06/04/2015 7:22PM

Pick six format change tabled, may be considered for fall meeting

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Del Mar has tabled a plan to change the format of the pick six for the upcoming summer meeting. The plan would have eliminated a consolation payoff and dedicated that portion of the pool for distribution to a single ticketholder.

On Thursday, track President Joe Harper said Del Mar will seek additional feedback from bettors before reconsidering the new format for the autumn meeting.

“To get a more accurate assessment of it, it would be best to do it in the fall meeting,” Harper said. “We don’t want to spring it on everybody. The fall might be the time to do it. I think we need to get more thinking out there and tell people why we think it’s a good idea. If it doesn’t work, we’d be the first to pull the plug.”

The track’s summer meeting runs July 16-Sept. 6. The autumn meeting runs Oct. 29-Nov. 29.

Del Mar introduced the proposed changes at the California Horse Racing Board meeting May 21. The proposal has similarities to rainbow pick six bets currently conducted at Gulfstream Park and Golden Gate Field but with an emphasis on paying a majority of the pool to bettors who select six winners each day.

Del Mar’s proposal would have dedicated 80 percent of the net pick six pool to be distributed to perfect tickets. The remaining 20 percent would be distributed if there were a single winning ticketholder or would have carried over until a single ticketholder won a pick six.

Rainbow pick six bets are offered in 20-cent denominations. Del Mar planned to retain a $2 minimum for the pick six under the proposed format.

The issue was scheduled to be discussed at the racing board’s pari-mutuel committee meeting June 11 at Los Alamitos before being considered by the full racing board at its monthly meeting June 25 at Los Alamitos. Del Mar needed racing board approval for the new format before the start of the summer meeting.

On Thursday, the racing board announced the pari-mutuel committee meeting had been canceled after Del Mar officials asked that the new format be tabled.

Harper said track officials consider the new format to be a way to reinvigorate the $2 pick six, which has been losing handle in recent years to other jackpot bets such as the 50-cent pick five and pick four.

“I think we need to breathe a little life in it,” Harper said.