Thursday, May 13, 2021

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 16 No. 18 (Issue #789)

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


How does COVID lockdown affect you and racing?

It’s back to square one for Manitoba horseplayers in the wake of a surge of COVID variant cases and a provincially-ordered lockdown until Sunday, May 30. What you need to know:
  • Assiniboia Downs is closed to patrons.
  • Wagering on all racing on your HPIbet account continues normally. If you don’t have an account, sign up at
  • Manitobans with Player Rewards points under the old rewards system NOW HAVE UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR to redeem those points for programs and food and beverage when the track re-opens.
  • FREE RACE PROGRAMS WILL BE EMAILED to Manitobans who request them. Email Sheri at and include your HPIbet account number.
  • FREE RACE PROGRAMS WILL BE DELIVERED to the residences of Winnipeggers who request them. Call the mutuel desk at 204-885-3330 ext. 225.
  • FREE PROGRAMS MAY BE PICKED UP via curbside delivery behind the grandstand. Order programs from the mutuel desk at 204-885-3330 ext. 225.
  • LIVE RACING WILL GO FORWARD as it did last year. No spectators anywhere, of course. Live racing begins Monday at 7:30 p.m.

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT SATURDAY? It’s Preakness Stakes Day from Pimlico race track in Maryland. 2% CASH BACK on your HPI account wagers on races at Pimlico, Belmont and Santa Anita!

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT SUNDAY? It’s mandatory pick-6 payout day at Santa Anita with a pool expected to reach $4 million!

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT TODAY? A draw for horses to fill the first day of live racing Monday will take place in the ASD race office.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Spectator-free live racing begins Monday 7:30 p.m. Watch & wager at
  • ASD Live handicapping show returns at 6:45 p.m. each live race day
  • Will interest in Preakness Stakes spike because of Derby controversy?
  • Will one play a month pay your bills?
  • Jockeys complain as strict "no whipping" rule begins in two weeks at Monmouth
PREDICT WINNERS ON LIVE CARDS TO REDUCE ONLINE TOURNEY FEE: Remember, you can earn a trip for two to Las Vegas by entering an online handicapping tournament that will fly you there. Entry fee is $50 but you can reduce that by qualifying on live race days. Each live race day, pick the horse you think will win each race at ASD. If you select three winners on a race card your first correct qualifier will slash your tourney fee in half, to $25. And each additional correct qualifier will cut $5 more each time. Email your daily selections to Sheri at
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in May? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Download 2021 LIVE RACING SCHEDULE here.

Do you have your new HPIbet account card that replaces the previous HPI card and the ASD Player Rewards card? Assiniboia Downs has joined the HPI rewards and bonus program and the new program began Monday, Feb. 1. See details here. If you haven't received your new card in the mail call 204-885-3330 (ext. 225) to check on the status.

Big audience expected because of Derby controversy
Medina Spirit will get to race after a cortisone violation is explained away

When was there this much publicity for the Preakness Stakes that goes Saturday? There were news flashes everywhere following the Kentucky Derby because Derby winner Medina Spirit had a 21-trillionth of a gram of a painkiller in his bloodstream that could still lead to his having his Derby win nullified.

Medina Spirit was given the go-ahead to race in the second leg of the Triple Crown at Pimlico after the revelation that the positive test for a corticosteroid resulted from an ointment containing the substance being applied to a skin condition. The colt could still be disqualified from the Derby, however, if a second sample confirms the initial blood test result.

The Bob Baffert trainee has been installed the 9-5 favourite, followed by Medina Spirit’s stablemate, Concert Tour at 5-2. Ten horses will line up for the 1 3/16 mile race that has a 5:47 p.m. CT post time.

Will it be a Baffert exactor--or are the favourites vulnerable? A Japanese entry, France Go De Ina, could figure into the early speed and I’d say watch out for Robertino Diodoro’s Keepmeinmind at 15-1. The colt got off to a slow start in the Derby and closed from 19th place to 7th place on the speed-favouring track.

ASD Live handicapping show returns
Marshall brings bragging rights from Derby Day; will longshots dominate?

Kirt, Marshall and Stretch return Monday at 6:45 p.m.
ASD Live, the popular online handicapping show of ASD races with Kirt, Marshall and Stretch that began last race season, returns again this season at its usual time of 6:45 p.m. That’s 45 minutes before live racing begins.

Watch for a new feature two minutes before post called "60 Second Recap." The handicapping trio will each have 20 seconds to summarize their top picks. The addition was made to assist the international wagering audience and those who missed the in-depth analysis before the post parade.

Marshall brings into the show bragging rights from the Kentucky Derby Preview show two weeks ago where he correctly predicted Derby winner Medina Spirit would go to the lead and included him in his winning pick-4 ($773.52) and pick-3 ($132.20) tickets. That gave him a profit of $554 after making picks on seven races at a cost of $352.

How will the trio do next Monday and Tuesday? If last year’s opening two days are any indication, they’ll have to be prepared for longshots. Half of the 12 races on the first two days paid between $13.10 and $37. This year there will be 14 races over the first two days.

Win prices were $8.40, $7.50, $3.30, $4.60, $19 and $26.40. (Note the last race was the often chaotic non-winners of two races lifetime condition.) Wagering on the six-race card was $1.07 million.

Win prices were $13.10, $8.50, $31.20, $37, $4.50 and $19.10. Wagering on the six-race card was $1.6 million.

No trainers or jockeys who are returning this year dominated the first two days.
WIN A TON IN '21: Will one play a month pay the bills?

Will making a play on one race a month pay enough bills to take the rest of the month off--if you wanted to? As I’ve written before, I’m fascinated by the notion that you can watch the accumulating Jackpot Hi-5 pools at such tracks as Gulfstream and Santa Anita and only swoop in when there’s a big carryover into a seven-horse field.

Last Sunday’s second race at Gulfstream was a good example. There was a Jackpot Hi-5 carryover of $50,000 into a race with only seven horses. The 2-5 favourite won, the second choice came second, the third choice came third and the fourth choice finished fifth. The $1 price was $264. Wow! A $10 wager could have picked up $2,640.

The idea is: You wait and wait until this kind of prime opportunity presents itself then you jump in with both guns blazing.

MEDINA SPIRIT SLIPS TO FOURTH IN NTRA POLL: Some of the luster has slipped from Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit as a result of his positive test. A National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll of major journalists and broadcasters has placed Mandaloun, second to Medina in the Derby, as #1 followed by Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie. Medina Spirit is fourth.

JOCKEYS COMPLAIN AS “NO WHIPPING” RULE BEGINS SOON AT MONMOUTH: All eyes will be on Monmouth Park in New Jersey two weeks from tomorrow when the strictest whipping rule in horse racing goes into effect at the track’s spring/summer meet. Some jockeys are calling for a boycott. The rule states: “Whipping a Thoroughbred will not be allowed by any New Jersey jockey or exercise rider except for the express purpose of ensuring the immediate safety of the horse or rider.” The racing commission says it wants to improve public perception about racing.

Before taking a break during live racing and with major input from tourney-wise players, Saturday’s online “I won bigger” betting group will tackle the Preakness card at Pimlico with a view to giving all players a nice top-up of their betting accounts. Build up group karma by doing something nice for someone.

He’s back with new columns!

Over the next 17 weeks of live racing, ASD track historian Bob Gates will regale Insider readers with fresh new “blasts from the past” from Manitoba racing this century and the last century.There was River Park and Whittier Park followed by Polo Park in the first half of the last century and Assiniboia Downs was “born” on June 10, 1958. His first column looks at recent history. Read the first of his new columns here.
  • This Saturday: Second leg of the Triple Crown: Preakness Stakes from Pimlico. 2% cash-back bonus for your HPIbet wagers at Pimlico, Belmont and Santa Anita.
  • This Sunday: Mandatory pick-6 payout at Santa Anita
  • Monday, May 17: Live racing begins at the Downs. See below.
  • Tuesday, May 18: Race night at the Downs. See below.
  • Monday, May 24: Race night at the Downs. See below.
  • Tuesday, May 25: Race night at the Downs. See below.
  • Wednesday, May 26: Race night at the Downs. See below.
RACE NIGHT AT THE DOWNS includes “ASD Live” show online at 6:45 p.m. with racing analysts Kirt, Marshall and Stretch followed by spectator-free live racing at 7:30 p.m. To watch ASD Live, go to and click on the ASD Live icon at the top of the home page or tune into MTS channels 179 & 180.


© Copyright 1996-2021 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