• TwinSpires player scoops $71k Arlington Pick 9

    POSTED May 24, 2012

    Wayne Morgan never had an anxious moment on Wednesday at Arlington Park when cheering home his ninth winner of the Pick 9 sequence.

    One of his three picks, even money favorite Party Vision, opened a clear lead in the stretch, and the only two horses running late were the others on his ticket.

    Party Vision was one of five favorites to win on the nine-race card, including a quartet at 3-to-2 or less, so even with the $54,510 carryover going into Wednesday’s dime Pick 9, Morgan was not expecting a big pay day. Indeed, a $2 parlay on the nine winners would have returned about $25,000, which is only $1,250 for a dime.

    “I figured it’d be something because of the carryover, but I was thinking maybe a few thousand,” said Morgan whose two singles were even money favorite Mai Tai Mama in the first race and 3-to-2 favorite Dreams Die First in the fourth race. “I figured if I hit it on my ticket with all those favorites then other people probably did too.”

    Well, other people didn’t hit it, and Morgan’s $144 play returned $71,334.46 for nine of nine plus another $431.28 for a dozen eight-of-nine consolation tickets worth $35.94 each. By comparison the $1 Pick 6 returned $535.60 despite a parlay value of $835.21.

    “My only other big score was also on a Pick 9,” Morgan said. “That was a Place Pick 9 at Balmoral and paid about $5,000, so I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

    Morgan is a TSC Elite Gold member who wagers through TwinSpires.com and used TwinSpires.com’s mobile interface when placing his winning wagers on Wednesday. Still, the 59-year-old Air Force veteran and father of four says he enjoys making it to live racing when he can.

    “We’ve gone to the Trackside OTBs a few times, but Arlington is a real nice track,” said Morgan, who lives in Naperville, Illinois, about 28 miles southwest of Arlington Park. “I left work early on Wednesday so I could get out there. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Allison Sharfman [in Arlington marketing] for all her help when I attend the races or bring my family.”

    Morgan said that he takes a holistic approach to handicapping and doesn’t really favor any particular angle over another, though when pressed said he always takes class into consideration.

    “I like to look at the horses in the race and see what types of horses they’ve been running against—whether they’ve been facing better or worse than this race,” Morgan said.
    Morgan was alone as his score unfolded, and even though he thought he was probably sitting on a decent score going into the last race, he resisted the urge to call anyone because he didn’t want to jinx it. Even when he did call people, though, the veteran horseplayer said most didn’t believe him at first.

    “No one believed me when I told them how much I won on a dime bet,” Morgan said. “To tell the truth, I know it’s a lot of money, but it hasn’t sunk in yet just how much. I know we’ll find something to do with it, but we have no plans yet. I’m sure my kids are thinking of ways.”

    Morgan’s big score follows a similar windfall for TwinSpires players who took down the Solo 6 on April 17 at Sunland Park. One of those players, Julia Kring of Frankfort, Kentucky, hit the bet twice for $31,517.04 each way.

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