Risk & Reward

It has come to the attention of the Daily Racing Blog that sometimes when we talk about betting the horses we tend to forget that not all of our readers are that familiar with some of the newer wagers available to them, or that we mention them in passing, assuming everyone knows what we’re referring to.  So we apologize to all that have been left scratching their heads thinking; “What the heck is a Pick 4 anyway?”  With that in mind, we give you –


The Pick 4 is a multiple race wager where you try to choose the winners of four consecutive races.  At most tracks the minimum wager for the Pick 4 is .50 cents.  Woodbine Racetrack in Canada offers a .20 cent version.  Normally the race venues have two Pick 4’s within their race card- the Early and Late Pick 4 as they are called.

You may choose more than just one horse in each leg of a Pick 4, but the more horses you select in each race will raise the price of the wager.  For instance; if you select 2 horses in the first race and three in each of the final three legs of the bet it would be 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 which would cost $27 dollars for a fifty cent wager.  We at DRB sometimes like to single one horse in any of the four races thereby dramatically lowering the cost of the wager.

The minimum cost of the Pick 4 make it very playable for the average horse bettor.  But don’t be fooled, the payout can be very lucrative.  On Travers Day at Saratoga this year, the late .50 cent Pick 4 paid $4,200 dollars.  Yesterday at Woodbine the late .20 cent Pick 4 paid $1,800 dollars. That, fellow horse players, is a very good Return On Investment.  It is not an easy wager to handicap, but well worth the extra effort.

We’ll talk more about other ‘exotic’ wagers in future columns, so come on back.


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