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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 Eclipse Sportswire)

With the Kentucky Derby in the rearview mirror and the Preakness rapidly approaching, a longshot who triggered a couple of big payouts last week serves as a great reminder that one of racing’s oldest adages still rings true: speed is always dangerous.

Although front-runners usually fare better on dirt main track, horses who get to the front and are left unchallenged can be tough to catch regardless of surface. Imagining used his early speed to his advantage in winning the Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes on the grass and, although races on synthetic surfaces often turn into a sprint for the finish in the stretch, speed also can be a great asset on all-weather tracks. Case in point: Race 8 on May 10 at Golden Gate Fields.

Golden Gate’s main track is an all-weather Tapeta Footings surface and in this race Mistic Breeze went right to the front, opened a 1 ½-length advantage through the first quarter-mile and held on for a clear win at 68.40-to-1 odds.

The $2 win payout of $138.80 was not the highest of the week, that honor belonged to 71.50-to-1 bomb Victoria Gallops on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course (more on that later), but Mistic Breeze triggered a $2 Daily Double that paid $2,709.60 and a $1 Pick 4 that returned $58,795.20.

The Daily Double for Races 8-9 on May 10 at Golden Gate also featured 20.60-to-1 winner Unkept Rendez Vous in the final race on the card. The monster Pick 4 payout was for Races 6-9. It started with 7.40-to-1 El Anejo holding off 9-to-10 favorite Demon Dancer followed by even-money favorite Luscious Lonna taking Race 7 in the race before Mistic Breeze’s upset.

Going back to Mistic Breeze for a minute, many times huge longshot winners, even in hindsight, are almost impossible to explain. But that isn’t the case with this 3-year-old Brave Badgett filly, who was making only her third career start, all at 5 ½ furlongs on the Golden Gate main track. She engaged in a speed duel in her career debut on Feb. 1 and held on bravely for second at 11.20-to-1 odds. In her second race, Mistic Breeze led into the stretch before fading to finish last of seven. The key was that in both races she has shown good early speed. In her debut, she showed some determination as well as some inexperience when drifting out late.

Coming off a 2 1/2-month layoff, Mistic Breeze’s connections had enough confidence to jump her up in class from maiden claiming races to a maiden special weight race. Bettors who shared their confidence – or keep an eye out for speed horses capable of outrunning their odds - were rewarded handsomely.

I mentioned Victoria Gallops earlier as the top $2 win bet of the week. Unlike Mistic Breeze, there was very little in the past performances that would have indicated she was sitting on a big race. The 6-year-old Victory Gallop mare had never finished in the top three in 20 previous starts. In fact, she lost her previous five starts by margins ranging from 13 ¾ length to 29 ¼ lengths. She serves as a reminder that making a profit betting horses can be incredibly difficult because anything can happen once the starting gates snap open.

Top Payouts for the Week Ended May 11
Wager  Wager Amount   Payoff  Track Date Race#
Win  $2.00  $145.00 PIM 5/10/14 2
Place  $2.00  $80.20 SRP 5/10/14 4
Show  $2.00  $34.00 PRM 5/9/14 6
Exacta  $1.00  $266.90 SA 5/10/14 7
Exacta  $2.00  $735.60 PEN 5/7/14 9
Quinella  $2.00  $493.60 WRD 5/10/14 1
Trifecta  $0.50  $305.30 AP 5/9/14 4
Trifecta  $1.00  $2,445.50 GP 5/10/14 6
Trifecta  $2.00  $11,710.80 MNR 5/6/14 9
Superfecta  $0.10  $2,259.27 PIM 5/10/14 11
Superfecta  $0.50  $7,551.60 EMD 5/11/14 3
Superfecta  $1.00  $11,303.10 SRP 5/11/14 8
Superfecta  $2.00  $69,820.40 IND 5/6/14 8
Daily Double  $1.00  $18.20 LA 5/10/14 6
Daily Double  $2.00  $2,709.60 GG 5/10/14 9
Pick 3  $0.50  $4,432.95 EVD 5/8/14 10
Pick 3  $1.00  $3,723.10 AP 5/9/14 6
Pick 3  $2.00  $5,403.00 IND 5/6/14 9
Pick 4  $0.50  $18,956.90 EVD 5/8/14 10
Pick 4  $1.00  $58,795.20 GG 5/10/14 9
Pick 4  $2.00  $22,050.40 PEN 5/7/14 9
Pick 5  $0.50  $9,970.80 AP 5/9/14 9
Pick 5  $1.00  $190.85 HST 5/11/14 7
Pick 5  $2.00  $45,938.00 BEL 5/10/14 5
Pick 5 Jackpot  $0.50  $4,780.50 LAD 5/10/14 9
Pick 6  $1.00  $2,511.30 AP 5/10/14 11
Pick 6  $2.00  $40,421.00 BEL 5/7/14 9
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.10  $4,006.97 CRC 5/9/14 8
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.20  $20,510.96 GP 5/9/14 8
Super High Five  $0.10  $131.84 LS 5/10/14 9
Super High Five  $1.00  $47,953.30 SA 5/8/14 8
Super High Five  $2.00  $3,411.80 MNR 5/10/14 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.  

Those of you who follow this blog know that we have been tracking Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow 6 jackpot. With no unique winners since Jan. 10, the carryover has ballooned to $6,119,550. The meet does not conclude until June 29, but on May 10 Gulfstream announced that there would be a mandatory payout of the jackpot on Memorial Day, May 29, in the event that the Rainbow 6 does not have a unique winner between now and then.

The mandatory payout was originally scheduled for June 29 but Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo said in a press release that customers have been unanimous asking the mandatory payout date be moved up.

“Since the end of our Championship Meet our guests, fans and customers have been asking for us to move the mandatory payout, and many specifically said Memorial Day would be the perfect weekend,” Ritvo said. “In our effort to always listen to our customers, we petitioned the state to change the date of the Rainbow 6 and we were granted permission.

“We believe having the mandatory payout on Memorial Day will be a memorable one for one or several of our players. All the major tracks will be in action on Memorial Day, there will be some big races, and it will provide us the best reach to all our loyal customers. We'll have some specials planned that day on-track as well.”

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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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