03/27/2003 12:00AM

Woodbine lowers pick 4 take


TORONTO, Ontario - The Woodbine Entertainment Group has reduced the Win 4 takeout on its live racing to 14.75 percent, down from 26.30 percent, effective Saturday.

The new takeout will apply to live racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceway, the group's Standardbred track in nearby Campbellville, Ont.

The takeout on pick fours at most U.S. tracks ranges from 20 percent at Gulfstream, Santa Anita, and Fair Grounds to 25 percent at Aqueduct

"We're slashing the takeout in order to rebuild interest in this pool," said Steve Mitchell, vice president of wagering operations for Woodbine.

Both pick four and pick six wagers were suspended at tracks across Canada by order of the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency shortly after the Breeders' Cup pick six scandal last fall, but the agency's review of the pools at Woodbine did not raise any integrity or accuracy issues.

The Win 4 was revived at Woodbine last December but could not be bet in the United States until March 19, when it was given the green light by the parimutuel agency.

To focus attention on the Win 4, offered on races 4 through 7, Woodbine has discontinued the pick threes that formerly began on races 4 and 5.

Meanwhile, Woodbine does not plan to bring back the pick six.

"The pick six is not viable on our live race card, where wagering was often less than $1,000 a day last year," said Mitchell.