Thursday, March 8, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 9 (Issue #627)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

No Insider last week? Inexplicably, many readers apparently didn’t receive it. Remember, you can always read The Insider, including previous issues, on the Downs website here. (
Charles Town figured highly in Andy Beyer's success

THIS AFTERNOON: Gulfstream $2.5 million Rainbow 6 carryover. First post 11:35 a.m. See preview page here.

TONIGHT: Charles Town
Bettor-friendly. First post 6 p.m. In his book, My $50,000 Year at the Races, speed guru Andy Beyer won a big chunk of his money at Charles Town, a track in West Virginia an hour’s drive west of the White House. The track is bettor-friendly, with horse performances being more or less predictable. Case in point: Last Wednesday and Thursday I cashed three straight-forward pick-4s worth $1,300 with a relatively small investment.


Bullet briefs . . .

  • ASD players begin 3-day tourney play in Vegas today. Channel winning vibes!
  • Is betting favourites a fool's game in the countdown to the Kentucky Derby?
  • Bet these brothers, collect the loot
  • Where in the city are betting terminals located at the foot of a "cliff?"
  • Look at who just tied John Henry's world record for Grade 1 stakes wins!
  • How will DRF/Churchill feud affect Breeders' Cup at Churchill?

ENTER CONTEST SATURDAY TO PREDICT THREE DERBY PREPS: That will earn you points toward winning $200 to bet on the Kentucky Derby. Look for entry forms for the three prep races and free program pages at the Downs Saturday. There will be three draws for two handsome Kentucky Derby mugs, too. Damien D’Sousa won last week’s mugs draw. See contest results to date here.

QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

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

FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS: Free VLT tournaments starting 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.

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker. Registration 8 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. The Royal Flush progressive jackpot for Friday, March 9 is $2,615

  • Daily 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday to Thursday 9 p.m. to close
  • Prime Rib Sliders - 2 for $7
  • Tacos (choice of chicken or beef) - 2 for $7
  • Downs Chips (with garlic and parmesan) - $5
  • 12" Pizza (margarita, pepperoni & mushroom or vegetarian) - $10
  • 5 oz. house wine - $4
  • House highballs - $3
  • Domestic beer - $3.50
  • Downs Caesar - $5
SPECIAL EVENTS AT THE DOWNS (Get full details here)
  • Wednesday, March 28: Seniors’ bingo (55-plus)
  • Saturday, March 31: $100,000 Monster Bingo. Tickets $125 available at the VLT cage
  • Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7: Antiques and collectibles sale  
  • Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15: Winnipeg Indulgence Expo
BOOK NOW FOR EASTER BRUNCH: Sunday, April 1. See menu here.

with Shannon Davis, Off-Track Betting supervisor

Drop in, wager and download programs at these OTB sites

Escape to the tropics at Club Regent

FOR A CHANGE OF SCENERY, VISIT CLUB REGENT: Doesn’t the photo intrigue you? Club Regent offers televised racing every day in tropical surroundings with a convenient “help” phone to answer your questions. Download programs at the program kiosk, wager at self-serve terminals and cash winning tickets at casino cashiers. And, of course, enjoy tasty food and drinks nearby.

“At Club Regent at 1425 Regent Ave. West, the Race Book area is located next to McDonald’s and adjacent to the elevator, ”
says Davis. “Bring a date. There are many entertainment options.”


The message is clear: don't trust favourites

Good Magic becomes latest fav to falter, will Bolt d'Oro do the same Saturday?

#6 Good Magic finishes third at 3/5 in Fountain of Youth (Horse Racing Nation photo)

So another one bites the dust: Good Magic. The 3-year-old colt finished third Saturday in the Fountain of Youth prep race at Gulfstream.

That shouldn’t have been a big surprise. The shocker were the odds – 3/5. Three to five! That made him the underlay of the year considering the fact that:
  • He hadn’t raced in four months, his last win coming in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
  • The favourite in the Juvenile, Bolt d’Oro, never got to challenge Good Magic because of a wide ground-losing trip.
  • Trainers pointing to a big race—i.e. the Kentucky Derby—will not necessarily have their charge fully cranked to win a prep race two months before the main event.
That another horse wired the Fountain of Youth was not unexpected. What was surprising, though, is that longshot #10 Promises Unfilled at 18/1 did the wiring and not #4 Strike Power at 7/2 who seemed to have more early speed. That’s why the Rainbow 6 paid $53,000.

So does the faltering of another favourite leave you rattled as you analyze this Saturday’s three prep races? It should. The headliner in the three races will be Bolt d’Oro in the San Felipe at Santa Anita but he, like Good Magic, hasn’t raced since the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. That should raise a red flag.

The other two prep races—the Gotham at Aqueduct and the Tampa Bay Derby—are toss-ups, too. If any lesson rings true in the second season in a row of upset performances by 3-year-olds, it’s this: Look beyond the favourites. And best of luck in your predictions in the $200 prep race contest Saturday at the track.

*       *       *

Who's going to win the Oaks/Derby double?

NEW! NOW YOU CAN FUTURE-WAGER AN OAKS/DERBY DOUBLE: Who’s going to win the Kentucky Derby? The Kentucky Oaks? Exactors? And what’s your prediction for the Derby/Oaks double? (Lots of bragging rights if you get that correct.)

You have an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is by making those future wagers anytime from tomorrow thru Sunday at the track, at OTBs and online in your HPI account (future pools will show up in the list of available betting tracks as soon as the futures pools open). Take a shot! Maybe you’ll catch a monster exactor or double and get great odds on horses you like to win the Derby or Oaks.



Under the "O" -- Ortiz! Bingo! Ortiz bros = $53,000 pick-6

The sequence: Irad Oritz, Irad Ortiz, Jose Ortiz, Luis Saez, Julien Leparoux, Irad Ortiz

Jose and Irad Ortiz
Ignore at your peril

Players who bet jockeys ahead of horses might have been among those who cashed the $53,000 Rainbow 6 last Saturday after the hottest brothers in racing, Irad and Jose Ortiz, won four of the six legs as noted above. Irad won three legs, Jose won one.

The other two legs were won by Luis Saez and Julien Leparoux. Are you sorry you concentrated on horses rather than jockeys that day?

In the last leg, the Ortiz brother with the highest percentage wins at 24, Irad, wired the field with 18/1 longshot Promises Fulfilled while brother Jose, with 19 per cent wins, just managed third with 3/5 favourite Good Magic. Take that, bro’!

Let me guess that following your reading of this item, you’ll be more focussed on jocks, too, and will be kicking yourself if one of them beats you in a significant payoff.


Winx makes world-record-tying 16th Group 1 victory look easy

“UNBELIEVABLE, SURREAL!” WINX WINS 23RD RACE IN A ROW: Race fans Down Under are simply over the top in accolades for their beloved 7-year-old mare, Winx, who returned from a four-month layoff to win her 23rd straight race, two short of Black Caviar’s Australian record 25 consecutive wins. “Unbelievable and surreal” exulted her trainer, Chris Waller, after Winx crushed the field of nine Saturday, cruising easily from second-last to first to win going away in the 1,600-metre (about one mile) $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes on the turf at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. That was her 16th Group 1 win which tied the Grade 1 world record held by John Henry in North America. Watch the race here.

Makybe Diva negotiated fields of 21 to 24 top horses to win three 'Cups in a row

THEY’RE GA-GA OVER WINX BUT DIVA IS STILL MY DARLING: Lost in the fanfare over the mares Winx and, before her, Black Caviar, is the record by a mare that truly blew me away: MakybeDiva (Ma-KY-be Diva) by winning three Melbourne Cups in a row negotiating huge fields of 21 to 24 horses to do so. In my books, at least, that feat gives her a bit of an edge over Zenyatta, Winx and Black Caviar. How can this record not impress?

  • 2003: Makybe Diva defeats 20 rivals in the Melbourne Cup
  • 2004: Makybe Diva beats 23 rivals in the Melbourne Cup
  • 2005: Makybe Diva overpowers 23 rivals in the Melbourne Cup. Watch that race here.

Will a mare ever do that again? It’s doubtful. No wonder her owner, Tony Santic, erected a statue in her honour in his hometown of Port Lincoln in South Australia. And why I have a soft spot in my heart for her.

“WHERE WILL I SLEEP TONIGHT?” Can you imagine heading from home in the morning, not knowing where you’ll spend the night? That’s the lot of Midnight Games, a popular 6-year-old gelding racing at Parx. Tuesday’s $10,000 claimer—which he won--was the first time in nine consecutive races that he wasn’t claimed and taken to a different stall after his race. Something to whinny about? Or didn’t he mind playing musical stalls? His claiming prices ranged from $5,000 to $16,000 and his winning record during that period was 9-3-4-1.

Churchill Downs Inc. will add a fourth race track to its fold: the Tapeta-surfaced Presque Isle in Erie, Penn. Their almost $179 million purchase includes a casino with 1,600 slots and 32 table games. The good thing for racing in the state is that casino earnings boost race purses. Presque Isle races about 100 days a year. The company’s other three tracks are Churchill, of course, Fair Grounds and Arlington Park which has a Polytrack surface. It also owns the former Calder in Florida but it cares more about the casino than racing: it leases the racing side (Gulfstream West) to the Stronach Group that owns Gulfstream.

No Fair Grounds. What will happen when Breeders' Cup is at Churchill in the fall?

WILL CHURCHIL/DRF FEUD AFFECT BREEDERS’ CUP INFO? If you use the Daily Racing Form, you know that Fair Grounds’ past performances aren't in the main edition but in the player's edition—which doesn’t include analysis and picks. That’s because Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs and Churchill banned the DRF from its tracks last fall, preferring to print its own guide with past performances at half of the cost of the DRF. So the obvious question is: Will this feud continue to the Breeders’ Cup which will be held at Churchill in November? Will that mean there will be no DRF advance edition on the Breeders’ Cup or extensive coverage in the DRF on Breeders’ Cup days? It’s hard not to believe these giants of the industry will not resolve their differences before then.

Bacon next time?

“BIG” GROUP STARTS OFF MARCH ON THE RIGHT FOOT: No way was last Saturday’s “I won big” betting group going to win the $53,000 Rainbow 6 payout at Gulfstream, given the unpredictable pace horse in the last leg, the Fountain of Youth, but the group collected more than $1,500 in the Tampa Bay pick-5 so participants posted almost a 50 per cent profit on their $20 share investments after covering the cost of their Rainbow bet. They’ll take that any day: giving themselves a chance for a big score while covering the cost of that wager and making a little on the side, too. Let’s see, though, whether this Saturday will lead to a bacon reward by posting a more sizable win. You’re invited to join the group when it tackles the usual: the last five races at Tampa and last six races at Gulfstream which, of course, comprises the multi-million dollar Rainbow 6 -- 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza.


Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How do I review my betting history in HPIbet?

A. Consider this column a refresher course in how to easily access your betting history. To start with, click on the My Transactions section under the MY HPIBET menu tab along the top bar (view image here). This will take you to a screen that provides a chronological listing of all of your previous transactions (bets, online withdrawals, online deposits and partial cash-outs) for the last 60 days. You can either scroll through these or you can filter them in one of several ways including: type of transaction, date range, or by track (view image here).

Also, you can also increase to 50 the number of entries to be displayed per screen (view image here). The default setting is only 10, which means you’ll have to scroll through several screens at times. If you click on any of the race details, you’ll get taken directly to that race (view image here).

Got a question for Marshall? Email


Did you know . . . that the Manitoba bred filly, Gold Strike, won the prestigious Selene Stakes and Woodbine Oaks in 2005 and finished an impressive third against the boys in the 2005 Queen’s Plate, was owned by Dick Bonnycastle the owner/publisher of Harlequin Romances? Read the fascinating details here.


  • Dig into orange-ginger glazed chicken tonight
    Tonight: Orange-ginger glazed chicken, rosemary pork loin, krunchie perch and cream of mushroom and spinach soup are among the delicious dishes at tonight’s all-you-can-eat certified Angus prime rib buffet. All you can eat $27.95. Reserve at 204-885-3330.
  • Tomorrow to Sunday: Future wager the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. And, for the first time, predict the Oaks/Derby double
  • This Saturday: Three Derby prep races – Gotham at Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa and San Felipe at Santa Anita. Enter $200 prep race contest.
  • This Saturday: Training track opens at ASD
  • Saturday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day.  Derby preps: Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway, Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. Enter $200 prep race contest.


When telling prisoners to "spread 'em" gets boring . . .

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