A carryover the size of the one being offered this Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack – almost $875,000 – on the Super High-5 wager on race 11 is a horseplayer’s dream, and offers a rare opportunity. With the entire pool being paid out on mandatory payout night and expected wagering between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 you are basically betting into a pool with zero or even positive takeout. All that being said, why not take a stab?
As track handicapper for Woodbine/Mohawk for DRF Harness, I watch these horses week in and week out and base my daily selections on observations as much or more than the information I find in the past performances. I think I have a pretty good handle on what each horse in this field is capable of, so I offer an analysis below of each starter, some wagering advice and a sample ticket that I may just play myself.
From the rail out:
1) LUCKY KING: This one has been racing well vs. lesser out of town and steps into a very competitive field. While he isn’t on our ticket, he does go for a high % barn and if anyone we don’t have was going to blow up our wager, it’s likely him. Won’t argue with those using him, but we prefer several others.
2) BILBO HANOVER: This son of Yankee Cruiser closed like a rocket last time in this class and looks almost a surety to hit the top 5 if he uses his typical late-closing style. We have noticed several other high-profile handicappers using him on top of their tickets but knowing this horse, he is terribly win-shy and usually closing for pieces after the winner has been decided. He’s in the 2-3-4-5- slots only for us.
3) IDEAL JET: This is the one you want to see slide into 4th or 5th late if you use “all” in those slots. For us, his last two have been dismal and he looks outclassed here; toss.
4) CAMAES FELLOW: This one is the key to the entire race. He will be used liberally on virtually every ticket and if he were to somehow miss the top 5, this thing could pay huge. In late December and early January, he was beating the best horses on the grounds easily then went off form. Last week he returned from a month break, showed speed and tired and the one that won that is one of the hottest horses on the grounds. If that tightener worked as it should have, Camaes Fellow goes right down the road here and dusts this field. You must have this one on top. We’re singling him to win and spreading in the other slots.
5) SUNNY BEACH DAY: He’s not the soundest one out there, but this guy’s form has improved dramatically the past month and if he gets out and on cover early enough, he should make the High-5 ticket.
6) THE REV: The last three times he’s raced in this class The Rev has finished 3rd, 4th and 5th off all different kinds of trips. He is an unlikely winner but fits this class well to get a share and will likely be a big price. Use in the 3-4-5- slots.
7) JOSHUA MY BOY: This one has displayed improving form for a barn that has been starting to heat up. He likely leaves hard and sits Camaes Fellow’s pocket and should be able to stick around for a piece of the ticket.
8) COUGAR HALL: He is one of the better stalker/closer types in the field and takes a drop in class; must use in the 2-3-4-5 slots.
9) WORLD AWAY: This veteran just won a class lower but is unlikely to get more than a minor share from out here. Use in the 3-4-5 slots only if at all.
10) HES A SENSATION: Likely to be far back early, he could hit one of the minor slots of the ticket at a huge price.
11) J M JET SET: This one starts in the second-tier directly behind the one horse which may not be bad at all in this bulky field. He’s been racing well at The Meadowlands and certainly merits inclusion in the 2-3-4-5- slots.
12) REGAL SON: This one is a bit of a wildcard coming in off a break with two solid qualifiers under his belt. While he certainly could hit the ticket, we see the 12-hole as a major problem (starting behind the 2 horse) and will toss this one and hope – you can’t use ‘em all…well okay, you could…ALL/ALL/ALL/ALL/ALL for 20 cents is about $19.5K.
With a wager like this, the absolute worst bet you can make is a 5 or 6 horse “box”. Think of it as just another race: how often do you bet your 5th or 6th-ranked contender to win? To maximize your chances on getting a slice of this large pie it’s best to build your ticket using as few contenders as you can identify that have a chance to win and using as many as you can afford in the minor slots. After all, in most races there are few real win contenders, but how do you predict who can finish 5th? If your budget allows it, use “all” in the 5th slot so if you hit the Super, you will be a Super High-5 winner! The other thing to remember is not to get too fancy and try to hit some obscure ticket that others may not have. Remember it's a mandatory payout and there is $875K in free money in the pot to start. They key is to just hit it!
For what it’s worth, here is the 20-cent ticket we’ve come up with; we’re “all-in” on Camaes Fellow taking this group down: 4/257811/257811/2567891011/2567891011 = $120
GOOD LUCK and oh, by the way, MOHAWK RACETRACK opens this coming Thursday. Have we ever mentioned that it’s the best racetrack of any kind in Canada? Yeah…thought so!