02/06/2009 1:00AM

MJC raises takeout on pick 3, 4

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The Maryland Racing Commission on Thursday approved a request by the Maryland Jockey Club to raise the takeout on pick three and pick four bets on races at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course from 14 percent to 25.5 percent.

The increase will take effect on March 1. The Maryland Jockey Club lowered the takeout on pick threes and pick fours from 25.5 percent - the same as for all other superexotic wagers at the MJC - to 14 percent in 2005, but the cut had little impact on wagering, according to organization officials.

Dennis Smoter, the jockey club's vice president of wagering and simulcast operations, said the state racing commission approved the increase with the condition of revisiting the issue 60 days after it goes into effect.

"Our intention is to make [the increase] permanent," Smoter said. "That being said, if we got a lot of negative feedback, we'll revisit it."