-related cancellations and the uncertainty of whether the track will run, there have been many scratches in the last month.

"The main reason I love this bet is you can get a lot of coverage in multiple races," Johnson said. "Unlike a $2 pick six where you double the number of combinations you use, here you divide the number by 4. You can play a lot of combinations and it doesn't cost you a mint. I think it is the greatest bet in the country."

o Edgar Paucar has a commanding lead in the jockey standings. He won three races on Wednesday, giving him 60 for the meet Paucar is far ahead of Jose Calo and Marco Ccamaque, each with 25. Both Paucar and Ccamaque attended the Peruvian jockey school that produced Edgar Prado, Rafael Bejarano, and Miguel Mena.