Reaction To Meadowlands Pick Six Bonanza

Published: April 13, 2009 08:00 pm EDT

There were more than a million reasons why the Pick Six on Saturday, April 4 at the Meadowlands drew more than $900,000 in wagering.

From a gross pool of $1.3 million, the five $1 winning tickets were worth a record payout of $193,384 each. A 10-day carryover of $426,135 fueled the addition of $902,032 that Saturday night for a record $1,328,167 pool.

"You didn't have to be battling the recession blues to recognize a golden opportunity," said Tom Luchento, the president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association. "When the Pick Six pool at the Meadowlands reached a carryover of $426,135, it brought out the savvy handicappers, syndicate players and the quick pick hopefuls. For whatever reason these people wagered on the Meadowlands card that night, we hope that this taste of world class harness racing will bring them back for more."

Of the $902,032 added on the Pick Six on April 4, $78,552 was bet live at the Meadowlands and another $32,068 was wagered at other New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority locations -- the Off Track Wagering facility in Woodbridge, Monmouth Park and New Jersey Account Wagering.

"There was a definite buzz and excitement in the building that night in anticipation of the big carryover," said Alex Dadoyan, assistant vice president/racing development and distribution for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority. "Attendance was up a few percent but, to be honest, it's the handle that counts and just like most nights, a large majority of the handle comes from throughout the simulcast network. The money was
pretty well spread out with the usual top outlets - like rebate shops, TVG, Youbet, Canada - also leading the way.

"The Pick Six run we had was a lot of fun," Dadoyan added. "It definitely brought everyone out of the woodwork and had everyone handicapping our races, asking each other who they liked. It was great to see.

"I think this is the key to garnering new interest and perhaps attracting some crossover bettors - the big jackpot," Dadoyan continued. "It gets more people focused on your races and handicapping the card. Then hopefully they see what kind of action and value the Meadowlands racing offers each night and they become more interested."

The total handle on April 4 reached $4,660,464 on a card that featured a $31,500 invitational pace with only five starters.

"We handled more on [that] Saturday then we have in three years – excluding Meadowlands Pace, Hambletonian and Breeders Crown," Dadoyan said. "And it's all the more impressive considering we had only 12 races vs. the customary 13, and we ran into some tough luck with seven scratches on the card and a pair of short fields (a five-horse race and a six-horse race). If it was a normal Saturday card like we'd had in January through March, who knows, we would've been well over $5 million in total handle. But we can't complain. It was still a great night."