Wednesday, May 31 , 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 20 (Issue #588)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


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June is busting out all over!

Lots to get excited about

TONIGHT: Races go to post at 7:15

  • Get into the betting spree draw for a chance to beat $92 to be best of the month
  • Major Enterprise Stakes, named for a popular past champion, features 11 entries
  • BBQ rib special $10 and still some room at buffet. (Call 204-885-3330 ext.0)

SATURDAY, JUNE 10: Belmont Stakes and Happy Birthday, ASD

  • Belmont Stakes Day; first post 10:30 a.m. Note special “I won big” group workshop at 10 a.m. on the Belmont as well as the pick-4 leading to that race.
  • Happy birthday, ASD as well as happy birthday to Canada’s oldest jockey, ASD’s own Jerry Pruitt who turns 66.
  • Play in the first of four tournaments on live races to earn a trip for two to Las Vegas to play in a $1 million event.
  • Historical ASD poster giveaway and a draw for a plaque
  • Free celebratory birthday cupcakes in the Clubhouse after the races.

SUNDAY, JUNE 11: Non-race day fun!

  • RCMP Musical Ride, Ray St. Germain in concert, family fun. RCMP musical ride begins at 1 p.m. and the Ray St. Germain concert will start at 2:30 p.m.
  • Rush seats in grandstand $14.95. Get tickets at Guest Services during live racing or on the ASD website here.
  • For info on box seats and brunch, call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0

Deadline to name her is June 16; winner announced July 1 (Sherisse Ziprick photo)

FRIDAY, JUNE 16: Deadline for Canstar’s “Name the Filly” contest. Filly’s name should celebrate this year as being the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada. More details here.

SUNDAY, JUNE 18: Father’s Day & Free Press Day at Races 1:15 p.m.

  • Rib special $17.70 plus taxes. Get tickets at Guest Services.
  • Dads can enter draw for Blue Bomber merchandise.
  • Bring coupons clipped from Free Press ads run throughout the week. Get discounts and enter the draw to win a $500 Travelodge package.
  • The Great Mascot Race and family fun.

SATURDAY, JULY 1: Happy 150th, Canada!

  • It’s Canstar Day at the races with first race going to post 7:15 p.m.
  • Redeem coupons clipped from Canstar papers and enter free $500 Travelodge draw.
  • Two featured stakes: the Canada Day and Chantilly.
  • Canstar rep will make stakes presentation and award prizes to winner of Name the Filly/250th anniversary of horse racing contest.
  • Draw for historical plaque.
  • Big fireworks display after races by the same technical wizards, CanFire Pyrotechnics Ltd., who wowed spectators following snowmobile races a few months ago.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Popular rib-licious Wednesdays are back!
  • No one plays Rob's $4,000 pick-4 tip; players kick themselves
  • New shout-out feature: Buff and Escape Clause impress
  • Dog-craver's delight: Manley Chan introduces loaded foot long for $10
  • Longshot players are loving it -- only one in four favs are winning
  • Poker nights (Fri & Sat) now feature royal flush progressive jackpot (now at $1,050)

Will tonight's contestant beat this?

WILL YOU BE TONIGHT’S SPREE WINNER TO TAKE DOWN MISKO? Assiniboia Downs’ 2016 Handicapper of the Year, Wayne Misko, is likely crossing his fingers today, hoping that tonight’s betting spree contestant doesn’t accumulate an amount greater than his $92, the current highest amount for May. If no one does, he gets: (1) $60 in betting vouchers, (2) a race night buffet for two and (3) a berth in the Sept.10 betting spree finale where he will face four others for a cash bonus of $600. Lots on the line for this former postie! Good luck to him and good luck to today’s betting spree draw winner. Will it be you?

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 June? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? NHL playoffs

AFTER LIVE RACING: Free VLT tournaments after live. 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. Plus Crazy Hour. Beer, shots and wine only $2.95 plus half-price appetizers (nachos, chicken fingers, chicken wings and gyoza.)

Loaded foot-long is hot dog lover's delight

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker. Registration 10 p.m. Game starts at 10:30 p.m. New Royal Flush progressive jackpot is at $1,050! Entry fee to play the jackpot is an additional $5. Click here for exciting new features!

GOT A HOT DOG CRAVING? ASD food and beverage director Manley Chan and concession cooks Ruzena Rohanova (middle) and Keara Beaulieu recommend this deluxe $10 beauty. Says Manley: “It’s a foot long hot dog served on a fresh warm bun loaded with chili, cheese and onions.  It’s so big you may want to eat it with a knife and fork!” Sounds like the hot dog version of the mighty half-pound Downs Double Burger that has won rave reviews.

  • Rob MacLennan's pick-4 advice was bang-on but nobody played it

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to paddock host Rob MacLennan for correctly predicting a $4,073 pick-4 Friday night that NOBODY PLAYED so the money was carried over to Saturday’s pool. His suggested ticket would have cost $36. “I’m not sure if I should feel good for picking it or bad cause no one listens to me,” Rob said after no one cashed. But it certainly created a buzz with players kicking themselves for not having played it. His suggested wheel, starting in race 4: 2,5 with 1,2,7 with 1,4,5,6,7,8 with 9. The result was #2 Smart Copy $19, #7 Midnight Pie $17.10, #8 Buff $10.50 and #9 Cats West $11.80.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the professionalism and talent of the 3-year-old Manitoba-bred filly, Escape Clause, who put away another powerful filly, Berazzle, in a Saturday night thriller. Trained by Don Schnell and owned by Schnell, True North and Barry Arnason, this Going Commando daughter will be one to watch in upcoming stakes races. Watch her race here.

  • Buff cruises to second easy victory in a row

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the equine Buff. Given only a longshot chance last year when he romped to a six-length victory in his second career start at 14-1, the 3-year-old Quest gelding showed on Friday that 4-1 was still juicy odds for a horse that simply drew away from his rivals. Just like Gold N Sochi the previous week, he’s another one who is living up to his namesake, Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets. Funny how that keeps working out. Bred and owned by Wayne Anderson and Hillside Farms, this Stephen Gaskin trainee has earned $10,770 in just three starts and keeps getting better. Watch Buff’s race here.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the race office and horsemen for tonight’s 11-horse Major Enterprise Stakes race, the biggest field of the meet so far.

  • Rib-licious Wednesdays are back

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to Executive Chef Michael for making Wednesdays “rib-licious” again, a shout-out I know a lot of patrons will agree with. Fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs with the Chef's secret tangy sauce plus creamy coleslaw and choice of fries or mashed potatoes for $10. Mm!

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to ASD patrons who are depositing their paper, beverage containers and other recyclables into the recycle containers (but not mutuel tickets because they have carbon in them that makes them unrecyclable)



Longshot lovers in their glory

Only one in four favs are winning; Saturday pick-4 pays $17,749 for $1

If you were finding the first six days of live racing challenging, the dramatic stat above shows you why. Favourites have been winning one of four races instead of the usual one in three.

Last year, the winning rate in the first six race days was 33 per cent; the year before it was 38 per cent.

Escape Clause won first leg of $17,749 pick-4

Of course, if you’re a longshot player and looking for big scores, you’re loving it! Just one to three tickets each day have been taking down the pick-4 pool and nobody had it Friday leading to a carryover to Saturday. On Saturday, a $1 ticket bet by a player at the track won the entire $17,749 pool.

The winning pick-4 sequence was:

  • Race 4: Escape Clause $5
  • Race 5: Manitoba Chrome $5.90
  • Race 6: Soul Shaker $11.10
  • Race 7: Magic in Overtime $34.50

Why are so few favourites winning compared to previous years? (Not a single favourite won on Saturday.) As ASD handicapper Rob MacLennan sees it: “Big fields to start meet, I think we have more bottom-level horses this year leading to more competitive races and less predictable.”

SEASON 60 TRIVIA TEASER: What royal was shut out at Assiniboia Downs in July,1982? (a) Prince Charles (b) Princess Anne (c) Queen Elizabeth (d) the Duke of Upper Slobovia. See answer at bottom of column.

Hottest jockey(s): Christopher Husbands, Adolfo Morales, Prayven Badrie (2 wins)
Hottest trainer(s): Steve Gaskin, Jerry Gourneau, Linda Kropius (2 wins)
Biggest longshot: Magic in Overtime $34.50 (race 7 Saturday)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $282 (race 7 Saturday)
Stakes champion(s):
No stakes races

Reader's write . . .

Remembering Master Fuzz B.: "He never refused to jump"

One last kiss to remember me by

“Dear Ivan: Master Fuzz B.'s long and storied life came to a peaceful end on May 25. The 1985 chestnut colt, by Fuzzbuster (1976), dam Miss Anna B. (1976) by Lurullah, raced at ASD between 1987 and 1994. From 96 starts, he won 11 races and had 26 seconds and 20 thirds. Fuzz B. earned $90,338 for his connections. His races included a win in the 1991 Inaugural Handicap, a place in the 1990 Free Press Handicap and a show in the 1987 Edmonton Juvenile Stakes. He was bred by Randeen Enterprises Ltd, of Manitoba.

"From retirement in 1994 to 2010 Fuzz B. was a pampered show-horse, school horse, riding companion and pet. He was a natural thoroughbred all-around athlete, winning many ribbons in hunt-jumper competitions. He never refused to jump an obstacle. In 2003 he was retired from showing but continued on training in dressage work. A stunning and photogenic horse, he has been professionally captured on film on many occasions. Since 2010 he has lead a peaceful life as a much loved pensioner. He will be remembered for his feats on the race course and his intelligence and personality as a beloved companion.”Louise Townsend

Fans thank you for the touching and thorough tribute, Louise!


HELP! FILLY NEEDS A NAME: You’re reminded that the Canstar community newspapers (where I write a column titled At the Races) are holding a “Name the Filly” contest to mark the fact this is the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada. (The first organized advertised race was held on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City on July 1, 1767.) The deadline is two weeks from this Friday. Prize: $250 cash and a suite for 16 at a Goldeyes game and the honour of having a horse bear the name you gave her. Entries should be sent to Get more info here.

10 DAYS TO A TOURNAMENT TO EARN A TRIP TO VEGAS: You’re also reminded that each day attending live racing gives you another chance to knock down the $50 entry fee into the horseplayer tournament a week from this Saturday. Go to the Guest Services counter for an entry form on which you need to select winners on each night’s live card. Get three correct and you’ve shaved more money off your tournament entry fee. First correct entry, $25 off; subsequent correct entries $5 off.


HISTORY ON THE HOOF: Obscure jockey gets Bob's attention

Who remembers jockey Rupert “ Chicago” Parker? With all the jockeys who have graced the “Room” over the years, why did Bob chose Parker for this week’s trip back through time? Hint:  He’s a Smoothie, Jumpin Joseph and Spanish Key...”    Read about him here.

ANSWER TO TRIVIA TEASER: (b) Princess Anne was shut out in July, 1982, when the Downs was closed by the then-owner Michael Gobuty and his wife, Adrienne, in a bid to persuade the province to lower its cut on wagers. The mortgage interest rate at the time was an astronomical 20 per cent. Princess Anne and her party dined instead at the classy Dubrovnik’s restaurant on Assiniboine Avenue while the Downs’ royal dinner was consumed by invitees to the Gobuty home. Read more here.


© Copyright 1996-2017 All Rights Reserved. Assiniboia Downs.
3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

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