WEEK THAT WAS
"DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT UNHAPPY" is what Assiniboia Racing Club member Louise Townsend said Saturday after the club’s filly, Spanish Fowl, making her first start for the group, finished 5th in a $5,000 maiden claimer. The 3-year-old filly, purchased from an owner at Woodbine, was hooked early by another speedster in the race, EZ in Arizona, who ran away from the field going gate to wire ($6.20). If Spanish Fowl gets in with horses with less early pace, watch out. The fifth place finish was worth $225. Thirty-nine ARC members bought shares for $500 to become horse owners. CTV filmed a feature on the club which the station broadcast various times throughout the weekend and afterward.
Charley (centre) tops the field
CONGRATS TO CHARLEY HORSE:
For the first time in recent memory, ASD’s own Charley Horse won the Great Mascot Race on Canada Day, digging in resolutely to hold off Subway who was making a late move inside. Those timed workouts in the morning helped! Good luck in Rio, Charley!
JACKPOT ALMOST $180,000: THERE WERE FOUR TICKETS SATURDAY: There’s almost $180,000 at stake heading into tonight’s Jackpot Hi 5 on the Downs’ last race. Last Saturday, four tickets predicted the the top five finishers in the correct order and each ticket was worth $2,292 in consolation money.
Sir Dudley Digges (#5), if you please (Toronto Star photo)
QUEEN'S PLATE ESPECIALLY EXCITING FOR YOURS TRULY: Players who came out for bear on Queen’s Plate Day Sunday had to settle for chipmunk in the early going: it seems every favourite or near-favourite was winning. The early pick-4 paid $26 for 20-cents. But I had a feeling the Plate would change things so, during an announcement I made about July 4 activities 10 minutes before the Plate, I told the Race Book faithful to watch out for #5, Sir Dudley Digges at 15/1, a horse I had keyed on a pick-5 ticket.
Rarely do I tout a horse but it jumped off the page for me because his first race on Tapeta—in which he was beaten by other entries in the Plate—seemed like a perfect set-up for a big effort in the Plate. Ticket sellers told me there was a line-up of players betting my choice. And, thankfully, he did what I thought he could do. Thank you, Sir Dudley for giving me a three-for-three longshot tout record this year.
THIS BLUE BOMBER IS A WINNER: When you get tired of cheering for the hapless Blue Bomber football team, you may switch your support to a Blue Bomber who actually wins. It is the name of Robertino Diodoro’s 5-year-old gelding who has two wins for five starts this year at Turf Paradise, raced recently at Canterbury and is now at Woodbine under the tutelage of Rob Atras.
CONGRATS TO VEGAS WINNER: Congrats to Race Book regular Mike who picked up $60,000 ( U.S.) finishing fourth in a Las Vegas tournament. Except it wasn’t for horses, it was in the World Series of Poker. He paid an entry fee of $1,000 to enter a division for senior players (50 and up). There were almost 4,500 participants, he said.
OOPS! PLAYERS GET PAID FOR PHANTOM SUPERS: What happened? That’s what the New York Racing Association is trying to determine after the wrong official placings were posted for superfecta tickets for Belmont’s eighth race on July 1. They paid out on 1-4-5-3 and 1-5-4-3 (there was a dead-heat for second) even though the actual result was 1-4-5-2 and 1-5-4-2. They continued to pay out for all combinations even after discovering their error ($114 to $138 per $2 ticket), effectively doubling their cost of the payouts (the super pool was $68,000). Wasn’t it a New York track that paid out incorrectly some years ago when a saddlecloth number was mis-read on a sloppy track?
Bob Gates presents Ardell Sayler with Polo Park montage for winning Canada Day stakes
WINS $10,000 PICK-5 AT MOHAWK: For an outlay of $192 ticket, a bettor at ASD Saturday won the pick-5 at Mohawk that paid $10,024 for 20-cents. The prices of the horses were: $18, $36.50, $13, $3.40 and $5.
BREATHE EASY, BOB. POLO PARK MONTAGE HAS A GOOD HOME: The Polo Park race track montage that track historian Bob Gates so lovingly created is hanging in the front home entrance of the Canada Day winner who is equally smitten by the piece. “The track means a lot to me,” said draw winner Chenoa Deegan. “I’ve been going for 35 years and anything historic, I love. I was so hoping to win it and excited that I did.” She said her husband was approached by someone who wanted to buy it from her but, of course, he declined. Bob also presented Ardell Sayler with a replica for winning the Canada Day stakes and a third one hangs in the Downs board room.