Woodbine Winners is an inside look at how horseplayers and bettors – from novices to pros – strike gold when playing the races at Woodbine. As part of the ongoing Woodbine Winners series, we're going to show you tickets that result in life-changing scores, get insights into how the bets were made and learn more about the people who hit those winning tickets.
In recent years, many racetracks have lured bettors with an enticing twist on the traditional Pick-6 wager, lowering the minimum bet and only paying out the entire pool if there is a sole winning ticket. This results in many carryovers and a growing pot that can easily reach six or seven figures after several days.
Featuring a 20-cent minimum bet, Woodbine’s Power Pick-6 has proven to be very popular, building off the track’s already existing reputation for large fields and highly competitive racing. It’s the perfect bet to use when adhering that the age-old axiom of horseplaying: “Bet a little to win a lot.” And recently, that sage advice reaped over $63,000 for one savvy (and lucky) California-based bettor, Hans, who shared his story with TVG.
“It’s a reasonable and affordable Pick-6,” Hans told TVG’s Britney Eurton. “I’m originally from Holland, so I’m cheap,” he joked. A regular Woodbine player, Hans was familiar with some of the horses, which helped him narrow down his ticket. Plus, he had some hunch plays. “The first race the horse Gospel Way, it had ‘gospel’ in it’s name, and it had good odds,” he said. “And in the second race there was Speedy Hans – my nickname is Hans, so I had to pick myself.”
The day and races: Sunday, June 28, races 5-10
The play: 20-cent Power Pick 6: 5-6/2,9/6-7/5-7/3,6/2,7 = $19.20
The sequence: Much of the competition was eliminated in Race 5, and Hans’ affection for religious music paid off with a heavenly start, as Gospel Way (#5) prevailed at 24.40-1 odds. Race 6 went to the aptly named Speedy Hans (#9), a no-doubter for this ticket and one that also carried nice 9.65-1 odds. The two horses in Hans’ sequence for Race 7 finished 1-2, with Constantino (#6) winning by a neck and at the higher price of 3.45-1. The hot streak continued in race 8, as Hans’ three Power Pick-6 plays finished 1-2-3, led by #5 Princess Fabiana at 3.35-1 odds. And Hans’ top two picks for race 9 also made up the exacta, with favored #3 Western Taffy prevailing at 1.85-1. It came down to two horses in the final leg, and #7 Risetothechallenge did just that in a two-length score at odds of 3.10-1.
The payoff: $63,143.
Hans did not watch the final race in the sequence – he checked into his TVG account later and saw that his bankroll had exploded. “I’m still trying to let it sink in,” he said. He hopes to visit Woodbine in the future, having cut his teeth first at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles and currently attending Santa Anita Park on occasion.