The third edition of the National Pic-6 will be held Saturday, but this time Pimlico Race Course won't have a live race in the mix.
"The timing is much simpler when that is the case," said Pimlico president Joe De Francis. "It's a lot easier not to have races involved yourself. This week should be smooth as silk."
The last Pic-6 in this year's trial series will feature the Miss Dade Handicap from Calder Race Course, the Anita Peabody from Arlington International Racecourse, the Breeders' Cup Weekend Delight from Turfway Park, the Beulah Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup, the Youthful Breeders' Cup from Thistledown and the Sport of Kings Futurity from Louisiana Downs.
Last week's Pic-6, which included two events on Pimlico's Maryland Million card, handled nearly $1 million at 55 pari-mutuel sites and off-rack facilities. The Pic-6 -- the first national commingled betting pool for horse racing -- is carried on &L closed-circuit television at participating tracks.
Bettors who correctly picked all six winners received between $4,110.40 and $4,332.60, depending on local track takeout levels. There were 124 winning tickets.
"I think as this thing evolves, things will go very smoothly," said De Francis.
Budweiser will return for the fifth year as a sponsor of the $750,000 International at Laurel Race Course on Oct. 17.
"Their affiliation with the race has been positive for everybody," said De Francis. "They were going to drop it, but they are very interested in our Texas venture.
"We've been criticized by some people for that, but this is one example where our involvement in Texas has been helpful to Maryland."
De Francis heads the Long Star Jockey Club, one of four groups vying to build a track in Dallas.
"If we are the successful applicant, Texas is a very important market for them," he said. "So, we convinced them to keep as much of their presence in Maryland as possible."
Two Pimlico races were taken off the turf yesterday because of the soft surface.
Included was the richest of the program, a $22,000 allowance won by Ritchie Trail, with Kent Desormeaux up, by a half-length over the tiring Dior's Angel.
It was one of two winners for Desormeaux, who has had six overall since he began his 10-day stint here last week.
NOTES: Tommy Turner also had two winners yesterday, giving him eight for the meeting. Edgar Prado leads with 20. . . . Jockey Frank Douglas has been suspended for seven days beginning Saturday for permitting his mount to drift in after the start of the second race Sunday. . . . The Maryland Racing Commission will hold its next regular meeting Oct. 14 at the administration building at Timonium. . . . Steve Hamilton was thrown from his mount, Dessa Girl, at the start of yesterday's fourth race, but was unhurt. He came back to win the ninth, aboard Piece D' Bon Bon. Hamilton has withdrawn an appeal of his seven-day suspension, which begins today. . . . No one hit the double triple for the 10th straight program, leaving a carry-over of $86,986.10.