As I was reviewing charts from yesterday's racing action, I noticed that the Emerald Downs $0.50 Pick 5 paid a hefty $14,067.55. The Pick 5 had a total pool of $16,704 which included a one-day carryover from Friday of $4,646, as well as $12,098 of new money. Essentially, a single ticket down the entire pool. Let's look at the prices of the winner, field sizes, and favorites.
In 1st, 2nd, and 5th legs we saw the defeat of a 8/5, 9/5 and 6/5 favorites, while the 3rd and 4th legs saw the favorites win. The 2nd and 5th legs were won by relatively modest horses at 5/1 and 9/2. So we are left with a Pick 5 that paid out the entire poos to one winner on (primarily) the strength of the 10/1 winner in the first leg.
Two points seem to be apparent, both in respect to this specific sequence, and in terms of overall Pick # strategies:
- The first leg saw many players either single the favorite, or spread to just the top three horses (the next two betting interests went off at 5/2 and 7/2), leaving the other numbers with few takers.
- While many players will spread/single only when the situation calls for it, a lot of people like to either single in the first leg (giving them more options later in the sequence if they can get through), or spread out in order to "stay alive" to the next race. I almost think this was a situation where there was a large contingent of Pick 5 players that did both of those things. One group singled the favorite, who took them out when he could only muster a 2nd place finish. The other group saw the race as between the three top betting interests and didn't feel it was worth it to spread out (the 10/1 winner was the fourth choice on the odds board).
To further re-enforce that this Pick 5 paid way better than we would expect given the prices, the parlay comes out to relatively modest (by comparison) $4,741.66.