Thursday, July 5, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 26 (Issue #644)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Here come the baby wars!

Races for 2-year-olds begin next Wednesday; Modesty's Tribute has bullet work


Modesty's Tribute at last year's yearling sale
Posts a bullet workout

Here come the babies! Frisky 2-year-olds are about to make their much-anticipated debuts. The first baby races of the season are set for next week: Wednesday and Friday.

The race office says between 50 and 60 are in training. Is there a Manitoba-style Justify among them? Maybe a Fancy As? (The stellar Manitoba-bred gelding who earned $670,000 from 2000 to 2007.)

Owners have spent thousands of dollars getting to this point. Whose dreams will be realized? Is there a real gem about to explode on the racing scene? Fingers are crossed.

Many eyes will be on Modesty’s Tribute, the filly who was named in a Canstar “name the filly” contest last year. Horses coming out of contests or representing major events have had a habit of doing well, the last being Gold N Sochi (named for Jennifer Jones Olympic curling team).

Modesty’s Tribute, a name celebrating the 250th anniversary of racing in Canada (Modesty won the first race in 1767) was a sales topper at last August’s yearling sale at $15,000. Trained by Steven Gaskin, she posted a bullet workout on July 1 as the best of seven at 4f with a time of :49.40.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Refresher list: 12 free things at the Downs
  • Trip to Vegas on the line in Saturday tourney. Sign up by 9 p.m. tomorrow.
  • 86-year-old "sports fiend" wins "name the yearling" contest. What name won?
  • What can you learn from the $196,000 Rainbow 6 payoff at Gulfstream?
  • What has been the average payoff in ASD's pick-4? Higher.
CLIP VALUABLE COUPONS FROM THE SUN! The Winnipeg Sun’s Night at the Races on Wednesday, July 25, will be preceded by half-page ads in the Sun with valuable coupons. The ads start tomorrow.
QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

Click to expand


Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in July? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Bombers

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS AFTER LIVE RACING: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge following 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.

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker in the trackview gallery on the third level. Registration from 7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Game starts at 8:00 p.m. No late registration. The Royal Flush progressive jackpot for Friday, July 6 is $9,005.

*       *       *

An ASD player’s reluctance to pay $20 for parking at Del Mar race track in a trip to California got me thinking about all the free stuff ASD players get (including parking, of course) but may not give much thought to until they go elsewhere. Call this the Top 12 Refresher List of Free Things at ASD:
  1. Free parking
  2. Free admission
  3. Watching exciting live races free
  4. Three draws for $20 in free wagers
  5. Ten draws for $20 in free VLT spins (which a supermarket cashier recently turned into $1,499.50)
  6. A daily draw for Fan of the Day: watching a race in the Winner’s Circle, “meeting” a horse and receiving a free framed photo as a keepsake
  7. Free coffee and tea in the Club West Gaming Lounge all day every day
  8. Free entry into a monthly tournament to earn a free trip for two to Las Vegas to play for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Horse Player World Series. (Entry in the ASD tournament is normally $50 but predicting winners in race cards leading up the tournament could reduce the fee to zero.)
  9. Free handicapping lessons and tips at the Fan Education Centre
  10. Free use of a carrel in the Clubhouse with your own personal TV
  11. $20 in free wagers when you sign up for an HPI account that allows you to bet on your phone and/or computer
  12. Free family fun (pony rides, petting farm and bouncy gyms) during afternoon race cards

EYE ON LIVE (cont'd)

Canada Day packs 'em in

Derby Day-style crowd enjoys big fields, spectacular fireworks

The place was rocking
The parking lot was jammed, the grandstand was rocking as the biggest Canada Day crowd in memory at the Downs celebrated Canada’s 151st birthday Sunday. It looked more like Derby Day with the “derby” being the fireworks display capping off the night.

The crowd enjoyed big race fields of nine to 12 horses and some juicy payouts. Jockey Prayven Badrie wired the field in the fourth race with Lil Lottie, producing a win price of $41.90 and a $1 pick-4 on the last four races paid $4,335. Betting almost reached half a million dollars.

In the Big Reveal in Canstar’s “name the yearling” contest, 86-year-old Joyce Kost, a sports junkie, waved to the crowd from the Winner’s Circle when her name for the yearling, Bear Me a Moment, was announced. (See Shout-Outs of the Week.)

Surrounded by kids on the tarmac was the place to be during the fireworks display. Every colour burst brought a new round of “oohs” and “ahs.” They were truly smitten. Among adults, even lukewarm fireworks enthusiasts said they were blown away by the show. The blinding flash and boom in the final seconds still resonates. Canfire Pyrotechnics are masters at what they do – and isn’t it nice they’re a Manitoba company? They’ll be producing an encore edition at the Unreal Tribute Band Festival on Sunday, Aug. 5.

*       *       *

If you won every pick-4 . . .

. . . since the ASD meet began, you would have collected $41,030

It’s obvious. Pick-4s at the Downs have been paying megabucks. The 19 payoffs for the pick-4 since the meet began on Mother’s Day have paid an average of $2,160 for $1. (Two days had no payoff because the pools were carried over when there were no winning tickets.)

The highest payoff was $8,726 last Wednesday. The lowest was $38.10 on Saturday, June 2. If you had won every single pick-4, you collected $41,030.

No wonder, then, that the pick-4, with its 15 per cent takeout, is highly popular. Congratulations if you took down a biggie. What will this Friday bring?

*       *       *

HOTTIES OF THE WEEK (Wed, Sat, Sun):  
Hottest jockeys:
Tyrone Nelson, Kayla Pizarro , Chavion Chow, Rohan Singh (3 wins)
Hottest trainers:
Jerry Gourneau (3 wins)
Biggest longshot: Lil Lottie $41.90 (Sunday race 4)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $851 (Sunday race 4)
Stakes champion(s): Plentiful (RJ Speers)


20-cent jackpot pick-6 pays $196,000 at Gulfstream . . .

. . . despite two legs having keys and a third leg having a "clue" horse

X Y Jet was a key
You gotta love the challenge inherent in playing a pick-6, especially when it’s mandatory payout day as it was Saturday at Gulfstream Park where the Rainbow 6 grew to $3.4 million.

If you didn’t cash the almost $200,000 payoff, you might still find it interesting to contemplate how you might have won it without mortgaging your life.

The payoff for a 20-cent ticket was gigantic considering the fact two races, Leg 2 and Leg 5, had keys and the first leg had a “clue” horse on the odds board. That left three legs, two with 14 horses and one with eight horses. From that standpoint, taking ALL horses in those three legs (14 x 8 x 14) wheeled to the other three legs would have cost $313.

Here are the six races:

  • Race 9: #9 Midtown Rose, a first-time starter, wins at 6-1. Big clue: Lots of early money showed this horse to be very “live”
  • Race 10: #5 Nonno Nino wins a maiden race at 3-1. Key horse because of lowest added-up numbers in a maiden race. (Add where horse finished last time to the horse’s position in the first call of his previous start)
  • Race 11: #12 Francesco Appeal wins a $6,250 claimer at 7-1. Bottom-level claimer, take ALL 14 horses.
  • Race 12: #7 Stormy Embrace wins a filly and mares stakes at 15-1. Take ALL eight horses.
  • Race 13: #8 X Y Jet, the fastest sprinter on the continent if not the planet, waltzes to a win at 3-5.
  • Race 14: #12 Calana’s Edge, a first-time starter wins a $10,000 maiden claimer at 22-1 (entered in this race despite having been purchased for $130,000—a red flag). Take ALL 14.
This shows that if you like certain horses a lot, playing ALL in less predictable legs could be the way to play to have a chance at landing a life-changing score.

Contest winner Joyce Kost (centre) with Canstar reps Barb Borden (left) and Shelley Morgan and the winning jockey of "her" race, Tyrone Nelson. That's the reclaimed wood plaque she won.
Audrey Farol, Tyrone Nelson and Murray Duncan with perhaps the heaviest trophy in the world, the R.J. Speers.
A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the winner of Canstar community newspaper’s “name the yearling” contest, 86-year-old Joyce Kost, a self-described “sports fiend” who named the colt “Bear Me a Moment” because “it seemed to me he was just saying, by his stance, ‘just give me a moment.’” She used “Bear” from his mother’s name, Bear’s Princess. The name, said his breeders, Ziprick Thoroughbreds in Russell, MB, was “hands down our favourite (of the 615 names submitted).” Special mentions were made of Bearneighkid (Bare Naked is taken) and King on Command.

And the Canstar folks loved Gentle Reign so a big shout-out, too, to Cindy Sykes for that suggestion. Kost won a race night buffet for four, $50 in wagers, a $300 reclaimed wood plaque from Painter’s Café, two tickets to the Alabama Concert and $500 donated by the Downs in her name to Final Furlong that finds good homes for retired race horses. What will Bear Me a Moment fetch at the yearling sale in August?

to trainer/owner Murray Duncan for keeping last year’s Manitoba Derby winner, Plentiful, razor-sharp to win another stakes race on Saturday, the R.J. Speers, after having won the Free Press. The 4-year-old gelding dug in gamely to win both races with help from dueling early pace-setters. In the Speers, another Duncan entry, Hey Bro, put away Deadly Black Eagle in the quickest fractions of the meet and still hung around to finish second to his stablemate in the 7f sprint. It’s nice to see the very personable co-owner Audrey Farol and her husband, Brian, taking home the trophies to their Fargo home. Audrey represents the estate of her father, Garylle B. Stewart, who died on Manitoba Derby Day two years ago. “Anything to declare (at the border)?” “Just more trophies to add to our collection.” Nice.
Wonder Gadot wins Queen's Plate, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown (Michael Burns photo)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “She just goes and goes. She’s Wonder Woman.”Mark Casse after his 3-year-old filly, Wonder Gadot, wins the Queen’s Plate. Although he is pointing the filly to the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie on July 24 (Prince of Wales Stakes), he said his objective is to forego the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes, on Woodbine turf on Aug. 18 and race the filly in a Grade 1 stakes at Saratoga that day, the Alabama, against the best fillies on the continent.


SATURDAY QUEEN’S PLATE BETTING JUMPS BY 20 PER CENT OVER SUNDAY PLATE: Did Woodbine miss out on millions of dollars of wagering through the years by running its Queen’s Plate since 1982 on Sunday instead of Saturday? The figures on Saturday’s Plate seem to suggest that is the case. Betting on the Plate increased by more than 20 per cent over last year’s Plate run on Sunday. Win/place/show wagering increased by 9.8 per cent, exactor wagering by 39 per cent, superfecta betting by 24 per cent and triactor wagering by 22.4 per cent. A total of $3.8 million was wagered on Saturday’s Plate compared to $3.15 million last year on a Sunday.

For the first time since it became a race for fillies and mares (in 1983), the $27,500 Canada Day Stakes wasn’t run Sunday because of insufficient entries. Four horses are required, only three entered. The reason, of course, is the mighty filly, Escape Clause. Rather than race against her, the connections of Stevie Mac, for instance, who originally had nominated to race in the Canada Day, plan to race her at Canterbury Park. So only Tadaa and C J’s Fling, last year’s Canada Day Stakes winner, were willing to go hoof-to-hoof with last year’s Horse of the Year. What seems odd, though, is that there’s nice purse money for finishing in runners-up positions. One would think that would have been considered by potential entrants.

So pick-5 play at Woodbine Saturday resulted in the “I won big” group getting back $15 of each $20 investment when only one long shot won one of the legs. A small pick-4 ticket that included the Queen’s Plate failed to hit. Will favs continue to dominate this Saturday or ??? See you at 10:30 a.m. for races 2 to 7 again Saturday on the Clubhouse plaza. Joe is pleading for a bacon-worthy score; let’s not let him down.


Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q: How can I calculate the cost of my bets ahead of time?

Calculating the cost of triactors, superfectas and super hi-5s, especially if you only play these bets occasionally, can be confusing. That’s why HPIbet has developed Bet Calculator.  This feature allows you to create your tickets offline and determine various costs for placing the bet beforehand. To access the Bet Calculator, simply go to the LEARNING CENTRE found at the bottom of every page on the HPIbet website and click the link (see image here).

This will open a pop-up window where you can select the type of bet you want to calculate ranging from Exacta to Hi-5, from an Omni to the Trio and from a Daily Double to a Pick 10 (see image here). Then, simply pick the denomination of the bet and you can start entering your ticket combinations. The ticket cost will be displayed along the top of the Bet Calculator (see image here). You can hit the CLEAR ALL button along the bottom left if you want to start a new ticket or just go back to BET TYPES and start over. Also, if you’re looking for even more horses for International races or the Kentucky Derby, just click the MORE button along the bottom right and the field size increases to 25 (see image here).

Got a question for Marshall? Email
HISTORY ON THE HOOF with Bob: Countdown to Manitoba Derby #70
Who was the only Manitoba Derby winner to run in the Kentucky Derby?  How many Queen’s Plate/King’s Plate winners have won the Manitoba Derby? Bob has the answers to these questions and additional Manitoba Derby facts & figures here.
  • Friday, July 6: Live racing 7:15
  • Saturday, July 7: Live racing 7:15. Las Vegas Challenge horseplayer tournament.
  • Wednesday, July 11: Live racing 7:15
  • Friday, July 13: Live racing 7:15. Jack Hardy Stakes.
  • Saturday, July 14: $750,000 Delaware Handicap, $500,000 Indiana Derby. Live racing 7:15. R. C. Anderson Stakes, Harry Jeffrey derby prep.
NEXT INSIDER: Wednesday, July 11 - baby debut day!

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