Sunday, August 5, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter


By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


$9,608 pick-4 carryover into Derby Day tomorrow

Pool should grow to . . .

Brave Ginger's exciting win at 33-1 results in pick-4 carryover (Jason Halstead photo)
Adding to the excitement of the 70th Manitoba Derby tomorrow afternoon is a pick-4 carryover of $9,608 thanks to jockey Arthur Budhu nursing 33-1 longshot Brave Ginger, trained by Eurico Martens, all the way to the wire in the last race on Saturday night’s sloppy track.

Post time for the Derby card is 1:15 and the pick-4—with a low takeout of 15 per cent--begins on race 4 with highly competitive fields that are capped off with the Manitoba Derby in race 7. The pool should grow to $40,000 or more.

There are nine horses in race 4, 10 in race 5, 11 in race 6 and the Derby has eight.

My take on the pick-4:

$9 DERBY “HOMER” TICKET: 6/3,4,8/6,7,10/6
$45 DERBY SPREAD TICKET: 6/3,4,8/6,7,10/1,3,4,5,6

#6 Defondo is consistent and drops big time from open $5,000 to $2,500 non-winners of two races since February. Going deeper: #4 Magnitude is also making a class drop and #5 Mystery Cat will be on the engine trying to hold on. Longshot: #8 Duca’s Bullet raced in open races in Fargo.

#3 Desert Harbor exits a $5,000 race in Lone Star to drop into a $2,500 non-winners of a race since February. Watch out for #4 Real Heart (12-1) with shrewd trainer Eurico Martens who won last night’s nightcap to set up the pick-4 carryover. Real Heart showed early pace last year and has had just one start this year. Going deeper: #7 Gunner Grey was a game winner in a lower class race, #8 Spanky’s Bourbon set quick early fractions last time and could upset.

#6 Coastal Eddy dropping from $20,000 races in California jumps off the page but why is the 3-year-old gelding being entered for $5,000 in this maiden race? Hard to truly trust. #7 Awesome Brave has tenacious front-running jockey Prayven Badrie aboard. And #10 Mischief Mike (8-1) is a rule horse, cutting back to a sprint after showing early speed in a route race.

RACE 7, the 70th Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Derby. Tricky, tricky, tricky. Trainer Robertino Diodoro appears to be using this race to figure out who to send to the $150,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton in three weeks. His traditional go-to Northlands jockey Rico Walcott is aboard come-from-the-clouds #4 Sky Promise and another Northlands jockey, Rigo Sarmiento, is on #5 United Patriot. But #3 Gato Guapo with ASD’s leading jockey Antonio Whitehall aboard could be the nuts off his bullet workout—but will he perform as well on a dirt track as on the turf at Monmouth? Questions, questions.

You can’t leave out trainer Kevin Eikleberry’s #1 Fortified Effort who has seven wins from 14 starts, mainly in stakes races. And local fav #6 Candy Giant is at the top of his game but hasn’t tested the seeming talent of the invaders. I’ve looked at the race for an hour and still need all five horses. If I had to take three, it would be #1 Fortified Effort, #3 Gato Guapo and #6 Candy Giant. Good on you if you have a solid choice.

Good luck! See you tomorrow! Highly recommended is the $10 RazDerby drink (Absolut raspberry vodka and freshly-made lemonade), a very refreshing beverage served in a limited edition 70th Derby souvenir glass that you get to keep.

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