by Bob Gates
Assiniboia Downs under quarantine?
No! But these days Downs' patrons are suffering from Super Hi 5 fever as the carryover is now in excess of a quarter of a million dollars.
That makes it a perfect time to take a look at Downs' record payoffs from the past! And maybe, just maybe there will be a hint from these "lucky" numbers that will help someone nail down the combination that will unlock the Super Hi 5 vault.
Win, Place & Show Payoff Records
The highest paying horse to win a race at Assiniboia Downs was Canadian Border. On May 31, 1986, #11, Canadian Border, won race #1 and paid $474.20 for a $2 "Straight" or as it is more commonly known as these days, a "Win" ticket. Only $15 was wagered on the #11 horse to win the race.
The record "Place" price at the Downs occurred on July 31, 1965. Mid Strome, #9, finished second with only $10 in the place pool and paid a whopping $242.00 to place for a $2 ticket.
The largest "Show" ticket ever recorded at the Downs was on September 24, 2011, but not because of how little was wagered on #1, Oxford City Slew. The huge show pay off, $78.90 (for a $2 wager) was created when $15,000 was wagered on another horse who failed to finish in the first three. Oddly enough Oxford City Slew won the race, but was disqualified and placed 3rd.
Nobody with a show ticket on him was complaining.
Quinella, Exactor & Daily Double Payoff Records
I had trouble tracking down all of the exotic wagers, but I did find these beauties:
The highest Quinella ($2 wager) on record took place on August 16, 1997 when #1, Main Tain and #9, Sam George Hill, combined for a $1,086.70 payout.
On May 16, 1998 the highest paying Exactor, $3,514.80 ($2 wager) occurred when #10, Knight's Vision and #11, Sport's Reward ran first and second. By the way, this wager was also known as the "Exacta" and in the early days as the "One - Two."
The Downs record for the Daily Double $4,235.50 ($2 wager) was set on July 23, 1971. There were five winning $2 tickets sold with the combination of #6, Royal Jerry, and #10, Seek the Glory. The payout narrowly missed the Canadian record of $4,835.55 which took place at old Whittier Park on June 9, 1942.
Other Exotic Wagering Payoff Records
The record Triactor at the Downs occurred on May 18, 1981 when the trio of #5, Bold N Faithful, #10, Dr. John B and #9, Truly Time hit the wire one, two, three. The winning combination of #5, #10 and #9 paid $40,026.60 for a $2 ticket. Except there was no $2 ticket sold, there were two $1 winners, who each collected $20,013.30.
To date, the mother of all payoffs occurred on August 13, 1986 when a $2 "Twin Triactor" paid $212,824.30. The correct order of finish was #7, Tom Tuff, #1, Need No Stress and #5, Firey Diamond. Once again, there were no $2 tickets sold, but there were two $1 tickets, each worth $101,412.10.
If the aforementioned wagering records haven't been helpful in your pursuit of the combination to the Super Hi 5 vault, you may want to consider this true story.
While it is not a mutuel record of any kind, this past July 7 marked the 9th anniversary of a true racing oddity that happened at Assiniboia Downs, and it involved my own brand of handicapping.
My plan was to bet on #7 in the 7th race and what better time to do this than on the 7th day, of the 7th month in 2007. It was a natural, and thankfully (?) a live race day - #7, in the 7th race, on 07/07/07. How much to wager? $7 of course!
The outcome was perfect. Best and Bold, #7, ridden by the late Alan Cuthbertson, was running third, only a couple of lengths out of it at the top of the stretch and was looking good. Had my plan worked? Were the racing gods going to reward my miraculous handicapping?
If you'll pardon the pun, you "bet" they were!
Then, all of a sudden, Best and Bold's run for glory and cash came to a crashing halt. He faded and finished… Wait for it… You got it… 7th!
What more needs to be said.
Thanks for allowing me this personal indulgence, but it really was a racing oddity and it happened right here.
The Downs recently announced that there will be a mandatory payout of the Super Hi 5 Jackpot on Manitoba Derby Day, Monday, August 1, if the pool isn’t won before then. When it goes, the payout could be the largest in Downs' history.
And there you have it, a little history, a tale of the lucky 777s and some Super Hi 5 fever with more than a quarter of a million dollars just waiting to be won. Got your (lucky) numbers?