Oh boy, What a Rush!
Dark Horse Bets “SmartPicks” recently delivered a longshot special at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
What A Rush winning the third race at the Milton oval was against the odds. But the data-driven SmartPicks element of Dark Horse chose the 48-1 winner.
Incredibly, the SmartPicks confidence factor in What A Rush winning last Friday was 88%.
A $99.60 payout, $2-win wager, and 10-year-old bay
Ed Hensley was 13 lengths behind the leader when What A Rush moved from eighth to sixth position at the stretch call. But, What A Rush held on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1 for trainer Brett MacDonald.
“I think he had a shot,” said MacDonald. “I always think he has a shot, especially if they go big fractions because he has such a good closing kick. I was at Grand River, so I missed that info from the Dark Horse app, but I know this horse always gives 110 percent every night and loves to do his work.”
The result was a $99.60 payout on a $2 win wager on the 10-year-old bay.
“It still amazes me the sophistication behind the artificial intelligence engine that predicts some of these longshots,” said Chris Lush, Woodbine’s CTO.
“The team here at WEG spent the past few years refining the predictive algorithms. This is essentially machine learning, where we feed historical data into the model and let the system predict the winner based upon tens of thousands of past races,” he added.
“What’s great about pari-mutuel betting is that’s [sic] it not the player against the house; rather, it’s player against player, which gives us the opportunity to help our customers win.”
The second coming
The Dark Horse first launched back in 2020. It was also the first version used as an opportunity to collect real-time data and user feedback.
Considering users’ insights, WEG dedicated several months modifying the app until it reflected the customers’ needs.
With that in mind, Lush is satisfied with how users have received the latest version of Dark Horse.
“We are exceptionally pleased. We are witnessing exceptional take-up on the app, and the majority of users are new to horse racing,” Lush added.
“The challenge, historically, has been the complexity with pari-mutuel betting. We needed to find a way to engage a new audience and position it in such a way that it simplifies the betting process creating a fun and enjoyable experience.”
And, according to what happened in the third race last Friday at Mohawk, Dark House can deliver quite a rush.
“I truly believe that Dark Horse Bets is the only betting app that helps the players win, and of course, a winning experience is a fun and engaging experience,” concluded Lush.
New post times for live Thoroughbred racing
Starting Oct. 7, live racing at Woodbine Racetrack will leave the gate at 12:55 pm every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Post time for Friday live racing will, however, get underway at 4:45 pm.
The new post times remain until the season ends, aligning with a shift to the North American simulcast market.
The 2021 Woodbine Thoroughbred season wraps Dec. 5.