Updated on 05/22/2012 4:53PM

Thistledown: Irregular betting prompts investigation into Monday's fifth race


Ohio racing officials have launched an investigation into a flurry of last-second bets on the fifth race at Thistledown on Monday, the officials confirmed on Tuesday morning.

The bets, which originated through account-wagering hubs, drove the odds on a 1-5 horse at post time in a seven-horse maiden field to 5-1 just after the horses left the gate. Eye Look the Part, the horse that had been 1-5, won the race by 16 1/2 lengths and paid $12.80 as the longest shot in the six-furlong race.

Just prior to the race starting, a bettor, using a Euro Off-Track betting account, wagered $7,000 to win on every horse in the race but Eye Look the Part. At the same time, $8,000 in win bets were placed through a separate account at the Greyhound Channel on every horse but Eye Look the Part, according to William Crawford, the Ohio State Racing Commission’s executive director.

All told, $90,000 was bet at the last cycle to win on all the other horses in the race. Another $12,000 was bet on the other horses to show, also through the accounts, Crawford said. The bets did not show up on the odds until the race had started, but bettors who thought they were getting 1-5 ended up getting 5-1.

“Normally in these cases it’s the other way around,” Crawford said.

Crawford said that the mutuel pool – the total of all win, place, and show bets – on a race at Thistledown is typically $9,000. The total mutuel pool for the fifth race on Monday was $128,010.

Because of the way the bets were structured, a likely explanation is that the bettor or bettors who targeted all the horses but the favorite were attempting to drive up the price on Eye Look the Part in order to cash bets at non-pari-mutuel off-shore books that pay off at track odds. In order to break even under such a scenario, a bettor would have had to have made at least $14,064 in win bets through non-pari-mutuel outlets.

The betting was complicated by another factor. Of the amount bet to win on Eye Look the Part, a total of $8,359 was made by one bettor, also operating through an account-wagering service, Crawford said. The bettor also made a $968 show bet on Eye Look the Part. Both bets were placed well before the race started.

Crawford acknowledged that the odd amounts of the win and show bets on Eye Look the Part pointed to the use of a computerized robotic wagering program. The programs, which account for at least 10 percent of the handle on U.S. horse races, analyze pool totals searching for inefficiencies, and they typically place bets in odd amounts because of the program’s ability to calculate the impact of the bets on the odds.

Crawford said he has requested additional information from both Euro Off-Track and the Greyhound Channel on the bets and the bettors who placed them.

In addition, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, an investigative arm of a company owned by racetracks, has also begun looking into the race, according to the TRPB’s director of wagering analysis, J. Curtis Linnell.




Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I saw the greyhound channel as one of the outlets I may have an idea of this is. A guy called "gustafson" has been betting greyhound races like this for about a year now. No investigation and I cant imagine any book taking orlando for win betting.
jim samson More than 1 year ago
This was a very peculiar thing for someone to do. If nothing else, it brings unwanted attention to their account. Wise guys don't operate like that . I think the regulators are obligated to find out exactly what happened and report it to the public. Hey , look on the bright side, this is nothing compared to the FaceBook IPO fiasco.
Brownie Queen More than 1 year ago
I read the second DRF article that said that the bets did not come through Greyhound Channel. This seems to have been an error in the first article.
t f More than 1 year ago
Sounds like a typical day at the races said Guido
Michael C. More than 1 year ago
There's live horse racing in Ohio?
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
I don't see an issue at all.......The bets were made legally and into the pool.......Tracks complain when people don't bet this is the first time Ive ever heard them complain about getting extra handle........It's not illegal for most of the World to place wagers with offshore books......Only in the US where we are always about 100 years behind the rest of the World......So when people say the offshore bets are placed illegally they have no idea what they are talking about.....It's the offshore books issue for accepting wagers on a track with such a small handle that this could occur
victor More than 1 year ago
In the old days this was called a buildup. the tracks should be happy. They got increased handle, and so what if the off shore,and illigal books took a beatin.?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The exacta payoff is not suspicious.....It reflects the sum that woluld have been paid had the favorite paid $2.40....This is a very peculiar case, because the pool was manipulated by legal wagers and the benefits were reaped "illegally'.....Usually, you drive down the price of a particular horse and bet on a longshot....
Stephen More than 1 year ago
The exacta pool should be investigated because it paid only $6.20 for a $2 bet. This is definitely not the norm. I'm surprised that they haven't looked at that angle.
Thegta Headmaster More than 1 year ago
Who does this hurt besides the off-shore books who have been stealing money from the tracks & legit players for years? I personally doubt the winners get paid. If they go to the islands to collect, I hope they let someone else start their car.
Jack More than 1 year ago
Drugs, Dope, Alcohol, Drunk Jockey's, Dope "Super Trainer's" Last minunte betting,all part of, Today at the Races .And Management WONDERS why this ONCE great game CONTINUES to DECLINE......GOD HELP US..........
Scot More than 1 year ago
things like this continue to give horse racing black eyes.