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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

The Premiere of the Belmont Pick 5

I love premieres, especially the premiere of Pick 5’s. I was at the 2007 Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth Park when the Pick 5 was offered for one of the first times in the country. Then in 2008, Monmouth brought the Pick 5 on board for the entire meeting. Now, finally, the Pick 5 has come to Belmont Park.
I hit that first Breeders’ Cup Pick 5 and ever since I have been a big fan of the wager, as has the American betting public. There is nothing quite like the thrill of being alive in the pick 5 going into the final leg, but it is not easy. I always go back to what Steven Crist, the master of the multi-race wager and the originator of the ABC system and Ticketmaster, said in Exotic Tickets, “No matter how good you are at them, playing bets like the pick 4 or pick 6 can really be like riding a roller coaster. You can go weeks, maybe even months, without making a big score.” 
Beginning on Saturday, September 7, the 50¢ Pick 5 comes to Belmont Park. The NYRA reduced take out Pick 5 will be on the first five races of the day. With a take out of 15%, this is by far the most attractive exotic wager offered in New York. There will be no consolation payouts, so the entire pool will carry over when nobody correctly picks the five races. The early Pick 4 will continue to be offered on races two through five and the late Pick 4 on the final four races of the card.
I think that New York State of Racing should take a shot at hitting the inaugural Pick 5. The sequence starts out with three New York-bred races, followed by a starter optional claimer, and ends with a 35000 claimer.
Race one is a contentious one-mile optional claiming allowance in which I have to use four horses: 1, 4, 5, and 7. If pushed to choose, I would make Smooth Bert my top choice. His last three races were top three finishes in state bred stakes and he loves the distance and Belmont Park.
Race two is a six-furlong turf sprint allowance for non-winners of one. Three horses need to be on the ticket here: 1, 5, and 8. Linda Rice’s Uncle Southern is the top choice here. Her barn was heating up at the end of Saratoga and this horse ran well in a lightning fast race that was off a seven-month layoff.
Race three is for two year-olds and only two of them have already run. Both Blithely and She's a Sizzler return off of second place finishes. One them, number 1 or 6, should win this one.
Race four is a one-mile starter optional claimer and we will go three deep here: 3, 5, and 6. Talk Therapy owes me a big effort after he got in trouble in the gate at Saratoga and then seemed angry and was rank during the rest of the race.
Let’s hope we have the thrill of being alive in the Pick 5 going into the last leg. In race five we will need to use three horses to take down the Pick 5: 3, 7, and 8. The maiden win of Jumpinofftheedge may be good enough to win here, as his last two were in races much tougher than this one.
Good luck and I hope you hit the Pick 5 in New York sooner rather then later. 


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Older Comments about The Premiere of the Belmont Pick 5...

I'm sure you were hoping it would pay more, but its always nice to hit the first one. Nice job!
The inaugural Pick 5, paid $195.00 for a 50-cent ticket and handled $238,514. The 5 winners paid $7.40, $7.10, $2.90, $5.80 and $5.60.
Saturday Belmont Pools: Pick 5 (1-5) $238,514, early Pick 4 (2-5) $221,774, Pick 6 (5-10) $67,888, and late Pick 4 (7-10) $504,883
That's a winner ... Well done, Matt!
Scratch the 4 in leg 1 and the 8 in leg 5 makes it a $54 ticket instead.
My expereince with new wagers: NO ONE knows how to play them the first few weeks...We added quniellas a few yaers back and initially they were paying MORE than exactas...That is nuts.
You hit that first BC Pick 5? Nice! I think it would be fitting if you hit this one too ... Good luck, Matt!

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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