Desert Lightning and Paul Nolan came rolling home in the stretch to win the sixth race on Friday night to ensure a Pick-4 carryover of $3,580 into Saturday's live racing card, and there were also a few first-time winners on the season.
The Pick-4 pool could easily double by post time for the third race and first leg of the Pick-4 on Saturday night's card. And don't forget the simulcast of the 139th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes, the 12th race from Pimlico, before the live racing card.
Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome is heavily favoured to take the second leg of the Triple Crown, but the field looks competitive, and second choice Social Inclusion will attract some solid tote action.
Trainer Ardell Sayler continued his roll into the third weekend of racing, winning the first race Friday with Charm This to bring his meet leading total to 13 wins, nine more than Rob Atras. Adolfo Morales was aboard for the win and added another victory with Baloch Or in the fourth race to bring his meet-leading total to nine wins, two more than Christopher Ho and Paul Nolan.
Nolan ensured there would be a Pick-4 carryover when he won the sixth race aboard Desert Lightning for trainer Rob Atras, who happens to operating at 50% win clip right now. The prices on the winning horses in Friday's Pick-4 were $28.80, $5.60, $19.60 and $7.00, which made for a little bit of a surprising carryover. There was one live ticket left in the Pick-4 going into the final race of Friday's card, and that was to Best Laid Plans, who ended up fourth.
Jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch won his first race of the meeting aboard Alexassilvercharm ($19.60) in the fifth race for trainer Jerry Gourneau. Paul Leacock also won his first race since he was last seen at Assiniboia Downs six years ago, scoring in the third race for trainer Jodi Radul aboard longshot Runaway Lion ($28.80). It was also the first win of the season for Radul. The other firster was a horse, Boston's Finest ($13.60), who made his lifetime a debut a winning one for trainer Blair Miller. New jockey Christopher Ho was up for his seventh win of the meet.
What's going on tonight? Well, it's a qualifying night for the Get Serious Las Vegas Horseplayer Challenge and the $10-$10-$10 Super Combo Draw continues. Look for the entry form located on the bottom of Race 1 in the program. The winner will receive $10 Win, $10 Place, $10 Show on any horse in Race 5 at Assiniboia Downs. Also, don't forget to play the Extra-Value $6 Combo for more chances to win.
Two races from Los Alamitos will be featured in the Clubhouse following live racing. Guest services will be handing out a copy of Race 3 and Race 4 from Los Alamitos, which will also include an entry form for $5 wagering vouchers on Los Alamitos. Customers must return the entry form to Guest Services during live racing. Ten draws will be made for $5 wagering vouchers prior to the live races ending. Ten more draws for $5 wagering vouchers will be made in the Clubhouse during Los Alamitos.
Dining room patrons tonight will receive a comment card with a chance to Pick to Win! If they pick a duck with “winner” on the bottom they get to spin the wheel for cash. There will also be Race Presentations in Race 2 for “So Fine at 50” Dawn Holyk, and in Race 3, the "Tommy G" Birthday Race.
After the races tonight there will be a VLT tournament in the VLT lounge. Everyone can enter for their chance to play! And don't forget $5 Buy-In Poker at 10:30 p.m. in the Clubhouse.
Whew! A busy night at the Downs!