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Blog - GAMBLING

Breaking the Bank - featuring data courtesy of Equibase - highlights the biggest scores of the past week in racing. (Photo by Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

It’s Kentucky Derby week, so everybody with even a casual interest in horse racing is looking for a longshot.

Whether you think California Chrome is going to be tough to beat and are looking for horses to use underneath him in exactas or trifectas or you think he can be beat and want to drop a few bucks on a Derby runner at 30-to-1 odds or higher, Derby week is the time to swing for the fences.

One common key last week to a couple of big payouts for multi-race wagers — wagers in which bettors are required to string together a sequence of winners of a set series of races — was identifying a vulnerable favorite in the opening leg.

In the Pick 4 that produced the best return on investment as well as the top Pick 5 for the week, a lonshot won the opening leg of the sequence over a heavy favorite.

The early Pick 4 on April 24 at Evangeline Downs kicked off in Race 1 with Adieu Gerald prevailing at 34-to-1 with 4-to-5 favorite Saints Vision second. When you consider that many bettors probably considered singling the 4-to-5 favorite and most others probably did not include the second-longest shot in the field, you can see how the number of live tickets remaining after just one race was whittled down considerably.

Eighttwentyfive at 5.10-to-1 and 2.80-to-1 third-betting choice Coop N Nugget won the second and third races, respectively, before another longshot completed the sequence. When Wish On a Win drove to victory at 51.20-to-1 odds in Race 4, the number of winning tickets plummeted all the way down to one. The lucky horseplayer with the winning ticket found himself $34,697.70 richer.

The scenario was similar on closing day at Keeneland Race Course on April 25 when a 50-cent Pick 5 returned $34,183.30. The sequence started with Race 6 and it looked like a pretty uneventful race with 1.30-to-1 favorite Elysian taking a clear lead in the stretch, but 30-to-1 longshot Perfect La Comete streaked into contention with a powerful rally and collared the favorite in the final strides.

There undoubtedly were quite a few worthless tickets after that opening leg. Fashion Fund won the seventh race as the 2.90-to-1 co-betting favorite and was followed by 5.20-to-1 Kitty Wine in the eighth race. Another upset winner, 18.40-to-1 Unitarian in the featured Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes, helped significantly reduce the number of live tickets with 6.40-to-1 Contessa B. prevailing in the 10th and final race of the card and the spring meeting at Keeneland.

The Lexington track has been a great source of big payouts during the Polytrack era, which came to a close with the spring meet. Part of that has to do with field size, and the final Pick 5 of the meet included two 11-horse fields, one 12-horse field, one 13-horse field and a race with eight horses.

Top Payouts for the Week Ended April 27
Wager  Wager Amount   Payoff  Track Date Race#
Win  $2.00  $112.40 HAW 4/27/14 10
Place  $2.00  $47.40 FON 4/26/14 11
Show  $2.00  $78.00 MNR 4/26/14 2
Exacta  $1.00  $230.10 SA 4/25/14 7
Exacta  $2.00  $1,221.60 EVD 4/26/14 2
Quinella  $1.00  $67.50 TUP 4/21/14 6
Quinella  $2.00  $245.60 WRD 4/26/14 6
Trifecta  $1.00  $2,629.50 ATL 4/26/14 2
Trifecta  $2.00  $15,959.20 WRD 4/26/14 6
Superfecta  $0.10  $5,006.23 LS 4/27/14 9
Superfecta  $1.00  $52,881.60 HAW 4/27/14 10
Superfecta  $2.00  $82,793.80 KEE 4/25/14 9
Daily Double  $1.00  $223.80 TUP 4/23/14 5
Daily Double  $2.00  $1,148.60 EVD 4/24/14 5
Pick 3  $0.50  $2,252.70 PIM 4/25/14 6
Pick 3  $1.00  $3,009.30 GP 4/27/14 7
Pick 3  $2.00  $6,776.00 AQU 4/25/14 4
Pick 4  $0.50  $34,697.70 EVD 4/24/14 4
Pick 4  $1.00  $9,295.60 GP 4/27/14 8
Pick 4  $2.00  $23,218.80 MNR 4/21/14 5
Pick 5  $0.50  $34,183.30 KEE 4/25/14 10
Pick 5  $1.00  $15,235.90 TAM 4/27/14 10
Pick 5  $2.00  $35,068.00 AQU 4/25/14 5
Pick 5 Jackpot  $0.50  $4,680.80 FON 4/27/14 9
Pick 6  $1.00  $6,230.50 TUP 4/26/14 9
Pick 6  $2.00  $44,793.80 SA 4/26/14 11
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.10  $3,368.18 CRC 4/26/14 8
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.20  $19,376.44 GP 4/27/14 8
Pick 6 Jackpot  $1.00  $594.80 CRC 4/27/14 8
Super High Five  $1.00  $17,476.20 GP 4/26/14 9
Super High Five  $2.00  $18,736.20 MNR 4/22/14 9
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 pursuit of the elusive Rainbow 6 continues as there was no unique winner again last week. After Sunday's card, the massive carryover climbed to $5,700,272. Racing continues Friday at Gulfstream Park. The Rainbow 6 will be comprised of Races 3-8 with post time for the third race scheduled for 2:27 p.m. ET. The Rainbow 6 has not had a unique winner since Jan. 10. 

Good luck!

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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.

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.

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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