12/13/2002 1:00AM

Pick 6 payout in court's hands


Officials of the Illinois Racing Board said Friday that the suspended Breeders' Cup pick six payout cannot be distributed to holders of consolation tickets until federal officials in New York lift a freeze on the money.

"The federal courts in New York have placed a brick on that money," said Mark Laino, the deputy director of the IRB on Friday at the Symposium on Racing in Tucson, Ariz. "The IRB will not be able to take up the issue until that freeze is lifted."

Approximately $3.1 million in winnings has been suspended since an investigation was launched into the six winning tickets on the pick six. The targets of the investigation, three former fraternity brothers at Drexel University, have all entered guilty pleas in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., in which they admitted to conspiring to alter pick six tickets.

Breeders' Cup and IRB officials have said they intend to distribute the suspended payout, plus interest, to the holders of consolation tickets. The 78 consolation tickets, which paid $4,606.20 on the day of the race, will be worth nearly $40,000.