11/11/2013 3:57PM

Hollywood Park: California Horse Racing Board looking into possible odds manipulation

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The California Horse Racing Board is looking into several large win bets made at Southern California Thoroughbred tracks that were withdrawn in the minutes before post time.

Racing board spokesman Mike Marten said officials had been in contact with Xpressbet about a win bet of approximately $30,000 made through the account-wagering service and removed from the pool in the minutes before Saturday’s seventh race at Betfair Hollywood Park.

“We’ve been in contact with Xpressbet and we don’t expect a recurrence,” Marten said.

An Xpressbet spokesperson said his organization was working with the racing board “to limit this type of behavior from occurring going forward.”

“We’re taking measures to prevent this,” said the spokesperson, who did not wish to be named.

Saturday, the $30,000 win bet was made on Ekahi in a $16,000 claimer over seven furlongs. The bet made Ekahi the 3-5 favorite with 13 minutes to post. With six minutes to post, Ekahi was the even-money favorite.

The bet was withdrawn from the pool with approximately three minutes to post, causing Ekahi to drift to 27-1 by post time. Ekahi, listed at 30-1 on the morning-line, was last of nine throughout the race. The race was won by Cast a Doubt, the 5-2 favorite.

A similar situation occurred twice in the same race at the Santa Anita autumn meeting on Oct. 20. The bets were withdrawn before the race was run.

Algird More than 1 year ago
This cancelling a bet is the very definition of "Money Laundering". FinCin laws and Title 31 are being broken, where is the Racing Commission or Gaming Commission, or the Feds on this illegal practice.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Hey, this just in California s full of pathetic scum bags !!
David More than 1 year ago
An odds manipulator can bet heavy early on the logical favorite, cancel most of his large bet as the horses are going into the gate, and still end up getting most of the Win Pool. At PID, we had a race with a $5,500 Win bet made on the first blink of the Board. In my opinion, this horse should have gone off somewhere around 6/5 or 8/5 on normal circumstances. But it paid 7/2! The $5,500 kept the odds at 1/9 as the horses were loading into the gate. The last blink of the win pool showed $5,700 was bet on this horse. Only $200 more was bet on the horse! From the first blink of the Board to the final win bet, only $200 more was placed on him during those 20 minutes. Meanwhile, horses were receiving plenty of action normally they should not have been getting. The 1/9 wins. But now the odds show 7/2!. The win amount on this horse was $1,700. $4,000 was cancelled, $1,500 of the $5,500 stayed on him. What should have been the logical second choice of 3-1, went off at 4/5 with $4,800 bet to win on him. This person successfully chased others off the horse he liked and manipulated others to bet on horses they normally would not have bet. Down the road, this could end up being the wild, wild west with endless possibilities such as two first time starters getting a ton of action only to have those bets cancelled . Some of the comments below supporting odds manipulation are not in the best interest of the sport.
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
Clearly, some people actually dont understand.
noblew More than 1 year ago
You need that money in your account to make your bet. So what's wrong with changing your bet.scared of a WISE GUY move!!
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I'm amazed at how people don't understand how disruptive this is ..one handicaping tool is to watch the odds to determine value. if the odds are being manipulated it throws everything off. Then there's the fact that odds are used as a barometer of intent by the stable. For example if a first time starter is bet heavily it usually means that he is well meant or has been training well and caught peoples attention. If a horse that's supposed to be 15/1 gets bet down to favorite one has to take a closer look because it could be that the horse has improved and the connections have bet him. Now what these guys are doing is artificially distorting the pools because they have no intention of betting the horse since they will cancel the bet. The whole exercise is to manipulate the odds of the horses they do intend to bet after they cancel the phony bet.my suggestion is that anytime somebody wants to cancel a huge bet say over $10 000 the software or teller should delay them just enough to make them really uncomfortable and the second time the same person or account tries to do it they should delay them enough to make it impossible to cancel. Most will desist after almost loosing their phony bet the first time.
Eddie Lazaro More than 1 year ago
If people are just watching the odds and not the previous performances and training, they are all in (majority) for a big shock, tearing bets and kicking trash bins on their way out. not my game since I don't bet the "CHALK", but more than likely, my few dollars will take me to a good dinner and a bottle of scotch later
Five More than 1 year ago
Way to go, Ray Sou, you got all of that by yourself. Wow, you're a smart one. A keeper for sure.
Drew More than 1 year ago
Nothing wrong, this happens often just not as obvious. Ekahi had no chance to win, no matther the odds I would still bet against. this is part of wagering strategy
702Raycing More than 1 year ago
No Drew this does NOT happen often. In so cal I watch every pool of every race run everyday and I assure this may happen with $5 from time to time but $30k+ is way too noticable in todays pools except for HUGE days. This practice is frowned upon by the vast majority of people who are involved in racing. Much like counting cards in a casino is NOT against the law, The casinos frown upon that and flat out do not want you to do it and if they catch you especially more than once they will kick you out. To me this is along the same lines... U cant have drunk rich guys altering the odds with bogus bets. Its makes the game look corrupt and to people who don't follow these things closely they will jus consider the game crooked and go away and not to mention all thesmall bettors that find out they got manipulated by a rich guy making bets for the purpose of alterting the final odds. That practice is the enemy of Parimutel wagering and it needs to be snuffed out and the tracks are fully within their rights to make this stop and I hope they do without undermining they relationships they have with big bettors except for the ones that want to play games like this moron/ Ekahi had no chance what so ever a large bet on that horse was clearly either a mistake or and odds manipulator and thats exactly what it was.
Eddie Lazaro More than 1 year ago
Why will you bet more to get less. A 30K will get you $40K or less on a chalk, but a $5K will give you back the same amount if not more and it's not just as conspicuously done, so if a non winner horse with a worse performance was bet down 3/5, only a fool will follow & bet a winning ticket on him .
saratogajunkie More than 1 year ago
After reading many of these comments, a possible way to slow this last second cancelling would be to limit the size of the bet to say 100$ increments, someone serious about betting 5000 could still do it, but trying to cancel 50 100$ win bets in the final seconds would be far more risky to the shmucks doing this.
702Raycing More than 1 year ago
They will never make it harder for someone to bet more money and nor should they..its just bad bizness, But I also think that cancelling large wager should have hoops to jump thru along the same lines of your cancelling in tiny increments. Maybe they could limit the amount of a bet OR require they identify themselves to the public if the CHRB suspects them of playing games... and I dont want to here about how many $30k + plus wagers are cancelled for legit reasons the percentage has to be microscopic.
Earl Rhodes More than 1 year ago
from 3-5 to 27-1 that kinda of early action make you think some one knows something, just may be it cause you to throw that pig in, you wagering
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
exactly..and it goes on constantly.
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
I think it's way too easy to overestimate the probability that some savvy professional is intentionally manipulating the pools to positive effect. There are so many possible scenarios that can trigger odd changes. For example, I have watched countless 5K wagers at tracks like Mountaineer and Charleston where an individual bets early and against the logical favorite. On rare occasions, the bettor backs out of his action. I would rather have this person continue to make his negative ROI bets. At least when it's done early in the game, you have some information, even if it's ambiguous. Computer batch bettors are responsible for large, late odds changes, which are more more problematic. Trying to decipher what odds you are going to get is always a dicey proposition and I am skeptical that there is anything the industry can really do to fix it without undermining handle. It's a shame that we only have the opportunity to bet into high takeout parimutuel pools. I'd rather have the additional option of exchange wagering so I can lock in an advantageous price earlier in the game.
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
Most popular story of the day......could it be because it was THE ONLY free story of the day on DRF for monday november 11th? Didn't know we had so many people interested in an article on alleged odds fixing. Next free story: Are the hot dogs at Belmont Park better than the ones on the West Coast or is it that readers are more biased towards the East Coast products?
Walter More than 1 year ago
Am major track has a betting situation like this. Why wouldn't this be an interesting story for horseplayers?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
what?..you dont think this is important.really?..
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Can't remember the guys name, but bets something like $350 million a year, but I heard he uses tactics like this. To get the odds up or down to his figures !