3 April 2010

The Beulah Park Fortune 6 May Be The Idea That Saves Racing

The jackpot for the Beulah Park Fortune 6 has grown to over $200,000

Now, don't just bet it without knowing the rules first. In a nutshell, it is a 25 cent base bet. This means that a horseplayer can take 2 horses a race and the total bet will be only $16. But there is a catch: The jackpot is paid out if there is one single winner. This means that if you are the only winner, but have it for 50 cents or more, you don't win the jackpot. So it is very important that you don't duplicate your wagers if your goal is to win the jackpot.

They do give out 40% of what is wagered (after takeout) each day if the jackpot is not won, and distribute it to those who have the most winners (lately that has been those who had all 6 winners).

If you do have lots of chalk, it doesn't hurt to try to get it multiple times with the jackpots as high as they are now, and if you take into consideration that the last three days, they attracted over $60,000 each day in new money, which means that after the 22.5% takeout, over $18,000 has been distributed each day, while another $28,000 has been added to the jackpot on average daily.

The Beulah Park Fortune 6 is a carbon copy of Puerto Rico's Poolpote wager. It is tremendously popular in that country, as it has a 35 cent minimum so again, it is affordable by all. It was recently won in March, and the winner received close to $5 million dollars on a ticket that cost $10.30.

So how does a 25 cent or 35 cent bet grow to be so large and get so much play at C or even D tracks? The beauty of it is that the larger it gets, the less likely it will be won by one bettor, especially with the short fields Beulah has been offering of late. It is a Catch 22 that works in favor of the race track. The small players are attracted to it like bees to honey. And the pools are big enough to attract the medium player who might be interested in sharing the daily pool money with a shot at the big one.

As the jackpot gets higher, the lottery and slots crowd start to get attracted to it, and tracks like Beulah may start to see an influx of newbies. And another key point is that some every day horseplayers who don't usually look at a track like Beulah, are now handicapping 6 races a day there. And as many horseplayers know, once you handicap a race and form an opinion, you are likely to find an exactor or triactor, or many of each, to play on the card as well.

This is an obvious way for smaller tracks, especially harness tracks, which are really struggling each day to try to build their customer base back up again.

As for tracks doing this, there could be a few problems right from the start to set this up, depending on the jurisdiction. In Canada, this type of bet would require CPMA approval, as it is a different way to distribute pools. It may be a lot of red tape, it may not be.

The biggest problem is the minimum. If you are an American and bet through an American ADW or track or simulcast center, you wouldn't be able to place a bet on a Canadian jackpot bet unless you play it for at least a dollar, which means that you wouldn't be eligible to win the Canadian jackpot. The same is true for Canadians betting a US jackpot bet. Canadians must bet at least a dollar base bet on US product through HPI, or Canadian tracks and simulcast centers.

American tracks really don't have to worry about Canadians because a jackpot can be build without Canadians playing it, but Canadian tracks have to worry about getting Americans to play their jackpots because that is where much of the potential money to build the bet up will come from.

Even though the Canadian dollar and US dollar are close to par, the rules are still there regarding fractional betting, and it is maddening for many horseplayers, especially Canadian ones, have little option but either skip these bets or play them for a dollar base.

Take Fort Erie for example. Here is a struggling track that could benefit immensely from this kind of bet. But since they can't use the quarter base for reasons cited above, I would suggest to them that they do a $1 base Pick 5. If you don't think the Pick 4 is hard enough to cash at the Fort, just ask Daryl Wells Jr. and Elissa Blowe. A Pick 5 would be just about right, if you want to compare it to the Beulah bet.

For the complete Fortune 6 rules, click here.
If you live in the right jurisdiction, you can play the Beulah Fortune 6 here.
See also Fugue For Tinhorns: That Deceptive Juicy Beulah Carryover

I am two days late with this news. I just saw it at Pull The Pocket. Brilliant, brilliant idea. In case you missed it, Hollywood Park is going to make identifying your horse in a race, way more easier. It will be great for the newbies, and even veterans like myself who lose the horse you are watching during the race. Well, this won't happen again at Hollywood Park:

Woodbine opened up yesterday and they barely did over $2.1 million in handle. I don't think that the slot subsidies Woodbine receives from the OLG was meant to go to short fields with big purses won by US connections. Keeneland opened up yesterday too. They also had 10 races, with shorter than usual fields as well. The thing is they did around $7.5 million in handle. Three and a half times more than Woodbine.

Here is a track with no subsidies from alternative forms of gambling, and they maintain the lowest takeout average in North America (tied with Churchill Downs): 16% on WPS, 19% on all other wagers. Woodbine, with slots, gives has track takeouts that range from 16.95% on WPS to 27% on triactors.

HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) just put out the 2010 final rankings of 69 racetracks. Keeneland was number one on the list for the second year in a row, while Woodbine ranks 30 overall, and even worse, their takeout rank is 58th.

Today's Woodbine card is embarrassing: 65 horses in 10 races.

Fair Grounds handle was down 19.5% last meet
Blame it on cancellations, turf races coming off the grass, and the Mid Atlantic dispute. But the main reason is most likely the squeezing of the emerging rebate player. High distribution fees coupled with Tracknet's ridiculous limitation on horseplayers who bet less than $1 million a year, by not allowing them to receive a rebate of more than 2% no matter where they are playing, is the main reason many medium size gamblers have been playing tracks like Tampa Bay Downs instead.



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Anonymous said...

I did not realize the Beulah park P6 required 1 winner. You're on to something here... It's truly pointless to compete with the P6 money that NYRA or SoCal tracks attract. But this could be a HUGE draw for tracks like Northlands, Hastings, etc...that often do have small chalky fields.

Anonymous said...

that horse paint idea...needs a modification...don't do it...seriously...if you want to follow the horse do something with the silks the jockeys wear to match the horse number

Railbird said...

Been done @ Mountaineer, but looks awful.Matching silks to saddle color.