04/09/2005 12:00AM

Spring Pick 3 pays $49.40


The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Spring Pick 3 was not as popular as the Big 3 Pick 3, but bettors did receive a decent payoff for a chalky sequence.

The NTRA Spring Pick 3 comprised the Carter Handicap and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. Forest Danger ($3.70) won the Carter, followed by Bellamy Road ($7.10) in the Wood, and Greeley's Galaxy ($5.60) in the Illinois Derby. All three were the betting favorites. Still, the wager returned $49.40 for $2.

The pool for the NTRA Spring Pick 3 was $562,798. The pool for the Big 3 Pick 3 topped $1 million in five of the last six years, including a North American record pick three pool of $1,216,666 a year ago. The Big 3 Pick 3 included a trio of Kentucky Derby preps - the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, and Arkansas Derby.

"Obviously this isn't as successful as the Big 3 Pick 3, but I knew it would be a little lower once Santa Anita decided not to be part of it," said New York Racing Association vice president Bill Nader, referring to the fact that the Santa Anita Derby was not part of the wager. "Still, $562,000 is a big success for a pick three wager."