03/18/2015 11:16AM

Pimlico will offer Rainbow 6, low-takeout pick five


The Maryland Jockey Club will be replacing the Jackpot Pick Five with a Rainbow 6 when the Pimlico meet begins April 2. A pick five with a 12 percent takeout also will be added to the wagering menu.

The changes were approved Tuesday by the Maryland Racing Commission.

The Rainbow 6 at Pimlico will be slightly different from the one at Gulfstream Park. The minimum bet will be 10 cents rather than 20 cents. Also, on days when there is more than one winning ticket or nobody picks six winners, 40 percent of the pool will carry over, and 60 percent of the pool will be paid out to the tickets picking the most winners.

At Gulfstream, the splits are 30 percent to the carryover, with 70 percent being paid out.

The carryover is only paid out when there is a single winning ticket.

“I think the Rainbow 6 will be more popular than the Jackpot Pick Five because it is better known and because it has a history of nice payouts,” said Sal Sinatra, general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “We’ve increased the percentage going to the carryover to help us build the pot up quicker.”

Sinatra said he has waited until the Pimlico meet to introduce the Rainbow 6 because the return of turf racing will result in larger fields.

The 12 percent takeout on the new pick five will be among the lowest in North America, according to information on the Horseplayers Association of North America website. Northlands Park in Edmonton, Canada, has a 10 percent pick five, and the recently concluded Sam Houston meeting had a 12 percent pick five, according to the site.

“I think the low takeout will appeal to bigger players and will get people handicapping multiple races on our cards that they might want to bet individually,” Sinatra said.

The pick five will be a 50-cent minimum bet. Both the Rainbow Six and pick five will conclude on the final race of the Pimlico card.

Sinatra hopes to lower the takeout on other wagers when racing returns to Laurel in August. Pimlico is currently ranked 45th by the Horseplayers Association of North America, which uses takeout and field size as part of its rating system.

“I want us to be in the top 15, which means we will have to reduce our takeout by 10 to 12 1/2 percent,” Sinatra said. “I am analyzing all of our wagers to figure out the best way to do it. It might make sense to lower a few specific wagers instead of an across-the-board reduction.”