Thursday, June 30, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 23 (Issue #542)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

What were Winnipeg race fans doing 60 years ago today?

Almost exactly 60 years ago today, July 4, 1956, Winnipeg race fans were getting into their Chevy Bel Airs or Ford Fairlanes or hopping into newly-introduced diesel buses (because streetcars were phased out the previous year) and heading to the closing day of racing at Polo Park. Races were dubbed Sayonara, Fare Thee Well and Westward Ho.

Elvis Presley’s
“Heartbreak Hotel” was playing on the radio, as was Gogi Grant’s “The Wayward Wind” (she died three months ago at 91). The last race quinella pool grew to an enormous $63,347 ($562,000 in today’s money) as some 8,000 fans took one last kick at the can. Assiniboia Downs wouldn’t open until 1958.

TAKE HISTORY HOME WITH YOU TOMORROW AFTERNOON! The 60-year anniversary of Polo Park’s closing will be marked tomorrow with a special giveaway in a draw. Track historian Bob Gates has created a beautiful collage of Polo Park photos, articles and memorabilia. Wouldn’t you love to win it? Be sure to enter.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • It's a player's dream: Three days of "dead" money ahead
  • Get bonus bucks, too!
  • Can anyone beat Sayler's Girl Boss in the Canada Day stakes?
  • Gasp! Another Selman clips heels and goes down
  • Hooray! Alberta stakes invader decides to make ASD home
  • Enjoy a free breakfast sandwhich on 4th of July Monday
  • Can you beat ASD player's $52,000 on Queen's Plate Sunday?
RETIRED FIREMAN IS JUNE'S PARLAY MASTER: So hats off to retired firefighter Dennis Lloyd whose $166 place parlay topped all others in June so he gets a free race night buffet for two and a year subscription to the Winnipeg Sun. What will be the top amount in July for the Place in the Sun contest, with Charleswood Travel and WestJet Vacations taking the season’s winner to a five-star Mexican resort?
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 July? 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 - parade to post 1:15 p.m., Saturday - parade to post 7:15 p.m.

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

(Parade to post 1:15 p.m.)

  • Holiday afternoon race card
  • $25,000 Canada Day Stakes
  • Hugs aplenty from about two dozen furry critters
  • The Great Mascot Race
  • $167,829 carryover in the Jackpot Hi 5 pool
  • Spin-to-win draws for up to $50 in free bets
  • Canstar Day (look for coupons in Canstar papers!)
  • Draw for an historic Polo Park plaque
  • Free pony rides, petting farm, giant inflatables
  • Free VLT tournament after the races
  • Crazy Hour after the races

*        *        *

RACING CLUB’S SPANISH FOWL GETS IN! If the air at the Downs before race 2 Saturday night seems particularly thin, it’s because the 39 members of the Assiniboia Racing Club have nervously sucked in a lot of it and are holding it pending the performance of their newly-acquired filly, Spanish Fowl, in a $5,000 maiden claiming race. The 3-year-old Ontario-bred will be making her first start for the racing club since being purchased at Woodbine. Leading rider Chris Husbands is aboard the Tanya Lindsay-trained entry. She showed some early speed at Woodbine which—and I don’t mean to jinx anyone—could mean a gate-to-wire job Saturday. Club members bought shares at $500 apiece.

It's a player's dream!

Three days of "dead" money ready to be scooped by savvy players

The next four days—three for sure—are days made in heaven for experienced players. Two important holidays, Canada Day and the 4th of July in the U.S., and the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Sunday will bring out hordes of casual bettors fattening pools for savvy players. (Careful you don’t drool on your keyboard!)

CANADA DAY: Bigger than usual pools at all Canadian tracks.
Queen’s Plate Day. Just remember this: On Queen’s Plate Day several years ago, an ASD player collected $52,000 for a 20-cent superfecta ticket. Need I say more?
Independence Day brings out unsophisticated players in droves to all U.S. tracks

The racing, too, is superb. So let’s see smiles and fat wallets all around over this extended long weekend of action. Get rolling on the 4th of July Monday by getting to the Downs before noon for a free breakfast sandwich to enjoy with your free coffee.


Eurico Martens
"Invader" moves to ASD

(13 stakes gone, 22 remain. See list here)



ALBERTA INVADER WINS STAKES; NOW MAKES ASD HOME: Albertans know when to ship in. Greg Tracy did so with sprinter Bear’s Reality two weeks ago to win the Free Press Stakes. Then Eurico Martens brought Big Bad Janine to win the Chantilly last Saturday. Seems, though, that he’s liking the Downs so much that he’s making ASD home, shipping about 25 horses here says assistant director of racing Derek Corbel.


Ardell Sayler
Sends Girl Boss

CANADA DAY STAKES: CAN ANYONE BEAT GIRL BOSS: On the face of it, Girl Boss appears to hold the advantage in tomorrow’s Canada Day Stakes, having won the La Verendrye handily and appearing to improve in each out. Her only vulnerability may be distance: she’s unproven at the specialist distance of 7f. The 7f horses to watch are Don Schnell’s Dance Affair who won big at 7f two outs ago which makes her a “bounce” factor and Shelley Brown’s Can’t Use Nellie who has the second-best 7f speed number.

Hottest jock:
Christopher Husbands (4 wins)
Hottest trainer: Jerry Gourneau, Tom Gardipy Jr., Eurico Martens (2 wins)
Biggest longshot: Pacific Tsunami $54.60 (4th Fri)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $549 (6th Sat)

RACE OF THE WEEK: Click here for video.

Can you say "huge?"

July the 4th filled with stakes. Monmouth kicks off at 11:50 a.m.

Racing on Independence Day Monday in the U.S. starts with Monmouth at 11:50 a.m. (CDT).

Classy stakes action fills the card—from Parx, Santa Anita, Belmont, Monmouth, Canterbury, Oak Tree at Pleasanton, Thistledown and Finger Lakes.

You’ll have loads of cash to shoot for in the fat holiday pools.

A breakfast sandwich that has received nothing but glowing reports (fat juicy sausage, fried egg, melted cheese on a toasted English muffin) will be given away free to the first 20 in the Race Book on July the 4 th Monday. Pick up your “breaksand” voucher at the VLT cage from 11 a.m. to noon.


CAN YOU BELIEVE? TWO-FIFTHS OF THE SEASON DONE: The ASD meet is just tearing along with two fifths already in the books as of tomorrow. The good thing is: It’s been a great season for crowds and betting. Everything is up; some days considerably so. Track historian Bob Gates says he feels the main reason is the optimism surrounding racing now that the province/track imbroglio is well behind us.

HUSBANDS AND JARED BROWN AT THE TOP: Chris Husbands at this point is running away in the jockey standings with 30 wins, nine more than Antonio Whitehall. Jared Brown is leading trainer with 17 wins, four more than Don Schnell.

GASPS FILL GRANDSTAND: Gasps emanated from fans watching the first ASD race last Friday as jockey Rumesh Selman went down after his horse, Witts Go Go, clipped heels. Thankfully, Selman, who is having his best season ever, was back riding later in the card. He has four wins in 37 starts, three seconds and four thirds. On a day dominated by Chris Husbands Saturday, he won with Witt’s So Bossy ($9.30). Then he went to Alberta Downs and won a turf sprint Sunday as the longest shot on the board at 20/1.

Chris Husbands
Celebrates four wins Saturday

OVERLAY OF THE SEASON? The morning line Saturday in the Chantilly Stakes from assistant race secretary Dustin Davis had Northlands invader Big Bad Janine at 7/2. Well, she went off at an incredible 15/1, making her the biggest overlay winner of the season when she went gate to wire and paid $32.20. Her win and a win from the unusual post #11 in the last race set up a nice pick-4 pool payoff of $4,856, thank you very much.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOWNS AND WOODBINE: Leading jockey Christopher Husbands who won four races at Woodbine last fall after leaving the Downs said he uses a different style of riding there: “You don’t start riding until the last half-mile,” he said. He liked the challenge at the Toronto track and plans to return there again. Would he ride there permanently? “This is my home,” he said of the Downs, “and my family is here.” He has a 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son. And you can’t knock winning half the races on a card.

VLT monthly champ Bob Arthur receives $250 from VLT hostess Roseanne

BAMBA WHO? Bambazonki , of course, my favourite horse name this season. The 6-year-old gelding will be on the engine in tomorrow’s 8th race at the Downs. Can he last? Remember, there’s a $167,829 carryover in the Jackpot Hi 5 in that race. There are eight horses.

SEMI DRIVER WINS MONTHLY VLT FINALE: Congrats to retired semi truck driver Bob Arthur who turned $40 in free VLT spins in Big City 5s into more than $370 as the winner of the monthly Unleash Your Luck finale. Free spins are up for grabs after every live race card.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How do I find out what the recent upgrades/fixes are to the HPIbet system?
Review the most up-to-date changes and upgrades by accessing the Changelog file. Updates are made on Tuesdays every couple of weeks. Here’s how to view the Changelog file. Once you’re logged into HPIbet, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the About HPIbet section under the HPIBET column (view image here).

This section will provide an overview of HPIbet. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where it gives the version number and click on the word Changelog (view image here). You will now be able to review all of the most recent updates that have been made to the system. Any new functionality will have the word NEW after it; any bug fixes will have the word FIXED next to it and any updates to existing functionality will have the word UPDATE next to it (view image here).

Just to give everyone a heads up, HPIbet will be introducing enhanced notifications in the near future so you can receive an email alert when you’re watching a horse running or there is a carryover that you’ve been tracking. Hopefully this new function will be rolled out in the coming weeks and we’ll be certain to review it ASAP.

Got a question for Marshall? Email


What links Polo Park race track and the following thoroughbreds from the past – Sunraysed, Taboga, Persian Memories, Victor’s Pride, Merry’s Jay, Federal Ruler, Icy Welcome and Island Fling? On the 60th anniversary of the closing of Polo Park, Bob has the answer here.

NEXT INSIDER: Wicked Wednesday next week. Wicked? Yup, with BBQ ribs and drink specials, spin to win after every race and more. Racing now embarks on a Wed-Fri-Sat schedule. Parade to post 7:15 p.m.

"Well, since my baby left me . . .
I found a new place to dwell . . ."

--on the radio 60 years ago heading to Polo Park. Who's the singer?

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