Equidaily Racing Journal
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The fans speak!
The fans speak!

Our occasional trip around the internet to sample some of the topics and opinions being discussed

Hollywood moves Pick Six races off the turf

Fans upset as two legs of gimmick wager moved long after wagering closed

12/14/2004... There was a Pick Six carryover of $300K+ going into this past Saturday's card at Hollywood Park. By the time wagering closed -- before race 4, the first leg -- the pool had grown to well over $1 million. Two races in the Pick Six mix were slated to be run on the turf, the 5th and the 9th. Unfortunately both races were taken off the turf -- after Pick Six wagering had closed. Much to the dismay of Pick Six bettors.

According to the 12/11/04 Barn Notes on the Hollywood Park website:

Hollywood Park management, meanwhile, took the fifth race and the ninth race off the turf approximately 20 minutes to post for the fifth after jockeys expressed concern on the safety of the course following last week's rain.

"It became a safety issue and we had to act," track president Rick Baedeker said. "We do not put the jockeys in that position, it's not their call, it's our call. If in our opinion, if we're putting them at risk or the horses at risk, then we take the races off the turf."

And the LA Times had this to say in their Sunday edition:

The crowd booed loudly when it was announced, 19 minutes before the fifth race, that the fifth and ninth races were being moved from the grass to the main track. Bets were already in for the pick six, which had a two-day carry-over of $300,358 and started with the fourth race.

Rick Baedeker, president of Hollywood Park, said that jockeys who had ridden in the third race, which was on the grass, had expressed concern for their safety because of soft spots on the course. Baedeker said that track officials needed to talk more with jockeys riding the fourth race before the decision was made.

Clearly such a move has a significant effect on handicapping. Thus, Pick Six bettors were at a disadvantage by this late change. Some jurisdictions have addressed this problem by changing the rules to say that when a race is moved from turf to dirt after Pick Six wagering has closed, that race is declared an ALL for Pick Six purposes. This seems like a logical and fan-friendly rule.

Since this is not the rule in California, many fan were left with Pick Six tickets that featured turf-meant runners now having to run on the main track. The disgruntled took to the internet to voice their displeasure. Below are some of their comments:

Here's what Del Mar Forum members had to say:

Opinions of Derby Listers:

From fans at the Pace Advantage Forum: