11/12/2002 12:00AM

Illinois bans pick fours, sixes

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The Illinois Racing Board banned all bets with more than three legs at a meeting on Tuesday because of concerns over the security of totalizator systems arising out of the ongoing Breeders' Cup pick six investigation.

The ban will include pick four and pick six bets at any track in Illinois. The ban will also prohibit anyone betting in Illinois from wagering on a pick four or pick six that is held at any other track.

The board also deferred action on licensing two tote companies, Autotote and AmTote, for 2003, because of concerns that the companies have not adequately responded to questions about the security of their systems. The companies' license applications may be considered at a Dec. 9 meeting, board officials said.

"We owe it to the people who participate in this sport that we maintain the highest standards of integrity," said Walter Dudycz, the IRB's executive director, in an interview following the meeting.

Dudycz said that if tote companies and investigators determine that the multirace wagers are not at risk, the ban will be lifted.

The ban will have an immediate impact on Hawthorne Race Course, where an $11,000 pick six carryover was scheduled to roll into Wednesday's card.

Racetrack officials at the meeting angrily objected to the ban on multirace wagers, according to reports. Track officials could not be reached late on Tuesday afternoon.