Wednesday, June 19 , 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 14 No. 23 (Issue #693)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

  • $10,000 guaranteed pick-4
  • It’s Rib-licious Wednesday with a half-rack of St. Louis BBQ ribs, coleslaw and fries for just $12 starting at 5 p.m.
  • $16,318 carryover in the Jackpot pick-5 which begins on race 3
  • “I won bigger” workshop at 6 p.m. in the Boots N Saddles lounge on the main level. Group tickets will be played on the ASD and Woodbine pick-4. Everyone invited. (Cash vouchers will be distributed to those who participated in Sunday’s Santa Anita Rainbow pick-6. Each $20 share netted $88.)

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Filly puts on brakes, losing race; reminds retired trainer of 1968 incident
  • Bacon reward for betting group after Rainbow 6 win at Santa
  • What were the "better bettor" tracks for the past two months?
  • Place bettors get juicy payoff when bridgejumper bets place instead of show
  • $10 buy-in poker takes a break until the fall
ACE-CHASING CHANCES IMPROVE: 39 playing cards remain in Winnipeg’s ultimate Chase the Ace game at the Downs, with a $500 joker, three $250 aces and, of course, the jackpot ace of diamonds still available to be drawn. The starting jackpot tonight is $4,552. Buy your $5 ticket(s) by 9 p.m. You’re helping support Final Furlong in its quest to bring together retired race horses and good owners.

: Enter daily with a ticket seller at an OTB to get into a Saturday afternoon draw for a $50 gift certificate for Assiniboia Downs. Next month's draws: $50 in wagering vouchers.
QX104 � Today's Country

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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.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Blue Bombers.

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge after live racing. 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 FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker is now on summer break. Poker will resume on Friday, Sept. 13 with a royal flush progressive jackpot of $5,111.25.
GREEDY CORNER: $2.5M at Gulfstream in its Rainbow pick-6. Mandatory payout day is Sunday, June 30.


Filly puts on the brakes just before the wire
Trainer recalls similar incident 51 years ago; also brings to mind $571,000 loss

#3 Witt's Grand puts on the brakes near the finish line
Jockey is jolted off horse at Gulfstream, costing bettor $571,000
A race isn’t over until it’s over. Race players and ASD track announcer Kirt Contois were reminded of that fact in race 5 Saturday when filly Witt’s Grand appeared to be home and cooled out when suddenly, just metres from the wire, she braked, apparently spooked by something, allowing race favourite I’m All In to rush by.

That not only cost bettors a win payoff but also likely higher pick-3 and pick-4 payouts because the favourite caught her when she braked.

That also had retired trainer Carl Anderson recalling a similar occurrence “back in the 1960s”--can you believe--except the jockey, legendary Dick Armstrong, was thrown from his horse. Intrepid track historian Bob Gates confirmed his recollection, tracking down a June 4, 1968 racing column in the Winnipeg Free Press that said Armstrong was “pitched forward” off his gelding, Royal Envy, “25 yards from the wire” and “rolled quickly to the fence and bounced up uninjured.”

The most famous such incident in recent times, though, occurred at Gulfstream Park several days after Christmas in 2017 because it cost a Rainbow pick-6 player $571,000. “Cryogenic is clear to the finish,” said race-caller Pete Aiello near the finish line. “It’s Cryogenic and Emisael Jaramilloooo . . . wow!” he exclaims as Jaramillo falls off.

That half-million dollar pratfall was probably the worst beat for any player in the Rainbow pick-6 since the bet was introduced at Gulfstream in 2014.

Watch Saturday’s braking incident here. Watch unlucky pratfall at Gulfstream here.

*       *       *

Place bonanza
Place players get juicy payoffs after bridgejumper bets place instead of show

It’s hard to know what went through the mind of someone who bet a big wad of cash to place instead of show on a “sure thing” horse. After all, the player would be collecting the same amount--$2.10--whether the horse finished second or third.

But that inexplicable bet made other place bettors very happy when that horse, Langara, finished third in the first race Saturday, producing place prices of $25.50 and $30.50 for the top two finishers in the five-horse race.

Here’s where bridgejumper money landed:
--$14,772 out of $16,853 was bet to place on Langara
--$17,536 out of $18,884 was bet to show on Langara

A big shout-out to announcer Kirt Contois for alerting players to the big place play to give them a chance to bet other horses if they foresaw a possible upset.

Why reading race conditions is so important
Bridgejumper race won by horse that best fit the conditions

Most race players, I believe, don’t read race conditions carefully even though conditions point to the key contenders.

Race 1 Saturday was a perfect example. Players were heaping big piles of money on #1 Langara because he had been racing against seemingly tougher horses.

But what were the race conditions written at the top of the program page? The race was for horses who hadn’t won $9,300 once in 2019. Who was closest to that condition? #3 Delvecchio because he had won $8,640. Next best was #2 Yesitsmejohnny G.

How did the horses finish? In that order, 3-2. A $2 exactor paid $57.60. The place prices were $25.50 and $30.50 because of the load of place money heaped on #1.

So those who paid attention to the race conditions were hugely rewarded. See the program page here.

*       *       *

Betting stats on the improve
Manitobans were "better bettors" at 24 tracks in May

Manitoba players have hit their stride again as “better bettors.” After a couple of lean months, betting stats show Manitoba players are better bettors at 24 tracks, mostly at the “B” tracks such as Sun Ray Park, Penn National, Sam Houston and Charles Town. The only “A” track was Pimlico.

On the harness side, Northfield and Hoosier have been especially profitable.

At the other end of the scale, the tracks that players found most challenging in May were Turf Paradise, Parx, The Meadows harness and Belterra.

April was a particularly good month at Tampa and Aqueduct. Both tracks owed the Downs substantial amounts. Tampa was no surprise because the “I won bigger” betting group won $17,000 at Tampa that month.

Remember that playing to your strengths is good for you and the economy because that has tracks sending cheques to ASD rather than the other way around.

*       *       *

"Bigger" players win almost $3,000 in Santa's Rainbow pick-6

Bacon treat on Queen's Plate Saturday, June 29

Each “I won bigger” betting group player who bought a share or shares in Sunday’s mandatory Rainbow 6 payoff at Santa Anita were rewarded with $88 for each $20 share they bought.

Which means a bacon treat--note the date-- ON QUEEN’S PLATE SATURDAY, JUNE 29 AT 10:00 AM--when there will be a special workshop to discuss and play the pick-5 and Queen’s Plate at Woodbine. Players have been particularly adept at handicapping Woodbine races so this is a good day for taking advantage of giant pools.

In the meantime, regular workshops will be held on Wednesdays when there is live racing -- which means tonight at 6 p.m. in the Boots N Saddles lounge on the main level to discuss the ASD and Woodbine pick-4.

ALSO, YOU MAY PICK UP YOUR WINNINGS from Sunday’s Santa Anita Rainbow pick-6 there. Or pick up your share money anytime after that at the VLT cage. (Starting at about 7:30 p.m. tonight.)
EYE ON LIVE (cont'd)

Prayven Badrie

BADRIE REMAINS AT CENTURY MILE WHERE HE'S TEARING UP THE TRACK: Prayven Badrie, last year’s co-leading rider at the Downs, is remaining at Century Mile in Edmonton after all. He was reportedly going to return to ASD after suffering his second injury in Alberta but, after his collar bone healed after a fall in late April, he has returned to riding with a vengeance, winning two $50,000 stakes races as part of his record of 11 wins from 46 starts. Century Mile races Thursdays at 6:55 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:45 p.m.

: Two Wednesdays of picks have resulted in two losses totalling $28. Here’s my third play at a cost of $24:
Race 4 -- 3, 6. (#3, with high pace numbers, should try to steal; #6 is a Kentucky-bred first time starter purchased by the late Ardell Sayler)
Race 5 -- 1, 4, 6 (bottom level claimers that appear to be a touch better than others)
Race 6
-- 1 (big class drop)
Race 7 -- 5, 6, 7, 8 (leading trainer Juan Pablo Silva sends #5 and #8)

, the son of the late Ardell Sayler, is going full-speed in dispersing his late father’s horses, either through the claiming route in races or by direct sale. Who will wind up with the babies of which Ardell had 15? Aaron said once all horses have been sold, he will return to his home in West Virginia where he has a job lined up with Amazon.

*       *       *

Hottest jockeys: 
Richard Mairs (6 wins) 
Hottest trainers:
Tom Gardipy, Jr. (5 wins)
Biggest longshot: Penny Stamp $15.90 (race 1 Sun)

Stakes champion(s): None
Stakes this week:
Two 3-year-old prep races: The Chantilly Stakes (prep for the Manitoba Oaks) on Friday and the Golden Boy (prep for the Manitoba Derby) on Saturday 

Pick-4: None.
Jackpot Pick-5 (starts race 3): $16,318
Jackpot Hi 5 (last race): $3,054

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to trainer Steve Keplin, Jr. who is having his best year as a trainer since he started in 2013, winning six of nine races with a very small stable of five horses including the Free Press Stakes with Louden’s Gray, his first stakes victory at a recognized race track. He and trainer Jared Brown were a perfect two-for-two the past three race days.


“NAME THE YEARLING” DRAWS HUNDREDS OF ENTRIES: Canstar community newspapers reports 690 names have been submitted for their “name the yearling” contest. Now the very difficult part--the judging--begins with breeder Larry Falloon, Canstar reps and The Insider weighing the choices. The winner will be announced at Canstar Night at the Races on Canada Day Monday, July 1, a night that closes with a giant fireworks display.

HISTORY ON THE HOOF with Bob: Who was the Yorkshire Lad?

Bob’s weekly trip through racing’s time tunnel takes us back to the early days of Polo and Whittier Park and the famed Yorkshire Lad. Who? Bob has his story here.
  • Tonight: Live racing/ace-chase resumes 7:15 preceded by a “Bigger” betting group workshop at 6 p.m. in the Boots N Saddles lounge on the main level
  • This Friday: Live racing/ace-chase 7:15 featuring the  Chantilly Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a prep race for the Manitoba Oaks
  • This Saturday: Live racing/ace-chase 7:15 featuring the Golden Boy, a prep race for the Manitoba Derby.
  • Wednesday, June 26: Live racing/ace-chase 7:15 preceded by a “Bigger” betting group workshop at 6 p.m. in the Boots N Saddles lounge on the main level
  • Friday, June 28: Live racing/ace-chase 7:15
  • Saturday, June 29: Queen’s Plate Day at Woodbine 11 a.m. Special “Bigger” workshop at 10 a.m. Live racing/ace-chase 7:15. RJ Speers Stakes for the best horses on the grounds
  • Sunday, June 30: Mandatory payout of Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6
  • Monday, July 1: Happy Birthday, Canada! Live racing/ace-chase 7:15. Canstar Night at the Races includes the Canada Day Stakes, the big reveal in Canstar’s “name the yearling” contest and a gigantic fireworks display


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