by Al Cimaglia
December 26, 2017
Tis the season to be merry and those who cashed a Jackpot Hi-5 ticket on Saturday night have reasons to feel lucky beyond selecting the correct sequence. The Woodbine mandatory payout led to a hefty return as the $0.20 Hi-5 of (9-4-7-6-10), paid $49,437.19. This is not a sour grapes complaint because I could have played the race over many times and would not had used the #7-Mischieviousgirls, who went off at 50-1, in the third slot. But in my view, anyone who had the race winner #9-Reis Star Cross on a correct Jackpot Hi-5 ticket caught a remarkable break.
A case could be made the #9-Reis Star Cross was the best horse in the race considering being parked the opening quarter and was still able to fly by and draw off in the stretch. That said, it appeared obvious the #9 came off the rail down the stretch and made contact with #12-Aintsheasweetie and should have been disqualified. Although Reis Star Cross impeded the progress of the #12, who had to be checked and then finished last, there wasn't even an inquiry. Also, Reis Star Cross may have brushed the wheel of #11-Naughty Lady B after interfering with #12 and then appeared to come out into the path of #6-Wildcat Magic. The initial interference with Aintsheasweetie should have been enough for a disqualification but evidently all three incidents were quickly dismissed.
It's hard to believe there wasn't an inquiry sign posted after the Jackpot Hi-5 race, after all the total pool was just over $1,022,000. The focus should have been there, and after watching the replay numerous times, it's astonishing the winner was left up. It's also disappointing in a race drawing the attention of many bettors who are not regular harness racing players this would happen. Congrats to the winners, but best to remember this outcome the next time you have a bad beat involving an inquiry.
Here's the replay so you can decide for yourself.
Comments and selections for Woodbine and Cal Expo are based on a fast track.
Woodbine Early Pick 4
1-GS High Shooter-Johnson claimed in last and could see enough improvement to get an overdue victory.
2-Regil Tiger-2nd time for Moreau after winning debut. Has skipped a start but will respect connections.
7-Idole Duharas-Came the last half in 56.2 but couldn't catch winner. Ryan steers and that could mean a square price.
2-Cloud Diva-Will consider for a repeat score after sharp win from the 7 hole.
3-Teachers Vet-McNair's choice over #2, had 2-race win streak snapped from 10 hole, will respect chances.
5-Jazzy Image-Breezed in first Wdb start and program chalk looks like a major player.
8-Party Beach-Too far back to a slow pace in last. Looking for better and at 12- 1 in ML will use.
1-Carson Hill-Runner-up in last 3 is next best after #5 and gets a better post draw.
5-Oceanview Deb-Repeat winner drew off by over 5 lengths, McNair takes over for Roy and ML chalk looks solid.
5-Jack Rackam-Winner of 2 straight has made it look easy and faces similar tonight.
6-Willey Bite-Has had trouble closing the deal but is Henry's choice over 2 others, including #7.
7-Aphro Star-Steps up after 2 wins and 2 claims at $15k, may handle rise.
8-Southwind Monty-Thinking pace could be swift and if so this price shot with J MacDonald is an interesting play.
0.20 Early Pick 4
Cal Expo Pick 4
5-Windsun TBird-Been trying hard, should get a favorable trip from this post and be in the hunt.
6-Coastal Treasure-Similar to #5 and looks like a major player.
8-Surprisngly Sweet-Plano takes a seat and if pace is brisk this 9-year-old could be rolling late.
2-Make It Big-Beaten favorite fits well versus this group, needs the right trip to take a photo.
4-FF Bigshow-Trip dependent but at 10-1 in the ML worth a swing to surprise this group.
6-Why Ask Why-Lost last by a nose and team Lackey could be dialed on high for this try.
7-One And Only-3rd start for trainer and with the drop should be a player tonight.
4-Paydaze A Rockin-In form and could win 2nd straight at a square price.
7-Mint To Cruise-Trying hard and Plano should get striking position and this is a more comfortable spot.
8-Beacon Of Hope-Beat some of these last start, could happen again and post makes the price.
10-Blue Star Maverick-Won easily at this class on 11/24, then was sick. If ready, long shot could pop with a trip.
1-Along Came Jane-Steps up after a win, Plano sticks and will respect chances.
2-Hi Fidelity-Last race was better but lost to #1, from this post could trip out tonight.
4-Magnifique-Morning line chalk drops again in search of 9th win of the year. No excuses allowed for 8/5 ML chalk.
6-Dickies Motel-Looking for a price and Kennedy seems to know best. If pace is quick chances go up for 15-1 long shot.
0.20 Pick 4
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