Breaking down the High-5 Mandatory Payout at Woodbine Mohawk Park

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Comments from the Drivers:

(1) Pointomygranson - Trevor Henry “I think he has a really good shot at winning that race when he is right he can compete at a level much higher than he is in Saturday”

(2) Ramblingamblinman - J Bradley Harris “It’s his first start back I’m expecting him to be short, this horse is known for his fast last quarters if they race up front is my best shot at seeing him on the board”

(3) Freddy Bear - Sylvain Filion

(4) Play Jet Ray - Bob McClure "He hasn’t been very effective since the trainer change. Probably ride the rail and hope for some racing luck."

(5) Darkest Secret - Doug McNair "I’ve never driven him before. Not sure what to expect?"

(6) Walter Mitty - Chris Christoforou "Locked in last start, had 9 hole, left hard got in to the rail then shuffled. He got home in 27:1, still had horse but no room."

(7) Dragon Time - Travis Cullen "He raced ok last week, but will have to be a lot better to win tonight."

(8) Foot Soldier - Jody Jamieson "Foot soldier raced a lot better than his line will show last week. He had pace at every stage and with any trip luck tonight, he can win"

(9) Peace Out Posse - Louis-Philippe Roy “Last week it was almost a full month that Peace Out Posse hasn’t raced. He had some steering issues which I believe will have been corrected by Moreau. I expect him to be a little better, post 9 hurts but there’s going to be a lot of action/traffic in that 11 horse field.”

(10) Dreamfair B J - Jonathan Drury "I like dreamfair bj in there. He’s dropping down in class and he’s versatile so the 10 hole shouldn’t bother him."

(11) Mach Code - James MacDonald “Mach Code qualified really strong on an off track and was well within himself. It is a really tough race and an absolutely awful post but maybe with some luck he can get a good chunk.”

My Thoughts on the Race:

The immediate thought that comes to mind when looking at this race is that both Pointomygranson (1) and Dreamfair B J (10) should hit the ticket. So I don't think I will spend much on combinations that don't include both of them.

The next thing that jumps out at me is that Walter Mitty (6) could provide some value if he can hit the ticket and if he ever managed to win the race, the ticket would pay very well, as I don't think many people will even use this horse- nevermind using him on top.

Next I look at Foot Soldier (8) who is leaving from a difficult post considering the 2 trailers. This horse is the biggest challenge for me, because I believe he can win and I can also imagine a scenario where he misses the ticket completely. Similarly, I believe Peace Out Posse (9) could end up anywhere on or off the board depending on trip.

Dragon Time (7) has only 1 win in his last 37 starts, but has finished 2nd 10 times. There is a good chance he will hit the ticket.

Ticket Structure:

There are a lot of ways you can try to structure a ticket for a high-5, some I feel are better than others. The most obvious method is a box, but as you can see it gets expensive quickly:

  • $0.20 5 Horse box = $24.00
  • $0.20 6 Horse box = $144.00
  • $0.20 7 Horse box = $512.00

The fact that many will play boxed tickets will produce value if you can find a horse outside of the top selections to sneak onto the ticket. The other common structure used will be a key on top with horses boxed below:

  • $0.20 Key Winner w/ 4 horses below = $4.80
  • $0.20 Key Winner w/ 5 horses below = $24.00
  • $0.20 Key Winner w/ 6 horses below = $72.00

This type of structure allows players to go much deeper for the 2nd - 5th positions at a greatly reduced cost, but of course with the tradeoff that they have to correctly select the winner.

Perhaps the most valuable insight I've learned is that there is no one size fits all ideal structure to a ticket- it really depends on the individual race for what will work best. Don't be afraid to do something out of the ordinary if your handicapping leads you a certain direction. Think you can nail down who will finish 5th? Play around that instead of keying a winner. In a paramutual game, you are rewarded for doing something different from the crowd (if you connect).

My Tickets:

$0.20 High5 Box 1,6,7,8,10 = $24

$0.20 High5 Box 1,6,7,9,10 = $24

$0.20 High5 1,10/1,10/6,8,9/6,7,8,9/ALL = $21.60

$0.20 High5 1,10/6,9/1,10/6,7,8,9/ALL = $14.40

$0.20 High5 1,8,10/1,8,10/1,8,10/ALL/ALL = $50.40

$2.00 High5 1/8/10/6,7,9/6,7,9 = $12

Total: $146.40

My tickets may change by post time as more information is gathered and changes are announced.

What to expect:

  • There is a very good chance the effective takeout rate will be negative- meaning there could be more money paid out than is wagered into the pool. If $525,000 in new money is wagered into the pool the effective takeout rate will be -14%.
  • It would take roughly $1,014,000 in new money wagered to reach a takeout rate of 0%, which seems unlikely based on recent mandatory payout days.
  • The payout will probably be $500+ for a $0.20 ticket, even if it is chalky. With a competitive 11 horse field and a cost of $11,088 to box 11 horses for 20 cents, there is potential for a massive score. But with that being said- there is often value here in logical combinations, since many will be playing large tickets trying to maximize chances of hitting.
  • Sylvain Filion has finished top 3 in each of the past 3 consecutive mandatory payout races (although he might be in a tough spot here). The drivers are well aware of the significance of this race for bettors, so be sure to note who rises to the occasion when pressure is added, and who doesn’t.

Good luck if you are playing tonight!

Posted by Ryan Clements

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