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Dark Horse is a wagering game changer

July 24, 2020

By: Chris Lomon for

Your best bet at having the inside track on horse racing wagering is just a download away.

Woodbine Entertainment’s recent of launch of Dark Horse is a game changer for sports bettors – seasoned or new – an innovative app that has plenty to offer, including rewards every time a user plays.

Cutting-edge innovation, a wealth of useful information, and easy navigation combine to make the app a must-have before placing a bet.

Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dark Horse provides invaluable insights and creative strategies to assist in making more informed wagers.

The first legal sports betting app in Canada also enables the user to stream live racing action in HD.

“I suspect that this is the most innovative thing that’s happened in horse racing in probably the past 25 or 30 years,” said Chris Lush, Woodbine Entertainment’s senior vice-president of information technology, wagering and broadcasting. “It’s changing the sport dramatically. It’s designed to engage the younger demographic, to expose horse racing to that group. It’s a product that I believe will really catch on with our target customer base, and really build a new generation of horse racing fans in Canada.”

Dark Horse, which has been in the works for years, was launched to coincide with the return of live racing in Ontario this June.

After the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic prompted a temporary pause to live horse racing in the province in March, the decision was made to get Dark Horse out of the gates at the same time the horses did.

It was an easy call, said Lush.

“With the impact of the pandemic on our sport, this offers people the opportunity to watch the races anywhere they want to. That is a big piece of the puzzle. It’s great to have a mobile app where you can bet on sports, but it’s another thing to able to bet on a live event while you’re watching it, see the results, and then be able to wager again. The ability to stream racing in HD through the app is essential, and I also think it’s a fantastic component of Dark Horse.”

One of the more intriguing aspects of the app comes in the form of QUBE.

An AI-powered algorithm, QUBE scrutinizes and evaluates statistics from thousands of races across North America – from track conditions to a horse’s performance to the jockey’s track record – and then presents it to the user.

The end result: an easy way to make educated bets, and higher odds of winning.

“I think the most important piece is the analytics,” said Lush. “It provides the statistics customers are looking for, and really gives them an edge on how to place a bet. I also think the user experience and the user design is critical. Being able to streamline it and have customers engage within the app simplistically, flowing through to a winning combination – that’s really key.”

Lush is pleased with how the app has been received so far.

“I am. It’s actually been driving our enhancements to the app moving forward. We’ve been in-market for just over six weeks. In the App Store, we have an average rating of just over four [out of five], which is fantastic. A lot of the feedback has been very positive. But a lot of that feedback is also helping us design future enhancements that will make it even more engaging for our customers.”

Dark Horse is available in the Apple App Store and can be downloaded on other devices by visiting

Dark Horse is currently available in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. Availability in other provinces and territories is coming soon.

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