04/15/2011 2:37PM

Hollywood Park plans 50-cent pick five with reduced takeout

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Hollywood Park will introduce a 50-cent pick five with a 14 percent takeout on Thursday’s opening day of the track’s spring-summer meeting.

The new bet will be conducted daily, starting with the first race, and will feature a carryover provision in the event there are no winning tickets. The $2 pick six will continue to be offered on the final six races of each program. There will be 50 cent pick four bets on the second through fifth races and the final four races.

The 50-cent pick five will have the lowest takeout of any bet offered, compared with 15.43 percent for win, place, and show bets, 22.68 percent for two-horse exotics, and 23.68 percent for exotics with three or more horses, such as the pick three, trifectas, and superfectas.

In 2010, legislation was passed increasing the takeout on exotic bets by 2 or 3 percent to fund overnight purses. The increased takeout took effect on Jan. 1, and was met by protest from some bettors who reacted angrily, stating they would boycott betting on California as a result of the hike.

Track president Jack Liebau is hopeful that the lower takeout of the new 50-cent pick five will draw renewed interest from bettors in California racing, and could lead to increased handle on other races.

“With a 50-cent minimum it may get people to play the bet and maybe bet some of the legs individually,” he said. “California has taken a lot of flack for increasing the takeout of the exotics. I thought that was unfair. Our takeout is lower than in most states.”

Gulfstream Park in Florida, for example, has a takeout of 20 percent for daily double, exacta, pick three, and pick four bets, but a 26 percent takeout for trifectas and superfectas. Woodbine has a takeout of 20.5 percent for exactas and daily doubles, 25 percent for trifecta and pick four bets, and 26.3 percent for pick three and superfectas. Oaklawn Park has a takeout of 21 percent for all exotics.

Hollywood Park will have a four-day racing week for most of the meeting, which runs through July 17, on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis.