04/02/2017 8:09PM

Santa Anita alters pick six rules when late surface switch occurs

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ARCADIA, Calif.- Santa Anita recently received approval from the California Horse Racing Board to change the rules regarding pick six distributions in the event of a surface switch after the bet is underway.

The new rule takes effect on Thursday. In the event of a late surface switch, the 15 percent portion of the net pool typically dedicated to the single ticket jackpot provision of the pool will be redirected to the portion of the pool distributed to ticketholders with six winners, or into a carryover.

In that scenario, 85 percent of the net pool would be paid to tickets with all six winners, or into a conventional carryover, and 15 percent to the consolation pool.

On a day with a late surface switch, it will still be possible for the single ticket payoff provision to be paid out, if there is a single winning ticket. That is less likely to occur on a day with a late surface switch, since any races affected by a change in surface are considered a winning leg for all bettors, regardless of selections, essentially making the pick six a pick five.

The rule change was requested following a situation on March 5 in which the day’s final race was moved from turf to dirt because of excessive early afternoon rain. The decision was made approximately an hour before post time for the final race after jockeys told track officials that the surface was slippery.

Because betting in the 50-cent late pick four and $2 pick six had already started, all tickets were credited as winners in the ninth race.

The pick four paid $14.90 on a winning combination of 3-2-2-all. The pick six paid $4,124 on a winning combination of 2-3-3-2-2-all.

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Track officials expressed regret about the confusion surrounding the late surface switch.

Because there were multiple winning tickets on March 5, the single ticket provision of the pick six grew from $97,109 on March 4 to $112,133 after the March 5 program. Under the new rules, the same situation would not occur. The single ticket provision would not increase in the event of a late surface switch unless there was a single winning ticket. That portion of the pool would be distributed to ticketholders with the most winners on the affected day.

This is the first year Santa Anita has offered a single ticket jackpot provision in the pick six. The single ticket prize has not been hit since Feb. 20.

There are two carryovers in the pick six for Thursday - $133,546 in the main pick six pool and a record $590,443 in the single ticket jackpot pool.