05/13/2011 2:35PM

Hollywood Park: Pick five's popularity with bettors soars

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – It’s official. The 50-cent pick five has supplanted the $2 pick six as the most popular bet in Southern California.

The latest evidence occurred at Hollywood Park on Thursday when bettors poured $799,629 into the pick five in pursuit of a carryover of $107,487 from the preceding Sunday. Thursday’s pick six had a handle of $564,092, which was swelled by a carryover of $91,681 from the preceding Sunday.

The pick five paid $1,125, with only one winning favorite, Desperate Measures in the first race. The pick six paid $10,321, with only one winning favorite, Gutshot Straight in the eighth race.

In the first 13 days of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting, the pick five has outhandled the pick six on nine occasions. Two obvious reasons are the 14 percent takeout for the pick five, compared with 23.6 percent for the pick six, as well as the lower minimum cost.

“I was pleasantly surprised, and maybe the word is stunned, that we had that much bet in the first race exotic pool,” track president Jack Liebau said on Friday. “I was also surprised by the pick six pool. After they bet so much on the pick five, I was concerned there wouldn’t be any money left for the pick six. I thought that’s what they would have bet in the pick six in the absence of a pick five.”

In addition, Liebau said the $390,336 pool for the 50-cent late pick four was “$100,000 higher than a comparable Thursday.”

Overall, Thursday’s all-sources handle was $7,777,800 compared with $5,491,474 on the preceding Thursday, May 6. For the meeting, Liebau said that handle figures are down – with declines of 6 percent in California, 11 percent out of state, and 8 percent for all-sources. Thursday’s handle helped those figures “move up considerably,” Liebau said.