Balmoral Park played host to the biggest Pick Four harness pool in North America this year on Wednesday. Players across the continent wagered $119,168 in new money chasing a carryover of $25,709. The final pool established a 2012 North American record of $144,877.
Competitive racing at Balmoral was on display again, with the final three legs being decided by a neck or less. When 16-1 longshot Red River Restless snagged the victory in the final leg of the Pick Four, the payoff blew up to $8,386.20 for a dollar. Because of the carryover and the low takeout of 15%, the payoff surpassed the $1 win parlay of $5,375 by more than $3,000. The win payouts were $7.80, $35.20, $8.80 and $35.60.
Through March 7, $873,025 has been put through the windows on the low 15% takeout Pick Four wager through 28 racing nights. The average pool in 2012 is now $31,179. When compared to 2009 when the average was $8,827, the USTA's Strategic Wagering program and the 15% takeout have made a positive impact. The 2012 pools have increased $22,352 per night and are now 3.53 times higher than the pools were back in 2009.
The payoff on the Balmoral Pick Four has also continued on a steep upward trend. The 2012 Balmoral Pick Four now boasts an average payout of $2,789 for a dollar. Free program pages courtesy of Track Master are available nightly at ustrotting.com. A robust 206 horses are scheduled to compete this weekend, an average of 8.96 horses per race. Balmoral Park offers guaranteed pools every night. Wednesdays and Saturdays Pick Fours are guaranteed at $20,000. Sunday Night Racing offers a $25,000 guarantee on the Pick Four and a $10,000 guarantee on the 50 cent Pick Five. Handle for this week totaled $3,349,197 for a nightly average of $1,116,399. The average handle on the 33 races offered this week was $101,490. (Balmoral Park)