A US player wittingly (or unwittingly) did what was necessary to take down Assiniboia Downs’ entire 20-cent Super Hi 5 jackpot pool in last Monday’s last race at the Winnipeg track. He picked up $19,000 (USD) for his effort.

The race was the dreaded non-winners of two races condition. Did the player look at the race condition and say: “Hey, anything can happen, so I have a chance of scooping the Super Hi 5 jackpot?” That would have been logical to say. While most players were wheeling #2 and #3 in the race because they looked best on paper, the American player did the right thing by boxing five horses. That opened an opportunity for a chaotic horse to win the race — which is what happened. The favourites, in fact, finished fourth and fifth. Perfect!

His box for $24 was 1-2-3-7-9. The race result was 7-9-1-3-2. The odds were: 26-1; 21-1, 9-1, 6-5 and 3-1. Players who bet favourites #2 and #3 were left spinning their wheels, even though they should know better. The non-winners of two races lifetime (nw2L) condition, as this column has said before, is the most chaotic condition in racing after the specific 6 ½-furlong down-the-hill turf race at Santa Anita. The average payout in one study for that condition was just over $20 and the average payout for nw2L was more than $14. That means a 6-1 horse is the average horse that wins this condition.

Note that boxing those five horses in the superfecta resulted in a 20-cent payoff of $3,961. And that race should have been an “all” leg in pick-4 and pick-5 tickets. Taking “all” doesn’t mean you’re a bad handicapper; it simply means you are aware that logic often is irrelevant. One group of excellent handicappers took five horses in that leg in their $72 pick-4 but missed the winning horse. They needed to add the other four horses in the nine-horse field. The payoff was $3,052. See the program page here.

The only consistent horses in this condition are those that have a habit of finishing second or third or fourth. Then “all” can be played atop these closers in triactors and superfectas.

Assiniboia Downs wasn’t the only track where there was chaos in the nw2L condition. In race 7 at Fort Erie, also last Monday, the favourite finished last and the odds on the horses in the first four positions were 9-1, 7-1, 21-1 and 8-1. The 20-cent superfecta paid $783. At Woodbine on Thursday, race 6 had two bombs-away horses in the second and fourth positions (2-1, 29-1, 2-1 and 29-1). And in race 6 Friday at Woodbine, the favourite in that nw2L race finished fifth, with the top four finishers going off at 5-1, 4-1, 7-1 and 13-1. The 20-cent super paid $518.

There were three races yesterday at Woodbine for non-winners of two races. The favourite in those races finished fourth, second-last and second-last.

So how are you going to play the next nw2L race you are faced with? Out of habit, will you still try to handicap the unhandicappable – or will you open your mind to chaos?