Breaking the Bank: Holiday Weekend Fireworks


Breaking the Bank - featuring data courtesy of Equibase - highlights the biggest scores of the past week in racing. (Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)

NOTE: Breaking the Bank will be taking a two-week hiatus and will return on July 29.

Great racecards benefit the racetrack, horseplayers and fans, and Saturday’s Stars and Stripes card at Belmont Park was about as good as it gets outside of the signature racing events.

With five graded stakes and huge fields, Belmont’s cards was a fantastic puzzle for handicappers and also offered plenty of outside entertainment for the casual fan. Attendance for the Sunday of Fourth of July weekend jumped from 5,474 to 11,184 and total handle increased 37.2% to $18,829,265.

For our purposes, let’s take a look at Belmont’s late Pick 4 (Races 7-10), which was a fantastic betting sequence that resulted in a $2 payout of $69,923.

The Pick 4 got underway with the $1.25-million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, which drew a field of 10 that was so deep and talented that Grade 2 Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Mr Speaker went off at 23.50-to-1 odds for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. There were a number of nice European invaders in the race, but those odds on a very nice McGaughey-trained horse on his home turf were almost unbelievable. When Mr Speaker rallied past Irish-based Adelaide in the stretch, it was the perfect setup for a lucrative Pick 4.

Zivo followed at 13.70-to-1 odds in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap by closing from last to first to best 10 opponents in Race 8 for trainer Chad Brown. Next up was a 10-horse field for the $1-million Belmont Oaks Invitational, which Brown also won with Minorette at 6.30-to-1 odds.

The sequence closed with Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott taking the nightcap with 5.60-to-1 Mobridge in an allowance race that drew a field of 11.

Click here for Equibase charts of the July 5 card at Belmont

The beauty of a sequence like this is that there is so much talent that you can find value on elite-quality horses. Everyone loves a longshot, but there is nothing like getting double-digit odds on a graded-stakes quality horse in solid form. Days like that are fun from a handicapping perspective and even more so for the lucky gamblers who cashed Pick 4 tickets for just a shade under $70,000.

(continued below the table)

Wager  Wager Amount   Payoff  Track Date Race#
Win  $2.00  $153.00 CBY 7/5/14 8
Place  $2.00  $80.00 PID 7/6/14 6
Show  $2.00  $42.20 EVD 7/5/14 3
Exacta  $1.00  $1,260.40 CBY 7/5/14 8
Exacta  $2.00  $1,614.20 EVD 7/5/14 3
Quinella  $2.00  $297.40 PRM 7/5/14 7
Trifecta  $0.50  $278.90 AP 7/5/14 9
Trifecta  $1.00  $14,166.60 CT 7/2/14 3
Trifecta  $2.00  $26,712.20 IND 7/2/14 3
Superfecta  $0.10  $7,022.73 CT 7/2/14 3
Superfecta  $0.50  $1,116.45 EMD 7/6/14 7
Superfecta  $1.00  $250,148.45 WO 7/5/14 6
Superfecta  $2.00  $173,630.40 IND 7/2/14 3
Daily Double  $1.00  $468.10 DEL 6/30/14 7
Daily Double  $2.00  $1,030.00 TAM 7/1/14 4
Pick 3  $0.50  $1,903.15 BTP 7/3/14 8
Pick 3  $1.00  $8,910.70 DEL 7/5/14 3
Pick 3  $2.00  $9,865.00 BEL 7/5/14 9
Pick 4  $0.50  $5,973.50 LRC 7/6/14 9
Pick 4  $1.00  $28,201.00 CBY 7/3/14 12
Pick 4  $2.00  $69,923.00 BEL 7/5/14 10
Pick 5  $0.50  $11,474.70 GP 7/5/14 11
Pick 5  $1.00  $20,622.20 OTP 7/5/14 10
Pick 5  $2.00  $12,587.60 MNR 7/1/14 9
Pick 5 Jackpot  $0.50  $4,039.40 LAD 7/4/14 9
Pick 6  $0.20  $6,418.74 LS 7/4/14 10
Pick 6  $1.00  $21,235.50 AP 7/6/14 9
Pick 6  $2.00  $226,112.80 OTP 7/5/14 10
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.10  $795.10 MTH 7/6/14 12
Pick 6 Jackpot  $0.20  $40,000.00 GP 7/4/14 10
Super High Five  $0.10  $842.17 LS 7/4/14 10
Super High Five  $0.50  $2,197.10 EVD 7/5/14 5
Super High Five  $1.00  $5,326.40 GP 7/6/14 10
Super High Five  $2.00  $19,861.80 OTP 7/4/14 11
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.  

There were plenty of other fireworks for the week ended July 6, including a huge score for a superfecta at Woodbine for the sixth race on Saturday, July 5.

The reported payout was $250,148.45 for a $1 wager, but given that there only $67,882 in the pool we can deduce that the winning tickets were for the 10-cent minimum and returned a very healthy $25,014.84.

The trigger for the big score was victress Blessed One (a fitting name for a couple of lucky bettors on Saturday), who pressed the pace and pulled away to win by 1 ½ lengths at 28.25-to-1. She was followed by 7.60-to-1 Indygo F M A and 10.35-to-1 Tiz Ro before another bomb rounded out the top four. Madame G took fourth at 38.25-to-1 odds to bolster the back end of this superfecta.

The Gold Rush Pick 6 on July 5 at Oak Tree at Pleasanton had a carryover of $14,383 and produced a single winner who took home $22,611.28. The Pick 6 payout was a reported $226,112.80, but the winning ticket for the jackpot wager was for the 20-cent minimum.

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.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!