Track Times Today

Record Florida Derby Weekend at Gulfstream
Monday, April 3, 2017

    Word from Gulfstream Park is that there were a great many disgruntled people cashing Pick 6 tickets after the last race on Saturday. The disgruntles didn't understand how they could hit six winners in a row and collect a measly $89 and change for their troubles. Which means, of course, that they didn't understand how the Rainbow Pick 6 works. 

    Here's a quick course. There was $1,045,673 wagered into the Pick 6 on Saturday as bettors were looking to make the big score - a single ticket on six winners that would grab the carryover of nearly $2 million, plus Saturday's pool. First, we have to account for the takeout - I'm not sure what it is, but let's use 20 percent, it really doesn't matter that much for this exercise.

    After the takeout, which reduced the pool to $850,000-plus, the figure is now reduced by 30 percent, since only 70 percent is paid out to winning bettors when there is more than one winning ticket. That means the pool to be distributed was somewhere between $560,000 and $600,000. Sounds like a lot, but not when you study the succession of winners.  

    The eventual payoffs took a hit right from the start when Farz (Jose Lezcano) and Lukes Alley (Luis Saez) finished in a dead heat in the ninth race. That immediately cut the payoffs in half because they had to pay out twice as many tickets than they would have if there had been just one nose on the wire. That was followed by Celestine, who paid $2.60 under Jose Ortiz, and literally knocked very few tickets out of the mix.

    It didn't get much better in the 11th race, where Joel Rosario brought Salty home at $4, and most every ticket was still alive. Dover Cliffs, at $4.40, won the 12th with Ortiz, then players got some slight relief from the string of favorites with Sadler's Joy ($9.40) in the 13th, with Julien Leparoux. 

    When Always Dreaming won the Florida Derby and paid $7.40, it helped the payoff somewhat, because with even-money Gunnevera winning under John Velazquez, the $89 would have been cut in half again. Imagine the wails if the price had gone up under $50.

    Aside from the obvious, the short-priced winners, the most popular riders at the track (other than Javier Castellano) were aboard - Leparoux, Velazquez, Ortiz, Rosario, Saez and Lezcano. There were no 7-pound bug boys or 3 percent riders involved. Dividing the pool by the payoff of $89, there were somewhere around 6,500 winning tickets, give or take.  

    Fast Forward to Sunday, when it was all to be given away, and betting reached a phenomenal $7.336 million, contributing to a Saturday-Sunday all-sources handle of more than $48.792 million, more than $8 million greater than last year. Derby Day handle surpassed $30.614 million, second highest in Florida Derby history, which spans 66 years. The Pick 6 winning tickets were each worth $48,881 and nobody can be upset about that. I think. 

    MARE WINS LIVE OAK APPROVAL - When Revved Up was born at Live Oak Stud Farm in 1998, no doubt Charlotte Weber never imagined she would still be enjoying the exploits of his dam, Win Approval, some 19 years later. But when World Approval captured the $100,000 EG Vodka Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs yesterday, the 5-year-old gelding moved closer to becoming the fourth millionaire out of 10 babies produced by the daughter of With Approval. 

    With Julien Leparoux aboard, World Approval outclassed the field in the 1 1/8-mile race over the turf course, raising his record to 7-2-4 in 19 starts and his earnings to $953,763. It was his first start since October, and he's now 2-for-2 at Tampa. In his last six races of 2016, the son of Northern Afleet competed in Gr. I company at Woodbine, Arlington Park, Monmouth Park, Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. He won the United Nations at Monmouth, was second in the Turf Classic at Churchill, and third in the Manhattan at Belmont and Northern Dancer across the border.

    When he gets his next good paycheck, World Approval will move into the millionaire's mansion along with Miesque's Approval (41-12-10-5, $2,648,879), Za Approval (34-9-9-4, $1,904,666) and Revved Up (43-20-9-1, $1,548,653). All told, Win Approval's runners have won 71 races and earned $7,338,208. Eight of the 10 have have visited the winner's circle at least once and just one, Highest Approval, didn't race. World Approval, at the age of five, has a chance to significantly increase all the numbers if trainer Mark Casse can keep him healthy.   




more to come - 

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