Remington Park, Right or Wrong

April 17, 2020

By now most racing fans know about the bettor who hit the jackpot 6 at Remington Park on a $403.20 ticket. He received $8,920.80. He was expecting the entire jackpot pool of $35,145.00. Unfortunately for him, in one race there was a dead heat, and he had both horses on his ticket. This essentially created two winning wagers on one winning ticket. Remington took the position the dead heat cost him the jackpot by creating two separate payoffs. As it turns out there was no specific rule addressing this unique but highly foreseeable scenario.

Just about everyone who is anyone in racing, and some who are not anyone rallied to the bettors defense. The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation wrote an article about the injustice and even put the bettor in touch with owner and attorney Maggi Moss. She apparently reached out to Remington Park on the bettors behalf to no avail. The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation offered to applaud Remington Park if they did the right thing and paid the jackpot to the bettor they feel rightly won. Remington passed and stood their ground. If you are surprised by any of this you shouldn’t be.

When it comes to money the list of who does the right thing is extremely short. This applies to people and corporations equally. It would be foolish to expect any different from a racetrack. What racetrack, casino, or even Brooklyn card room pays out money the don’t have to. Teddy KGB had no argument to not pay off Matt Damon or he wouldn’t have in Rounders. Remington does have an argument.

We have all seen the joke about the rules. Rule 1, the boss is always right. Rule 2, if the boss is wrong see rule 1. This truly applies to racetracks and always has. They make, enforce, and interpret the rules. In this particular case it seems there is no specific rule so it falls upon Remington to interpret the intent of the closest rule to the situation. Usually when a rule is ambiguous, or omitted by the creator, it favors the other party. Not in horse racing. If you play into a racetrack pool, your money is in their hands and as steward decisions have shown us numerous times they do not contrary to what they preach do the right thing. We are expected to accept their self proclaimed integrity, honesty, and anything else they throw out at you but they won’t accept yours for even a dollar. Try betting a dollar on credit and see what they tell you. As for any other organization who is supposed to protect bettors and integrity in the Sport of Kings, who are they again?

There is a lot revealed and a lot to say about the Remington occurrence. The Remington case is not as cut and dry in my opinion as all the people who rallied to support this player feel it is. I can see both sides of this controversy. The best argument in my opinion, and I believe from a legal standpoint would be in the absence of a specific rule any opinion should favor the player. That said, the dead heat did create two winning wagers, albeit held by the same person on one ticket. It is pretty much common knowledge if you play a 20 cent jackpot bet for 40 cents on the same ticket, and you are the only one who hits it, you won’t get the jackpot. This is why many say it is silly to play it for more than the 20 cent minimum. I have never seen the rule which addresses this, but if we assume it exists, it may mirror the Remington occurrence closet. More than one winning bet on the jackpot even on the same ticket negates the jackpot. If this is indeed accurate, a dead heat is a potential problem. It is a foreseeable problem that clearly should have been spelled out in the rules. It wasn’t and Remington went with what favors them and not their customer, the bettor. Par for the course.

I am not a fan of the 50 cent pick 4. I prefer the old $2 pick 4. I also much prefer the old $2 pick 6 as opposed to these new 20 cent jackpot ones. Sure they are fun on mandatory days, and they make the host track plenty of money, but at the end of the day they stink for the true pick 6 players. They are also very poor investments for any player on any given non mandatory payout day. In the past I did try to embrace them as they eliminated my old preferred wager but after several years of watching them they are for the most part a waste of time. Give me and a host of others the old traditional $2 pick 6 any day.

Contributing Authors

Jon Stettin

Jonathan’s always had a deep love and respect for the Sport of Kings. Growing up around the game, he came about as close as anyone...

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