06/13/2016 7:13AM

Surface switches result in $146 payoff for Golden Pick 6

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The Golden Pick 6 ended the Golden Gate Fields meet with a whimper, not a bang Sunday when jockeys refused to ride on the turf course, forcing two races in the sequence to be switched from the turf to the main track.

Because the switch occurred after the sequence had started, the races were considered no-contests for the Golden Pick 6, and bettors were given all horses in both races. As a result, each winning ticket paid only $146.16 from the pool of $4,594,997. There were 31,438 winning tickets.

The Golden Pick 6 jackpot was required to be paid on Sunday, the final day of the meet. The jackpot usually is paid only when there is a single winning ticket, but on Sunday, anyone with all six winners shared in the payout. The jackpot had not been hit since Feb. 27.

The Golden Pick 6 comprised races 7-12 on Sunday. The jockeys informed Golden Gate management after the ninth race that they would not ride in the 10th and 12th races, citing unsafe turf conditions. Management did not agree that the course was unsafe, but acceded to the jockeys' wishes and switched the two races to the Tapeta main track.

“We are truly sorry and we understand that this is a very disappointing outcome for our horseplayers and fans that participated so enthusiastically here on closing day,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president, West Coast operations for track owner The Stronach Group. “We did not agree the turf course was unsafe, and we were disappointed the jockeys didn’t communicate with us earlier. However, after the jockeys informed us about their concerns, we had no choice but to make the surface change to our main track.

“The safety of our athletes, both human and equine, is always our top priority.”

The Golden Pick 6 began with a dead heat for win in the first leg, race 7, with Fresh Bobcat ($17) and Llobo ($8) both earning a maiden victory.

Bottle Blonde scored an $11.20 win in the second leg, race 8, which was run on turf, and Foxtrot Romeo ($9.40) won the third leg, race 9.

Beautranda scored a $23 victory in the 10th race, the first of the two races transferred from turf to the main track. Second choice Duchessa ($8.40) defeated favored stablemate Run Sophia Run to win the fifth leg, race 11. Golden Ocean ($15.40) won the finale, race 12, in the second race transferred from turf to the main track.