Was your head spinning yesterday playing Woodbine? Two $70 horses and 20-cent pick-5’s that paid $34,021 and $16,529 will do that. Well, maybe your head will spin in the other direction today finding out that those two bombs-away winners were relatively easy to play using “rules.”

If nothing else on yesterday’s 11-race card, the featured race — the Breeders’ Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown — was highly predictable. The horses that had finished second and third in the Queen’s Plate, Sir for Sure and Hall of Dreams, finished one-two in the Breeders’ and the $2 exactor paid a rather healthy $47.30. Those two horses had top closing fractions at route distances and that “rule” still applied in the 1 ½-mile Breeders’ field.

But back to the $70 horses that fit my “rules” and therefore had to be added to your horizontal wheels — or at least to spot plays.

RACE 2: #10 Hallie’s Hero won this 6 ½-furlong turf sprint and paid $72.10. The rule is basic: The horse was cutting back to a sprint race after showing early quick speed in a route race. In fact, the 105 pace number he had posted in his route race WAS THE HIGHEST of all horses in the race. The cutting-back-to-a-sprint rule is so effective that a major Kentucky handicapper in a Las Vegas panel discussion some years ago said this was his number one money-making handicapping angle. It’s certainly one of my favs. Adding to the allure of Hallie’s Hero is that he had achieved that big 105 pace number after being claimed. That showed his new trainer was making the horse better.

RACE 7: #2 Breaking Alone won this 7-furlong turf event and paid $70.40. What’s the rule? This is the specialist distance of seven furlongs. So what do you look for first? The horses with the highest Equibase speed numbers at 7 furlongs anywhere in their past performances in the program. The horses with the highest numbers were #14 Banff with 100 and #2 with 98 (#5 with 101 was scratched). THEY FINISHED ONE-TWO. Not only did #2 pay $70.40, the $2 exactor paid $778. Duh!

All of which made me regret that I was alternatively cycling, gardening and watching Blue Jays baseball and NFL football on a gorgeous afternoon with the intention of watching only the Breeders’ Stakes race and not getting involved in the other races. But who knew $70 horses could be so straightforward? I hope you made a stab or two – but will now see that just because a horse pays big money doesn’t mean that horse was hard to pick. (Don’t you at least regret not playing a $1 exactor box on the two horses with the best 7-furlong speed figures in race 7? My crying towel is soaking wet.)

Download yesterday’s Equibase program here.