Bettors take down point

May 22, 2001 11:14 AM

The betting public enjoyed this one!

Point Given, the favorite to the 126th running of the Preakness Stakes, won by 2¼ lengths over A P Valentine in front of a record crowd of 104,454 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Point Given paid $6.60. A P Valentine paid $8.20 to place and Congaree, who finished third for the second consecutive time in the Triple Crown, paid $3.40 to show. The exacta paid $81.40, the trifecta $279.00, and the superfecta $717.30. The quiniela paid $27.10.

Point Given paid $5.00 to place and $4.00 to show. A P Valentine paid $3.40 to show.

The win denied Derby winner Monarchos the Triple Crown. Monarchos finished fifth after a slow start in the race. A Triple Crown possibility would have brought excitement to the Belmont Stakes, the third leg, June 9 in New York.

But one race and sports book director said Point Given would be good business for the Belmont.

"I think with the favorite winning, we had a lot of happy customers," said Robert Walker, The Mirage race and sports book director. "I think there will be some intrigue for the Belmont. When the favorite wins, people will come back and bet the Belmont."

Reports around Las Vegas sports books had large crowds, but not as heavy as for the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago. At the Fiesta race and sports book, nearly every seat was taken.

But as expected, handle was lighter than the Derby, which was on May 5.

"We didn’t handle as much as we did on the Derby," said John Williamson, Terrible’s race and sports book director. "It was about $3,000 less than the Derby, but don’t forget, we’re not a big place compared to the Strip books."

During the Derby, Terrible’s had a superfecta winner as John Broad of Las Vegas won $62,986.90.

But for the Preakness, "We didn’t have any $62,000 winners this time," Williamson said.

Terrible’s also had 150-200 entry drawing tickets, which were losing Preakness stubs. There were five payouts ranging from $300 to $50.

"We’ll continue to do that with the Belmont," Williamson said.