Thursday, May 16, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 11 No. 17 (Issue #536)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

If there appears to be too much space between lines or the pictures are askew, click here for an online version. Some email systems don’t display items as intended.

TRIVIA TEASER: How much do you think a $20 win parlay on Nyquist’s eight races would have grown to (without considering a reduction in payoff because of the larger wagers):
(a) $5,000 (b) $14,000 (c) $24,000 (d) $44,000
See answer under TRIPLE CROWN.


Preakness Stakes

Will the Preakness be his weakness?

Highly unlikely. Nyquist primed to make it 9 for 9

--June 5, 2015—MSW at Santa Anita--1st by a head at 7/1
--Aug. 8—Best Pal Stakes (Gr 2) at Del Mar—1st by 5 lengths at 1/1
--Sept. 7—Del Mar Futurity (Gr 1) at Del Mar—1st by 3¾ lengths at 1/2
--Sept. 26—Frontrunner Stakes (Gr 2) at Santa—1st by ¾ lengths at ½
--Oct. 31—Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Gr 1) at Keeneland—1st by ½ at 9/2

--Feb. 15, 2016--San Vicente Stakes (Gr 2) at Santa—1st by 1½ at 2/5
--Apr. 2—Florida Derby (Gr 1) at Gulfstream—1st by 3¾ at 1/1
--May 7—KENTUCKY DERBY (Gr 1) at Churchill—1st by 1¼ at 2/1
--May 21—PREAKNESS STAKES (Gr 1) at Pimlico ???????

ANSWER TO TRIVIA TEASER: The answer is (d). A $20 win parlay on Nyquist’s eight wins above would now be worth $44,263.60 (disregarding the lower payoffs as you bet more). Let me guess: If you HAD been playing a win parlay, you’d likely have bailed by now. (Thanks to paddock host and math whiz Rob MacLennan for figuring that out).


Bullet briefs . . .

  • $23,855 carryover in tomorrow’s Jackpot Hi 5 at the Downs
  • Are you tracking your bonus cash to get to the next level?
  • Cole Bennett to fly in Woodbine jock to ride in Saturday stakes
  • Gourneau strikes early with another Manitoba Derby hopeful
  • Gold Cup winner Magic D’ Oro still the horse to beat
  • You’re human. How to survive that drawback

CONGRATS TO “PLACE IN THE SUN” WINNER: Congrats to Kate McKenzie who increased her $5 to $68.25 in a three-race place parlay Saturday, making her ticket the highest in the contest so far. She receives $20 and a three month subscription to the Winnipeg Sun. She's the current leader to win the monthly prize (race night buffet for two and one-year of the Sun) and the grand prize of a trip for two to Mexico next winter courtesy of Charleswood Travel and WestJet Vacations.

Cody Creed and Margaret McTaggart also won the daily prize for parlays of $31.20 and $31.50 respectively. Will your entry exceed that amount this Friday, Saturday or holiday Monday? Play the $5 three-race place parlay on every live race card on three consecutive races from race 1 to the third last race!

PLAY “PLAY IT AGAIN” AT OTBs: Your non-winning tickets get a second life at off-track betting facilities (except casinos). Swipe your Player Rewards card when you make your bets. If the ticket doesn’t win, print your full name on the back and toss it into a draw box for weekly draws that could include Player Rewards points, gift certificates, betting vouchers and ASD golf shirt. (Your tickets cannot be transferred from one OTB to another.)

QX104 – Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive


Want the highlights for the next 10 days? Go here.
Want to know what tracks are racing in May? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers at all tracks? See them here.
Want to know live race dates? Click here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jays - Bombers

Next live race days:
Friday and Saturday—parade to post at 7:15.
Victoria Day holiday Monday—parade to post 1:15 p.m.—includes Family Fun

After every live race card: Crazy Hour and free VLT tournaments. Beer, wine, shots $2.95 and half-price appetizers

Miss Royal Gold

Miss Royal Gold wins Astral Moon 1992
See winner’s circle photo here.

Know your upcoming stakes (thanks to HBPA; photo courtesy Bob Gates):
--Saturday: Miss Royal Gold Stakes named for a former champion mare. “Owned by William Mitchell and conditioned by the legendary Bert Blake, Miss Royal Gold was a stakes machine. As a 3-year-old in 1991 she won the Chantilly Stakes, the Buttons and Bows Handicap and the Assiniboia Oaks. Later she captured the Astral Moon Stakes, the Canada Day Handicap and the Hugh Jackson Memorial. Her impressive stats: 24-10-5-5 with earnings just over $90,000.”

--Holiday Monday: Prairie Star Stakes honours another former champion mare. “Owned and trained by Clifford "Shorty" Gray, a two-time leading trainer during a career that spanned 1976 to 1991, Prairie Star started her career in 1985 with wins in the La Verendrye Stakes and the Stockton Stakes and was second in both the Winnipeg Futurity and the Buffalo Stakes. She ran against the best fillies and mares, finishing first or second in 18 of her 29 lifetime starts, earning about $96,000.”

RED —Prep stakes race leading to the Manitoba Derby (Aug. 1).
GREEN —Prep stakes race leading to the Manitoba Oaks (Aug. 1).
PURPLE—Prep stakes race leading to the Manitoba Matron (Sept. 9).
BLUE—Prep stakes race leading to the Gold Cup (Sept. 10).


Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson

Blast from the past

Former ASD jock, now at Woodbine, named to ride Saturday

Kirk Johnson, a former ASD jock who now rides at Woodbine and Fort Erie, is being named to ride About a Girl in the Miss Royal Gold Stakes this Saturday. The race is for 3-year-old fillies on the road to the Manitoba Oaks on Derby Day.

Trainer Cole Bennett said he is flying Johnson to the Downs right after the Woodbine card ends on Saturday—providing Johnson doesn’t have to ride in Woodbine’s final race, which wouldn’t give him enough time to get to the Downs.

Bennett, who owns About a Girl in partnership with Larry Falloon, said Johnson is a good rider who rode her to a maiden victory at Fort Erie last September. Johnson won the riding title there three years in a row.

Bennett,18, and in only his second year of training, said his objective is to win the Manitoba Oaks and feels About a Girl will be very capable of doing so. About a Girl lost by a head to highly-favoured Ellie’s the Boss in her 2016 debut on Mother’s Day.

Johnson rode at the Downs from 2005 to 2008 but left after the then-Manitoba Horse Racing Commission took 10 weeks to clear him of an accusation that he stiffed a horse. Johnson had pulled the horse up after feeling the horse took a bad step and had injured himself. Saturday's return will be the first since his acrimonious departure.

“To err is human”Alexander Pope

How to survive being human

Let your mistakes become a stat, not a head-splitter

There's a better way

There's a better way

Let’s face it. Our imperfection as human beings costs us money. The more we play the races, the more likely it is that mistakes—ours or others—are going to put a dent in our wallets. Sometimes significantly.

How to respond? We can: (a) Beat ourselves up over it (the usual response) or (b) accept it as part of the inevitable and move on.

I know. Easier said than done. But think of it in the same way that big stores budget for “shrinkage,” a euphemism they use for employee theft. Regardless how careful the stores are in hiring honest people, they know “shrinkage” simply goes with the territory of retail sales.

So why don’t we, as players, do something similar? Why don’t we “budget” for our imperfection and accept the consequences in the same way as companies accept “shrinkage?”

What led to this conclusion was a few things that happened on the weekend: I was involved in a group ticket that had mistakenly been bet on the wrong races (cost of the error $3,400), a player’s partner wheeled the wrong horse in a triactor play (cost of the mistake $500) and a player missed hitting a number on his mobile device which cost him winning an entire superfecta pool.

I’m sure you can recount some, if not many, of your own magnificent lapses. Some, in fact, have probably become the stuff of folklore because you’ve recounted them so many times. How many times have you left a cash voucher in a touchtote betting terminal?

We hate ourselves for it, we steadfastly resolve never to let it happen again but, hey, we’re human. Others are human. So let those mistakes simply become statistics, not emotional baggage. Besides, bashing your head against the wall will give you a concussion.


Hottest jock: Antonio Whitehall (5 wins)
Hottest trainer: Don Schnell (5 wins)
Hottest horses:
--Mumbles (winner of the Hi Lord for 3-year-olds)
--Magic D’ Oro (winner of the De Cat for older horses)
Biggest longshot: Diamond Heat (7th Fri) $39.60
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $1,697, the whole pool in Friday’s 7th. Guess who had it? Your humble servant.

RACE OF THE WEEK: Click here for video.


WAGERING KEEPS DOUBLING: A remarkable trend has struck the Downs. Wagering not only doubled on Mother’s Day with new night racing but that continued on the weekend. Friday’s handle doubled as well and Saturday came close. Saturday’s pools were helped along with a $10,000 “bridgejumper” show wager on the first race and a big chunk of action from the Isle of Man into the Jackpot Hi 5 pool. The carryover shot up to $23,855 from $6,671.

Antonio Whitehall

Antonio Whitehall

ONLY 2 FOR 48 AT HOME; BARBADIAN JOCK EXCELS AT ASD: At his highly competitive Bridgetown, Barbados race track, newcomer jockey Antonio Whitehall had only two wins in 48 starts in the past year (with six seconds and nine thirds). But after only three days at the Downs, he has six wins for 12 starts. If he has trouble holding back a wide grin, you know why. Congrats and welcome to Canada, Antonio!

“TWELVE IS ENOUGH”--ARDELL SAYLER: ASD’s 12-time leading trainer Ardell Sayler, who has returned to the Downs raring to go after a one-year hiatus, has told The Insider “Twelve titles are enough.” So he has fewer horses—26 including ten 2-year-olds. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to fly below the radar. He said he’s on the lookout for classy horses at sales. Will he come across another Balooga Bull, his two-time Horse of the Year, who now, at 7, is enjoying retirement at his South Dakota ranch?

Magic D’ Oro proves he’s still boss

Magic D’ Oro proves he’s still boss

AWARDS BANQUET RESULTS: Click here for the HBPA/CTHS awards presented at the annual horsemen's banquet at the Downs on May 6 in which Magic D' Oro was named 2015 Horse of the Year.

MAGIC GIVES NOTICE: Last year’s Gold Cup winner and Horse of the Year, Magic D’ Oro, has served notice that he will continue to be the horse to beat as the best older horse on the grounds. Trained by Tanya Lindsay and owned by Martin Yeroschak and Barry Arnason, the 6-year-old overcame a troubled trip in the De Cat Stakes last Friday to win by a neck to pay $5.20. The De Cat was the first of six prep races on the road to the Gold Cup on Sept. 10. Next race in that journey: the PC’s Bluff Stakes on the first Wednesday of live racing, June 1.

Derby hopeful Mumbles

Derby hopeful Mumbles

MUMBLES STRIKES FIRST ON ROAD TO MANITOBA DERBY: Trainer Jerry Gourneau and Texas owner Henry Witt Jr. demonstrated on Friday they have a 3-year-old gelding, Mumbles, who may be able to better their Witt Six who finished second in last year’s Manitoba Derby. Under the capable handling of Renaldo Cumberbatch, Mumbles took over the lead in the Hi Lord Stakes then drew away to win by two lengths as favoured California claimer Media Melee tried to run him down. Among the runners-up were the one-two finishers in last year’s Winnipeg Futurity, Heber and Coolidge.

TAKE THAT, DUBAI! STRONACH ANNOUNCES $12 MILLION RACE: There's $1 million buy-in Texas hold ‘em poker. Now the billionaire who runs Gulfstream and Santa Anita and ran for the presidency of Austria, Frank Stronach, has announced a $12 million race to be run in January 2017 called the Pegasus Cup that would have 12 participants putting up $1 million each to enter. That would make it the world’s richest race, eclipsing the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Obviously a race for big bankrolls and bigger egos.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How do I connect my social media accounts to HPIbet?

A. Some people like to share their excitement on Twitter and Facebook when winning a bet and HPI makes it easy to do so. You can also use the same login information for your social media accounts to login to your HPI account. To get started, you’ll have to access your profile information and connect your social media accounts to your HPI account.

To access Your Profile, click on the cameo icon in the top right corner and then go down to the first option and click View Profile (view image here). Once you’re on the Profile screen, click on the SOCIAL NETWORKS tab and then connect with any of the social accounts you wish to use (view image here). Currently, you can choose from Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Microsoft.

If you want to send out a Tweet with a winning bet or post it on Facebook, just go to the MY TRANSACTIONS screen under the MY HPIBET tab along the top of the screen. Every one of your winning wagers has a small Twitter icon and Facebook icon to the right of the amount wagered (view image here).

Simply click on the social media property icon that you want to use and a new screen will pop-up with an approval message that authorizes HPIbet to post the info to your social media account (view image here). Now all of your friends and family will know what a great handicapper you are!

Got a question for Marshall? Email


Did you know. . . that American Pharoah’s halter almost wound up in the hands of Assiniboia Downs, thanks to a would-be benefactor in the U.S. who has deep roots, past and present, at the Downs? Who is he? Read Bob’s behind-the-scenes details here.


Will you take down tomorrow night’s
Jackpot Hi 5? (Carryover $23,855)


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