OHRC suspends Remington Park's Sooner 6ix wagering after complaint
The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission has suspended wagering on the Sooner 6ix at Remington Park after a Virginia man claims he should have been awarded an approximate $45,000 jackpot after winning the unique bet on April 10.
Kelly Cathey, executive director of the commission, stopped the betting after receiving a formal complaint last Friday from Jeff Arthur of Virginia, who made the wager online. Cathey said OHRC will investigate the issue.
At issue is a dead heat in one of the Sooner 6ix races on April 10, a bet where the major jackpot is only paid if there is a single winner. The jackpot keeps building each night if there is no winner. There is a minor pool in the Sooner 6ix that is shared among players if there is not a single winner.
Arthur had six winners in Sooner 6ix on April 10, including both horses which finished tied for first in the dead heat based on his combination of bets on a $403 ticket, said Patrick Cummings, executive director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation, which has been advocating on Arthur's behalf.
Instead, Arthur was paid twice from the minor pool, a total of $8,920, which was the entire amount of money paid from the pool that night, said Cummings, whose foundation is a nonprofit advocacy group for the improvement of horse racing.
"That right there proves he had the only ticket with six winners," Cummings said.
Arthur spoke to the pari-mutuel manager the next day at Remington Park and was told because of the dead heat he now had two tickets instead of one, Cummings said. Remington Park contends the tote system worked appropriately and identified two winning tickets and paid him from the minor pool since there was not a single winner, he said.
"They are saying he disqualified himself because two horses hit the line at the same time," Cummings said.
Because of the dead heat, Remington Park paid Arthur from minor pool based on a rule that states when "representing two or more betting interests, the Pick (n) pool shall be distributed as a single price pool with each winning wager receiving an equal share of the profit."
"Remington Park is aware of the pari-mutuel claim regarding this Sooner 6ix wager, and we are in the process of filing the response with the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission," said Kym Koch, spokesperson for Remington Park. "At the direction of the OHRC, Remington Park has suspended the Sooner 6ix wager pool until further notice and we await the Commission’s decision on the matter."
In his complaint filed with the OHRC, Arthur contends he had a single winning ticket and "any logical interpretation of the rules, and intent of this pool, would be to reward this accomplishment with the full pool."
Oklahoma is one of four states where horse racing has continued, but without spectators, during the COVID-19 outbreak. With other sports being shut down, the race tracks in those states have seen increased betting, Cummings said.
For example, on April 10, the night of Arthur's bet on the Sooner Six, a total of $2.35 million was bet on races at Remington Park, Cummings said. On the same date in 2019, the total amount wagered at Remington Park was $586,0000, he said.
However, Cummings said race tracks make more money from on-site wagering than they do off site, so their profits are not equivalent to the amount of increased betting.