Friday, July 2, 2021

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 16 No. 25 (Issue #796)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

and, remember, if you don’t receive The Insider in the usual way,
you can always find it--and past columns--at


ASD is open for racing and dining
Home delivery of programs continues
  • Reserve a seat to watch live racing while dining
    Assiniboia Downs is open all day every day for dining and for simulcast racing and wagering in the Race Book. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snacks and your favourite beverage.
  • Dine and watch live racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Remember, reservations are a must - call 204-885-3330. View the race night menu at The grandstand and tarmac will remain closed to spectators due to provincial COVID restrictions.
  • VLTs remain closed under provincial COVID restrictions
  • Home delivery of programs continues. Programs and DRF are available at ASD, through our program delivery service and via curbside pickup.
  • The following OTB locations are open: Rookies (Central Hotel)


$1.35 million is today's carryover at Pimlico

Pimlico’s pick-6 pool has reached a record high of $1.35 million and you can create a record at Assiniboia Downs by being the first player ever to take down a pool of that size. Maybe a 20-cent quick-pick ticket will do the deed!

Sunday will feature a mandatory payout of the pick-6. Pool likely to grow to $8 million!

Sign up by 1 p.m. tomorrow for chance at Vegas

Assiniboia Downs gives away its second of six trips to Las Vegas Monday after live racing to the player who accumulates the biggest bankroll in the Las Vegas Challenge tournament. Just a $50 fee, which is due by tomorrow at 1 p.m., puts you in the running in the online tournament. Click here for entry form and rules.


Get 3% cash back on Woodbine/Belmont wagers today thru Sunday!

Bet $40 or more at Woodbine and Belmont in your HPIbet account on each of the next three days (today thru Sunday) and 3% of your wagers will be deposited back into your account. Note that YOU MUST OPT IN!


Bullet briefs . . .

  • Jamaican racing comes to ASD!
  • Get ready for the baby wars
  • How many times a year does Jockey Club allow a racing horse's name to be changed?
  • If you're serious about making money, this is a must (See Win a Ton in '21)
  • Do you have the Vegas touch?
WHO’S ATOP THE HANDICAPPER OF THE YEAR LEADER BOARD? Go here. Even if you don’t win one of the five Las Vegas Challenge tournaments during live racing, you and a guest can still earn a trip by finishing the year at the top of the HOTY leader board. Gathering more points in seven of your best tournaments than any other player will make you the HOTY!
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in July? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Download 2021 LIVE RACING SCHEDULE here.

Do you have your new HPIbet account card that replaces the previous HPI card and the ASD Player Rewards card? Assiniboia Downs has joined the HPI rewards and bonus program and the new program began Monday, Feb. 1. See details here. If you haven't received your new card in the mail call 204-885-3330 (ext. 225) to check on the status.

GREEDY CORNER: Two mandatory payouts this weekend:
  • Tomorrow: Mandatory payout of the Jackpot Hi 5 pool on the last race at Mohawk
  • Sunday: Mandatory payout of the pick-6 at Pimlico

Caymanas Park in Jamaica

Jamaican racing comes to ASD

Caymanas Park starts Saturday with jockey who raced at ASD

Dane Nelson, second in the standings at Caymanas
One year after ASD opened on the prairies in 1958, a track opened on a sugar plantation on the island of Jamaica -- and that track, Caymanas Park, operated by the Jamaican government -- will spice up racing at ASD starting this Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

A jockey who rode at ASD in 2015 and is second in the standings at Caymanas, Dane Nelson, will be a familiar face in the jockey colony. Nelson actually was riding in Alberta after leaving ASD but COVID-19 kept him from returning to Alberta last year and this year.

AmTote, the betting machine company used by ASD and most other tracks in North America, is in use at Caymanas so the bets will be familiar. Rum, of course, is the favourite drink of the three million inhabitants so that’s what to order to give your Caymanas betting a Jamaican flair.

Baby wars to begin in 10 days

Is there a true star among about 60 2-year-olds?

Steven Gaskin (left) and Devon Gittens are training the most babies
Breeders and horse owners are gripped with anticipation as the baby wars, the rivalry among 2-year-olds, will begin Monday, July 12.

There are about 60 2-year-olds on the grounds with Steve Gaskin training the most, nine, and Devon Gittens with eight.

Will a true Escape Clause-type star emerge? Will a yearling purchased from last August’s yearling sale prove to be an exceptional buy? The sales topper was a Going Commando colt, Bojo Jammer, that sold for $11,100.

Six stakes races worth $210,000 will be offered with the Winnipeg Futurity being the main race and the Buffalo Stakes being the main race for Manitoba-breds.

The first skirmish a week from this Monday will feature horses bred in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, North Dakota and South Dakota.

*       *       *

Hottest jockey: Jorge Carreno (6 wins)
Hottest trainer:
Jared Brown (3 wins)
Biggest longshot: Bundleofcash $16.70 (Race 6 Monday)
Stakes champions:
Miss Imperial (Canada Day)
Upcoming stakes: Hazel Wright Sire Stakes (Monday), Jack Hardy (Tuesday), Frank Arnason Sire Stakes, R.J. Speers (Wednesday)
Top analyst on ASD Live: Marshall -- 10 winners in 18 picks
$129,873 in the Jackpot pick-5;  $23,445 in the Jackpot Hi-5


"One or two a year"
Getting The Jockey Club to expunge Trump name was a rarity

The Jockey Club in Kentucky is very reluctant to allow a horse name to be changed after it has been racing.

So California horse owner Steve McCanne had to be pleased The Jockey Club permitted Royal Trump to be changed to Peaceful Transfer. And he had to be doubly pleased his newly named horse finished first last Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course after having been last in his final race as Royal Trump.

How often does The Jockey Club allow the name of a racing horse to be changed? “Only once or twice a year,” Jockey Club spokesperson Shannon Luce told The Insider from her Kentucky office. In the past 10 years, only 15 names of racing horses were permitted to be changed, she said.

Here’s The Jockey Club rule on that score: “Ordinarily, no name change will be permitted after a horse has started in its first race or has been used for Breeding (mating) purposes. However, in the event a name must be changed after a horse has started in its first race, both the old and new names should be used until the horse has raced three times following the name change.”

So it appears there’s no hard and fast rule about those times that a horse name may be changed. It appears to depend on the registrar’s interpretation of the word “must.”
WIN A TON IN '21: If you're serious about winning, Pro Picks is a must

How badly do you want to win? If you’re not reading DRF Pro Picks, I wonder. A comment or two from the three analysts on each race card could hold a valuable key to making a nice score.

Take race 5 at Belmont last Saturday, the last leg of the early pick-5 that paid almost $9,000 for 60-cents primarily because of what happened in that race. It was a 7-furlong race on the turf and #7 Magisterium seemed to be an obvious key because he had won two 7-furlong turf races and finished second in another.

But, wait, DRF analyst Mike Beer had noted a move he had liked last fall by longshot #10 Contained in a race at Monmouth Park and picked him to finish second to Magisterium. “He had made an early move on the front running winner and stayed on gamely with no chance to catch,” Beer said about that Monmouth race. “Upside.” The 16-1 horse beat the 4-5 favourite by a half-length.

The fact Beer had kept notes on a horse’s performance from last fall shows how much he was impressed by that race, making the horse a must-take on your tickets.

Believe it or not, the Downs’ history blog enters its 10th season of telling racing stories of the past. From 2012 to the present, the Downs’ historian has inked 180 stories from yesteryear. Click here for the history guy’s fondest racing memory. He says it’s one that no one will see coming. No one would ever guess this memory. Never ever! 
  • Tomorrow: Caymanas Park racing begins from Jamaica.
  • Sunday: Independence Day in the U.S.
  • Monday, July 5: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m. Hazel Wright Sire Stakes. Las Vegas Challenge tournament.
  • Tuesday, July 6: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m. Jack Hardy Stakes.
  • Wednesday, July 7: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m. Frank Arnason Sire Stakes, R.J. Speers Stakes
  • Monday, July 12: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m. Baby races begin. Derby Trial.
  • Tuesday, July 13: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 14: Race night at ASD 7:30 p.m.
RACE NIGHT AT THE DOWNS includes “ASD Live” show online at 6:45 p.m. with racing analysts Kirt, Marshall and Stretch followed by live racing at 7:30 p.m. To watch ASD Live, go to and click on the ASD Live icon at the top of the home page, tune into MTS channels 179 & 180 or watch on YouTube at You can dine and watch live racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Remember, reservations are a must - call 204-885-3330. View the race night menu at The grandstand and tarmac will remain closed to spectators due to provincial COVID restrictions.

Good luck in Monday’s Las Vegas Challenge tournament!

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