Emerald Downs introduced a new wager to the betting menu on Friday night called "Emerald 123", a wager that is part Pick Six, part handicapping contest.* The wager is extremely simple: pick horses in each of the final six races on the Emerald card with bankroll earned if one of your picks finishes in the Top 3. No eliminations. No getting knocked out in the first leg. Simply accumulate the most bankroll over the course of the six race sequence to take down 60% of the pool at the end of the night.
*Parx also offers a 123 wager and, after perusing their website, it looks like Hastings Park in Canada will also offer the wager this year.
There are two ways to play Emerald123: on-line or at Emerald Downs.The on-track wager is exactly the same as a Pick Six in terms of cost and structure, but the payout mechanics are like a contest. The wager is a $2 base bet and players can select as many horses in each leg as they desire with the caveat that more horses = a more expensive ticket (just like the Pick Six). However, unlike the Pick Six, players are not eliminated if they fail to pick a horse that finishes in the top 3 due to the fact that the pool pays like a contest -- the top three tickets at the end of the card win the pot (with no carryovers).
Here's an example of how the bet plays out:
Player A buys a $2 Emerald123 ticket with the following combinations for Saturday's card at Emerald Downs:
$2: 3 / 3-4 / 3 / 1-3-6 / 5 / 2 = $12
Based on that ticket, here is how that player would have scored during yesterday's sequence:
|1||3||1st||$ 9.80||$ 4.20||$ 3.40||$ 17.40|
|2||3||2nd||$ 3.40||$ 2.80||$ 6.20|
|3||2nd||$ 2.40||$ 2.20|
|6||1st||$ 4.40||$ 2.60||$ 2.20||$ 9.20|
|5||5||3rd||$ 4.80||$ 4.80|
|6||2||1st||$ 10.00||$ 5.40||$ 4.40||$ 19.80|
While you can select as many horses in a leg as you'd like, you only get the bankroll from the best finisher (in terms of Win-Place-Show payouts, not order of finish) for that race. For example, the player above selected two horses in the second leg -- #3 and #5 -- both finished in the Top 3 but #3, by virtue of his second place finish, was worth $6.20 ($3.40 place and $2.80 show), while #5 was only worth $2.80 (show). Had the show horse been worth more than $6.20, like if a bomb came home at huge odds, the players would have received that payout to his or her bankroll. It doesn't matter where in the top three your horse finishes, just how much the horses earns for that position.
Using the example above, Player A would have finished the sequence wit ha bankroll of $57.40, which wouldn't have been enough to grab a piece of the pool.. On Saturday's card, the winning ticket had a bankroll of $95.00 and collected a winner's share payout of $642.20.
The first couple of days of the wager has produced a pool of about $1,400, from which the track takes 20% and the winner player is paid 60% of the remaining pool.
At the track, Emerald has a dedicated channel on their internal simulcast feed that displays the live leaderboard during the entire sequence. When a player buys a ticket at the track, the tote machine generates a random "name", or alias, for each player/ticket that is used to identify their results and standings on the monitors.
Currently, the Emerald123 wager is only offered at Emerald Downs; no OTB or ADW options at this time.
The on-line portion is a separate, free handicapping contest, somewhat similar to the Survival at the Shore at Monmouth Park (without the elimination part). The notable difference from the on-track wager is A) it's a free on-line play, and B) players only select one horse per race. Prizes are awarded for weekly winners, as well as cash prizes for the largest bankroll at the end of the meet and selecting the most winners.
The free on-line game can be found at the Emerald123 website.