TORONTO, December 21, 2017 – If the holidays weren’t enough of a reason to celebrate, Saturday evening’s card of Standardbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack will have horseplayers filled with cheer.
A deep 12-race program, featuring a pair of Preferreds and many full fields, has been put together. The highlight of the evening is a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 in the evening’s final-race (Race 12).
The Jackpot Hi-5 race feature a field of 12 pacing mares (Non-Winners of $6,000 last five or $13,000 last 10 starts) and will force horseplayers to throw on their thinking cap in order to craft a winning ticket.
Unlike past mandatory payouts, the Jackpot Hi-5 pool is not frozen and will continue to grow up until Saturday’s card. The carryover heading into Friday’s card of racing is $213,527.54 and horseplayers can expect a large pool on the final evening before the mandatory payout.
A total of $261,179 was wagered into the Hi-5 pool on October 7 at Mohawk, which was the final opportunity to take a shot at the Jackpot Hi-5 ahead of a mandatory payout on October 14.
If past Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payouts are any indication, Saturday evening’s pool should exceed $1 million in new money.
The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager and a low 15 per cent take out.
Outside of the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, Saturday’s card is filled with many intriguing races and features the circuit’s top performers.
A full-field of 10 will compete in the $34,000 Preferred Trot (Race 3), including the red-hot Will Take Charge (PP9), who captured Monday’s edition of the Preferred to extend his current-win streak to three.
A four-year-old gelding, Will Take Charge is undefeated in three starts since being acquired by new owner Mac Nichol and trainer Jeff Gillis. Jody Jamieson handles the driving duties.
Il Sogno Dream (PP6), who had a three-race win streak snapped on Monday, will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing fifth-place finish. The six-year-old winner of over $1.1 million has the post position advantage over Will Take Charge and will have the driving services of Jonathan Drury.
The Preferred Trot also features Odds On Amethyst, who this week was named an O’Brien Award finalist. The six-year-old gelding has won 10 of 37 starts and earned over $215,000 this season for co-owner/trainer/driver Pat Hudon.
The $34,000 Preferred Trot is carded as Race 3.
The circuit’s top older pacer Easy Lover Hanover will attempt to stretch his current win-streak to six in Saturday’s $34,000 Preferred Pace.
The Ben Wallace trained four-year-old gelding has been dominating the Preferred since scoring a 1:50 victory on November 4. ‘Easy Lover’ held his own in some fall Grand Circuit events and appeared to gain great confidence to go on an outstanding late-season run.
Owned by Brad Grant, Easy Lover Hanover is eight for 23 with $198,487 earned this season. Jamieson will sit behind the four-year-old for a second-consecutive week.
Overall, Easy Lover Hanover has won nine of 14 career starts with Jamieson in the sulky.
While the Wallace trainee is clearly the horse to beat, Prescotts Hope (PP4) and Champagne Phil (PP2) each came up just a head short of defeating ‘Easy Lover’ last week and both are in the field of eight for Saturday’s contest.
Saturday’s card features 111 horses competing in 12-races. Along with the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, the wagering menu includes a $50,000 Pick-5 starting Race 1 and $50,000 Early Pick-4 starting in Race 4.
Horseplayers can download a free program for Saturday’s card by clicking here.
Post time Saturday is 7:30 p.m.