07/31/2015 11:08AM

Harness: USTA Strategic Wagering adds guaranteed pool trifectas


As August begins, the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering program will be adding a new, guaranteed pool wager, trifectas, to the menu at three racetracks: Balmoral Park, Maywood Park and Northfield Park.

In addition, among those three tracks there will be a combination of USTA Strategic Wagers with guaranteed pools for a trifecta, Pick-4 and High Five every night during August. Overall during the month, there will be more than $2 million worth of guaranteed pool wagers that will also include Pick-5 and superfecta bets at nine different harness tracks across the country.

“We certainly hope that the guaranteed trifecta pools will have the same effect as the guaranteed High Five pools that began in July,” said USTA Strategic Wagering Committee Chairman Chris Schick. “The low 10- or 20-cent guaranteed High Five has proven to be more popular than the 50-cent or one dollar denomination wager that the major Thoroughbred tracks now employ.

“The low minimum allows the small player to be a part of the game,” added Schick. “It is incredible to note that Del Mar, with an opening day handle of $15 million, is the only Thoroughbred track whose High Five pools average more than our Strategic Wagering guaranteed pools.”

The pilot program kicks off on Aug. 1 at Balmoral Park, which will offer $70,000 in nightly guarantees comprised of the three wagers -- a Pick-4, High Five and trifecta -- every Saturday and Sunday. The trifecta guaranteed pools will be $30,000 on Saturdays and $25,000 on Sundays.

Northfield Park will offer the same three wagers every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with $20,000 guaranteed pool trifectas. Maywood Park will follow with those wagers on Thursday and Friday during August with the same $20,000 guarantees on trifectas as Northfield Park.

The USTA Strategic Wagering program, which began four years ago, is a cooperative program among the USTA and its member tracks that is designed to provide value to horseplayers by guaranteeing the size of designated betting pools.

-edited release (USTA communications)

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