12/05/2016 3:46PM

No consolation payouts for pick six on closing day

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Del Mar’s pick six ended in controversy on Sunday when it was announced that only those nailing all six winners would be paid, and that no one hitting five of six would get consolations, something that was not conveyed to bettors or media prior to closing day.

It was obvious from the postrace fallout that management at Del Mar was caught off guard by the processing of the bet Sunday. But when Del Mar submitted an application for the bet to the California Horse Racing Board, which was approved, the track cited a lengthy rule regarding jackpot wagers crafted by the Association of Racing Commissioners International; the ARCI rule was used because California does not have its own rule regarding jackpot wagers.

That ARCI rule includes a clause that specifically says that in the case of a jackpot wager on the day of a mandatory payout – in the absence of a single winner – those selecting the most winners split the pool, and that there are no consolations. Del Mar management apparently assumed the 15 percent consolation it paid on prior days would apply on closing day, too. But the rule used in the application does not carve out that exception for a mandatory payout.

Del Mar between Sunday night and Monday morning conferred with the racing board, AmTote – the track’s bet processor – and a state auditor and on Monday put out a statement that said, “While Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and its tote provider, AmTote, were following the ARCI rule, we regret any confusion surrounding the payout of the Pick Six pool on the mandatory distribution day and how the ARCI rule may have impacted our customers.”

There were 44 tickets that had all six winners and paid $15,660.40 each.

There was a carryover of $89,411 entering the day, and since it was closing day, a mandatory payout was in effect. There was $780,563 in fresh money bet into the pick six on Sunday. After takeout, the entire net pool went to those with 6 of 6.

After the final race, results posted on the tote board showed only payouts for 6 of 6, but no consolations for 5 of 6. Consolation payoffs had been carved out for 15 percent of the pool all meet. Had 15 percent of the fresh money wagered Sunday gone to consolations, approximately $90,000 would have been divided among those with 5 of 6, and the payoff on 6 of 6 would have been reduced by a bit more than $2,000 each. Of course, those with 6 of 6 also would have had some of the consolation payoffs, too, under that scenario.

Under new pick-six rules at this meet, at least until Sunday, 70 percent of the net pool went to those with 6 of 6. If no one had six, that amount was carried over in the general pool. Of the rest, 15 percent went to those with 5 of 6, and the remaining 15 percent was set aside for a single-ticket jackpot.

There were instances earlier at the meet where a single ticket hit, or the pick six was hit by multiple tickets, and each time a consolation was paid.