Thursday, August 2, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 30 (Issue #648)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

MANITOBA DERBY -- DIODORO SENDS 3 OF 8, POST POSITION DRAW TODAY: Robertino Diodoro will be the trainer to beat in the 70th Manitoba Derby on holiday Monday. Three of the eight horses in the field are his. He had previously won the Derby in 2016 with Inside Straight. Post positions will be drawn at noon today in a press conference and luncheon at the Downs. The entrants:
  • Robertino Diodoro
    Enters three in Derby
    PETE MARWICK: Trainer Gary Danelson, rider Adolfo Morales. Last race: Won allowance.
  • EAGLEBINE: Trainer Jack Robertson, rider Chavion Chow. Last race: Won maiden.
  • CANDY GIANT: Trainer Eurico Martens, rider Tyrone Nelson. Last race: Won Harry Jeffrey derby prep
  • ZACK RIDGE ROAD: Trainer Steven Gaskin, rider Stanley Chadee Jr. Last race: Fifth in Harry Jeffrey derby prep
  • SKY PROMISE: Trainer Robertino Diodoro, rider Rico Walcott. Last race: Fifth in $40,000 claimer at Churchill Downs
  • GATO GUAPO: Trainer Diodoro, rider Antonio Whitehall. Last race: Won $40,000 claimer at Monmouth
  • UNITED PATRIOT: Trainer Diodoro, rider Rigo Sarmiento. Last race: Twelfth in Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury Park
  • FORTIFIED EFFORT: Trainer Kevin Eikleberry, rider Ry Eikleberry. Last race: Won Colorado Derby at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Colorado


"Snoozer" Sun Stakes under investigation

"We're waiting for something (before taking action)," says MHRC steward

Winnipeg Sun Stakes Wednesday
Allowance race three days later
“Maybe by Friday (tomorrow)” the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission will release a ruling on the Winnipeg Sun Stakes that has been under investigation by the commission since the race was run last Wednesday, race steward Grant Buckoski told The Insider.

“We’re waiting for something but I can’t say what it is,”
he said in an interview Tuesday.

The commission launched the investigation on the heels of many complaints about the way the race was run. “We have a long list,” Buckoski said.

The four-horse $27,500 race for fillies and mares saw Horse of the Year Escape Clause go to the lead in the one-mile race “cutting the opening quarter in a snoozer :25.3,” said race-caller Kirt Contois. Meanwhile, Tadaa, a horse that normally shows early speed and was ridden by last year’s leading jockey, Rohan Singh, was well behind the field.“Tadaa trailed to the stretch, advanced for third,” was the comment in the Equibase results chart.

Three days later a seemingly rejuvenated Tadaa came back to wire an allowance field. “Tadaa drew out under no urging to win with something left,” is the Equibase chart comment.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Rare paint horse debuts Saturday night
  • Spotlight is also on top 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and "unreal" music this long weekend
  • Are Manitoba horseplayers best on the continent? June stats seem to show that.
  • Drink the drink, keep the souvenir glass! What? (See "Every Day is Special")
  • What Derby Day did The Queen attend? Historian Bob has the details.
  • Want to make a last-minute wager on your HPI account? New feature could help.
WHO WON “FONDEST DERBY MEMORY” CONTEST? Jeff Monaghan of Superior, Wisconsin whose entry appears below. Thanks to all who entered! Some great memories! See all entries here.

Jeff will be treated to a brunch or buffet and $50 in wagering vouchers when he makes his next visit to the Downs.  Here’s his entry:

“Enjoying the sport of horse racing has many aspects to it. I have watched on television, been to race tracks, watched online and followed storylines on social media. I have picked the winner every time I have gone to the Kentucky Derby and I have been to six Breeders’ Cups!

Jeff Monaghan
“At Santa Anita a few years ago, I was leaving the parking lot when I stopped for a hitchhiker, of sorts.  She couldn't hail a taxi so I offered a ride to their hotel – a lady and her friend who, she told me, was a trainer in Canada and she trained a horse that won the Manitoba Derby back in the day. 

“Well that's one place I haven't been, I thought!

“The opportunity came in 2016, and I drove from Superior, Wisconsin, to Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Along the way, I learned about the beautiful parks and campgrounds.  I learned about the Kenora Thistles winning the Stanley Cup (1907), and I learned what a wonderful city Winnipeg is! (I still love the phrase "Winnipeggers!”)

“At Assiniboia Downs, I was surprised to see the Royal Canadian Mounties on their horses maneuvering to music and commands.  The food was great, and the race itself was awesome! 

“But my favorite moment in the stands was, as I was seeing thousands of ordinary everyday Canadians being so polite to one another, very friendly and feeling the energy of the crowd, when I said to the young couple sitting next to me, "Congratulations on your new baby!"  The mother holding her child said, "It's his first derby."

“Hmmm, I thought. Mine, too.”
QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

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Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in August? 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, August 3 is $10,935.


Take a bow! ASD players appear to be the best anywhere

Manitoba players made money at 46 tracks in June or 71 per cent of tracks played

How impressive is this? Wagering statistics show that Manitoba horseplayers made a profit at 71 per cent of the tracks they played in June. Sixty-five tracks were available to them; they were better bettors at 46 of them, with the largest amount of profit coming at Gulfstream and Woodbine thoroughbreds.

It’s hard to imagine any other province or state having a better stat than that which would make Manitoba horseplayers the best on the continent during June. And good citizens, too, because they’re bringing new money into the provincial economy.

Veteran player Dave Boehmer was blown away when I told him. “ When you think about it that’s incredible. You have to be about 20-25% (approximate average takeout) smarter than all the players across the continent just to break even and still ASD bettors are showing a profit!”

Here are the thoroughbred tracks at which Manitoba players did best after Gulfstream and Woodbine: Hastings, Belterra, Presque Isle, Indiana Downs, Parx, Charles Town, Arlington, Santa Anita, Emerald, Laurel, Churchill and Belmont.

And here the top better bettor harness tracks: The Meadows, Meadowlands, Monticello, Northfield and Pocono. The two tracks players found the most challenging? Prairie Meadows for thoroughbreds and Harrah’s Philly for harness. Eat your hearts out, players everywhere else!


Here's my $8 pick-4 ticket for ASD tomorrow (Friday)

Last Wednesday's result: Horses in my $1 pick-4 ticket finished 1st-2nd-1st-2nd

There was a scratch in the second leg of my $2 suggested pick-4 ticket in last week’s Insider so it turned into a $1 ticket with one horse in each race. The first and third leg horses won (the third leg horse, Wannago, paid $49.60) and the horses in my other two legs were leading to the wire and just missed. The pick-4 paid $1,548 for a $1 ticket.

Let’s see if I can nail tomorrow night’s pick-4 for $8. My wheel, starting with race 4, is: 3/7/3,10/1,5,7,9

Race 4, the Debutante Stakes:
#3 Say It’s Not So looked very impressive breaking her maiden at Canterbury. (See race replays at Canterbury Park.)
Race 5:
#7 T G’s Quest is dropping and should pop
Race 6:
#10 Makaha Heat is trainer Robertino Diodoro’s horse from Canterbury that showed lots of speed before fading. These are easier. #3 Gold Journey is a local horse dropping from $2,500 to bottom-level $1,500 claimers.
Race 7:
In this $5,000 maiden claimer, #7 Double Time will have to be caught again. Closers are #1 Dreamoncharlie, #5 Carren’s Quest and #9 Proven True.

*       *       *

“BIG” GROUP STILL TREADS WATER AS IT SEEKS A BIGGIE: Playing both Woodbine’s pick-5 and the early pick-5 at Saratoga, Saturday’s “I won big” betting group hit at Woodbine but not at Saratoga. End result: Each $20 share resulted in a $15 return. We’ll do it again Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse Plaza. The muffins will be sprinkled with pixie dust.


Each day is special, starting with tomorrow

Top fillies tomorrow; "Paint" debuts Saturday; "Unreal" concert Sunday, Derby Monday

E E Legal debuts Saturday 7:15

This Derby long weekend is historic, regardless what happens, because it’s the 70th year of the Manitoba Derby. So it’s a not-to-miss event. But the days leading up to Monday’s $75,000 Derby are special, too!
  • Tomorrow night (Friday) at 7:15: The $30,000 Manitoba Oaks, the “Manitoba Derby” for 3-year-old fillies. Also, the Debutante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
  • Saturday at 7:15: Graduation Stakes for 2-year-olds. AND RARE PAINT HORSE, E E LEGAL debuts in a maiden race
  • Sunday from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.: UNREAL outdoor concert tribute to nine of the world’s most famous musical acts: Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones, the Hip, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Kiss and Cher. Food trucks, meet and greet and fireworks, too! Tickets are $45 and available at
  • Buy the RazDerby drink, keep the glass
    Holiday Monday Derby Day 1:15 presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries:
    --$75,000 Manitoba Derby
    --Get matched with Derby horse to win $500
    --Hat contest (best original design, most elegant, best fascinator, kids’ prizes)
    --Get a free Derby collector card while quantities last
    --Keep the 70th Derby souvenir glass when you buy a RazDerby Lemonade drink (raspberry vodka and lemonade) for $10
    --Enter the draw in the history area to win a gorgeous Derby wall collage and meet track historian Bob Gates
    --Family fun: pony rides, petting farm, bouncy gyms



HOTTIES OF THE WEEK (Wed, Fri, Sat):  
Hottest jockeys: Antonio Whitehall
(3 wins)
Hottest trainers:
Juan Pablo Silva (3 wins)
Biggest longshot: Wannago $49.60 (Wednesday race 6)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $1,638 (Wednesday race 6)
Stakes champion(s): Escape Clause (Winnipeg Sun)

Shelley Brown
Has Stevie Mac razor sharp
A BIG SHOUT-OUT to Stevie Mac and her connections. The 4-year-old filly set the quickest time of the whole meet for 6 furlongs in an allowance race Saturday: 1:10.8, winning “as she pleased” which means she could have gone faster. Congrats to trainer Shelley Brown, jockey Antonio Whitehall and owners Shelley Brown, Scott Anderson and Larry Falloon. I wouldn’t discount her chances in another meeting with Escape Clause.

to a player who is on a big roll, first cashing more than $4,600 in last Wednesday’s pick-4 at the Downs followed up with more than $9,000 in a pick-4 at Los Alamitos on Saturday when he had a rare 60-1 longshot winner in the fourth leg. His quarter horse strategy is to compute each horse’s ability to run 100 yards (which means dividing the distance of a race into the time of a race). That allows a player to see at a glance who runs 100 yards the fastest.

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q: What is the new 2M2P Handicapping Program and Picks now available on HPIbet?

Beginning last Tuesday, HPIbet started offering a new Equibase licensed handicapping product called the 2M2P Summarized Performance Program & Picks (view image here). The price for this new product is $3. 2M2P is short for Two Minutes to Post, and since this product is designed to be a quick summary guide for each race providing all sorts of key information at a glance, the name is appropriate.

If you’re looking to do a shallow dive on a couple of races, this product could be right up your alley as it provides statistical averages for the horse including speed figures, pace figures, jockey stats, trainer stats and more (view image here). There are also picks provided for each race based on their handicapping algorithm (view image here).

If you’re looking for more info on this product, visit their website -

Got a question for Marshall? Email
HISTORY ON THE HOOF with Bob: 14 horses race for Queen in 1970 Derby

How did starter Nick Cizik fit 14 horses into the Downs’ 12 stall starting gate for the Manitoba Centennial Derby in 1970?  The 14-horse field was the largest ever sent postward in the Manitoba Derby. Bob has sleuthed out the mystery and has the details here.

MEET BOB ON DERBY DAY in the Racing Through Time historical display at the main entrance . Enter to win a beautiful 70th Manitoba Derby wall collage. Look for Derby souvenir collector card and special Manitoba Derby artifacts collection.
  • Tomorrow: Live racing 7:15. Debutante Stakes, Manitoba Oaks Stakes.
  • Saturday, Aug. 4:  Live racing 7:15. Graduation Stakes
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: Unreal festival of nine tribute bands from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.Tickets at . Tribute to the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Kiss, Keith Urban, the Hip and Cher followed by fireworks.
  • Holiday Monday, Aug. 6: Derby Day 1:15. $75,000 Manitoba Derby presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries and much more (see above)
  • Friday, Aug. 10: Live racing 7:15
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Live racing 7:15
  • Sunday, Aug.12: THE BIG ONE Manitoba Night Market & Festival. 3 – 11 p.m. Admission $5. Food trucks, artisans, beer gardens, microbreweries, entertainment, kids’ fun

NEXT INSIDER: Thursday. Take full advantage of the “UNREAL” fun offered this long weekend!

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