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Horse Racing Betting: What is a carryover?

If you are new to the sport of horse racing, you may not know that at one track in North America, you could place a 20 cent bet and win $766,642 this week. That’s correct, for less than a quarter, you could win over $750k! 

How is this even possible? 

It’s available through what is called a pick 6 wager and a “carryover” pool. 

In this bet one unique winner has selected the 1st place finisher in each of 6 races that are designated part of the pick 6 group of races by the track. If, after the end of the 6th race, there is no single unique ticket holder, the major share of the pool of is paid out to ticket holders with the correct 1st place finishers in the most number of races. The remainder of the betting pool is “carried over” to the next pick 6 series of races at the track. This carryover will continue to grow until there is one unique ticket with all 1st place finishers of the 6 designated races.  

Horse racing: learning the game 

Because of how this wager works, jackpot-type pools can be created. And, these can grow to substantial amounts. In May 2014, for instance, one horseplayer won over $6 million in the Gulfstream Park Rainbow Pick 6. Although this win was accomplished via a large wager, other carryover wins have been won through very modest if not minimal bets such as the 2012 win of $791,364 won by way of a $2.40 wager.

Pick 6, and the similar Pick 5, wagers are available at many tracks around the world, although they may be known by different names. In England, for example, this type of wager has been named the Scoop6. In 2014, Craig Brazier, a garbage collector, won £1,342,599 after placing a £2 wager. 

March 13th 2015: How did R. F. Sharp celebrate the one-month anniversary of winning $188,491.40 on a Pick 6 at Santa Anita Park? By winning $1,078,668.22 on the Rainbow6 at Gulfstream Park. 

Some horseplayers focus almost entirely on carryover wagers because the payout can be life changing or certainly a significant boost to the wallet. Not all carryovers are in the 6 figures or more but there are often many carryovers available. To find all current carryovers in North America you can visit Equibase, which is the Jockey Club’s repository of horse racing information and statistics. Click here to see which tracks have carryovers today. 

If you’re looking for more horse racing wagering information, click here to check out Racing Future’s resources.  

As always, we welcome your questions and comments. Please feel free to get in touch any time via the comment section or contact page.

Craig and Tracy Brazier after their Scoop6 win in 2014



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