The show pool bandits, players who appear to be manipulating the show pools at small tracks, may have made a big score Thursday at Freehold.

It is believed that the bettors make a large show bet on a hopeless longshot in the pari-mutuel pools in order to drive up the show payoffs on logical contenders.

They then make show bets on the top choices with offshore bookmakers who do not put the bets into the track pools. Several show bets along these lines were made recently at Pompano Park.

In the 11th and final race on yesterday’s card, $2,000 was wagered to show on Messie Hanover, the longest shot in the field at 21-1 and a horse burdened by the eight post. There was only $2,904 in the entire pool.

Driven by Joe (Irish) Hanney, the mare broke stride and finished last. With Messie Hanover finishing out of the money, the winner, Miss Fineline, paid $25 to win and $22 to show. I Luv It, the second choice at 5-2, finished second, paying $3.80 to place and $6.20 to show.