Jackpot Hi 5 Highlights WEG Card

Published: December 24, 2016 12:06 am EST

Woodbine Racetrack's pre-Christmas harness racing card on Friday (December 23) culminated with the Jackpot Hi 5 mandatory payout in the evening's 12th and final race.

The Jackpot Hi 5 carryover, which has been growing since early-October at Mohawk Racetrack, was $548,396.96 with over $2 million wagered in new money for a total pool of $2,629,837.

The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top five finishers in order. The winning combination of 6-4-11-7-1 returned $24,213.50 for a $1-based wager and $4,842.70 for a 20-cent wager.

The 12th race featured an over-sized, 12-horse field, with Audreys Dream (Ed Hensley) sent off as the 5-2 favourite. However, 3-1 second choice The Rev (Doug McNair) quickly took the lead off the gate from post six and went wire-to-wire for the win. After leading through fractions of :26.2, :55.1 and 1:24, the Gregg McNair trainee opened by four lengths off the final turn to secure the victory in 1:51.1.

Completing the top five finish order off ground-saving trips were: 10-1 shot Electric Western (Mario Baillargeon), 8-1 Regal Son (Chris Christoforou), 20-1 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) and 23-1 A Cool Card (James MacDonald).

The Rev, a six-year-old son of Western Paradise out of Red Sea, is owned by Jeffrey Skinner of Hammonds Plains, N.S. The win was his fourth this year from 26 starts and 23rd lifetime.

This week's $34,000 Preferred had its own 'Jackpot' theme as the six-year-old pacer named Alexas Jackpot rallied off the cover of favourite Nickle Bag to prevail in a four-across finish in 1:50.2 for trainer Marty Fine and Highland Thoroughbred Farm.

James MacDonald engineered the 14-1 upset aboard the Million Dollar Cam-Michelles Jackpot gelding, who defeated race leader American Virgin (Doug McNair) by a head, with Prescotts Hope (Phil Hudon) closing from last to out-finish Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry) for third.

Alexas Jackpot got away second behind the early leaver, Domethatagain (Louis Philippe Roy), through a :26.4 opening panel. American Virgin then swept from third to first as the field headed into the backstretch with 3-5 favourite Nickle Bag moving underway from fourth to confront the new leader near the :55.3 half-mile mark. However, American Virgin forged on to three-quarters in 1:22.4. Meanwhile, Alexas Jackpot slipped out second-over and later rallied off cover down the stretch to collar American Virgin in the final strides.

Alexas Jackpot has now hit the board in 20 of his 29 starts this year, with five of those being winning efforts. The 18-time career winner has banked $123,130 of his $422,630 bankroll in 2016.

Sent postward as the second-longest shot in the field of six, Alexas Jackpot returned $30 to his backers for a $2 Win wager.

In the $30,000 Preferred for fillies and mares,

P L Hurricane and catch-driver Randy Waples wore down Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) for a 1:50.4 career-best victory.

Imagine Dragon (Paul MacDonell) finished third over Rubis Prescott (Jody Jamieson), while a from-last Waasmula (Trevor Henry) was fifth and inched closer to millionaire status, coming within a few hundred dollars of the milestone.

P L Hurricane crossed to command from post six over Ms Mac N Cheese, who then retook the lead after a :25.4 opening quarter. Ms Mac N Cheese proceeded to front the field through middle splits of :55 and 1:23, with Imagine Dragon a non-threatening first-over pursuer, before P L Hurricane went by in the stretch for the 7-1 score. She paid $17.60 to win.

Trained and owned by David Brown, P L Hurricane earned her second consecutive win and first ever victory at the Preferred level. The five-year-old daughter of Jeremes Jet and Taylorlane Action has earned more than half of her $237,398 bankroll in 2016 with eight wins, eight seconds and six thirds from 45 starts, all on the WEG circuit.

The total handle for Friday’s 12-race card was $4,704,527.

Woodbine Racetrack will host a 12-race matinee card of harness racing on Boxing Day Monday, featuring the finals of the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Post time for the first race is set for 1 p.m.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.



As a fan who cares about racing and the industry, I'm going to tell you how I feel about what I've seen recently with the Hi 5. The Hi 5 should have been paid out on the last card of racing at Mohawk this year, for the integrity of the race fan. What I mean by this is the fans who wager towards this pool during the Mohawk meet may not have been privileged to wager on this when it left to Woodbine. Therefore, it should have been paid out at Mohawk. This is the first mistake made by not putting the fans first.

On the 23rd on the mandatory pay out night at Woodbine, I'm speaking for myself, I downloaded a program and had two days to handicap the twelve horse field. Friday I made my way to champions off-track facility. I noticed fans were excited about the Hi 5 coming up and I can tell you when I heard someone mention that Sylvain Filion wasn't going to drive the number ten horse in the 12th race my first thought was 'Was he okay, what happened'. As I looked up at the T.V. monitor, I saw that Paul MacDonell was going to be the catch driver for Sylvain. I was okay with the catch drive, still concerned about Sylvain, noticed him in the paddock and he was getting ready to go out for the eleventh race.

Through all this, the overwhelming vulgar language throughout the room, bad discussions about the race, so many negatives about the race and the sport, totally unnecessary. A race with this magnitude and overwhelming amount of money bet, we as fans needed more information on the drivers change. Whatever was up with the drivers change, the fans needed more information on what was happening to ease the tension of distrust in the room.

As for myself, 80% of my tickets had the ten horse throughout them. As the race was getting underway, MacDonell had extreme difficulty with this horse, so this is my point: Did Sylvain Filion decide not to drive this horse because he felt the horse was hard to drive? If this being the case, this horse was a threat to every other horse and driver in the race. So for the sake of any doubt cast over this race before it began, the proper thing would have been to scratch the horse, or to post an honest reason for the drivers change.

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