Social Icons

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Big Perfecta

While researching a completely different topic, I happened across a neat little notice from the January 19, 1972 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, under “Waterford to Cancel Big Perfecta”:

Waterford Park track officials have announced that Big Perfecta betting will be dropped after Friday’s racing program. The Big Perfecta, which entails picking the first and second place finishers in two consecutive races, has been known to produce inflated payoffs for a $2 bet. The record at Waterford is $44,000. General Manager Earl Straight stated the reason Waterford was dropping the Big Perfecta was that he and other officials have been receiving numerous complaints from Waterford’s regular patrons. He said they feel that picking one perfecta is tough enough and that the Big P is too severe a gamble for the average bettor. Straight also announced that there will be one more regular perfecta added to the normal program in place of the Big Perfecta.

Of course, Waterford is now Mountaineer Park. I was way too young to wager on the ponies back in 1972, but those “regular patrons” at Waterford must have been wusses because the Big Perfecta sounds positively challenging! And I checked, it’s covered under Pennsylvania’s current pari-mutuel wagering laws so how about it? It certainly sounds a lot easier than the Super High 5 bet!

Anyone with a little more "experience" want to brag about a legendary Big Perfecta payout?


malcer said...

I guess those patrons complained because of what the last sentence implies: they'd rather see another regular exacta (at a time when few races offered them) instead of a freak bet.

In today's betting environment the Big Perfecta might deserve another shot (if only for publicity reasons), although as far as I know pools at Mnr are meager enough as it is.

NWatzman said...

Waterford Park (now Mountaineer) was the first race track I ever visited, having grown up in that area. I never played the Big P, but I was often amazed at the five figure payouts, huge for that time.

Not knowing any better, my Dad and I figured they would give it out in cash, and if we ever hit it, we'd quietly go home, and cash our ticket sometime later and safer.

chiefdave said...

Played it at charles town couple of times. The way it was done then you made bet on first race. If you were alive you needed to go to window and make selection for second leg.

MD use to have a twin trifecta, Andy Beyer is said to have won some big pools on it.

ljk said...

I believe Tampa Bay Downs still offers a twin trifecta.