Thursday, January 23, 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 3 (Issue #722)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

and, remember, if you don’t receive The Insider in the usual way,
you can always find it--and past columns--at

Mandatory payout of pick-6 is Sunday
$4 million guaranteed in today’s Rainbow pick-6 at Gulfstream

  • $4 million is the guaranteed pool in Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 pool today. First pick-6 race goes at 1:30 p.m. Download program pages here.
  • Who will be named Horse of the Year (and other awards) at tonight’s Eclipse Awards banquet at Gulfstream Park? Will Woodbine’s apprentice, Kazushi Kimura, third in the jockey standings, be the first Japanese rider to be named top North American apprentice rider?
Oaklawn begins tomorrow with Kentucky Derby prep race
  • $600,000 carryover in Santa Anita’s pick-6. Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 continues
  • Oaklawn Park meet begins in Arkansas at 1 p.m. with the Kentucky Derby prep race, the Smarty Jones Stakes
  • Sign up for the first Player’s Choice handicapping tournament Saturday with $1,750 in prize money and points toward Handicapper of the Year and a trip to Las Vegas. Entry fee just $25.
SATURDAY: The Year of the Rat begins
  • Order the $10 Chinese plate special Saturday and Sunday
    A delicious $10 Chinese plate special will be served all day Saturday and Sunday to mark the Year of the Rat: spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken balls, veggie stir fry, fried rice
  • It’s Pegasus World Cup Day from Gulfstream featuring the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Dirt race and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf race
  • The first of 12 monthly handicapping tournaments begin. Play starts at noon. Make $2 win/place/show wagers on 10 horses at thoroughbred tracks of your choice. $1,750 in prize money
  • “I won bigger” betting group discussion on Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6--likely at $5 million--at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza
SUNDAY: Mandatory Rainbow pick-6 payout

  • Join in group play of the mandatory payout of the mega-millions Rainbow pick-6 at Gulfstream. A special “I won bigger” workshop will play the pick-6 if the pool wasn’t won on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Shares are $20 each which will be generously topped up with an additional $5 from ASD. Workshop begins 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza.
  • A delicious $10 Chinese plate special will continue to be served all day (see Saturday)

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Pegasus controversy: Will Lasix ban affect race outcomes?
  • ASD live racing stakes schedule released with race honouring Escape Clause
  • When should you bet a horse that finished last?
  • What is Chef Gerardo creating to make Valentine's Day extra-special?
  • What seven ASD jockeys won more than 1,000 races?
$100 AT STAKE IN SATURDAY’S “3 FOR THE MONEY:” When you’re analysing race cards for Saturday’s handicapping tournament, examine the first three legs of the late pick-4 at Gulfstream, Pegasus World Cup Day. Getting them all correct could win you $100 in betting vouchers in the “3 for the money” game.

with more than $1,000 available if you pick the Ace of Diamonds with your ticket ($5 each, three for $10). Buy tickets before 3:30 p.m.; draw at 4 p.m. And remember, your ticket purchase is helping the Winners Foundation.

Each day you’re at a staffed OTB venue, enter the draw for 10,000 Player Rewards points ($50 value) which will be made Saturday afternoon.
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in January? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? NFL, Jets

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 8 PM: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge Friday and Saturday. Get into the draw for 10 chances to win $20 in free VLT spins. Top winner from each night participates in a month-end finale for more spins and $250 in prize money.

POOL TABLES, ELECTRONIC DARTS, TAP TV TRIVIA: These are the new games added to Clubhouse fun on the plaza. Pool games are just $1 (insert coins). Tap TV Trivia: Download the free app on your phone to answer 12 questions every 20 minutes to see if you’re better and faster than others. NOTE: FRIDAY & SATURDAY ARE TRIVIA NIGHTS WITH PRIZES! Starts at 7 p.m.

MAKE VALENTINE’S DAY MEMORABLE by taking advantage of Chef Gerardo’s Italian heritage and enjoying his lavish spread of Italian specialty dishes buffet-style for just $29.95 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, in the main floor ballroom followed by dancing. Dig into Tuscan Panzanella salad, risotto with seafood and rapini, stuffed chicken, veal involtini, certified Angus prime rib and so much more. See the full tantalizing menu here. Reserve with Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.


GREEDY CORNER: See all jackpot carryovers here.

Will Lasix ban affect horse performances in rich races?

Horsemen are forbidden to administer the anti-bleeding medication, Lasix, to their horses in the two Pegasus World Cup races at Gulfstream this Saturday. What will this mean?

Top handicapper Michael Beychok who won $1 million in the 2012 National Horseplayers Championship has been quoted as saying the move “craps on horseplayers. They’re asking us to wager on one of the biggest races of the year and giving us a completely different package to wager on.”

But another top handicapper, author and commentator Jonathon Kinchen says that’s much ado about nothing. “Is it going to deter me from playing those big races? No,” Kinchen said. “I think at higher levels with well-bred horses, athletic horses that are well-cared for, it is not something that concerns me in the short term.”

What do you think? How will you play the races? Will you ignore the Lasix ban or will you play those races more cautiously? After all, those two races are the part of the Rainbow pick-6 which is likely to be worth $4 million.


Stakes schedule released; see it here
Escape Clause Stakes to celebrate Manitoba's greatest-ever horse

Manitoba’s most celebrated race horse, Escape Clause, who captured the hearts of race fans throughout North America before being sold to Japanese breeders last November, will have a stakes race named in her honour this summer: the one-mile $30,000 Escape Clause Stakes for the best older female horses on the grounds. It will be run on Wednesday, July 22, replacing the Winnipeg Sun Stakes.  

After earning more than $1 million racing at 13 different tracks from ages 2 to 5, Escape Clause was sold last November to Japanese breeders at auction for $300,000 U.S.

There will be 32 stakes races worth almost $800K during Assiniboia Downs’ 50-day meet. As usual, notable horses from ASD’s past will be honoured in Overnight Stakes races. See stakes schedule here.

*       *       *

When does "spring" training begin?
Here's the schedule released by Derek Corbel, the assistant director of racing

  • Trainers may begin setting up their barn on the weekend of Feb. 22-23 and horses may be brought in towards the end of the following week
  • Backstretch diner opens Tuesday, Feb. 25
  • Equi-ciser opens March 1
  • Training track will open March 10, weather pending

Do you like it?
The Insider creates a name for the new "triple"

What if a horse wins all three of the rich World Cup races in January, February and March? Shouldn’t there be a designation for that achievement? How about calling the feat the “Great World Cup Triple?” You’re welcome, racing world, if you like it and adopt it. Maybe you have a better one. Send it to

The three races, of course, are:
  • Giant Pegasus statue overlooks Pegasus World Cup races Saturday
    The $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational this Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Will the winner (and the two runners-up) take up Saudi Arabia’s offer to fly their horse(s) to participate in the Saudi Cup, all expenses paid?
  • The $20 million Saudi Cup on Saturday, Feb. 29, the richest race in the world, at King Abdulaziz race track in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Top horses are already scheduled to race there--but will they be joined by the Pegasus World Cup winner eyeing the Triple?
  • The $12 million Dubai World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, March 28. Will a horse still be in the running to capture the “Great World Cup Triple?”
The prospect of a horse achieving a Triple feat creates another layer of excitement to winter racing as we drive down the Road to the Kentucky Derby with prep races every week, the next stop being the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park tomorrow.
POCKET PLENTY IN '20: When should you bet a last-place finisher?

When should you bet a horse who finished last in his previous race? When the horse set quicker-than-usual early fractions in that race and tired late. That’s probably an indicator--both for thoroughbreds and standardbreds--that the horse will save that early energy to make a late move in his next race. That blistering early pace is often a perfect set-up for a prime performance in his next race. And you’re likely to get juicy odds.

TAKING FIVE OF SEVEN HORSES IN A RACE NOT ENOUGH FOR “BIGGER” TICKET: Last Saturday’s “I won bigger” betting group gave themselves a chance for a big payoff in Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 by taking ALL horses in the final leg of the pick-6 but had their ticket scuttled by a horse in the fifth leg that was only one of two horses they hadn’t taken. Good thing was: a favourite won the last leg and the pick-6 paid only $300. So it’s on to this Saturday’s likely $5-million pool with eager anticipation. See you then -- 10:30 a.m., Clubhouse plaza.

A special workshop will be held Sunday, too--same time, same place--if Gulfstream’s pick-6 is not won today, tomorrow or Saturday. It’s a mandatory pay-out day and the likely pool size will be $15 million.
SAVVY NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Last Sunday's recap
  • Chiefs defeat Titans 35-24: This game seemed like a repeat of the division round in which the Chiefs fell behind early and came back. Pat Mahomes had one of the greatest touchdown runs in playoff history, tip-toeing along the sidelines and his passes were on-target to Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins. The wheels finally fell off the Derek Henry train. It started out well with a 17-7 Titan lead but Chiefs defensive adjustments worked. They forced Ryan Tannehill to throw the ball more than he wanted and his team just couldn’t keep up with the resulting shootout.
  • Niners defeat Packers 37-20: Well, well, well. I tried to tell everyone; some listened but my mutuel seller partner, Scott Bruce, among others, didn’t. The result of the week 12 meeting between these two teams (37-8) was not luck or a fluke. The 49ers are and have always been better. The Packers had no answer for Raheem Mostert who racked up 220 yards and four TDs. By half-time it was 27-0. This guy has been on seven different rosters in the five years he’s been in the league. On the other side of the ball, the 49ers’ front four destroyed the Packers’ offensive line and Aaron Rodgers was left with nothing but desperation throws. Take that, Scott!
PICKS RECORD: Last week: 2 correct out of 2. Overall (since week 3): 39 correct out of 66

NEXT WEEK: Grading the strengths of the Super Bowl teams and my take on Super Bowl betting props
THE BEST OF BOB: Seven jockeys have won 1,000 races or more. Who?

Did you know that there are seven jockeys who have won a 1,000 races or more at the Downs? While none are still riding locally, their stories are golden. Bob revisits the memorable events and milestones of this exclusive group here. (First published in August 2015)
Who will receive Eclipse Awards tonight?
  • Tonight: Big reveal of Horse of the Year and other Eclipse Award recipients at a banquet at Gulfstream
  • Tomorrow: Oaklawn Park meet begins 1:30 p.m. Kentucky Derby prep race: Smarty Jones.
  • Saturday: Year of the Rat begins on the Chinese calendar. Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream. First Player’s Choice handicapping tourney of the year with A TRIP TO VEGAS as the ultimate prize for Handicapper of the Year. Chinese plate special.
  • Sunday: Mandatory payout of the multi-million dollar Rainbow pick-6 at Gulfstream; Chinese plate special
  • Saturday, Feb. 1: Three Kentucky Derby prep races: Withers at Aqueduct, Holy Bull at Gulfstream and Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita.
  • Monday, Feb. 3: Bookings open for brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 10, the first day of live racing
  • Saturday, Feb. 8: Kentucky Derby prep race-- Sam F. Davis at Tampa.
  • Valentine’s Day Friday, Feb. 14: Italian-themed Valentines dinner and dance $29.95
  • Saturday, Feb. 15: Kentucky Derby prep races-- El Camino Real at Golden Gate and Risen Star at Fair Grounds. Countdown to the Derby contest begins for $200 in bets on the Kentucky Derby.
EVERY THURSDAY: Dig into super-tender certified Angus prime rib buffets with soup, salad bar, pasta station and signature Bourbon Bacon Brownie dessert every Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. in the ambience-rich Terrace Dining Room. Reserve with Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.
Good luck in sharing gold at the end of the Rainbow!

© Copyright 1996-2020 All Rights Reserved. Assiniboia Downs.
3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Read our Blog  See us on Instagram  Watch us on Youtube