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Wagering Menu? (originally posted 11/28/2007)

by Andrew Offerman

Recently, parimutuel inventions such as the Grand Slam at NYRA tracks and the Over/Under during the fall meet at Churchill have been met with mixed reaction. Likewise, some of the changes to various wagering options here at Canterbury last summer were adored by some and detested by others. Here is a look at last year’s format and what should be done (in my opinion) for the 2008 Live Racing Season.
2007 Wagering Format:
$2 Win$2 Place$2 Show$1 Exacta$1 Trifecta$.10 Superfecta (was $1 in 2006)$1 Rolling Daily Double (only offered on first two and last two races in 2006)$1 Pick Three on Races 2-4 and final three races (Rolling Pick threes in 2006)$1 Pick Four on Races 5-8$1 Pick 6 on races 3-8
Suggested 2008 Wagering Format:
$2 Win$2 Place$2 Show$1 Exacta$1 Trifecta Ø Changing these classic minimum wagers would be sacrilegious at best!
$.50 Superfecta Ø Raising the minimum from $.10 would be the best of both worlds: 1) it should help keep away the person with $.17 cents on their voucher that spends 28 minutes at the machine trying to find the perfect combination and 2) it lowers the cost of multiple combination bets (from the original $1) so that the serious player can afford to play more combinations (the original intention of the $.10 superfecta). Also, it keeps lines moving at mutuel windows because tellers have no need to give someone $19.90 in change after they place their one combination $.10 super (believe me… it has happened).
$1 Daily Double (First two races, last two races and at the beginning of back-to-back turf races) Ø The pools are probably only large enough to support either the rolling daily double or the rolling pick three. In today’s world, many handicappers opt to play wagers that yield large returns for small investments; thus, the Rolling Daily Double gets the axe. However, we add a daily double any time two turf races are run back-to-back because they tend to draw the most interest from the serious gambler and typically offer the most value and best chance to win big.
$1 Pick Three (Rolling) Ø As explained up above, the pool sizes between the rolling pick three and the rolling double were very similar and the way things are moving in the racing industry, the pick three is much brighter than the double.
$.50 Pick Four (Races 1-4 and Races 5-8) Ø My favorite wager in all of horseracing, the $.50 pick four allows the player to play more combinations and may entice more people into playing the sometimes difficult wager. Furthermore, adding another pick four to the card may entice people around the country to take another look at the first four races on the card instead of waiting until the pick four sequence starts in race five.
$2 Pick Six (Races 3-8) Ø As I have argued for keeping bets the same or lowering the minimum on every other wager, you may find it strange to see that I want to increase the minimum wager in the pick six. Here is my logic: the pick six is only exciting when the carryover is fairly substantial. Thus, increasing the minimum wager will put more money in the pool and likely create more carryovers (because fewer combinations will be covered). Then, when the pool does start to carry, it may grow more rapidly due to the increase in the minimum bet. Hopefully, this would create more excitement in the pick six and generate larger carryovers.
So, what do you think? What type of wagering format would you like to see in the future at Canterbury Park? Any changes you would make? New wagers you’d like to see?