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Jackpot Hi-5 "Best Bet" In Racing

Published: April 4, 2015 10:45 am ET

Last Comment: April 4, 2015 7:59 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

"The sport of harness racing will break through another major barrier Saturday night with one of the greatest wagering opportunities ever offered."

In a piece for the Balmoral Park website, racing analyst Michael Antoniades penned the following column on Woodbine's Jackpot Hi-5. Antoniades stated that the wager could prompt the largest pool on a single race in the history of North American harness racing.

The final race on Saturday night's card features the Jackpot Hi-5 and a mandatory payout. The carryover pool going into Saturday's card is close to $850,000. To view program pages for Saturday's card, click one of the following links: PDF program - TrackIT program.

The remainder of Antoniades' column appears below.

It is the culmination of gambling vision, a reduced takeout for the players and a very popular new wager. The combination of all those things and a mandatory payout will give harness racing their entrance to gambling High Society on Saturday with a deal that nobody can match.

April kicks off with a spectacular Final Four Saturday, offering a plethora of big events to wager on. Highlighting the afternoon will be three $1,000,000 preps for the Kentucky Derby .The Santa Anita Derby, the Wood Memorial and the Bluegrass from Keeneland on their new surface will make the Derby picture a little clearer. Some of the biggest pools of the year will be offered, but the biggest and most popular wager will not be on a million dollar thoroughbred race in the afternoon. It will be on a $35,000 harness race in Toronto Saturday night. This is not opinion. It’s a fact.

I realize that for most people in racing, what I just stated makes absolutely no sense. That is completely understandable. My opinion is based on knowing that the investment opportunity that Woodbine is offering is far superior. If you look at the wagering dynamics of the Woodbine bet, I think you will agree.

Based on an estimated pool of $3,000,000, that means that $2,152,542 in new money will be combined with the carryover of $847,458 to reach the $3 million mark. Those numbers would easily establish this bet as the biggest harness racing pool in North American history. By reducing the takeout by more than 40 per cent for the duration of the bet, Woodbine has created the rarest of bets, one that pays out more than it will take in on Saturday night,

At the levels established above, the takeout on the new money would be $332,881.30. That leaves us with a Saturday net pool of $1,819,660. Now we add the carryover of $847,458 to get a final pool of $2,667,118. In other words the Saturday winning High Five wagers of $2,152,542 will be rewarded with winnings of $2,667,118, a surplus of $514,576. Based on a $3,000,000 pool, for every winning dollar Woodbine is going to pay you almost $1.24.

While the three million dollar preps offer field sizes of six, seven and eight , Woodbine has assembled a twelve-horse field to make the race more appealing to the masses. A twenty cent minimum assures that players of every size bankroll can participate. You can box five horses for $24 or you can key one on top of four others for the tidy sum of $4.80. Others will be spending thousands to try and hit the High Five multiple times because of the extraordinary return.

The USTA and Canada along with some forward thinking track operators have been working diligently and are listening to horseplayers to make the gambling side of the game better. They are succeeding in creating a new frontier and should take a bow Saturday for a moment in time that five years ago was unthinkable.

More than thirty years ago, Niatross gave harness racing its Roger Bannister moment when he broke the 1:50 barrier in Lexington. Saturday the gambling side of the business will have their Neil Armstrong moment. It’s one small step but for one shining moment this bet will vault harness racing into the gambling mainstream for the simple reason that everyone that gambles knows what a good bet is when they see one. Let’s not waste this marvelous opportunity.

April 4, 2015 - 7:59 pmIt is a nice "gimmick but

It is a nice "gimmick but could also be called a "crocodile sale." It may well be eating the other products/betting options. When a 20%+ takeout remains the norm, betters may well reduce there participation in the other pools because of the poor value to risk ratio. I have stated more times than I care to mentions, as have many others unless and until the takeout is deuced to 10% or less in any racing product the racing game is in trouble!!

April 4, 2015 - 6:22 pmwhat a piece. hats off to a

jim cauchon SAID...

what a piece.

hats off to a wonderful column by Mike.

and what a wild night it should be at the local teletheatre tonight...going there in about a half my favorite toronto suburb.

*if i could change anything...would be the weeks of lead up where there is exactly ZERO buzz on this pool buildup....sadly, syndicates and horse insiders have strangled off any chance of a single ticket we need 12 horse fields more often??? how about the payoff as long as 'three tickets' arent sold??
would a 'monthly mandatory' be overkill?? i dont know,,but to me, a lot more buzz more often..and isnt that the trick....

anyway, will be great to be part of this one tonight.....time to cut a few deals with a few 'friends' up there and have a share in a few possibles..

enjoy tonight..and thanks chicago Mike.


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