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Six For Easy Lover Hanover; Mandatory Hi-5 Pays $49,437.10

Published: December 24, 2017 12:52 am ET

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Christmas arrived early for horseplayers on Saturday, December 23, as Woodbine Racetrack offered a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5.

A total of $795,367 of new money was wagered into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool, which joined $227,101.87 of carryover money that was brought into Saturday.

Reis Star Cross and James MacDonald shot through late to score a 16-1 upset in the Hi-5 race. Lights Go Out, the 6-5 favourite, finished second, but two more longshots hit the ticket to create a big payout.

Horseplayers that correctly selected the order of 9-4-7-6-10 scored a massive return of $247,185.95 for a $1 ticket or $49,437.10 for a $0.20 ticket.

The top-five finishers in the Jackpot Hi-5 race were:

1st: #9 Reis Star Cross (16-1)
2nd: #4 Lights Go Out (6-5)
3rd: #7 Mischieviousgirls (52-1)
4th: #6 Wildcat Magic (4-1)
5th: #10 Hot Spot Hanover (39-1)

The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum and a 15 per cent takeout.

Saturday evening’s card also featured the circuit’s top trotters and pacers in action for a pair of $34,000 Preferred events.

Easy Lover Hanover went a big trip to score his sixth-consecutive victory in the Preferred Pace. The four-year-old gelding got away fourth with driver Jody Jamieson and was sent first-up at the half.

Easy Lover Hanover paced to the wheel of Nirvana Seelster, who led by a little more than a length at three-quarters in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Easy Lover Hanover, sent the 4-5 favourite, powered by to win in 1:50.1.

Nirvana Seelster was beaten a length and held on for second, while Champagne Phil finished third.

Trained by Ben Wallace, Easy Lover Hanover started his current win streak on November 4 and will finish his 2017 campaign with nine wins in 24 starts. The four-year-old banked $215,487 this season to bring his career earnings to $581,509 for owner Brad Grant. In his 25th overall victory, Easy Lover Hanover paid $3.80.

Odds On Amethyst captured the $34,000 Preferred Trot to cap off a wild week.

The Pat Hudon trained six-year-old competed in Monday’s Preferred, but paced the entire mile and was charted with technically being off-stride.

However, things turned around on Wednesday when Odds On Amethyst was named an O’Brien Award finalist and the momentum continued to build with a strong victory Saturday.

Trained and driven by Hudon, Odds On Amethyst trotted along fifth throughout the opening three-quarters of the mile and found room in the lane to power by some tired rivals, winning in 1:53.1.

Free Willy Hanover rallied from the back to finish second, while Big Rich finished third after cutting the mile with pressure the entire way.

A six-year-old gelding, the Hudon trainee now has 11 wins in 38 starts and has earned $232,110 for owners William Cripps, Charles Gazzola, Adam Kean and Hudon.

Odds On Amethyst’s 2017 earned him an O’Brien Award nomination for Canada’s top older trotter. In the 26th overall for the six-year-old, Odds On Amethyst raised his career earnings to $477,472 and returned $18.40 to win.

Live racing resumes Tuesday afternoon at Woodbine. Post time for the matinee is 1 p.m.

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

(With files from Woodbine Racetrack)


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