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The Emerald Downs Pick 5 and other Thursday Odds and Ends

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Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo: Ducoti and leading rider Leslie Mawing were the winning team Thursday in the Pete Von Reichbauer Purse for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs. July 14, 2011
Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs Photo: Ducoti and leading rider Leslie Mawing were the winning team Thursday in the Pete Von Reichbauer Purse for older fillies and mares at Emerald Downs. July 14, 2011

I mentioned several weeks earlier that my home track of Emerald Downs added a $0.50 Pick 5 to their betting menu this year, a fairly significant addition to their exotic wagering options.  Despite the fact that exotic wagers at smaller tracks can get a bit chalky at times and are greatly dependent on field size, the Emerald Pick 5 has provided some decent value opportunities, especially when there is a carryover. Like the Pick 3s and Pick 4s at Emerald, you need to look for the right sequence of races and field sizes, but that's true in almost any sequence at any track.

Last week, the Sunday Pick 5 included a carryover from both Friday and Saturday, and produced a 5-for-5 winning payout of $5,615.75. The sequence on Sunday featured winners at the following odds: 4.70/1, 6.50/1, 2.90/1, 5.60/1 and 0.70/1.  There is nothing crazy with that progression of winners but the sequence still produced a healthy $5.6k return, which was much, much better than the $3,741.31 you would have brought home if you simply parlayed the sequence.

The Thursday Pick 5 involved no carryover (and a much smaller pool) but paid $4,997.70 to a single winning ticket.  The fact that anyone hit Thursday's sequence is utterly amazing given the fact that the five races included a 28/1 and a 47/1 winner. The parlay for the Thursday sequence was...ahem...$250,813.44.

The two payouts illustrate the benefits and the downsides to multi-race sequences at smaller tracks.  A downside is that the smaller pools usually depress the return (in relation to the parlay) on the rare sequences where massive long-shots come home.  That's not unique to only small tracks but you tend to notice the difference a bit more.  On the upside, the possibility of taking down an entire pool are much greater at a small track due to fewer players getting involved in the sequence.  Furthermore, the addition of a carryover situation, like the one at Emerald on Sunday, effectively neutralizes the take while still allowing a player to grab a large share of the total pool.

Here are some links to various items making news around the world of horse racing on this Thursday afternoon.

North America

Select field of five entered for CCA Oaks - Handicappers' Edge
Leadership in the three-year-old filly ranks is up for grabs in Saturday's $250,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga.

NBC Sports Saratoga Coverage Begins July 23 -
The NBC Sports Group’s seven straight weekends of "Summer at Saratoga" coverage begins Saturday, July 23, with live coverage of the TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I). The program, from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBC, will include the CCA Oaks for 3-year-old fillies as well as one undercard race.

Record Crowd for Del Mar Opener -
The largest crowd in Del Mar history of 46,588 turned out Wednesday, July 20, for the opening day card at the seaside oval in Southern California.

Mt. Rainier Hcp-Nominations - Emerald Downs
Defending champion Noosa Beach is among seven older handicap runners nominated to the Mt. Rainier, which has been shortened in distance from a mile and one-eighth to a mile and one-sixteenth for the 2011 running.

As sort of an addendum to the weight discussion of the other day, Noosa Beach will carry 126 pounds in Sunday's Mt. Rainier Handicap, nine more than the next highest weight of 117 by Assessment and Winning Machine.

Hollywood announces final meet figures - Handicappers' Edge
Although Hollywood Park finished its 54-day spring/summer meet July 17 with slight drops in attendance and handle, track president Jack Liebau was generally heartened with the results, given the problems facing the industry and the high rate of unemployment in California.

Florida Salix Ban Called 'Terrible Mistake' -
Gulfstream Park has not set a timetable for possible future contact with Florida racing regulators on chairman Frank Stronach's goal of phasing out use of legal race-day medications such as the anti-bleeding drug Salix.

Mass. Senate OKs Simulcast Legislation -
The Massachusetts State Senate on July 20 advanced legislation that will allow pari-mutuel facilities in the Bay State to continue to accept wagers on races simulcast from other tracks for the next six months. The current law was set to expire on July 31 and the extension will remain in effect until Jan. 31, 2012.

Update On Breeders' Cup Future Odds - Daily Racing Form
With so much desire to see Blind Luck and Havre de Grace go for glory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic you might have expected that the Classic future book odds on these two would have tumbled over the weekend.

International Racing

BBC Sport - King George: Workforce heads field for Ascot race
Workforce heads a field of five with teenager Joseph O'Brien riding St Nicholas Abbey in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Timeform Daily: King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Saturday, Ascot 16:30 : Race of the Day
Timeform run the rule over the Betfair-sponsored King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Twice Over to face six in Group 2 York Stakes - Horse Racing News - Racing Post
Twice Over a three time winner at the highest level drops back in class for Saturday's Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes.

The pros and cons of removing raceday medication - Dan Farley - UK Horse Racing Blogs - Racing Post

Seven could face Canford and Frankel in Sussex - Horse Racing News - Racing Post
Up to seven horses could attempt to muscle in on the 'duel on the downs' between Canford Cliffs and Frankel at Goodwood on Wednesday after the confirmations for the Qipco Sussex Stakes on came on Thursday.