Don’t you love it? (I certainly do.) The longest shot by far ($102) won race 5 Thursday at Woodbine, a race condition I’ve been telling you is the most chaotic in racing: non-winners of two races lifetime (nw2L).

The results chart for the race looked upside down. The longest shots in the field finished in the top four positions, the lowest-odd horses were in the bottom three with the 6-5 favourite, #1 Courting Courtney, finishing last (50-1, 8-1, 10-1, 5-1, 3-1, 6-1, 6-5). Such are the vagaries of the nw2L condition. If you played on Thursday, I hope you punched “all” in your horizontal wagers. You would have been well-rewarded — even when favourites won the surrounding races.

In the 20-cent pick-5, the first leg (race 2) was won by the $3.20 favourite. Then the $5.30 favourite won the next leg. Then came the 50-1 bomber, #6 Phil in Echo, which was followed by a 6-1 horse in the fourth leg and the $6.90 favourite in the final leg. So three of the pick-5 legs were won by favourites and, still, the 20-cent pick-5 ticket paid a juicy $2,662.

The pick-4 paid even more. An $8 horse won race 7 and the payoff for 20-cents (fave, 50-1, fave, 4-1) was $3,380. And the pick-3s were nothing to sneeze at either. For just 20-cent wheels — taking “all” in the nw2L condition and keying the favourite in one leg — the payoffs were:

Race 5: 20-cent pick-3 (fave, 6-1, 50-1) paid $121. Ticket cost (fav, ALL 7, ALL 7): $9.80.
Race 6: 20-cent pick-3 (6-1, 50-1, fave) paid $233. Ticket cost (ALL 7, ALL 7, fav): $9.80
Race 7: 20-cent pick-3 (50-1, fave, 4-1) paid $196. Ticket cost (ALL 7, fav, ALL 5): $7.00.

Download the program here.

Take note that even if an extreme longshot doesn’t win the nw2L race, the average win price in studies I’ve done is almost $13. That means the average odds for winners in nw2L races is 5.5-1 which will result in decent payoffs in your exotics. Betting the favourite is a losing proposition; favourites win just one in four nw2L races.

Just take this to heart: Even if your IQ is off the charts, the nw2L condition usually doesn’t lend itself to logic. Save the brainpower for other race conditions. There are two things to look for: is there a horse that could get a clear easy lead? Are there class droppers? Those two angles DO work. Otherwise, punch the “all” and, in your superfecta wheels, key the closers at the bottom and use “all” on top.

ASD Race Meet Ends With Giant Jackpot: What to look for

Lucky you. My home track through the years has been Assiniboia Downs so I can tell you what horses to avoid betting when the Manitoba track’s 50-day meet comes to an end Wednesday night with the mandatory payout of a Jackpot Pick-5 pool that should reach $1.7 million (unless it’s won tonight or tomorrow night). Download the program for that seven-race card here.

Two important things to consider on the final race night (as observed in previous years):

Class is pretty much irrelevant. It’s not class-droppers who win, it’s game horses who do.
Avoid betting horses that have not raced since Aug. 30. The horse’s connections are probably just entering their horse for a final time because they’re guaranteed $200 even if the horse finishes last. In the last day of last year’s meet, many players keyed that kind of horse, the 6-5 favourite, in the first leg of the Jackpot Pick-5 only to watch it finish last while the longest shot in the field won. Last year’s 20-cent pick-5 paid $3,009 in a pool of almost $1 million. The odds on the five winners were: 6-1, 6-1, 5-1, 5-1, 2-1.

Note there’s also a mandatory payout tomorrow night (Tuesday) of the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 on the last race (pick the top five finishers in the correct order). That pool will likely close in on $100,000. There’s also a guaranteed pick-4 pool of $50,000 in the remaining three nights — which are today, tomorrow and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.