Two big payoffs, one on a Pick 6 bet and the other in a stakes race for 3-year-olds, will be on the line this weekend as thoroughbred racing makes its traditional April move from Gulfstream Park to Calder Casino & Race Course.
Gulfstream will end its 2012-2013 race meet Friday, with a Pick 6 pool that could reach $5 million and will be paid out in full no matter the number of winners.
The Pick 6 is on the day’s last six races and is 10 cents only per combination. Bettors can have multiple horses in each race and have multiple combinations.
Calder will open its season Saturday, with first post time of 12:50 p.m.
The opening-day feature is the $250,000 Calder Derby at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds.
Speak Logistics and Sr. Quisqueyano, both stakes winners at Calder last year, head an eight-horse field.
Calder will have racing on Thursdays through Sundays until June 30.
From July 6 through the end of June 2014, it will cut back to three-day weeks and have racing Friday through Sunday.
Race dates conflict
Gulfstream’s racing schedule includes every Saturday and Sunday during the 12 months from July 2013 through June 2014.
The two tracks, eight miles apart, will race head to head for the first time after they did not resolve a dispute over racing dates.
John Marshall, Calder vice president and general manager, said he hopes an agreement can be reached before July 1 to prevent head-to-head racing or reduce the number of days.
But he said there have been no recent discussions between the two tracks and their parent companies
Churchill Downs Inc. in Louisville, Ky., owns Calder. Stronach Group in Aurora, Ontario, owns Gulfstream Park.
Since 2002, Calder has opened its season in April and raced through late in the year, last year through November, and Gulfstream raced the remaining months — with no overlap.
Gulfstream will have 13 races Friday with first post time of 1:05 p.m. and a carryover of $1,961,806 on the Pick 6.
There are no stakes races. But Gulfstream will attract considerable local and national attention because precedent indicates the Pick 6 pool could grow to $5 million or higher. That would be one of the largest multirace pools at a U.S. racetrack.
Gulfstream pays out the full amount of the Pick 6 pool only when there is just one winning ticket. When there are multiple winners, they divide 60 percent of the day’s Pick 6 bets and 40 percent is added to the carryover pool.
The record Gulfstream Pick 6 pool was $5.1 million on April 23, 2011. There were 1,311 winners, each for $3,279.
About $3.5 million was bet on the Pick 6 that day — through a combination of bettors at Gulfstream, at other tracks and on computer betting systems.
Combo Pick 6 bet
One example of a Pick 6 bet is three horses per race, for 729 combinations and a $72.90 bet.
Many racing fans are planning to team up on Pick 6 bets Friday.
The Pick 6 will be on the eighth through 13th races, with scheduled post of 4:34 p.m. for the eighth race. All six races will have full fields of 12 horses.