Ten bettors correctly picked all six winners in the first Nationa Pic-6 pool yesterday and will split $392,837.60 in winnings, according to Chris Scherf, executive director of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, which organized the pool.
Four of the 10 winning tickets were purchased at Pimlico or at one of the seven tracks that commingles with the Baltimore outlet. There were four winning tickets at Thistledown Race Course in Cleveland, and one each at Arlington Park in Illinois and Calder Race Course in Florida.
Each ticket was worth $38,661.20, except at Thistledown. The "takeout" there is lower and the winners each received $40,207.60.
Scherf said there was a holdup in determining the exact result after the experimental race program was completed about 6 p.m. yesterday.
"One track [of the more than 40 tracks that participated] entered some wrong information in their computer and we had to trace the whole history of the transaction," Scherf said.
There were 340 "consolation winners" -- bettors who picked five of the six winners. The consolation payoff, because takeouts vary by state, differs. Pimlico had 105 consolation winners, each received $380.60.
Track operator Joe De Francis said one person who hit the Pic-6 at Pimlico asked to have his ticket put in a track vault. "He is a
Pimlico regular, a horse owner, but doesn't want to be identified," De Francis said.
Despite some computer glitches, timing holdups and confusion among bettors, the first electronically pooled mass bet went off with only minor problems.
A gross total of $693,433 was bet into the pool. After the tracks, horsemen and various states took their share of the "takeout" (amount withheld from each betting dollar), the total amount paid to the bettors was $523,731. Of that total, 75 percent goes to the 10 bettors who picked all six winners, and the other 25 percent is split among the winners who had five of six winners.
De Francis said he was "thrilled" by the total bet. "It was not the greatest group of races for wagering," he said. "When we put together 10- to 12-horse fields and can make it tough and there is the possibility of a big carry-over, then the Pic-6 will create a lot of excitement."
The winning combination was 7-7-1-3-2-1. The winners, by track, were Smart Alec, an 11-1 shot in the Philadelphia Budweiser Breeders' Cup; Meafara, a 1-5 favorite in the Columbia Stakes at Pimlico; Approach, a 9-2 shot, in the Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park; Boots 'n Jackie, at 6-1 odds, in the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course; Plain Sexy, who upset heavily favored Eskimo's Angel, at 3-1 odds in the Louisiana Breeders' Oaks at Louisiana Downs; and Irish Swap, a 5-2 choice who caught Clever Trevor in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park.
At Pimlico, bettors had ambivalent feelings.
"I can't pick six horses. It went too fast for me," said Shirley Johnson.
The six races from six states were spaced seven minutes apart, starting with the Philadelphia race at 5:10 p.m. and ending with the Arlington race at 5:49 p.m.