Thursday, June 23 , 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 22 (Issue #541)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

Two close calls on Father's Day

Jackpot Hi 5 almost won; parlay almost soars to dizzying heights

Two events on Father’s Day produced heart-stopping moments.

If there was one correct ticket, the bettor would have been rich, picking up more than $150,000. But there were two correct tickets so each holder won a consolation payoff of $887. It doesn’t get closer than that. Will there be a single correct ticket tomorrow when the carryover is $155,000?

PLACE IN THE SUN PARLAY: After connecting with place prices of $18.20 and $7.70 a player had $170 to parlay to one more leg but failed to do so even though the favourite won the third leg. So the amount to beat still is $166 logged by retired firefighter Dennis Lloyd last week. What a close call that was!

Bullet briefs . . .

  • $622,000 carryover in Churchill's Jackpot Pick-6; post time 4 p.m.
  • Word to the wise: Record Toronto temps. Hot Tapeta means slow times
  • ASD horse owner goes on a "Wild Fowl Chase" to see purchased filly
  • 2-year-old filly champion to skip Saturday's Chantilly
  • Can horses read faces?
  • Ganas another step closer to Manitoba Derby contention

You'll be staying here if your parlay is highest

PLACE IN THE SUN PRODUCES MORE DRAMA: As players fantasize about sitting on a beach in Los Cabos, Mexico in January (courtesy of WestJet Vacations and Charleswood Travel), there’s plenty of drama in their bid to win the trip by playing a $5 place parlay in three races. While one player almost reached the stratosphere (see top of column), others were still producing sizeable parlay amounts to win the daily prize ($20 in wagering vouchers and three months of the Winnipeg Sun): Here are the top four parlays to date:
• Dennis Lloyd
$166 (June 11)
• Dennis Lloyd
$131.20 (June 17)
• Al Ilott
$129 (June 8)
• Trevor Phelps
$96.20 (June 10)
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 June? 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 & Saturday —parade to post at 7:15.

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

REMEMBER TO ENTER VIA SASKATCHEWAN AVENUE: That will keep you out of Red River Ex traffic.


(12 down, 23 to go. See list here)


Bear's Reality runs away with it


ALBERTA INVADER WINS FREE PRESS BUT NOT LIKELY TO GO ON : One-time Downs trainer Greg Tracy brought his speedy pace-setting Bear’s Reality from Northlands Park to win the $25,000 6f Free Press Stakes on Father’s Day ($6.10) but don’t expect to see the horse continue down the road to the Gold Cup. Tracy said his horse is strictly a sprinter and is unlikely to handle longer distances.

John Ganas
Is Media Melee "The One"

DERBY DREAM COMES CLOSER FOR NICK'S INN OWNER: What could be more fitting than John Ganas, the owner of Nick’s Inn, a Headingley institution, winning the Manitoba Derby? His Media Melee, claimed in California for $16,000 and trained by Jared Brown, took another step toward the big prize by winning the Golden Boy on Father’s Day with Adolfo Morales aboard ($3.30). One more prep remains: the Harry Jeffrey on July 9. Then follows a nerve-wracking countdown to the Derby on Aug. 1 and the expected invaders. Nothing comes easy in this game.


CHAMPION 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY SKIPS CHANTILLY : What, no Pecos? After finishing fourth in the Black Knickers two weeks ago, Pecos, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2015, is not entered in this Saturday’s Chantilly Stakes, a prep race on the way to the Manitoba Oaks on Derby Day.

That should be good news to 19-year-old trainer Cole Bennett who predicted his About a Girl would win the Oaks. In the last race, his horse and Pecos had duelled into the stretch, setting up the race for a closing Sun Tsuzy. About a Girl and Sun Tsuzy will tangle again in the Chantilly along with strong contenders from the barns of Jerry Gourneau and Eurico Martens (Northlands Park invader).


Hottest jock: Christopher Husbands (4 wins)
Hottest trainer: Shelley Brown (4 wins)
Biggest longshot: Victory Song $36.20 (2nd Sat)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $454 (4th Sat)

RACE OF THE WEEK: Click here for video.

"Gump" dies

Fled the Nazis, found life in cattle and racing

Cagey Max, 14, after winning final race in August 1985. Owner/trainer Harry Gumprich (right) with wife Gertrude

When Nazis launched an attack on Jews and Jewish-operated businesses and synagogues in Germany in November, 1938, it was 9-year-old Harry Gumprich’s good fortune that his parents scooped him and his four siblings in the middle of the night and fled to Holland.

Three years later, he was in Canada where he ultimately raised cattle and raced horses in Manitoba and became, according to historian Bob Gates, one of Assiniboia Downs’ legendary trainers.

Sadly,”Gump” passed away early this week at the age of 86, leaving memories of the indomitable Cagey Max who won at 14 (oldest horse ever to win a race) and Gump’s favourite, Dark Hall, a horse that Free Press racing writer Elman Guttormson called one of the best claims ever. Read Bob’s “Highs and Lows of a Racing Legend” here.

*        *        *
My memorable “Gump” moment

During an interview of trainer Harry Gumprich back in the 1980s, I pleaded for an opportunity to take one of his horse’s onto the track just to get the feel for a race track (I am an experienced rider). He finally agreed—but he had something up his sleeve.

He put me on a retired race horse used for ponying and he handed me a helmet—with a strap but no clasp to fasten it to! I barely had reached the track when the horse decided he was back racing again and I must have cut a wild sight trying to control a galloping horse with one hand while holding the helmet on my head with the other.

Quickly came an order from the stewards to “get that (colourful word) off the track!” When I got back to the barn, Gumprich was clearly enjoying the moment.


"She's a sweetheart"

39 club members on pins and needles awaiting filly's ASD debut

Louise Townsend with Spanish Fowl at Ontario farm

When you’ve invested $500 in a share in a racing club and you’re in southern Ontario attending a class reunion at Guelph University somewhat near the location of your newly-purchased horse, what do you do? Try to track down and see your horse before she’s shipped to the Downs, of course.

And that’s what Louise Townsend tried to do early this month in what she termed a “Wild Fowl Chase” (because their filly’s name is Spanish Fowl – who’s likely to debut at the Downs within the week).

"Our Wild Fowl Chase was quite an adventure!”
she said in an email. “We are now in Orangeville having lunch. We went first to Woodbine where they sent us to A C Racing stables at the track. At the stables we had to go through security. Photos even.

“She wasn't there. We got directions to the farm (where the horse was being cared for before being shipped to the Downs) near Nobleton. We found it but gates were locked. We see a grey in the yard and take photos. We were about to leave when Larry Cappuccitti (Woodbine horseman) came along in his Maserati. He let us in and showed us Spanish Fowl. She’s a sweetheart!"

Now the question is: Will Spanish Fowl display as much grit at the Downs as the club member who tracked her down? Thirty-nine owners hope so. Tip: Bet the grey.


Heat produces slow times on Tapeta

WHY YOU SHOULD RECORD TORONTO TEMPERATURES: Sharp Woodbine handicappers should start keeping a record of the daily temperatures in Toronto. When the newly-installed Tapeta track heats up, it gets loose and slow. A 7f race was timed Friday in almost 1:27, about 30 lengths slower than the record at that distance which was set on Polytrack in 2010. Here’s what Daily Racing Form handicapper Ron Gierkink says about the surface when the temperature hits the high 20s:

“We discovered in late May that when the weather is hot, the Tapeta becomes slow and loose, the type of surface many horses don’t handle. It tightens up nicely after rain but I’m told it cannot be watered because the local pond water is undesirable and the city water contains chlorine which might ruin the track.”

Greg Tracy
"Another year for Northlands"

CAN HORSES READ FACES? Yes. They react to angry faces and happy faces according to a study reported by The Horse magazine. So, no pouting around the paddock, eh? Let’s send the horses to the starting gate in a good mood.

NORTHLANDS LIVES ON: Northlands trainer Greg Tracy has told The Insider Northlands Park is unlikely to close at the end of this season, as announced. He said to expect thoroughbred racing next year at both Northlands and at Century Downs near Calgary where only harness racing has been going on. Tracy said an agreement with the new NDP government guarantees the continuation of thoroughbred racing in Alberta for 10 years. Horsemen only had to take a five per cent reduction in funding, he said, despite the province’s economic woes due to an extreme drop in oil prices.

WHOSE WEEK IS IT? This week clearly belongs to the city of Cleveland. And if you don’t know why, you haven’t been keeping your eye on the (basket)ball. I wonder how many years before Winnipeg gets ITS week.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. What do I do if I'm experiencing a "buffering" problem while accessing the HPI video streams?

A. There’s likely a connectivity (bandwidth) issue in the online connection from your computer to the HPIbet server. This could be attributed to a problem with your local connection or it could be a problem at any number of different points along the way including your regional Internet provider, their bandwidth provider or possibly with the HPIbet servers themselves. Why not have a backup plan?

Most tracks offer live racing video feeds through their websites—including HD so you can watch a race full-screen on your computer without any pixilation. So, the next time you’re experiencing trouble with the HPIbet video feeds go directly to the source. Here are some suggestions to get started:

Assiniboia Downs:
No registration required. You can access the live racing feed on your computer or mobile device.

For California tracks such as Santa Anita, Golden Gate and Del Mar :
You must create an account before you can access these online feeds but doing so is simple and FREE.

NYRA including Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct:
For online video access to all of the New York tracks in HD quality video, you can register for FREE with NYRA. Click on the HD VIDEO section along the top navigation and either login if you have already created your FREE account or simply register and gain access to their live HD feed.

So check your favourite track’s website to see if they offer an online feed.

Got a question for Marshall? Email


This week Bob takes a "Robin Leach-esque" look at the rich and famous Hollywood types who made Whittier Park and Polo Park their own private playground. Go here to schmooze.

NEXT INSIDER: Thursday again because there will be no Wednesday racing. Wednesday racing will resume in July.

Remember to enter via Saskatchewan Avenue until Sunday

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