Thursday, February 7, 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 14 No. 4 (Issue #674)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

(If this column looks askew in your email, click here for an online version.)


Pool is expected to grow to

Will the Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park this Saturday pay more—a lot more, perhaps—than the mandatory payout at Santa Anita last Saturday when rain produced multiple scratches and favourites dominated? (It paid just $296.30 for 20-cents.) The Gulfstream pool—on the last six races--is likely to grow to $5 million.

There has been a lot of interest in Gulfstream’s mandatory payout so Saturday’s “I won bigger” group will be playing that Rainbow 6 in addition to the late pick-5 at Tampa. Since it’s a special day at Tampa, too, with the featured Kentucky Derby prep race, the Sam F. Davis, pools should be fatter there, too.

So see you at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza for ticket discussion. As usual, the Downs will generously top up each $20 share with an additional $5 and coffee and muffins will be served.

THE ENTRIES -- LOOKS LIKE “RULE” RACES ABOUND: The Rainbow 6 wager is on races 7 to 12 and “rules” used by the “I won bigger” betting group abound. Four are turf races (closing fractions rule), three are maiden races (“added up numbers” and other rules), one race is a 7 ½-furlong specialist race and the other two are allowance races. Thankfully, there are no bottom-level claiming races.

See entries here.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • ASD stakes schedule unveiled; what 90th race will be run?
  • Who's the one-time hockey pro who won ASD's contest for the second time?
  • What big stakes race produced the Upset of the Week with a $2,200 exactor payoff?
  • When is National Pizza Day? And what is the Downs doing about it?
  • A rarity of rarities: Who were the "dead-heat twins?"
PLAYER WINS “3 FOR THE MONEY” FOR A SECOND TIME! A one-time draftee of the Boston Bruins hockey team (what?) became the only player to win ASD’s “3 for the money” contest for a second time when he predicted the winners of races 5 to 7 at Santa Anita Saturday. He won $100 in wagering vouchers. Who is that former hockey pro? See “SHOUT-OUTS OF THE WEEK” below.

The contest reverts back to $50 this Saturday for predicting the winners in the first three legs of the late pick-4 at Tampa Bay where a Kentucky Derby prep race is featured. Nobody won the harness version of “3 for the money” Saturday night so that pool will be $125 (last three races at Woodbine Mohawk Park).

continues Saturday at off-track locations. Get into the draw!

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Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in February? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jets, NFL. ASD subscribes to NHL League Pass - watch any NHL game any day!

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. 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.

POKER EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker in the clubhouse on the second level. Registration starts at 7:00 p.m and the game starts at 8:30 p.m. Maximum of 60 players. No late registration. Royal Flush progressive jackpot for tomorrow, Friday, is $1,367.50.

BETTER ACT QUICKLY! MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH TICKETS ARE GOING FAST: Tickets for Mother’s Day brunch on the first day of live racing went on sale three days ago and over half have been sold already. So if you have that brunch in mind, you’d better act quickly by calling Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.


2019 stakes schedule unveiled

Purses adjusted upwards; 90th Winnipeg Futurity to be held on final day

What better way to bring a race meet to an exciting finish than the 90th running of the storied Winnipeg Futurity? That race, for the best 2-year-olds, goes on Sunday, Sept. 9, the final day of ASD’s 50-day live meet.

Horsemen should appreciate the adjustment in purses as well. Thirteen races with a purse last year of $27,500 will now go for $30,000.

As usual the $75,000 Manitoba Derby, now in its 71st year, will be run on the first Monday in August, a civic holiday.

Of particular interest are the six overnight stakes races that will take us back in ASD history to honour these noteworthy horses:
  • Royal Frolic—only the second Manitoba-bred to win the Manitoba Derby at ASD
  • Hey Hey Renee —an Ardell Sayler filly who won the Winnipeg Futurity and Assiniboia Oaks among five wins in a row from 2005 to 2006
  • Preservata—the Clint Willson mare who racked up seven wins in a row starting at Hastings in 2008 then continuing at ASD in 2009-2010 including four stakes
  • Buck Domino —a $3,500 horse into whom then-trainer George Williams (now a writer) instilled the confidence to win Gold Cups in 1984 and 1985. (How George did it makes for fascinating reading. Watch for George’s story before the race is run on Aug. 10.)
  • Saratoga Sis —a mare who won four stakes in 1995 then two more in 1997 after visiting a handful of U.S. tracks
  • Magic D’ Oro —a beloved hard-trying Tanya Lindsay-trained stallion who left us too soon during a race in 2016 after winning five stakes including the Gold Cup
The stakes season begins on Friday, May 17 with the Preservata followed on Saturday with the Magic D’ Oro.

See full stakes schedule here. See live racing schedule here.

Q: Why couldn’t I make a future wager on Pool 1 for the Kentucky Derby last November but I can bet Pool 2 this weekend? (See betting choices here.)

Pool 1 was unavailable to Canadian bettors because, under federal regulations, a Canadian track can’t carry bets over from one year to the next.

The only money that is carried over to the next year comes from an “overage” in mutuel ticket sellers’ funds at the end of betting days. Sometimes there’s a bit too much--quarters, dimes, etc. This “overage” is added to a betting pool the following season. The overage from last season, $4,917.74, will be added to a wagering pool on Mother's Day Sunday, May 12, the first day of live racing. (Pool to be determined.)

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to Roger Bamburak, a Winnipeg Jets-recognized Hometown Hero, who once was drafted by the Boston Bruins and is being recognized today by The Insider for his horseplayer smarts. He is the only person to have won the “3 for the money” contest twice. On Saturday he picked up $100 in wagering vouchers for predicting the winners of races five to seven at Santa Anita.

Bamburak played for the Syracuse Blazers and Jacksonville Rockets in the Eastern Hockey League and was Boston’s 14th draft choice in 1963 although he never ended up playing in the NHL. He now is a phys-ed teacher and track and field coach at Garden City Collegiate where he is rated almost a perfect five. The Jets honoured him in 2013 as a Hometown Hero. Roger is a truly nice guy and is well-deserving of any honours flowing his way.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Standfortheanthem. Did politics creep into the naming of this 3-year-old gelding racing at Tampa Bay Downs? Interestingly, the NFL player who started the kneel-during-the-anthem protest, Colin Kaepernick, helped Nike’s sales soar by 31 per cent after the company ran TV ads featuring the former quarterback.


UPSET OF THE WEEK:Harvey Wallbanger--the thoroughbred variety--wins the Holy Bull at 25-1!” exclaimed Gulfstream announcer Pete Aiello as the 3-year-old colt crossed the wire in that stakes race Saturday. But, what he didn’t add was, “followed by 99-1 Everfast.” The pair produced a $2 exactor that paid $2,203.40, clearly the Upset of the Week. The race favourite at 4-5, MaximusMischief, finished third in that Kentucky Derby prep race. Watch that upset finish here.

“BIGGER” GROUP TAKES A FACE PLANT CHASING THE RAINBOW: Even multi-million dollar pools with big carryovers won’t pay much if favourite after favourite win. Which is pretty much what happened with Santa Anita’s mandatory payout of its Rainbow pick-6 Saturday. With a sloppy track resulting in multiple scratches, a 20-cent ticket paid just $296.30. If the “I won bigger” group had added more to its Tampa pick-5 ticket instead, participants would have been collecting more than $6,000. (Or listened to fan education specialist Glen Sirkis’s suggestion to play the pick-4 instead that paid more than $1,300.) In short, it was not a good day to be chasing a Rainbow. Big syndicates likely took an even bigger bath.

Maybe Gulfstream’s mandatory Rainbow payout on Saturday will offer redemption. The group will construct tickets at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza along with the pick-5 on the last five races at Tampa which includes the Sam F. Davis Kentucky Derby prep race. See you there. Bacon beckons!

Do you like this idea submitted by a horse owner to the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation for consideration? (I do.) “We need some type of cover at major racetracks to keep turf courses firm,” writes  Robert Hickey. “I am a small owner and I have lost countless opportunities in New York to run my horses. Why should stakes races, or even Breeders’ Cups, be threatened by rain?”

THE BEST OF BOB: The dead-heat twins: a highlight in ASD history

Did you know that in 1994 two horses, going the same distance, at the same racetrack, carrying the same weight and ridden by the same jocks, for the same connections, dead-heated twice in consecutive starts? Bob’s got the details here. (First published in August 2015)
10-inch pizzas are only $8 on National Pizza Day Saturday


  • Tomorrow: Kentucky Derby future pool #2 starts and lasts until Sunday. Win and exactor wagering. See betting choices here.
  • This Saturday: Kentucky Derby prep race (Sam F. Davis at Tampa). Saturday is also National Pizza Day as if we need any encouragement. Choose from (1) margarita (tomato, mozzarella, basil), (2) pepperoni and mushroom and (3) vegetarian (tomato, onion, black olive and mushroom).
  • Thursday, Feb. 14: Valentine’s Dinner & Dance on the main level with NuFrequency Light & Sound. $29.95. It features a great Italian-inspired feast by Chef Gerardo. See menu here. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 for tickets.
  • Saturday, Feb. 16: Two Kentucky Derby prep races (Risen Star at Fair Grounds worth 50 points) and the 10-point El Camino Derby at Golden Gate. Escape Clause races in the Grade 2 $250,000 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita
  • Holiday Monday, Feb. 18: Louis Riel Day features perks, perks, perks and a Kentucky Derby Countdown  contest begins with a draw after every prep race for a set of two “Justify” Triple Crown glasses. Contest winner receives $200 bankroll to bet the Derby.

NEXT ISSUE: Setting up Escape Clause’s next race in California—the Grade 2 $250,000 Santa Monica Stakes. Also, what perks will be offered on holiday Monday--Louis Riel Day?

Happy Year of the Pig!
Any hunch plays?

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