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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

Breaking the Bank - featuring data courtesy of Equibase - highlights the biggest scores of the past week in racing.

If you were at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, there was some serious money to be made. That card alone was responsible for the highest place payout and the top returns for exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and Daily Double bets for the week ended Feb. 16.

After an unremarkable first four races that saw one favorite win, a 3-to-1 winner and one double-digit winner, the fireworks kicked off in the fifth race.

Calbo edged clear late under Brian Pedroza to win at 53.60-to-1 odds. He paid $109.20 to win and $38.60 to place and was the key to a whopping $923.20 return for a $2 exacta if you had him over 7-to-1 runner-up Hitec Dave. The prospects were even better if you had Calbo in the Daily Double. When Thecushmaker scored at 10-to-1 odds in the sixth race, it triggered a $1,721.40 Daily Double.

The fifth race on Saturday at Tampa was an instance where Calbo was not entirely improbable. He had finished third or fourth in four of his previous five races and entered the race off a fourth-place finish in which he was beaten by only 3 ½ lengths. I’m not saying he was logical, but looking for horses at 20-to-1 odds or greater who were beaten by less than five lengths in their previous start is a good way to uncover longshots and a method that has been around for many years.

Later on Saturday’s card at Tampa, fireworks went off again in the 10th race in the form of a $9,816.20 trifecta payout for a $2 bet and a $33,655 superfecta score for a $1 wager. In this race, the favorite, the second betting choice and the fourth choice all were within a couple of lengths through a half-mile in :48.33 and faded to finish fifth, fourth and last, respectively.

The winner, Houngun, rallied from last to first to prevail at 15.10-to-1 odds with runner-up Paige Me charging from ninth of 10 to finish second at 16.60-to-1 odds. The trifecta was rounded out by 25.30-to-1 longshot Sean Who.

Houngun was fourth, beaten by less than three lengths in his previous race, and Paige Me entered off a win in a claiming race. Sean Who also was fourth by less than three lengths in his previous race. A bettor who thought this race would set up well for the closers had a good chance to walk out of Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday with a handsome reward.

Top Payouts for the Week Ended Feb. 16
Wager  Wager Amount   Payoff  Track Date Race#
Win  $2.00  $115.40 DED 2/15/14 4
Place  $2.00  $38.60 TAM 2/15/14 5
Show  $2.00  $32.00 FG 2/16/14 2
Exacta  $1.00  $280.20 TUP 2/15/14 4
Exacta  $2.00  $923.20 TAM 2/15/14 5
Quinella  $1.00  $86.50 TUP 2/15/14 4
Quinella  $2.00  $176.80 HOU 2/10/14 8
Trifecta  $1.00  $3,718.20 OP 2/14/14 4
Trifecta  $2.00  $9,816.20 TAM 2/15/14 10
Superfecta  $0.10  $40.36 PRX 2/11/14 6
Superfecta  $1.00  $33,655.00 TAM 2/15/14 10
Superfecta  $2.00  $33,831.00 FG 2/15/14 4
Daily Double  $1.00  $259.00 TUP 2/15/14 5
Daily Double  $2.00  $1,721.40 TAM 2/15/14 6
Pick 3  $0.50  $80.15 BEU 2/12/14 8
Pick 3  $1.00  $5,374.20 PRX 2/10/14 5
Pick 3  $2.00  $12,349.80 DED 2/15/14 5
Pick 4  $0.50  $4,854.25 SA 2/16/14 9
Pick 4  $1.00  $5,796.50 GP 2/14/14 10
Pick 4  $2.00  $54,588.80 DED 2/15/14 4
Pick 5  $0.50  $8,668.65 CRC 2/16/14 8
Pick 5  $1.00  $18,240.10 TAM 2/12/14 9
Pick 5  $2.00  $22,303.20 DED 2/13/14 10
Pick 5 Jackpot  $0.50  $3,319.15 FG 2/16/14 10
Pick 5 Jackpot  $1.00  $1,160.90 LRL 2/12/14 9
Pick 6  $1.00  $1,448.60 TUP 2/11/14 9
Pick 6  $2.00  $72,639.00 SA 2/13/14 8
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.10  $184.44 CRC 2/14/14 8
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.20  $36,171.30 GP 2/14/14 10
Pick 6 Jackpot  $1.00  $1,534.50 SUN 2/14/14 11
Super High Five  $1.00  $36,200.50 SA 2/14/14 8
Super High Five  $2.00  $12,442.80 FG 2/16/14 10
Click here for a complete list of racetracks with abbreviations.

© 2014 Equibase Company LLC, all rights reserved. Data provided or compiled by Equibase Company LLC generally is accurate, but occasionally errors and omissions occur as a result of incorrect data received by others, mistakes in processing and other causes. Equibase Company LLC disclaims responsibility for the consequences, if any, of such errors, but would appreciate their being called to their attention.  

The early Pick 4 (Races 1-4) at Delta Downs on Feb. 15 produced a payout of $54,588.80 for $2, but with only $18,197 wagered into the pool we can deduct that the winning ticket was a 50-cent minimum bet that paid $13,627.20.

This would have been a great opportunity for Pick 4 players who like to single (using only one horse in particular race as the key to a multi-race wager) early and use the “All” button late in multi-race bets. The sequence opened with an even-money favorite, Tight Britches, and was followed by a 7.10-to-1 winner and a 7.80-to-1 winner in races two and three. The big payout was sparked by Empty Pages’ 56.70-to-1 upset in the final race of the sequence. Had you singled the even-money favorite in the opening leg and used three horses in each of the next two legs, using the “All” button that gives a player every horse in the field for the final race, it would have cost $45 for a 50-cent bet and produced a heck of a return on investment.

If you have been following this blog for the last two editions, you’ll recall that the Pick 6 at Santa Anita Park has consistently produced at least one big payout each week. This week was no different.

The Pick 6 at Santa Anita on Feb. 13, which consisted of Races 3-8, included a 3-to-5 favorite (Bayern in the seventh) and an 11-to-10 favorite (Quiet Force in the third) and yet still paid $72,639. The sequence also included a 3.20-to-1 winner in the fourth (Clearly Confused) and an 8.50-to-1 winner (Spiced Latte) in the fifth race. The big payout was sparked by the defeat of a pair of heavy favorites in races six and eight. The Mad Hungarian won the sixth race by a half-length over 1-to-2 favorite Red N Black Attack and the final race of the Pick 6 was won by 11.70-to-1 Reps and Warrants who held off 4-to-5 favorite Closet E by a neck.

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Commonly Used Gambling Terms

Account wagering – Betting by internet or phone, in which a bettor must open an account and deposit money with which to bet.

Across the board – A bet on a horse to win, place and show. If the horse wins, the player collects three ways; if second, two ways; and if third, one way, losing the win and place bets. Actually, three bets.

Bounce – An especially poor performance on the heels of an especially good one.

Box – A betting term denoting a combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered for certain horses.

Bridge jumper – A person who wagers large amounts of money, usually on short- priced horses to show, hoping to realize a small but almost certain profit. The term comes from the structure those bettors may seek if they lose the bet.

Chalk – Betting favorite in a race.

Chalk player – Gambler who wagers on favorites.

Daily Double (or Double) – Type of bet calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races.

Exacta – A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be picked.

Exacta box – A wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are selected.

Exotic (bet) – Any bet other than win, place, or show that requires multiple combinations. Examples of exotic wagers are trifecta, Pick 6, Pick 4.

Handle – Amount of money wagered in the pari-mutuel system on a race, full day of races, or entire racing season at a track.

In the money – A horse that finishes first, second or third.

Key horse – A single horse used in multiple combinations in an exotic bet.

Morning line – The starting odds set by the track handicapper.

On the board – Finishing among the first three.

On the nose – Betting a horse to win only.

Overlay – A horse whose odds are greater than its potential to win.

Pari-mutuel – System of wagering where all the money is returned to the bettors after deduction of track and state percentages.

Parlay – A multi-race bet in which all winnings are subsequently wagered on a succeeding race.

Part wheel – Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations.

Pick (6 or other number) – A type of multi-race bet in which the winners of all the included races must be selected. Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6 are commonly used by tracks in the United States.

Place bet – A bet on a horse to finish first or second.

Quinella - Bet in which the first two finishers must be picked in either order.

Show bet – A bet on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.

Speed Figure – A metric that rates a horse’s performance in a race, which is determined by a combination of the horse’s performance and the level of competition he/she competed against.

Trifecta – A bet in which the first three finishers must be selected in exact order.

Trifecta box – A trifecta wager in which all possible combinations using a given number of horses are bet upon.

Underlay – Horse whose odds are more promising than his potential to win.

Win – A bet on a horse to finish first.

Wheel – Betting all possible combinations in an exotic wager using at least one horse as the key.

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Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

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