Pick Seven's Pace Fades, Totals Only $8.5 Million

From Staff and Wire Reports

The organizers had to be disappointed with the interest among bettors in the first National Pick Seven on Saturday's Breeders' Cup races.

Only $8,525,849 was bet at the participating race tracks, legal sports books and off-track betting parlors. Before windows opened across the country Friday, estimates on the size of the bet ranged as high as $30 million.

Three-fourths of the betting total was set aside for those who correctly picked all seven winners of the Breeders' Cup races. Because no one did, the money was split among those who picked six.

Of the 29 people who correctly picked six of the seven races, 11 bet at Thistledown, 10 at Santa Anita, six at Bay Meadows and one each at Calder and Trinity Meadows. No one at Churchill Downs picked six of the races.

The highest payoff was to the winner at Calder, $235,901.60. Each of the winners from Bay Meadows and Santa Anita won $232,756.20. Thistledown winners got $227,164.60 each, and the winner at Trinity Meadows got $218,427.40.

Santa Anita and its satellites handled $1,647,856 for the Pick Seven, second only to Churchill Downs' $2,006,730. No other facility handled more than $1 million.

A state lottery probably hurt the wagering. The usually small Kentucky Lotto jackpot on Saturday was $37 million--the largest prize available from any state lottery this weekend.

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