CAMPBELLVILLE, September 9 – When Gerry Daniels decided last minute to visit Mohawk Racetrack last Saturday for a night out with his wife, Bernice, he never thought he would walk away with pockets full of cash – $10,925 to be exact.
Daniels participated in a contest conducted by the Woodbine Entertainment Group on Metro Pace night where 10 customers who filled out ballots were selected at random draw. The first customer selected could choose any horse in the rich final. The second customer could choose any horse except the horse the first person took. By the end, the 10 customers each represented a horse in the race.
Each participant was given $500 to place a win bet on their horse. Daniels actually selected Simply Business from post position nine in the Metro, however, he had mistakenly handicapped the wrong race and thought he had selected post nine starter Alexie Mattosie from the Canadian Pacing Derby in the 10th race.
“I thought the 10th race was the one that the contest was on,” he admitted. “I didn’t realize it was the eighth race, so when I went over I had my little list of horses graded from one to 10. The first five numbers had already been selected that I had on my list. I took the next number on my list and that happened to be nine.”
After realizing the horse he thought he selected wasn’t was the horse he put the $500 win wager on, the 70-year-old retiree didn’t have much confidence in his longshot selection before post time.
“I really didn’t think I had much of a chance especially with that outside post position, but when I saw the start I thought ‘Geez he is in great position,’” said Daniels.
“I’ve watched the races long enough that I knew as soon as he (Simply Business with Ron Pierce) got to the front that he was going to be tough to beat. Just the way he went by me when they went by for the first time.”
In a shocker, the Jimmy Takter trainee was able to score the victory at 20-1.
“I was surprised because it wasn’t until the last 20 yards that he put on a really big spurt to go by [A Rocknroll Dance]. I knew he’d won. Nobody else did. They were waiting for the photo. My wife was behind the gate to the winner’s circle and she kept saying, ‘No, five won,’ but I was watching their feet instead of their head and you can tell by that.”
But, as the continent’s top two-year-old pacers crossed the wire, Daniels admits the thought of his winnings wasn’t what first came to his mind.
“I thought this is just a marvellous promotion,” he recalled. “I mean where can you do this for nothing? How many racetracks will put a contest like this on? That was just incredible. I was happy to just be participating in it, but when I won I was just absolutely elated. We’ve talked about nothing since.”
Daniels’ win couldn’t have come at a better time… September 23 will be his 50th wedding anniversary.
“It’s going to be a nice one,” he said.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Daniels will be at Woodbine on October 29 for Breeders Crown night in hopes of winning another contest, the Road to the Breeders Crown Dodge RAM Giveaway.
“We will be back for that. My wife said, ‘You won that one so you’ll probably going to win the truck too.’ I said let’s not stretch a point, but that would be good,” he chuckled.
Ballots to enter the Dodge RAM Giveaway can be found by the gift shop, programs desk or in the dinning room at the Campbellville oval.