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81-Year-Old Key In Record Payout

Published: February 23, 2012 10:36 am ET

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With a two-night carryover of nearly $30,000 and a $100,000 guaranteed pool helping to fuel interest, many eyes in the harness racing world were firmly focused on Balmoral Park's Pick 5 wager on Wednesday, February 22.

Looking for that one big score, fans poured another $140,945 through the betting windows and thus made the final pool for the 50-cent wager a whopping $170,627, the second largest in Balmoral Park history.

A bevy of mid-priced and longshot winners throughout the five-race wager provided three lucky fans with a winning payout of $44,675.10 for a 50-cent wager. That amount was the largest Pick 5 payout in Balmoral Park history.

Hazel May (Todd Warren $21.40), a 9-1 shot, kicked things off by scoring in Race 2. Buddy Simpson, at age 81, then piloted 5-1 shot Blissfull Dreamer ($13.20) to victory in Race 3. Shax, (Sam Widger $13.20) shook off a 10-month layoff and Post 9 to score in stretch rushing style in Race 4.

Widger was right back in the winner’s circle in Race 5, as he steered Degeneration X, the biggest price of the night at $31.40, through the passing lane for his first victory of the year. The wager was capped off in Race 6, as Kitty O’Brien (Josh Sutton) came flying late to win at odds of 7-1 ($16.40). In that race, Margot T (Dean Magee), who was uncovered in the wagering action and would have resulted in a three straight carryover, actually put a neck in front in the late going but was collared in the closing yards. The winning sequence of numbers was 2-7-9-5-3.

Wagering was strong during the entire 10-race program on Wednesday night resulting in a final handle of $1,059,524 at the Crete plant.


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