Not many players specialize in superfectas but I happen to be one – and thought you might find it fascinating, if not instructive, to see how I unpack the competing elements in a typical maiden race to bet superfecta wheels.

Take a look at Saturday’s race 6 at Woodbine – which I bet – here. For following a few rules and spending $3.20 in 20-cent superfecta wheels you could have picked up $143. For a $16 outlay, you would have collected $715.

Just for quick background: I became enamored with superfectas in the early 2000s when I turned a disastrous losing day into a sudden pick-up of $9,000 by betting $120 in a five-horse superfecta box in a race at the now-defunct Stampede Park. I boxed horses with the highest Equibase speed numbers. The big price was the result of the overwhelming favourite not finishing in the top four. I was blown away – and hooked – and a lot of good things happened in the ensuing weeks as superfectas became my favourite plays at multiple tracks.

So what rules emerge from race 6?

1. HIGHEST PACE NUMBER: #3 Worst Behaviour (morning line 15-1) has the highest pace number of 112 so you can expect the horse to show speed and maybe win on the lead.
2. #4 Speed Trap (morning line 3-1) had a slow beginning in her first start, raced wide in that race and still finished third. Leading jockey Kazushi Kimura is aboard.
3. ROUTE SPEED CUTTING BACK TO A SPRINT: #8 Mischief Lily (morning line 7-2) has a huge angle I love for “underneath” horses in superfectas. She showed early pace in a route race and is cutting back to a sprint so you can expect her to close to finish third or fourth.
4. LOWEST ADDED-UP NUMBERS: #5 Aha Moment (morning line 8-1) is a contender because she has the lowest added-up number of 6. (This is a rule in all maiden races. Add where she finished last time with her position at the first call of her previous race.)

One 20-cent wheel costing $1.60 looked like this: 3,4 with 3,4 with 8 with 1,2,5,6. And the other wheel was the same except #8 was in the fourth position.

The race went almost exactly as predicted: #3 went to the lead but was passed late by #4 and #8 closed to finish fourth with #5 in the third position.

You can almost use this race as a template for future maiden races and, of course, you can see that even mere pocket change can fill the gas tank and buy you dinner.