Friday, July 29 , 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 27 (Issue #546)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

And the Manitoba Derby winner is . . .

Choose the local story angle you'd like to see

Local story angle #1: John Ganas—the owner of Nick’s Inn just down the road from the Downs--becomes the first local horse owner in 20 years to win the Manitoba Derby with Media Melee at 12/1, a $16,000 California claimer. The last time a local owner won it was Phil Kives’ K5 Stable’s Northernprospector in 1996.

Local story angle #2: Robertino Diodoro’s Inside Straight at 7/2 (or Solve at 6/1) wins the Derby to give his assistant trainer, Rob Atras, his first Derby win at the track where he cut his teeth and launched his high-percentage training career in his late teens.

Local story angle #3:
Primary Factor at 8/1 proves his victory in the Harry Jeffrey Stakes was no fluke and wins the Manitoba Derby to honour the memory of his late owner, Phil Kives, who had bought the horse to win the Derby. Headline: “Unfinished business: Kives seals his last deal AFTER his death”

Local story angle #4:
All-time leading ASD trainer Gary Danelson finally wins The Big One with Power Driven at 3/1, a horse claimed for $75,000 at Churchill Downs.

Local story angle #5:
Woodbine invader Ruck wins the Derby as the race favourite. The local connection? The agent for the horse’s Woodbine jockey, Omar Moreno, is Lorne Spearman, a native Winnipegger who was the agent for ASD jockey Irwin Driedger (top jock from 1979 to 1982) before he and Driedger headed to the big-leagues at Woodbine.

Local story angle #6: Other. Create one you’d like to see.


  1. Derby Belle Paxton Oliver-Bingham assists Derby post-position draw yesterday

    Solve 97. Last win: Fair Grounds, Mar. 13, $25,000 claimer (6/1)
  2. Primary Factor 95. Last win: ASD, July 9, Harry Jeffrey (19/1)
  3. Ruck 95. Last win: Woodbine, May 8, $75,000 claimer (36/1)
  4. Inside Straight 94. Last win: Belmont, May 4, $40,000 turf claimer (1/5)
  5. Media Melee 93. Last win: ASD, June 19, Golden Boy (3/5)
  6. Power Driven 93. Last win: Churchill, June18, $75,000 claimer (3/2)
  7. Break the Silence 90. Last win: Indiana, May 14, $25,000 claimer (6/1)
  8. Witts Henny Penny 87. Last win: ASD, June 10, $5,000 claimer (9/1)

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Mounties, free concert, mandatory jackpot payout highlight huge weekend
  • Will the Jackpot Hi 5 on Monday's last race reach $1 million?
  • Will Derby Day wagering exceed $714,000? (Set in 1988 when Shoemaker rode)
  • Guess who will be singing O Canada on Derby Day?
  • Will About a Girl win Manitoba Oaks as trainer Bennett predicted?
  • Racing community shocked and saddened by Emerald incident

YOU HAVE 20 DAYS TO WIN THE MEXICAN VACATION!  Are you on the lookout for a $5 place parlay that could win you the $4,000 five-star vacation in Mexico in January? You have exactly 20 live race days in which to beat $166, the current highest amount. Last week’s winners: July 22 – Al Siwak - $75.20, July 23 – Sarah McCulloch - $37.20.

Remember the highest of the month wins a race night buffet for two and a one-year subscription to the Winnipeg Sun! With two days remaining in July, the amount to beat is $129.60.

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:
Saturday & Sunday- parade to post 7:15 p.m. Monday - parade to post 1:15 p.m.

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


  • SATURDAY NIGHT (7:15 p.m.)
  • Manitoba Mile Stakes
  • RCMP Musical Ride between races (free to watch on the tarmac; grandstand seats $10)

  • SUNDAY NIGHT (7:15 p.m.)
  • Debutante Stakes
  • RCMP Musical Ride
  • Free outdoor concert by B.C. country recording artist Aaron Pritchett.

  • Manitoba Derby (best 3-year-olds)
  • Manitoba Oaks (best 3-year-old fillies)
  • $2,000 Derby Sweepstakes (enter draw to be matched with a Derby horse. Prizes: If your horse wins you win $1,000, second $250, third $100. Runners-up receive a $25 gift certificate. Also, everyone receives a valuable merchandise basket.)
  • Hat contest: $100 for best racing theme, most glamorous and kookiest. Children’s prizes.
  • Collectible all-star Derby card to first 1,000
  • Free family fun: pony rides, giant inflatables, petting farm


*        *        *

SUPPORT THE HBPA; BUY A TICKET TO THE SOCIAL: The Manitoba division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will be holding a fundraising social at the Downs on Friday, Sept. 2. Tickets are $10 and are available this weekend at the HBPA horseshoe and from HBPA members. You’ll be helping horsemen with foreign workers expenses, groom school, insurance, office and wages, their awards program, providing backstretch internet and satellite TV, the Lasix program, etc.

Tomorrow’s first race should have been listed as the “Phil Kives Trial” instead of “The Agassiz Trial” because the CTHS has changed the name of the Agassiz Stakes on Aug. 19 to the Phil Kives Stakes to honour the memory of the Downs’ biggest horse owner. The race determines the best Manitoba-bred older horse on the grounds.


The Sun's Michelle Wheatcroft presents trophy to Ardell Sayler's wife, Janet

(20 stakes gone, 15 remain. See list here)


GIRL BOSS IN A THRILLER: The Winnipeg Sun Stakes for older fillies and mares Saturday was only a five-horse field but it turned into a thriller as Ardell Sayler’s Girl Boss, with three wins in a row, was matched stride for stride by Can’t Use Nellie down the lane to prevail by a head ($2.90). Is Nellie rounding into form after two previous spotty efforts? There’s one more test before the penultimate Manitoba Matron in September and that will be the One More Lady on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Ganas' horse honours this baseball player


TOMORROW: $4,000 CLAIMER SEEKS TO BEAT THE BEST --AGAIN: John Ganas’ claim of the year, Cal McLish, will take on the best horses on the grounds again tomorrow in the Manitoba Mile, looking for his fourth straight win. McLish was claimed for $4,000 at Golden Gate in February and has won almost $34,000 in purse money since. The human McLish was a professional baseball pitcher who died in 2010, opening the way for a horse to be named in his honour.

SUNDAY: BEST BABIES TANGLE IN DEBUTANTE: The best babies will tangle for $25,000 in Sunday night’s Debutante. Missing from the line-up will be a 2-year-old from the winningest filly stakes trainer in recent years, Charlie Smith of Texas.

Cole Bennett
Will he eat cavair or crow?

DERBY DAY MONDAY: WILL BENNETT'S PREDICTION COME TRUE? The $75,000 Manitoba Derby is the Derby Day headliner, of course (see top of column) but the $25,000 Manitoba Oaks for 3-year-old fillies will determine whether trainer Cole Bennett’s prediction will come true. The 19-year-old said at the beginning of the season that his About a Girl will win the race. Will he be dining on caviar or crow?

Hottest jock:
Christopher Husbands (7 wins)
Hottest trainer: Elton Dickey, Shaun Morin, Tom Gardipy Jr. (2 wins)
Biggest longshot: Doing It Right $19.70 (5th Sat)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $319 (8th Sat)



SHOW BONANZA: When 3/5 favourite Racetrack Romance finished fourth in a five-horse optional claimer at Delaware Park Saturday, the top-three finishers paid this to show: Port Aggregate (5/1) $44; Cold Facts (11/1) $67.80 and Seal Team Four (5/2) $44.80.

Note that even the second choice in the race at 5/2 paid $44.80 to show. While you’re playing your favourite tracks, glance at other races to see if there’s a vulnerable odds-on favourite that could produce a show bonanza. This kind of thing happens regularly.

Monique Snowden

TRAGIC END FOR EMERALD TRAINER: The racing community was shocked and saddened to hear that Emerald trainer Monique Snowden, 37, jumped to her death from a bridge in Washington state hours after her highly-promising 2-year-old, The Chilli Man, had to be euthanized after breaking his leg during the $50,000 Emerald Express two Sundays ago. “ Her horses were her family,” her trainer husband Dennis Snowden was quoted as saying. “They knew her, they recognized her, they whinnied to her.” ASD trainer Cole Bennett said he met her at Turf Paradise during the winter and described her as a “nice girl.” Tragic.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. What is the difference between a probable payout and a will-pay?
This is a common question that can easily be answered using HPIbet. When you’re looking ahead to a potential payoff either with an exactor or a daily double, you are looking for a probable payoff amount. These potential payoffs can provide helpful insight regarding the betting patterns for the next race, in terms of identifying which horse is the likely favourite and/or which horses are being bet more heavily in the doubles.

To access this info, just click on the PROBABLES & WILL PAYS tab in the middle of the screen on any track that you’re viewing (view image here). To determine a potential payout, just line up the horse number on the left side of the screen (which represents the current race) with the horse number on the right hand side (which represents the horse in the next race).

The will-pays for any given race refers to the actual payouts for existing multi-race wagers such as doubles, pick 3’s, pick 4’s, pick 5’s and so on. You can access this info using the same PROBABLES & WILL PAYS tab on every track’s main screen. Depending on the current race, you will have access to only the current payoffs for bets that are ending in the race that you’re looking at (view image here). You can use this info to construct potential cover bets or start planning how you intend to spend your winnings!

Got a question for Marshall? Email


It’s Derby time and this week’s blog is about the unsung “hero” from the 1972 Manitoba Derby.  Who is it and what made him so special?  Read Bob’s blog here and find out. (Adds Bob: “By the way, I love this story and that’s usually a death sentence but I love it!”)


Enjoy the Downs’ biggest weekend of racing!
And best of luck in nailing a share of the Jackpot Hi 5!

Guess who will be leading O Canada on Derby Day?

© Copyright 1996-2016 All Rights Reserved. Assiniboia Downs.
3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Read our Blog  See us on Instagram  Watch us on Youtube
Make Dinner Reservations
Book Your Event
Bet Online