The Pick 6, the thinking man’s lottery
Matt Carothers Dad coined the phrase the thinking man’s lottery for the Pick 6. Perfect!
Welcome to another great episode of Past The Wire TV! Matt Carothers of Fan Duel (TVG) in addition to being a handicapper himself, is the son of a major Pick 6 player. As many of you know our own Jonathan Stettin has been known to so some Pick 6’ing of his own. After all they don’t call him The Pick 6 King for nothing!
Matt and Jon sit down for some real horseplayer and Pick 6 talk. You’ll hear about a common bad beat they share, some of Matt’s stories about his Dad. Learn why the true Pick 6 was the most challenging and rewarding wager The Sport of Kings ever offered. The bet is all but extinct today except for two or three days a year.
When two people this knowledgeable and passionate about the sport of thoroughbred racing get together you know it will be a fun show and conversation you won’t want to miss. You’ll hear some cool war stories, and get to see Matt in a different light than his Fan Duel coverage portrays. He loves the game as much as most of us do.
If you enjoy this video please hit the like button or leave us a comment. You may also enjoy this video we did on Ticket Structure, it is essential to have good ticket structure to put yourself in a position to win!
In the video, Matt Carothers and Jonathan Stettin discuss the history and decline of the pick six wager in horse racing. Carothers shares his thoughts on the decline of the pick six wager, and the discussion leads to a discussion of the pick five wager. The video demonstrates how a professional pick six player can win even when no will pay is involved.
- 00:00:00 This video features Matt Carothers and Jonathan Stanton discussing the history and decline of the traditional pick six wager in horse racing. Matt’s father was a pick six player back in the day, and Matt introduced Jonathan to the sport. Jonathan’s dad was a mutual clerk and introduced Jonathan to horse racing. Jonathan became a pick six player, and his dad never really gave himself the name. Matt shares his thoughts on the decline of the pick six wager in horse racing, and the discussion leads to a discussion of the pick five wager.
- 00:05:00 The video discusses how Matt Carothers, a professional gambler and pick six enthusiast, became successful with the pick six. Early in his career, he lost money playing the pick six, but eventually learned how to play it well and became a millionaire. He now recommends the thinking man’s lottery to other gamblers.
- 00:10:00 Matt Carothers discusses the importance of picking 6 wisely, and how a small player can still have a chance at a big score. He also recalls a bad beat story involving a horse named Mr Fabisham.
- 00:15:00 Matt Carothers and Jonathan Stettin discuss a pick six that won a 1.1 million dollar payout, but the horse that Matt keyed did not play its tickets. Matt recalls many occasions where he has had good days but not complete satisfaction because he didn’t hit the pick six. Frankie, the jockey who rode the horse in the final leg, shared that he knew the horse well and that he had a good chance of winning.
- 00:20:00 The video discusses how Matt Carothers, a young writer, got so excited while racing that he “got in the zone” and never realized how far out the horse was getting. He recounts the race that taught him this lesson, and how it still pains him to watch. He also talks about how, back in the 1990s, racetracks would offer million-dollar pick sixes, and how one would eventually be hit by the other and end the bet.
- 00:25:00 The speaker explains how the pick six was a wager that was so much fun and how his father would go to the track and bet on the pick six. He also shares some funny stories about Pete Rose.
- 00:30:00 The video demonstrates how a professional pick six player can win even when no will pay is involved. The story of a pick six player who cashed a ticket with 120 thousand dollars in cash is also recounted.
- 00:35:00 The video discusses a story of a man who won a large sum of money in a single day playing pick sixes at a horse race track. He shares how he was able to do so by cheating, and how he was eventually caught and had to turn over the tickets to the track.
- 00:40:00 Matt Carothers and Jonathan Stettin discuss the real-life consequences of gambling. Carothers explains how he lost a hundred thousand dollars playing pick six. He also discusses his opinion on horse racing, stating that it is unfair to the majority of participants.
- 00:45:00 The author discusses how the traditional pick six format has been replaced by the one dollar pick six in recent years. They argue that this trend is a form of laziness and promotes neglect of skill development. The author suggests that this is a bad long-term strategy, as it allows players to rely on luck instead of skill.
- 00:50:00 Matt Carothers and Jonathan Stettin discuss the importance of having a strong opinion when playing pick sixes, and how playing small tickets can help increase your chances of winning. Matt also shares a story about a big pick six score he hit on a small ticket.
- 00:55:00 The narrator discusses how his father used to bet on horse races, how he stopped betting, and how he bets today. He also talks about how his father likes to play the pick five and pick six, and how he knows when to bet on a horse.
Hello everybody and welcome to what I would like to think is a very special episode of Pastthewire TV. I am fortunate enough today to be joined by Matt Carruthers really needs no introduction. FanDuel TVG personality well known not only handicapper, a big student in the game, horse racing enthusiast, and just a great personality for the sport, Matt, thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. And I think we got a really, really great topic to talk about today.
My pleasure coming on Jonathan. You know, I admire your work, what you do your podcast, your articles, what you’ve done for the game. So thrilled to be on and it’s a topic that I enjoy discussing immensely.
Appreciate it now. How this show came about is I was watching Matt on TV the other day and it’s something I you know, we’ve all watched Matt for years. But something I did not know was that Matt’s dad was a pick six player way back when the pick six was a $2 wager. It was what I will call it traditional pick six that today is ultimately extinct. And I thought it was a fascinating topic because Matt’s dad was a pick six player and introduced Matt to horse racing. My dad it was a mutual clerk introduced me to horse racing. And ultimately, I became a pick six player My dad never really was he was kind of like my, my router. And he’s the one I never gave myself the name to pick six King, my dad gave me that after I hit a few big ones as a joke, and it just stuck amongst my friends and the people I used to go to the racetrack with, but I never gave myself that name. But I just thought it was such an interesting parallel, you know, with your dad and your relationship and how that evolved. And my situation which was a little different, but similar in the role, so I just thought it was a great topic. And also it would give us an opportunity to talk about a wager that’s really a great wager and was a great way to make big scores in the sport that that unfortunately has just gone by the wayside due to I guess the large menu of wagering opportunities that they have today and the lesser denominations you know, the 50 cent pick fours and pick fives have just drained the picksix pool and taken away you know those $2 pick six opportunities which I think were a challenge and I think you know, were a great bet when they were around your thoughts on that net?
Yeah, I mean I I love the pic five like everybody else. So I’m glad there’s a pick five. I’m personally not a big player. I tend to medium to fairly big. I don’t even know I don’t like to pick fours particularly for 50 cents I wish they were for $1 I mean I because you know, I’m a price player you like that A to one shot and for $1 A lot of people aren’t gonna have that shot for 50 cents you can cover yourself and you can go so deep and so many legs and a pic for not spending a lot of money. But in terms of the pick six, we were talking a little before we started the show. You know back in the day my dad was playing obviously it started the picksix started at Caliente and then large ever product at the Hollywood Park back. What, back at 84 ish sometime. And sometime in that period, my dad started playing a little bit after that. And he was a pretty big bettor he bet all sports. He was he was the guy that was leaving the kitchen table to call the line that to see how the Knicks were doing against the pistons. We talk about pitching matchups, Randy Jones versus Valens whale in San Diego. So I kind of grew up with this. I mean, I was answering the phone with his guys were calling him to see what you want to do for that day. So I was kind of immersed in this edit at a young age. And so you know, he was a good gambler. He was a good his dad was a very good player at the racetrack. They had to go to the fairgrounds. Back when he used to get my daddy, his father or my grandfather worked for Gulf Oil world and my dad went to school at Newman where the Mannings went to school, Tom Amos went to school there. And he used to pick up his dad and David go to the fairgrounds for the length double. That was a big wager back then. So he’s always liked the multi wagers and somebody who is pretty good and had a little bit of money and had a lot of confidence. The pick six was the wager for him. And he immediately called it the thinking the thinking man’s lottery. That’s, that’s what that’s what that’s what he deemed it. That’s what that’s what, that’s what he coined it. And that was his way of potentially making a giant score. And, you know, he immediately had some success with it. But in the beginning, a lot of even the serious horse players didn’t really understand the pick six that Well, the first time he played it, he played a tuner and $16 ticket and got knocked out of the first lady’s like, Oh, crap, here we go, knocked out of the first first leg, and then he got hot and had all these long shots. And the guy who was whipped knew a little bit more than him at that point in time and said, you know, maybe nobody had six, five might pay pretty well. Right? They paid 33,000. And he went to the window to get 33,000 and they handed him 66,000. And he thought it was a mistake. And he felt kind of guilty. Should I do something? Should I say something and I didn’t. And then he found out that you know, the lady that he missed that first lady went too deep. So he had it twice for $66,000 and you hid for $66,000 in your first bet on a $216 wager it, it becomes contagious,
ya know, for sure. And a lot of a lot of mistakes that that people used to make is they didn’t realize that when you actually hit the pick six, okay, you would get paid for all those pick fives as well. So if you had a 200 or $500 ticket, you know, you had to pick six, you may have a dozen or 1516, pick fives as well. Sometimes the you know to pick five is $1,000 or, or 1200 for the five out of six. So there’s another 1215 16,000 on top at a win. So I love I love the thinking man’s lottery game because it really was. And back then I think what made itself tough and what separated it from all the other wages is it really forced you unless you just had an unlimited bankroll and didn’t care, it forced you to really handicap and really take a position, you had to really take a position. And if you’re a player who considers value like yourself and likes prices, and you’re looking for a race where you can maybe single or go narrow. You didn’t look for that eight to five or six to five shot you kind of looked over at least me I would always look for a single that was not the single everybody else had because that would give me room and leverage in the other legs to maybe create some separation and you know, back then the carryover days are great. Okay, but I played them primarily at naira. Okay. And even on the non carryover days, okay, I mean, I remember hitting one or two at Saratoga that on non carryover days the only ticket was 100 125,000 in the pool, you know where today you just don’t see that. You know, and the Rainbow Six I’m not a fan of No. And it’s become a bet really that I make twice a year now I’ll play to pick six on Kentucky Derby Day. And on the Breeders Cup Saturday. I used to convince myself that it was worth playing the Rainbow Six on the mandatory payout days when the pools were very big and I ultimately stopped doing that and my philosophy was well it’s a 20 cent bet so really, a you know a $2,000 Picking up a $20,000 Picking on it conventional pick six and then that’s the mandatory about but when you have that, that 20 cent in there, it just it just reduces this to many winning tickets to have to have that edge unless you get really fluky results. So a lot of times on those big mandatory payout days you’ll see the tickets come back shorter than I think they should. So it just it just way
you can have you can have an array handicapping day you can take a 20 to one shot a 10 to one shot. And really I make a lot of money and I really understand the smaller to medium tracks, right do it. It’s like, literally you could have an unbelievable day. So you get the pool, the pools nothing. And the pool is so small at these tracks. I used to like it back in the day personally as somebody was going to medium type player at Canterbury back in the in the late 90s. When I was working there, they would guarantee 10,000 is it’s all up to you or my dad, to me, that was great. I was in my 20s that would that was that was a lot of money. And I knew that people like you and my dad, were playing it. Right playing Southern California, you’re playing something else, you’re not interested in the 10,000 Guaranteed category. So I hit a bunch of those over a couple of summers. And I knew if I didn’t hit it, there was only about four or five other guys that you probably hit it today. Right? I didn’t hit it and there was two winning tickets was you and us. So that was great when small tracks with guaranteed a decent enough pool for people that are 4870 to 90 620 $144 type players. But the funny thing is that my Dad, I’ve totally forgot about this when I was talking to him yesterday, telling him I was I was doing the show and kind of just picking his brain a little bit and getting some great stories. He reminded me that back in the day he thinks it was it was quite good. Richard was the general manager at Santa Anita. Okay, and he got rid of the pic six, for a brief period. And I was like really? I don’t remember that at all. He’s like, you know why he did that? I was like, I was like, no, because he felt like it was an unfair advantage for big players. And that small players were investing too much money in it, they couldn’t win. And that was affecting churn. So we got rid of it, you know, the people that bitched and complained about it. Oh, the small players really are the ones that wanted it back. Because, I mean, there’s a reason why a lottery
so so right, it’s a chance to have a life changing school,
obviously, and this is again, the thinking man’s lottery as we are as we already talked about, but you know it, you have hope for a big score, there’s hope for every picksix begins, there’s hope, whether it’s a 48 hour ticket or a $96 ticket. And, and small tickets and big ticket sometimes can look kind of the same as you know, I mean, I might have a small ticket, you have a bigger ticket, we only have four races the same. But in one race, you went five deep and I singled another race you went too deep and I singled your tickets 10 times more than mining for the six legs are the same. So if you can get hot, even as a small player, you have a shot and they’re the ones that requested it back. They liked that hope they liked that chance of a lifetime type score.
Yeah, no, I agree. Another interesting thing that your dad would not remember from back then is the biggest picksix that I ever hit was $550,000. That’s okay. And back then. I was alive in the last leg with two horses. One was Turk pass the one who was a priceless Anthony Mark got it trained. And the other was a horse named I want to say London lime or London Lee or something like that. Who is the favorite? I was like with two horses in the last leg was a turf race at Saratoga. back then. They didn’t put up the pick six wheel pains. Yes. So you had no idea what you were alive for. Now, there was a huge carryover. And there was some upsets. You know what I mean? I don’t remember all the races, but I remembered it was like a three to five shot horse named Mr. favish. And I wanted to say that Gaspar Mosharraf train, he was very hot back then as per home. And he went down at three to five. So I knew it was a nice ticket, but I didn’t know how much and when they and parkpass one they put up, you know, 550,000 and I was like, wow, the funny part of his story is, I found out later that they were two winners. Okay. The other winner was a waitress, a local waitress from Saratoga, who bet like $8 on a daughter’s house numbers. And I’m like, wow, I mean, yeah, grudge anybody winning, but if I’m gonna split that pot, oh, I’d rather split it with a hardcore player. But you know, maybe she needed the money. So God bless her. She won. But man, I split the pot with a waitress who played the bet for the first time played my daughter’s house numbers invested $8 And I just thought that was a you know, hysterical
in a weird way. That’s a that’s a bad beat. Right? Right. And so the millennial I’ll read what he wrote this is this is a bad beat story from him. I thought this is great. I’m If that will take that long so I want to really say there was a triple carryover at Del Mar. I love the horse in the final leg that a 20 to one morning line. I don’t remember his name, but he knew that David Flores was aboard. Single horse on all four tickets is in play he is a it’s tickets total about 1500 by a longshot one and paid $80. But I didn’t have to take six, I had all six winners, but I didn’t want to take it. So you play multiple tickets, and you didn’t have all 1256 paid like 2800 and I had many times I had a huge pick three I collected over 30,000 I left feeling miserable, because he should have hit the pick six. And when they brought the payoff at first he thought it was 110,000 it was 1.1 million. So the horse of the key that paid $80 wins a pick six that paid 1.1 million he had six of six but not together on his on his combined tickets that that’s so sometimes, even for me, the days in which you win big, you all you can deal with, if your opinion sticks, you got to be able to deal with it. Or else you shouldn’t be a serious player, because you have a lot of these days where every horse you like this horse will get the lead he breaks seven, this horse misses the beast had a bad day happens. But it might happen today. I’m hoping tomorrow, you might have a bunch of them in a row. But it’s the days in which you’re hot. And you know those bad days are coming you need to make as much money as you can. And sometimes the days in which you have giant scores, you’re happy, but you’re not completely satisfied, because he should have made more.
Right. And that that was one of those days, you know, I mean, I could have easily had 1.1 instead of you know 550,000 The funny thing with me and I don’t know if your dad was the same way or not. But in all my picksix memories, I find it I talk more about an almost, and I’m not a sadomasochists or anything like that, but I enjoyed for a while maybe Right, right. pointed at that. Point taken. I like talking about the bad beats for some reason I don’t mind you know telling them and two that come to mind for me. Okay? And one of them I actually want I hit the pick six and it paid like 32 or $36,000 and most people would be ecstatic. And I remember coming home crying and people like why are you crying you want 30 something 1000 I was alive. It was a Breeders Cup day and I was alive in the last leg with the awesome again three horse entering and swaying and swaying that was the day that he just kept under the left handed with going to Okay, where all right, I believe you so then you can have again left handed. I don’t understand it. Okay, I couldn’t understand it. Swing was like seven or eight to one awesome again was the three horse and three favorite. Like I said it paid 37,000 I don’t know what the spread was. So I don’t know what that race cause always felt like it was more than I thought. And it could have been easily half 1,750,000
Oh, you always remember where you were for your big hits and your bidding. I was actually working at the Meadowlands. They were they were open for the breeder for the Breeders Cup and they had a special show and I was I was up on the sports bar old area there at the Meadowlands watching that and just screaming at the TV while I was working for Natori I one of the greatest writers of all time, even back then. And it was just maybe his worst ride ever. In a big moment. That was our show, right?
I harbored that that was at Churchill Downs. Absolutely. You know, I harbored that be for years and years. And I never ever I never I never heard a decent explanation from him on okay, never read anything, never heard anything. And finally, about two years ago, I want to say the last time the Breeders Cup was at Santa Anita, I ran into Frankie and I speak Italian. So we were we were able to have a conversation and I was like listen, I gotta ask you something. And I gotta ask you like hot the hot you got it? You gotta give me you give me an answer. And he says I know what you’re gonna ask me. I’m like no you don’t because I guarantee I know. I said I want to know what happened in the previous coffee with Swain and he looked at me and he smiled he goes okay, you got me that’s not what I thought you were gonna ask me I definitely thought you’re gonna ask me about the drugs or about something like I said no. Personal stuff i Yeah, that’s it you know you’re
right on swayed me
what? Right, I said but but Swain. I got to know what happened. And his answer was great. It was from the heart. You know what I mean? And, you know, he just looked at me and it You know, he said, listen, he goes, I was a young writer. He goes, I got so much adrenaline in me. I got so excited, we will come and down to stretch he goes, I just totally got into zone and was just digging, digging, never realizing what I was doing or how far out the horse was getting. He goes, if I could ever have a race back, it was that one he goes in that was the race that taught me no matter how much excited or adrenaline or pumped up, I get in a moment to keep my head and know everything what’s going on. He goes, that rates made me a better writer. He goes, but he goes, I messed up that day. He goes, no question. No, no, no, no question about it. And I thought it was a great answer. And I finally felt like that, you know, it is what it is. And he’s paid back. He’s paid that back many, many times because he’s given so many great rides and add, you know, probably one of the greatest careers of any, any rider on the world stage. But I finally got to ask him face to face and that that was what he said. And can we agree as avid race watchers now that you are alive as well, so I know you feel the pain. Swing was 22 Absolutely could have won that race. I don’t think that’s a subjective thing. I think we can easily say if he straightens him Out goes the right hand. He wins,
right? No, I think I think taking bias out of the equation and just watching that race which pains me every once awhile on the network for some reason flashback to that Breeders Cup moment or something. I’m just like, Oh, God, it’s really it. Is it? 20 whatever the hell it is. 24 years and it’s feels like yesterday to me quarter of a century and it’s still very difficult to watch. No, I think for sure. He he wins that ratio that Yeah, right. I remember that. I singled reraise. I think that he was the lossy Nakatani. He was. He was he was the youngest trainer at the time, I think to win a Breeders Cup race. Correct. That was to Haas Dickinson.
We had the same single reraise was my single also why? Because
that’s back when the Vosburgh right melodically seven furlongs and they had no chance against West Coast speed at six furlongs and affirm success for Sarjapur was favored. Right in that race. And I was second took on like reraise. It’s so much faster than anybody in this field. It’s, it’s fine to be competitive. I think it was a year or two ago.
I think it was, yeah, if I recall,
and he got the lead and just crushed and crushed gate to wire. So it’d be a good day, like we talked about, but it could have been a great day,
I wound up picking it anyway. I don’t know, if you did I hit it. But that was one of those days that people outside of racing can understand how you can hit the big six, but 30 something 1000 and come home and feel like a loser, you know?
No, no. And then also, if I did also remind me back in the day, that what they started doing in Southern California, which he liked was they would guarantee million dollars, right? In the pick six, every time they did that they bet like 1,000,003 or four, the track was happy the betters rather than was happy, then it kind of got into a little you know, what contest between the tracks in Southern California. And so then one of them would say, a 2 million, we’re gonna run off 2 million guarantee, and it would go 2.3. And then my dad’s happy with a two and a half for some silly reason. And then went to three. And once they went to three, the pool was like two, four. Right? And so they just abolished it, and got rid of it altogether. I said, Why don’t they just go back to two or one? He’s like, No, because most people really strike management, not very bright. Like, they should have done that. But they got scared at that point, that that the guarantee was even close to be met, but they went too high to $3 million. So they got rid of that completely. At that point in time. I think this was back in the in the 90s as well. Right.
You know, it was such a, such a tough bet. You know, and for me back when I was doing it in the you know, late 80s, early 90s, all the way all the way through all the way through the 90s really that that was my livelihood. That’s what I did and how your dad used to say, you know, he had a goal to hit, you know, to a meet that don’t like my goal right? My goal wasn’t that lofty my goal was if I can hit three or four over the year I’m going to do well I’m going to make money you know what I mean? Because you know, I would hit those big ones and you know, you know some stand out you know, like get up patients you got to have patience, you got to have discipline like you know, I would bet to pick six and that will be the only bet I made for the day most of the time. You know what I mean? So a lot of times you get knocked out you singles running you want to bet him I would pass because my bank roll was essentially in my pocket and in my dresser drawer you know So, I had to be disciplined and conservative I had to play aggressively but I also had to, you know, make sure I had enough money to go after them when I wanted to go after them or when there was a carryover or when there was just a card that I love. You know, I picked six
was also it was a wager that was so fun or my dad was on the track. And, you know, he used to go to San Diego on the winter and he got to Del Mar and then they had that the seaside simulcasting area next to Del Mar and he would go out there in the winter and stay there for two or three months. It’s an all the regulars, you know, everybody is talking about the big six and people coming and wanting his opinion and all that stuff. He loved that it was so totally different from the times where he’d be in his head a box at Del Mar and I and how lucky am I should be a much better Horseplayer than I am I kind of grew up sitting in a box with my dad. Fire. Right. Jim Quinn, bro hammer, sometimes Roxy, okay, in the box. It was it was great because I would sit there and like, I thought I knew what I was doing. And everyone’s want and then they’ve taught but not that much, everyone. So I did to my dad and like it was fire like in the sun. And I was like, I don’t know. I mean, every once awhile they talk to each other, like, you know, Andy, what’s your opinion in the eighth or whatever, and my dad might do the same thing as somebody else. But most a lot of times they were competitive. And you know, they were good friends sitting in the same box having dinner later that night. They wouldn’t even compare notes all that much. Because I mean, as you know, I mean, this sounds egotistical, but there’s a lot of ego there’s ego involved to it. The money is the most important thing but hitting scores and kind of being the man and that was part of the whole thing. I think in terms of the pick 16 in Southern California.
Oh no, it was like that everywhere. I remember. Pete Rose got mad at me one time. I used to sit we used to it was it was at the old Gulfstream before they rebuilt it there was a little section in the restaurant on the first floor in the clubhouse that was like behind the maitre d stand. And Marie Durst guided on Lil’s lad on the bunch. He had a table there friend of mine, Joe from Buffalo, I had a table there. Pete Rose used to get a table there when he said it was a little private like thing. And, you know, I was known as the pick six guy because I always used to go after the pick sixes. And there was a big carry over one day and Pete Rose came, and he used to back then come with a stack of about 40 50,000 and hundreds on his table, okay, and he would send his girlfriend to the window, every race and a lot of days, that stack would wind up down to nothing. Okay, so one day, he comes with another guy, not his girlfriend, and he comes over and he goes, Listen, he goes, I know you’re planning to pick six today, there’s a carryover. I said I am. He goes off steak to pick six. I’ll put up the money and we go partners, you know, on your horses. And I says Pete, I love your all due respect. No, thank you. He goes, why not? You don’t. I he goes I says why not? I said because I want to I don’t want to split the pool with anybody. I don’t want anybody else I want to eagles, but I’m going to pay for the ticket. You don’t have to risk anything. I said, but that’s what I do. I risk the money. You know, and I mean, that’s, that’s what I do. And he couldn’t understand my logic. Like, why I’m like, No, that’s a lose for me. You know, I mean, if we hit it, it’s a lose for me. Um, he goes, but I’m putting up the money. I’ll put up anything you want to invest. To make it worse.
If your 10,000 doesn’t cover the price. 100,000 I might have to I might get less because I split it with you. Yeah, right.
And to make it worse, I hit it. And he paid 126,000. So he walked out, man. And I think he’s, I think this was in the 90s I think he’s still made to this day. It stains all over it but diversity
of heroes stories, because I know he used to go to the old river downs. Yeah, all the time. There was a certain room up there. I know a couple of guys that basically were in that room all the time to that told me some really great Pete Rose stories. Yeah.
He was a fun guy to hang around. He was but he just got mad. He just didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go partners with him. And even you know what, him staking the ticket? And I’m like, No, I don’t I don’t I just don’t do that. You know,
we know that and we’re gonna jump all over the place. But you mentioned something earlier about how there was no wheelbase. I mean, my dad still his first big score, I think was in the spring of 88. It’s kind of funny, he still has the check for it. He actually sent me a photo of it. So I think he got us a lot. A lot of people the stock market crash was 87 like in September, October, like late summer, early fall, I think of 87. And it was not good for him to invest in the market. And so he had to pick six We’re at Santa Anita. And you know, as you mentioned, a wheelbase you don’t know if you’re gonna like, take it or not you said was the greatest thing he’s ever heard his life at that point in time, was when Trevor came on and said, ladies and gentlemen, in today’s picksix there is one.
Oh, I love it.
Yeah, he said. So, I mean, it was like, it was like, 130 something 1000 It was, it was the whole pool. And I think he walked away with 119. So he told me they wanted to check for 100 and then 19,000 in cash, he told me also back then it was interesting. You go to the windows in this first big score. It’s like, how am I gonna? You know, wait, they just have these blocks of money. It’s like, it’s like, blocks of 5000 Right. And it’s kind of the kind of hand to he’s like, you have a jacket was like, walking with these blocks of cash. It’s like, it’s kind of a weird thing. Everyone sees all this money.
Your dad’s gonna love this story. I hope he watches this. Okay, yeah. Great, great. picksix story. Okay, too. What am I gotta say I’m gonna be one of them was I hit it at Gulfstream. Okay, secret status. Okay, well, she wants to do X rays. I want to say it was an allowance race at Gulfstream. She won the last race. She was my single paid 120 something $1,000 Okay, so I cashed the ticket with this intelligent net. Gene rather, she was there at Gulfstream for years and years and years used to work the very first window when you walked into clubhouse. My mom and dad were with me. Okay. Go I cashed the ticket. All cash comes up. 100 and some $1,000 He’s got to order the money from the money room. She gets it. So where do you want me to put the money? I’m like, I don’t know. She finds an old beat up public supermarket plastic bag stuffs the money in debt and by now with 1520 minutes after the last race so the place is clearing out. Okay. So a pink button. When a racetrack cops I don’t go on picket fence applauding it was actually Hallandale Beach police officer comes over sees a lot of money going on and goes Do you want me to walk into your car? I say I don’t mind. My cars. First one right outside, I used to valet PA and they used to back my car up right up to the door. So my mom, my dad and me walk out and I’ve got the bag, okay, of duck 120,000. Okay, this old public space and we walk out and we will shake up my car. Okay, so as soon as we get out to the car, all right. I take some money out of the bag and I give the valet guy that’s around $100 and the cop $100. Right meet gladly takes it. We get in the car, and we drive off. So my mom is sitting next to me. My dad’s in the back and I’m driving and my mom’s like, you know, you’re really you’re not smart at all. She said, I think you’d be smart and I’m like, what? We had a great day. What are you doing? She goes you like a big shot. Gotta pull out all that money and be given hundreds out all over the place. She goes, somebody like that will be following us now and rob us. I says Mom, it doesn’t matter. I said trust me. We walked out 15 minutes after the last race with a Hallandale Beach cop with his gun carrying a bag full of money. Everybody around. knew that we had a really good gun, man.
Yeah, it was too late for that. Right?
Exactly. I’m like, don’t do that. Bob. The other the other thing is same thing that happened to you dad. Hit the pick six at Gulfstream again one day, and I’m out on the apron. Okay, no wheel pays. And I’m standing next to my friend. He’s like, What did you pay what it man like? I don’t know. I’m waiting for them to put it up. And I heard that’s when Tom Durkin used to call it Gulfstream. That’s how long ago this was a time ago, there was one winner of the pick six and I like Yes. And that was that was it was about was about 100,000 so
that I could add moment. But even like, so Canterbury opened up in got what year was it? 85? I think? And this is obviously way before simulcasting, right. And it was bizarre. The people in Minnesota back and there was a pretty good product in play. Lucas had horses there and you had some you had some good riders. You had some stuff going on. And Ron Hansen was riding there, but you had some really good barns. And before simulcasting people were playing the pick six, and a lot of the best pick six players in the country. Like a guy named Scott Miller, who is probably the best player I’ve ever known. He’s never had a job in his life. And only he’s ever had a bank account. He’s in Vegas now on these ones guys. It’s so it’s so it’s so sharp. He could look like the race could be before it was official. He would be like horses gonna pay 1280 He was right every time he can look at the pool and figure out he knew that he knew the slot machines in Vegas that would pay you like $30 an hour. He knew the ones that you could get a girlfriend He just sat there and would make you know that this was back in the day. So his brain was unreal. But he was they call them the boston strangler, and he was so he moved to Canada and a lot of these big Howard Slutsky was a huge picksix player in Vegas and he knew all these guys were in Shakopee, Minnesota. This, at the time not developed farm town, playing the pick six, because that was the best thing for Horseplayer big pools. Bad betters, these people had no idea what they were doing. And they were setting it to the window. So someone like you or my dad or Scott Miller had a field day to get an idea how they have no clue what’s going on. Even the tellers ain’t my dad, twice been three or 4000 on a picksix had five or six pay like 1600 went to the window. He lost like you know, two or $3,000 And she was like smiley, congratulations. I know. graduations. I lost three grand but
ya know, you get that people don’t know picksix scare. Okay, how can your dad appreciate this? $576 ticket? Okay. I bet it at colder in August. I think it was at Saratoga the pick six. Okay. Boulder. I was living in Florida. And it was adopt a quota. So they only had one little section open for simulcasting, hardly anything was going down. Churchill Downs already owned colder. Okay. So I go I bet my ticket. I go home and I watched the races. That’s before I had racing track that work. I’m watching on TV gee, you might even been covering up so I go home I watched the races. And in the last leg. I have a single I remember who it is may rest in peace. Garrett Gomez rode a horse named New York Dixie who was in New York bread that was shipping in from the fairgrounds running an open company coming back running against state rent allowance forces Saratoga single the horse. All kinds of trouble block steady check this that Garrett gets them out late and comes with that furious finish that he was known for. And it was a photo finish. I remember the announcer said too close to call but I knew I got Okay. comes up. $146,000 Beautiful. Okay, too. Okay, New York Dixie 576 hours. The next day, I head back to cold. Okay, I go to the window I used to bet with this guy out is still a teller at Gulfstream today. Well known because he punches tickets with his pen. Like it’s a machine bang, bang, bang. You think he’s gonna break the machine, but he’s very good. Very good, accurate. Tell his window, all right. And I give him the ticket. And he runs it in. And that’s when you had to give them your social security number. You know what I mean? So he says what? Yeah. So he runs it. And he goes, I’ll be right back, John. I’m like, oh, and he goes away. Right. So now I’m wondering what’s up, you know, so he goes away. He comes back. He goes, John, at the time, Ed Mackey, who I think is still the head of Mutual’s at Gulfstream Park. He says Ed Mackey, the director of Mutual’s wants to see you. So I’m like, okay, where he goes, come back in here. And he took me back behind the way into an office and I’m thinking on the way there, what could possibly be wrong? You know what I mean? Yes. Is he right? You know what I mean? And I’m like, A, that’s what I’m thinking like, Okay, so 146,000, what’s the problem? So he takes me in the office and he goes, Man, they knew who I was, because I was a big better, because John, he goes, I’m embarrassed to tell you. I’m like, Why? Because I don’t have enough money to pay. This is why he goes, I don’t have enough money to pay you. He goes, and I can’t even give you a check. I’m like, That makes no sense. And why not? He goes, Well, Churchill Downs has a policy that I can issue with check if we don’t have enough money in our account to cover it. So I have to let them know and they have to wire me the money before I could issue you to check. He goes and I only have a limited amount of cash because it’s a simulcasting only day and there’s not a lot of big betters here. And this out we couldn’t we couldn’t you know we couldn’t continue we go so because I can’t pay you. I can get you a check. It’ll take a day or two what this whatever you know, I’m like, is what I want to do for me. I don’t want to check. You tell me when I can come back for the cash. He goes and come back for cash. Two days. I said done deal. I’ll be back. Give me the cash. Okay. I said who owns the ticket? me Are you because you’ve got all the tickets not cash, even though we’ve been just Oh, don’t worry about I said good. Let me take out come back two days get done deal. I leave I was a little worried. I called Naira and the head of the Mutual’s at Naira was Pat Mahoney, who used to be the head of Mutual’s at Calder and knew me well from betting a lot of money. And I said, Pat, this just happened is this I’m a little jaded because yeah, yeah, don’t worry about it. Tickets. Good deal in two days, so I wasn’t worried. So the next day I go back I Go CL he goes, we’re already for you. He goes, Just give me the ticket. He meant to take a bullet only point and he goes, Okay, come back, takes me into back. They had a brick $100,000 brick. Okay, the rest of the money was all loose on the side stacks of 10,000 whatever was on the, you know, 100 and something 1000 Yeah, I think was 120.
So you’re in the money room at this point is everywhere you went, I was a little office in
the back. David took me in the money room. But Mackey was there and they had a machine that counts the money. And he goes, Listen, this, this brick and it was $100,000 Brick Wall Wrap. He goes, every he goes grant it to the machine. He goes, you can open it up and counted. He goes, it’s up to you. I said, No, it’s beautiful. It’s like a work of art. I think I’m going to just put it on a coffee table. I said, it’s actually bad, because I’m never going to want to break it. And the way my lifestyle is, I may need to break it sooner than later. But it’s going to be hard to break that you know, but no, throw it in a bag, throw it in a bag to the rest of the money in the bag. I took everybody and I left with $100,000 brick that I want to say about eight, nine months. So I had to rip into it. You know, and it killed me to have to do it. You know, because it was it really was beautiful. And I love I never was one to have a lot of people over my home. But I love showing anybody that actually made awesome. I was like look at this and was nice break for 100 grand 100 grand picture of it on an old phone that I somehow lost. So I don’t there’s no evidence
did you ever get I guess I’ll say f by the, by the moronic rule and Naira because it costs caused me to pick five ones for a lot of money. I loved a horse at Saratoga, I came here the horse’s name. Let’s about 12 years ago, the horse was part of an entry. And they’re going to be like 11 to one or 11 to one in the in the paddock. The part of the entry that I didn’t like it all scratched. So I was like the third leg of a pick five or whatever. And so I get the post time favorite because my horse of course is now invisible, right and he’s running for purse money only. And just the way I handicap that crushed one by five. So I’ve never been more right about a race and I lost money. Because he didn’t exist. I had the favor who didn’t run second in the race, which would have been winning in the event. So instead of getting and then I would have the hang the pick five I think if you know for me, it was like 10 810 to 20,000 somewhere on that matter. So ever. You know before that I didn’t like horses running for purse money only in New York. And after that I just after suffering that defeat that way while being riding a horse that I love, actually you can’t have horses running races that you can’t wait on, you just can’t do it. The haste they can knock in other horses. I understood there’s always there’s always the other side. But the other side isn’t nearly as strong. Is the site on giving to not have the right.
I agree 100%? Yes, I have been burned by that rule. I think everybody that plays often enough, eventually will get burned by that rule. And, you know, the logic to me is we’re investing money. Okay. And we should be investing on I mean, there’s enough intangibles and enough, you know, things that we have no control over that to do that I just think is unfair. And what I would actually prefer
get rid of entries altogether. Like, we don’t need entries I for shortage population.
I’m okay with that. And I’m okay with. If there’s a scratch in a situation like that, I would rather you cancel my ticket, give me my money back void my bet to give take the take the money out of the pool, I made my bet calculating a ticket and structuring a ticket a certain way. If you’re going to alter that without my okay. I’m not okay with that. And I know that’s not a popular opinion. But I’m investing money I look at making a bet like that as an investment. So I want to invest when I want to invest in AI, if there’s a change, I should have the option of an out over substitute solution of a different horse that maybe I’m deliberately betting against the favorite in that race and the horse that I would want to use instead of a favorite that you’re giving me wins the race. Not right.
I understand that. You know, there’s owners and trainers and appeal to get this horse ready, blah, blah, blah, he’s ready to ride. But it’s so much it’s more unfair to a lot of a lot more people. I agree that it would be to the two for eight people involved in this horse that have to wait another week or two for their horse to compete again, in a race so I just think it’s just there’s so many inconsistencies we talked to Earlier in racing, I mentioned how Santa Anita got rid of the pig six back in the day briefly because they wanted to protect the you know, the smaller player and they thought it would the pig six her turn, because those people were investing all their money into that. So they care about turn, but yet, they’re getting a little better. I will say that. But they don’t really care about takeout that much, which is the same thing. If you care about turn, then you should care about takeout because I always hate the argument. When racetracks say, well, the average person doesn’t understand takeout. They don’t get it, they’re affected by it. Everyone knows how much money they have. And if you lower take out you have more money. And if you have more money than then you’re gonna get your turn which what you’re after. So you see kind of I don’t know that it hypocrisy, but just inconsistencies across the board in this game that we love, but I do I do think they’ve gotten better. In terms of takeout. I think we’ve done a better job of acknowledging the tracks that have very low takeout, how great that is, and the ones that need to work on it.
Right. And I think you’ll see people gravitating to the lower takeout wages, which I think, you know, bolsters that argument somewhat. And I think the more we see that the more we’ll see people become cognizant of that. What is your dad’s take on Naira is reintroduction of the $1 picksix, as opposed to the 20 cent and the $2 as a way of trying to bring back the conventional way? Does he gravitate to that? Does he pay attention to it at all? Well, what’s his thoughts on that?
Yeah, I think we kind of feel the same way. I mean, we prefer the $2. Right. But the I mean, I guess there can be compromise, right, I guess I mean, and he just despises the 27 I guess there’s exceptions, right on Pegasus day where the mandatory in the pool is going to be you know, I don’t know 8 trillion. I mean, maybe you maybe you get involved a day like that. And even if you can make some money even if it’s a bunch of six to $12 type winners, maybe you can make some money because the pool is so big. But yeah, I mean, someone like myself, I like Breeders Cup. I would have no problem with $1 Pixa it’s so hard. I mean, I wouldn’t have a problem with the dollar Breeders Cup. I mean, didn’t what happened with Oaklawn they were the last day of the classics pick six they don’t have
no they don’t have it anymore. And they never really got the pool size. What I thought it should be but they got rid of it. I don’t know why.
Now, I mean, Oaklawn. Their product has gotten, it’s gotten so much better. I agree. People like my dad love Oakland, because if you’re an old player, like my dad, you’re a charts player. Right? I mean, we used to pour over the charts. I mean, we used to, like you probably did the racing Pong stacked up to the ceiling. And then there was a guy at Del Mar two big players who got on the boxes and he would sell them he would have him for like a binder. So my dad would have the charts and he would just pour over the charts. And the reason why he loves Oaklawn to this day, as an old guy who has a chart player is that the only one they have no turf, and they only want a couple of distances. So if you want to look at the six Furlong race, there will be seven six Furlong races on the day that you look up so you can really analyze the strength or the weakness of that race because you could compare it to so many other races at that distance. So anyone with a person that Oaklawn and even the Arkansas bread programs gone a lot better, actually maybe gave up a little a little prematurely because that’s a top signal. And I think they would have kept it I think eventually it would have it would have caught on.
I agree. But now you know, it seems everybody’s you know, just pushes those pick fours and pick fives and I think that racetrack management is just under the belief that everybody wants to 50 cent minimum, everybody wants that lower denomination minimum because they want to spread and do less work and just be able to buy tickets and spread out. And I just think that’s such a bad long term philosophy, it’s
a bit of a compliment. It is it is I mean, I can understand people that if you’re a, you want to be a bit better, right? You can be a let’s just say a 50 to $150 Definitely a pick for but even the pick five and certain extent player and you can get a lot of coverage. You can just look at the race and go, Oh, I gotta use the favorite here, blah, blah, blah. This was can’t wait. I’m gonna go five deep here and you’re right, you, you know, for $2 pick six. You gotta you better spend time on that race. I mean, it encourages laziness, I think and by encouraging laziness, people don’t hone their skills to become good horse players and they eventually end up losing.
And I agree the best example was I know somebody that likes to bet those what they’ll refer to as Cowboy tickets, and you’ll bet pick five tickets for 50 cents and spent 789 $100 And I’m like with your bank Well, you should make big scores. So one day he loves a horse in the pick five. And he’s bragging to me look at us, I hit the pick five for 5000. If I would have listened to you and bet a small ticket, I probably never would have hit it because I wouldn’t had all these other horses. I’m like, also the horse you liked one, right? It goes, Yes, it did you single and he said, No, I use only two horses in that leg. I said, okay, and you think you want 5000? I think you lost 5000. If you love that guy, horse, you cingulum and you bet him for $1. He goes, and you cash for 10,000 instead of five. It’s just a different philosophy, you have to have that kill mentality to survive in this game.
I mean, he’s had big scores on big tickets. Don’t get me wrong. I did the one he had that I told you about, I think it was a $3,600 ticket. That’s a pretty big ticket. But, you know, he’s told me a lot of his bigger scores are on small tickets, because you’re in the zone, you look at a race and you love that. You’re just you’re hot that day. So if you’re somebody who’s not afraid to single and you have confidence, and you can get hot, maybe you don’t have to do that you don’t you don’t have to go that deep. In certain races, you’re just feeling good that day, your opinion is strong. So a lot of his big scores have been on backup tickets are small tickets. Myself, too. I played a different level, but a lot of my bigger scores. When I spent a lot of money, I generally don’t do very well, it’s not tiny tickets. But it’s the smaller type tickets where I get a single or two home at prices, where I’ve had my most success. I mean, I always say, I think I use the All button all the time. I think there’s a place for the All button. I’m not I’m not opposed to the All button. But I do think that if you talk to players, I’m talking to you, you talk to people who have big heads in most of their big heads when they got lucky with the All button, right. I mean, that tells me that they’re probably not a great player at their biggest scores. Have commonly it’s okay, we’ve all have them because of the
I’ve never I’ve never had a big score with the All button I hardly ever use it. And if I do, you can pretty much rest assured that the favorite wins.
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s true. But the that’s the person that only gets a long shot, right? Only all because they would never single that horse, but they never go 3d. The only way to get that horse that paid $60 or $50 or $70. Is by us is by going all in that race. And to me their skill in going all knowing which race to go all in. But there’s still there’s more luck, I think, than the guy who has the big score that singles 4340
Yeah, I’m curious if you think I’m right about this, because you alluded to it and I’ve pondered it for years. And I’ve had similar experiences where you make some of your biggest scorers on smaller tickets, like I remember one time I bet 6000 in the Breeders Cup, pick six, and I got knocked out in the first leg. And okay, sure. One of the things I’ve come to love is when I do a pick six sequence or a pick five sequence, and my ticket is not that deep. I get excited, because I’m like, Okay, I’ve got some good opinions. Exactly. It can sound right, when I do have pick five ticket. And before I start narrowing and cutting down, I’m already at 800 for 50 cents, I’m like, You know what, I just don’t have a good handle on this sequence. If I hit it, it’s going to be because I got lucky not because I’m on my game, you know, on. And I think those races like I don’t know, if you’ve ever had experiences where you know, you’re alive in in a 12 horse field with eight or nine horses and you get beat. Okay. And I have come to the conclusion that that’s because in those races, when you have to go that deep, you really don’t have a good opinion. And you’re fishing a little bit. And that’s when you get burned as opposed to if you’ve got two or three horses in a 12 horse field, you probably have a good opinion and you have a better chance of winning thoughts.
Yeah, no, I think you’re exactly right. I mean, it doesn’t matter if you’re, if you’re a small player, medium player, or big player. If you’re if you’re a medium player and usually been $48 and all of a sudden you think you got to spend 196 on this. I mean it’s good don’t have like some opinion you’re going deeper in races because you don’t really like that particular race, right? So when your opinions good, it’s usually when you’re obviously the horse that you like is your top pick wins. So it doesn’t matter if you’re yourself if you’re $1,000 pick five player now you’re paying six that’s not it. That means you don’t really like to sequence that much you don’t feel good about if you’re, you’re a $20 player, you’re spending 1000 It’s the same thing. It just depends on how much you bet. You bet. You know, personally into it, but ya know, I’ve I found that that as well that some of my big scores have been on very, very small tickets.
Right. You know, it’s amazing. I’m glad we got to talk and I apologize for this show running longer than I thought. When you get passionate people about the sport that that tends to happen. But I’m glad also that we got to talk a little bit with you outside of your, you know, FanDuel and TVG role because I think a lot of times within that role. And I want to word this correctly, the amount of knowledge and really savvy playing skill that that some of you guys have, and I’m speaking specifically about you now, nobody else but the savviness and skill that you guys have gets lost in the On Air persona that, you know, you know, you’re working, you’re doing a job, you’re covering races, you’re not really talking, like we’re talking right now about, you know, betting and strategies and, you know, pick sixes and whatnot, because, you know, there you have a job to do, and sometimes that doesn’t come across and people like, may not realize how much you actually know, you know what I’m saying? Because it’s just not your role to portray that in that line. You know, but
and you know, the time right, I mean, we’re showing I mean, I, I, I work tonight, I know this the show’s gonna be aired later, but if you’ve ever liked anything at Turfway Park, let me know. Well, I mean, that’s a fun track to handicap isn’t it, but it’s so hard. I like it. It’s really, really hard. I’m not gonna change it. I know, but a lot because a lot of trial a lot, a lot of feel. The lab tracks over from field size, and even tracks that have the field size. Sometimes you’re like, Okay, it’s 11 numbers field that six can’t wait. So what’s a five? Horse fields Turfway it’s like a 12 Horsfield 11 can win. I mean, it makes it makes it makes it really difficult. But yeah, but when you’re when you’re recovering when you’re bouncing around trying to get in as many live races as you can you have commercials and you have another person working in you might have people on other location and you have reporters, it does make it difficult. You can’t you can’t have a conversation. Like this, if you do it’s a little it’s a soundbite of like you know, 20 to 25 seconds but you really can’t dig into it. Like we’re doing now with somebody I don’t get to do very often probably the last time I was able to do it was when I did back in the day when I hosted blinkers off with watchmaker and we were able to do to do some of this and then I miss it because it’s fun because it’s a great game. The fixed six is is the best wager the game has ever had. And you know, I know things change but it is a shame that the $2 pick six that you loved and made so much money on it My dad loved that it’s extinct.
It is exciting it changed my life. I mean I made my living off that for years and years and years and it really it was a big blow to me as it was to some other people we’ll close with this now that we know it is extinct at least you know except for those couple of days What’s your dad’s main wager go to wager today?
You know I think he doesn’t play like he used to I mean first of all he doesn’t play like he used to so he likes he plays to pick five kills you know he’ll play the pick six like you on Breeders Cup days he’ll play it maybe if there’s a rainbow of it’s the mandatory but I think the pick the pick five but he’s also kind of like you he doesn’t want his want to force it so you know he’ll he’ll play the pick five but if he thinks to pick five and he’s gonna spend more money than he should on it they don’t want you to pick for so I think he’s pretty simple now he’s always been a wind guy always gonna win player and he’s always never been afraid to play huge long shots and you know, we I was taught not to bet to show and I think that was smart. I think the place is debatable. I don’t do that either. But I understand the people that do I get that argument that you should bet to place with long
I haven’t done it. I don’t do it.
I don’t do it either. But the other thing that I think he does is he’ll find races which he doesn’t like favorites. And I tried to do this to instead of betting the place you will you beat horse to win the new light we’ll underneath because if your horse is 15 to one and it’s a 10 hour spiel and you don’t like to favorite if you’d like to in the Favorites the worst you have to beat maybe don’t do it but if you if you despise low the poor the favor, yours is 15 to one to 10 hours field and you’re showing second year right about the favorite sticking that exactly is going to pay you so he likes to do things like that. But that’s the same, you know, I guess you know, the wagers you’d expect him to wager at this point, but I know he does miss. He does miss the pick six dearly. Yeah,
no hay and I as well. I’ve never met him. I feel like I know I’m sending my best. Matt, thank you so much. I know I took a lot of your time and you’re busy guy, man, but I could. I could talk all day with you about this kind of stuff. So I apologize for that. But no,
it was my pleasure. I didn’t know how long you’ve been doing it. It’s flown by So you’re welcome and help me out again.
Yeah, I will for sure. Thank you for coming on. You do a great, great job. Great work, go hit some tickets and all the best man. Thank you so much. Ciao.