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Del Mar Pick Six payout puzzling

Del Mar is one of the many racetracks across the nation that has a jackpot provision for their daily Pick Six. The jackpot is only paid out when there is a single winning ticket, otherwise the jackpot amount continues to grow until there is a single ticket winner or until there is a mandatory payout day.

The Pick Six jackpot carryover going into last Sunday at Del Mar was a modest $35,805. Not an amount that would attract huge group tickets in the hopes of a bonanza payoff. However, one bettor (or group of bettors) decided to try to take down the pool just the same.

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The wager was made through an AmTote hub in Hunt Valley, Maryland. According to a press release from Del Mar, Hunt Valley processes bets from multiple advance-deposit wagering companies, including some that have high-end computer algorithm players more commonly known as “batch-bettors.”

“All wagers were placed in batches, the last batch approximately four minutes prior to the first leg of the Pick Six,” said California Horse Racing Board spokesman Mike Marten. “All 8,163 wagers used just one horse in each race. However, the base denomination for those wagers differed.

“Approximately 70 percent were made using the traditional $2 increment. The rest were various denominations of $4, $6, $8, $10, $12, $14, $16, $24, $26 and $60.”

The bettor wagered a total of $29,652 on the Pick Six. The winning ticket was an $8 base bet ticket, meaning the bettor had the winning Pick Six combination four times. However, California Horse Racing Board rules treat multiple winning combinations on the same ticket as a single ticket, which is why the jackpot was paid out as part of the $173,912 payoff. It also explains why prior to the final race Sunday, with four combinations still alive to eventual winner Canadian Ginger, the “will pays” listing probable payoffs did not show a jackpot payoff.

Del Mar officials reported on Monday they will change future probable “will pay” information to reflect a jackpot payoff if multiple winning combinations are part of a single ticket.

Personal Ensign, Whitney at Saratoga 

Midnight Bisou, the top older filly or mare in the country, will likely be heavily favored to defend her title in the Personal Ensign Stakes Saturday at Saratoga. A small field is expected when entries are drawn on Wednesday with Point of Honor, Motion Emotion, Abounding Joy, and Vexatious expected to run.

Midnight Bisou will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. for the first time since regular rider Mike Smith is unable to travel from California due to COVID-19 restrictions. Santana rides regularly for trainer Steve Asmussen and has worked Midnight Bisou on more than one occasion.

The Whitney will also have a small field but looks much more competitive. Tom’s d’Tat was an easy winner of the Grade II Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs in June and is working on a four-race winning streak. Code of Honor, who won the 2019 Travers at Saratoga, stretches back out around two turns after finishing third in the Metropolitan on July 4. He looks like the one to fear most.

Improbable will ship from California for trainer Bob Baffert, and Stephen Foster runner-up By My Standard is also scheduled to run. 

Final Derby prep for Honor A.P.

Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. will make his final start prior to the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby on Saturday in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar. The John Shirreffs-trained son of Honor Code dominated eventual Haskell Stakes winner Authentic in the Santa Anita Derby and has trained in exceptional fashion for the Shared Belief.

Baffert entered three horses in the Shared Belief – Uncle Chuck, Thousand Words and Cezanne.  However, Baffert is expected to scratch Uncle Chuck and wait for the Travers at Saratoga and a meeting with Tiz the Law on Aug. 8. 

Anneau d’Or is also entered in the Shared Belief, but trainer Blaine Wright is expected to scratch him in favor of the Ellis Park Derby.

Lindo Report Play for Gaming Today: Del Mar Friday, Race 6 – Salvador Mundi (No. 3). Trainer Phil D’Amato gelded this son of Artie Schiller during an eight-month layoff and he looked vastly improved beating softer at Santa Anita June 21. He has worked well since and takes the next logical step up the class ladder.