So last Friday’s column predicted correctly that King’s Plate winner Paramount Prince, with 9 of 10 in-the-money finishes, would be a key in Saturday’s pick-5 and pick-6 tickets at Woodbine. He did wire the field as expected but the pick-5 suggested in this column went bust when the 5-1 winner of the last race, a turf route, didn’t comport to the usual quickest closing fraction rule and, surprisingly, no player picked all six legs of the 20-cent jackpot pick-6 so it paid $257 for five of six winners. That was a surprise.

Before telling you how betting rules stack up in tomorrow’s early pick-5 at Woodbine, take note of a lesson to be learned from last Sunday’s closing race at Churchill. It was a maiden turf route race with a bunch of first-time starters and get this: the three horses with the highest Tomlinson figures – #2,4,8 – came in one-two-three for a $1 triactor payoff of $1,850. The $2 exactor paid $622. Simple.

All of which will have my betting group at Assiniboia Downs finally biting the bullet and vowing to spend $30 or $40 boxing high Tomlinsons automatically every time we play a maiden turf race at Woodbine and other tracks. (The fourth race tomorrow is a maiden turfer.) Is it something you might consider? The thing is, the payoffs can be so huge, you can lose dozens of bets in a row and still be way ahead of the game when you cash.

I recall the craziness a couple years ago when the highest four Tomlinsons in a maiden turf race at an eastern U.S. track paid about $8,000 for a 20-cent superfecta box costing $4.80. Stuff like that does happen from time to time. Our betting group won’t be on the outs again!

Never looked at Tomlinsons? Click here for the program page of that Churchill race. Note #2 has a “DstT” of 380 in the top right corner of his past performance lines, #4 has a “DstT” of 402 and #8 has a “DstT” of 388. Those horses finished in that order — 2,4,8 — in the 12-horse field. The morning line on those horses was 20-1, 10-1 and 3-1.

Now let’s see how that maiden turf rule and other rules apply to the early pick-5 at Woodbine filled with my favourite races: maiden, turf and 7-furlong:

  • Race 2, 7-furlong turf race: #6 had an 81 Equibase speed figure at 7-furlongs last year, #2 had 70, #4 has the highest speed of 80 this year but at 6-furlongs.
  • Race 3, maiden race: Looks like #3 Souper Supreme gate-to-wire for trainer Mark Casse since this two-year-old filly has an unusually high 107 pace figure but DRF pro picker Pete Shewchuk picks #5 Pickford Sweet as his best bet of the day.
  • Race 4, maiden turf race: No horses have significant Tomlinson figures to box. The horse with the highest Tomlinson is #1 with 373. So this gelding is certainly a contender but note his previous jockey, Sahin Civaci, decides to stick with #3 instead. #7 and #9 with good trainer stats appear live as well. But your best value may be UNDERNEATH positions in the superfecta with 15-1 longshot #8 cutting back to a sprint after showing speed in a route race. DRF pro picker Sheri Riddoch picks #9 as her best bet of the day. How about a 20-cent superfecta wheel with #9 first and second and #8 third and fourth with ALL in the other positions.
  • Race 5, maiden race: Is this a take-a-shot ALL race of two-year-olds? #6 and #8 will be favoured. Semi-longshot could be #3 Dancin Mary Marie whose sire, Souper Speedy, has had 25 per cent debut wins from his 12 babies this year.
  • Race 6, 7 ½ furlong turf race:: #1 and #2 have the highest 7-furlong speed figures at 83 and 89 respectively. Have a care, though, for #8 Veery who raced on the turf for the first time and loved it. A prospect to wire the field.

So who are the main contenders, not only for your pick-4 but for pick-3s and doubles: 2,6,4/3,5/1,3,7,9/2,6,8 or ALL/1,2,8. That’s a $43.20 ticket in the pick-5 but will obviously cost more if you take ALL in race 4.

Don’t forget to check out Tomlinson figures when you’re handicapping turf maiden races at any track. Even a $1 exactor box of horses with inordinately high figures could reward you handsomely!

~ by Ivan Bigg