So one 20-cent ticket took down the entire $31,073 Jackpot Hi 5 pool in race 10 at Woodbine Saturday and the question is: was there a key to making that happen? In my books, yes. Although I’m certainly not sure that the winner looked at the race the same way.

What made the race stand out for me was the 7-furlong distance: My eyes light up when I see it. It’s a distance that some horses do best at. So my initial approach is to look for horses that have raced the distance and appraise what they did. Two horses jumped off the page: #9 (10-1) and #11 (favourite at 5-2). #9, with an Equibase speed number at 7-furlongs of 71 won and #11 with an E speed of 81 finished third.

The full Jackpot Hi 5 result in the 10-horse field was 9-2-11-8-4. See program page here. (#5 Icing was scratched). And what kind of horses completed the five-horse ‘Dagwood sandwich?’ #2 Bill Needle (18-1) was tied for the highest E speed of horses in the race, 82, which came on the turf at Tampa where racing is on a hiatus. #4 Don’t Tempt Fate (9-1) fits with these because he’s a first-time starter from leading trainer Mark Casse’s barn (his win rate is 24 per cent with 3-year-olds; horse’s sire, Klimt, wins with 13 per cent first-time starters). The tough-to-add horse was #8, Uh Oh It’s Magic (18-1), another first-time starter. The sire, Creative Cause, is only nine per cent wins first out — although we’re not looking for a winner here. His jockey, Steven Bahen, is a decent two wins for seven with 3-year-olds.

Of course, the player might have pressed the “all” button for a couple of positions. But the important element is the specialist distance. The top two at 7 furlongs in the race finished first and third, which was something to build on. The 20-cent superfecta paid $1,630. An obvious way to have played it was 9-11 with 9-11 with ALL with ALL. And 9-11 with ALL with 9-11 with ALL The cost for those two tickets is $44.80.

Watch the race here with particular attention paid to #9 and #11.