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Friday, November 1
NYRA looking into Saratoga payoffs from August

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A New York Racing Association executive said his organization asked state regulators to investigate two Pick Six payoffs at Saratoga Race Course, a day after the Breeders' Cup Pick Six probe.

The Saratoga investigation focuses on a $421,998 payoff on Aug. 4 and a $330,989 payoff on Aug. 17. The tickets were bought by two different bettors who have not been identified.

NYRA made the request after learning that bettor Derrick Davis, 29, of Baltimore, had all six winning tickets at Illinois' Arlington Park on Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six, wagers he placed electronically by phone in the Catskill Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. in Pomona, N.Y.

"After this incident, (NYRA vice president) Bill Nader wrote an e-mail requesting that in light of the suspicious nature of this payout, would they (the board) also look at the Aug. 4 and Aug. 17 Pick Six from Saratoga," Jim Gallagher, NYRA's vice president of parimutuel operations, told the Times Union of Albany in Friday editions.

Gallagher said it appears the Breeders' Cup and Saratoga incidents are unrelated but that NYRA wanted to be certain there was no wrongdoing.

Davis' attorney, Steven A. Allen of Baltimore, declined to say whether Davis knows the fired Autotote employee, The (Baltimore) Sun reported Friday.

"It is Derrick's position that he made a legitimate wager and he's concerned that there is a lot of speculation going on. He denies that he did anything wrong," Allen told The Sun.

"There is a process for investigating these types of allegations. It is early in that process. We're going to let that process go forward."

On Thursday, an employee for the company that handled the Breeders' Cup Pick Six wagering was fired for allegedly altering tickets that turned out to be worth more than $3 million.

Lorne Weil, chairman and CEO of Scientific Games, the parent company of Autotote Corp., said during a conference call with Wall Street investment firms that the former employee was identified after an internal investigation.

Weil said the former Autotote Corp. employee had the password to get into the data system and alter the betting ticket after the first four races of the Ultra Pick Six had been run and the results were known.

Weil didn't identify the employee or say how the ticket had been altered. The New York Times in its Friday editions, quoting unidentified racing officials, identified the employee as Chris Harn, 29, who worked in Autotote's offices in Newark, Del.

A phone message left at Autotote on Thursday by The Associated Press was not returned.

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