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'Bonanza' latest betting option


The Double Triple is gone. The Bonanza is on the horizon.

Beginning Saturday at Laurel Park, Maryland tracks will introduce a new exotic bet that will be offered on weekend cards to fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Bonanza will be a regional pick six affair that features two races each from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, usually overnight events.

Races will be the fourth and fifth on each track's card with post times set so that Bonanza races are run eight minutes apart.

"We're all excited about creating a unique wagering opportunity for fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic area as a first step in regional cooperation," said Joe De Francis, president of the Maryland Jockey Club.

The planning group also included Hal Handel of Monmouth and the Meadowlands, Bob Levy of Atlantic City, Art Winkler of Garden State, Bob Green of Philadelphia Park and Phil O'Hara of Penn National.

"This seems like an excellent opportunity to present the public with races they're familiar with and the chance for a major return for their investment," said Handel, vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority.

The schedule allows each track to runs its card with minimal disruption. If Laurel provides the first race of the Bonanza (Leg A) it then would provide the fourth (Leg D). The track supplying the second (Leg B) also will run the fifth (Leg E).

Maryland and New Jersey are expected to have two races each in the bet with Philadelphia Park and Penn National splitting the others.

The features of the Bonanza:

* Minimum bet of $2 with increments of $2 each.

* A 17 percent takeout in all jurisdictions.

* No consolation pool. If there are no winning tickets, the pool carries over to the next day that the wager is offered.

* A "Baby Bonanza" Pick Three on the final three legs with wagering closing two minutes before Leg D.

Since the tracks carry each other's signals as a matter of course, no regional telecast exclusively for carrying the Bonanza is planned.

Each track is to provide bettors with a special Bonanza section--including past performances--in its programs.

'Quest' is Deputed winner

In the words of his trainer, Fran Campitelli, Sam's Quest "is a slow-developing horse" who has yet to reach his potential.

Yesterday, the 3-year-old colt may have started toward that goal.

With Steve Hamilton aboard, Sam's Quest unleashed a powerful run in the stretch, caught Flying Punch a few jumps from the wire and scored a neck victory in the $75,000 Deputed Testamony Stakes at Pimlico.

It was a major step forward for Sam's Quest, who won the Maryland Million Nursery last fall at Laurel, but since had fallen into a pattern of inconsistency.

Flying Punch had beaten the long shot in their three previous meetings, all in stakes races.

The prohibitive favorite in a seven-horse field, Star Trace, weakened to finish third, only his second defeat in five career starts.

Sam's Quest, who paid $30.20 for a $2 win ticket, finished the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 1/5 and earned $45,000 to push his lifetime bankroll above $126,000.


Jockey Mark Johnston had a four-win afternoon while riding for four different trainers. . . . Open Toe looms as the favorite in today's $30,000-added April Run Stakes, the closing feature of Pimlico's spring meeting. Racing shifts to Laurel Park on Tuesday.

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