It seemed as if Woodbine race secretary Scott Lane decided to make this past Friday “Chaos Day at the Races.” Half of the eight races were written for non-winners of two races lifetime (nw2L) where, as this column has pointed out ad nauseum, just about anything can happen. Favourites win less often than in other conditions. But I’ve also pointed out you get a betting edge by looking for two kinds of horses in that race condition: (1) horses that can get the lead by themselves, and (2) class droppers.

And, true to those “rules,” three of the four nw2L races were won by horses that went gate to wire. And not a single favourite won. The odds of the winners in the four small fields of horses were: 7/2 (six horse field), 4-1 (seven horse field), 10-1 (seven horse field) and 8-1 (five horse field). Look at that: just five horses in the race and the second-longest shot wins.

Yes, chaos CAN be your friend. Just by spotting the likely early speed in those races, you were cashing win bets of $23.70, $18.60 and $10.30.

U.S. bettors knock off three mega pools at Woodbine in breathtaking ways

Betting as little as $100 and as much as $5,600, U.S. players have once again taken down three mega pools at Woodbine over the past week with lone 20-cent tickets, reports Mark McKelvie, Woodbine’s senior manager of communications:

  • A week ago Sunday, a very lucky U.S. player spent $100.80 to win $55,8245 USD in the 20-cent jackpot hi-5 on the last race by keying the winner and the fifth place finisher on the ticket. That’s right, the player keyed a horse for fifth out of 11 horses in the field. The wheel looked like this: 1 horse x ALL x ALL x ALL x 1 horse. The winning horse at 3-5 was credible enough as a key but the fifth place finisher simply was a 7-1 horse who liked to make up ground late. The player must have been holding his/her breath when the fifth place key was making a move from near the back of the pack, knocking off horses one by one to make it up to fifth, a half-length behind the fourth-place finisher. The odds of the five horses were 3-5, 48-1, 22-1, 26-1 and 7-1.
  • On the same day another U.S. player spent an enormous $5,644.80 USD to make sure he had taken all the possible horses in the power pick-6 including seven horses in a race won by a $3.40 horse. It worked. The player’s return was $59,756.55 USD. Here’s how many horses the player wheeled in each leg: 6 x 6 x 4 x 7 x 4 x 7. The prices of the winning horses were $4.70, $11.60, $5.70, $21.90, $15.70 and $3.40.
  • This past Saturday, the power pick-6 was won again, this time for $24,087.16 USD by a player who made “many wagers,” according to McKelvie. The winning horses in the sequence paid $9.30, $3.60, $4.90, $26.10, $25.60 and $8.20.

So the pools are building up again, waiting for a single 20-cent ticket to scoop the works. Will your pocket-change winning ticket be the subject of my next Bettor’s Edge?

ASD handicappers take a hit – but you didn’t have to

Will Assiniboia Downs’ handicapping duo rebound from a losing week tonight? Track announcer Kirt and pro golfer Stretch, hosts of the ASD Live show, will be looking to turn around a week in which Kirt’s suggested bets to online viewers lost $488 (after a $69 gain the previous week) and Stretch’s wagers lost $470 (after a $1,331 profit the previous week). Their suggested bets were made on 21 races from Monday to Wednesday.

But take note, that didn’t mean your bankroll had to take a hit. In fact, by taking Stretch’s suggested wager on the last race last Monday to the next level you would have shown a profit of around $1,300 for the week even if you had bet all their losing tickets.

How? First of all, Kirt and Stretch don’t make superfecta or super hi-5 wagers, which is where the big money often is. If you simply extended Stretch’s triactor horses to the superfecta and super hi-5, you would have cashed big.

His triactor wheel in the 10-horse field was 4,9 with 2,4,9 with 2,3,4,5,9. His 9-4-2 triactor paid $33.65 for $1, it cost $12 and he suggested you play it twice. But if you extended his triactor horses to the superfecta at a cost of $24 (9-4-2-5) you would have collected $303. And if you played the super hi-5 with Stretch’s horses (9-4-2-5-3), which also would have cost you $24, you would have pocketed a healthy $1,932.

So Stretch got the horses right; he just didn’t maximize his profits. We do that all the time, don’t we? But that was a bit of a lesson for their followers: Reject or massage their suggested wagers for your greater benefit.

The pair have been good at picking winners, though. In the first 13 race cards of the season, Kirt picked 36 per cent winners (33/91) and Stretch picked 34 per cent (31/91). They do have a little ways to go, however, to reach “expert picks” on the ASD website. That unnamed handicapper is scoring at a 40.6 per cent rate (37/91).

Adding to the excitement of tonight’s seven-race card which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CT is a prep race for the Manitoba Derby, the $50,000 Golden Boy, that’s likely to see sizzling fractions by Alberta invader Cuban Cobra (by Flat Out out of A E Phi Sensation), who won the $50,000 Winnipeg Futurity last year, and an Oaklawn Park purchase, Chicago’s Gray (by Tapwrit out of Dulce Arabe), who is conditioned by the same shrewd trainer, Murray Duncan, who turned an Oaklawn Park claim into Manitoba Derby winner Plentiful in 2017. My take on the race? Chicago’s Gray takes a blistering lead, saying “catch me if you can” to Cuban Cobra.

The ASD Live show with Kirt and Stretch over the next three nights begins at 6:45 p.m. CT on the “Player Portal” at