Two senior citizens from Baltimore County won a Maryland record Pick Six payoff of $225,884.80 yesterday at Laurel Race Course when Along Came Jones won the featured $28,650 Dancing Count Stakes by three lengths.
Along Came Jones ($18.30) completed a 6-5-8-7-4-5 combination that included only one favorite. After the track deducted IRS withholding, the two men took home $180,707.84.
The two men declined to give their names. They had each bet $175; they took their winnings in one check and some cash.
One of them, wearing a plaid hat, said, "We are proud and happy that we won, although my partner, the one getting the check, did the handicapping."
The other man, a pipe smoker, said, "We hit it because we used our heads and sound handicapping principles. Ours happened to hit today."
The Pick Six requires a player to select the winners of races three through eight. No one had hit the entire pool the previous six days.
Yesterday's Pick Six pool started with a state-record carryover pool of $112,469.60. With the lure of a potentially big payoff, the track drew 14,044, and they wagered $2,275,372, the best handle of the first meeting being conducted under the ownership of Frank J. DeFrancis.
The handle even bettered the handle of the last International Day, when $2,115,282 was wagered. Laurel is averaging $1,178,958, a rise of 18.1 percent over last year. De Francis, who was in Florida, was not available for comment.
Bob Manfuso, a minority owner of the track, said, "I'm a rich man and have been in racing all my life and I am getting excited for the first time in years. The parking lot is full and the turnstiles are turning. It's an exciting time again."
Along Came Jones, beating six male rivals for jockey Greg Hutton, possibly became a Triple Crown prospect by running the mile in 1:38.
Bolting Holme was second, beaten by more than three lengths, prompting Hutton to say, "When I asked him to run, he said, 'Adios.' "