My fascination with the pick 5 began at the 2007 Breeders Cup at the Monmouth Park. That was the first time I had seen the 50 cent pick 5 offered. On that very rainy Friday, of the initial two day Breeders Cup, I played my first 5 race wager and hit for $207.80, which I thought was a decent payoff considering the chalky nature of the winners (four favorites below $6.00, and one for $12.80).
I frequently posted comments on busy blogs extolling the positives of the reduced takeout 50 cent pick 5 and hoped that the bet would return on a daily basis at Monmouth in 2008. To my delight it did return and I dabbled a bit that summer. In 2009, I really began picking the pick 5. I ended up cashing 5 times, with four small payouts below $250 and one IRS number over $1500. This produced a positive ROI for the meeting.
There is nothing quite like the thrill of being alive in the pick 5 going into the final leg. In his 2009 DRF DVD, Exotic Tickets, Steven Crist talks about the excitement. “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.” The 2010 summer at Monmouth had me on the most exhilerating of handicapping rides. There were two IRS cashes over $1200 and two excruciating photo finishes on consecutive Fridays in July.
Needless to say the pick 5 has exploded in popularity from Gulfstream to Hollywood Park and the 50 cent wager has transformed pick 4’s everywhere. Even NYRA tracks have started taking the lower base bets on their pick 4.
Beginning May 14, I will share my pick 5 choices in this blog, http://andyscoggin.blogspot.com. My wagers will be structured in three levels to fit smaller budgets with top choices to more complex plays with multiple backup choices. I will write about multi-race wagering, specifically at Monmouth. Look for “Picking the Pick 5”.