Betting falls off on Pic-6 experiment Despite miscues, TRA still pleased with results


Betting decreased more than $100,000 on the last leg of the three-part National Pic-6, but officials of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations said yesterday they are still "pleased and proud" of the experiment.

Bob Bork, president of the TRA and general manager of Arlington International Racecourse, said he was not surprised at the wagering decline.

Betting was off 12.9 percent yesterday from the second leg of the Pic-6 on Sept. 26.

"The stakes we presented in the second leg were all $100,000 in value and Maryland Million Day at Pimlico helped increase the Pic-6 handle through their [six] simulcast outlets that day," he said.

There was only one race offered in yesterday's finale with more than a $100,000 purse. None of the stakes originated from Maryland.

The winning combination yesterday was 5-1-3-4-4-8 including one long-shot winner, Hyperactive in the Miss Dade Handicap at Calder Race Course and then several favorites. The other equine winners were Explosive Kate (Anita Peabody Handicap -- Arlington), Mea fara (Breeders' Cup Weekend Delight Stakes -- Turfway), Medium Cool (Beulah Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup -- Beulah Park), Williamstown (Youthful Breeders' Cup -- Thistledown) and Northern Injun (Sports of King Futurity -- Louisiana Downs).

There were 169.5 winning tickets that had 6-of-6 winners, paying from $2,753.60 to $2,613.40 at various outlets, depending on takeouts in those locations. The half of a winning ticket was purchased with a $5 bet, said TRA officials.

There were 5,100 5-of-6 winners, who were paid from $30.40 to $28.80.

The Pic-6 is the TRA's first effort to offer one large nationally commingled betting pool.

The event took place during three weekends, starting on Sept. 12. A six-stakes format was presented during one hour from five or six different tracks.

Up to 55 outlets in 21 states took in nearly $2.5 million in wagers and then transmitted the bets over high-speed telephones into the central pool located at the headquarters of AmTote International in Hunt Valley.

The project was billed as an experiment and even during it's third attempt yesterday there were problems.

There was no audio racecall of Leg D, the Beulah Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup at Beulah Park. Television commentator Jenny Ornstein, who anchored the six-stakes program along with Steve Ford from a Pennsylvania studio, had to improvise the call and announced the wrong horse as the winner.

In the same race, heavily favored Flying Continental was scratched.

It also took the TRA and AmTote more than two hours yesterday to calculate the pay-offs and the number of winning tickets.

Despite the problems, Tim Capps, vice president of racing at Pimlico, said the project is worthwhile. "It has been a logistical and marketing experiment, and all in all I think it went well," he said.

He added that later this month the 1995 Committee of the TRA will hold a meeting to assess the Pic-6 and decide how and when it will be presented in 1993.

Meanwhile Breeders Cup Ltd., which inaugurated a national Pick 7 on the Breeders' Cup races last year, plans to offer a new and improved format for their Pick 7 pool on Oct. 31.

NOTES: New Jersey invader Besmirk won the $40,000-added Park Heights Handicap at Pimlico yesterday, but only after Baby o'Mine was disqualified. Baby o' Mine won by a nose, but was taken down after she bumped with Besmirk about 20 yards from the wire. Track stewards called for an inquiry and then Besmirk's jockey, Joe Bravo, lodged a foul claim against Charlie Fenwick on Baby o' Mine. . . . The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, run in Paris today, will not be simulcast at Pimlico or Laurel. NBC-TV owns the rights to the race this year and is not allowing the stakes to be simulcast at any U.S. tracks. NBC will televise the race on tape delayed. . . . Last year's Budweiser International winner, Leariva, runs on the Arc "under card" in the Prix de l'Opera. The 5-year-old mare has not run since she cracked a bone in her pastern last spring. . . . Little Bold John came out of his sixth-place finish in the Maryland Million Classic last weekend in good shape and will be running at the upcoming Laurel meet, said his owner-trainer Jerry Robb. But don't expect to see "LBJ" running in stakes. "The Maryland Million was a one-shot deal," Robb said. . . . Laurel starts it's six-month fall and winter meet on Thursday. Weekday post times will be 12:30 p.m., noon on weekends.

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