$3M Baltimore payout scrutinized

Sun Staff

The investigation into a Baltimore man's horse racing wager over theweekend that produced a potential $3 million payout continued yesterday withno resolution in sight.

"We're going to let this investigation run its course," said StacyClifford, spokeswoman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. "We'regoing to look at this thoroughly."

The board is investigating the suspicious nature of bets made Saturday byDerrick Davis, 29, of Baltimore, through a New York telephone-betting company.Davis wagered $1,152 on the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six, which requiredbettors to select the winner of six consecutive Breeders' Cup races atArlington Park near Chicago.

Davis was the lone bettor to select the winners, three of which were longshots. His winning tickets totaled $3,067,821.60.

Through relatives in Baltimore, Davis declined requests for interviews withThe Sun. However, he was quoted in a story on the Web site of ThoroughbredTimes, a trade journal, as saying: "I didn't do anything wrong. I don't wantany attention."

Davis' wagers drew attention because they were unorthodox and producedastronomical payoffs. He selected the winners of the first four races byselecting only a single horse per race. Then he selected "all" in each of thefinal two races, meaning he bet every horse.

That raised suspicions that he knew the outcome of the first four racesbefore betting or somehow changed his bet.

Don Groth, president of Catskill Off-Track Betting Corporation, the companythat took Davis' bet, said he believes nothing improper occurred. He saidDavis placed his bets by telephone at 2:13 and 2:14 p.m., well before the 2:37p.m. post time for the first Pick Six race.

"We've found nothing to indicate that this was anything but a legitimatewager by a guy who got very lucky," Groth said.

He pointed out that Davis made another wager, equally unusual. Davis bet anadditional $364 on the Ultra Pick Six, selecting every horse in the first tworaces and one horse in each of the final four. Davis lost that bet, Grothsaid.

Payment on the winning Ultra Pick Six tickets is being withheld, pendingthe outcome of the investigation. Clifford would not elaborate on New York'sinvestigation, but one of its focuses is whether someone breached computersecurity.

Davis reportedly operates a computer repair and installation business. Hewas quoted by the Thoroughbred Times as saying: "I do computer work, but I'mnot a hacker."

Possibly complicating the matter is that Davis' telephone bet from Marylandwas apparently illegal, even though that law is not widely known. Maryland lawsays that telephone-account wagering can take place only throughstate-licensed racetracks or entities operating on behalf of the racetracks.

The only telephone-betting entity operating on behalf of Marylandracetracks is the Oregon-based Television Games Network. Lou Ulman, chairmanof the Maryland Racing Commission, said the law has generated no prosecutions.

Ulman, a lawyer, said he didn't think the state could stop Davis fromcollecting his winnings.

Sun staff writer Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.

Bet breakdown

The Ultra Pick Six required bettors to select the winners of sixconsecutive races at Saturday's Breeders' Cup:

Race, Winner, Win payoff
Mile, Domedriver, $54.00
Sprint, Orientate, $7.40
Filly and Mare Turf, Starine, $28.40
Juvenile, Vindication, $10.20
Turf, High Chapparal, $3.80
Classic, Volponi, $89.00

Derrick Davis, of Baltimore, the only bettor to win the Ultra Pick Six,selected the winners in the first four races, then selected "all" in the Turfand Classic, meaning he bet every horse in both races. Cost of wager: $1,152.Payout: $2,570,352. Davis also held 108 consolation tickets with five of thesix winners, worth $497,469.60.

Total payout: $3,067,821.60.

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