Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 11 No. 29 (Issue #548)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

Just 15 live race days left!

How to make the most of them

Do ribs tonight

  • Play in the two remaining horseplayer tournaments to earn a trip to Las Vegas. This Saturday and Sept. 10.
  • Play $5 Place in the Sun parlays for daily and monthly prizes and the Mexican vacation but also play parlays on your own for fun and profit.
  • Come and watch the yearling sale on the Red River Ex grounds a week from this Sunday. Pick up a free yearling sale catalogue at Guest Services
  • Catch the final 11 big stakes races starting with next Wednesday’s R. J. Speers and concluding in September with the Gold Cup, Manitoba Matron, Winnipeg Futurity and the Buffalo
  • Take advantage of Wicked Wednesday deals this month starting today: $9.95 ribs, free tip sheet with program purchase, spin to win up to $50 between every race, $5.50 Caesar drinks and double the chances (20) to win $20 in free VLT spins after the races
  • Catch the final matinee race card on Labour Day Monday, Sept. 5
  • Follow the jockey wars: Will Christopher Husbands win another title or will Antonio Whitehall catch him? Or?
  • What horse will clearly show he or she clearly deserves the Horse of the Year title?
  • Will there be one more chance to scoop a big Jackpot Hi 5 before mandatory payout at the end of the season on 9/11?

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Buff makes his debut tonight!
  • Ilott parlays $5 in Place in the Sun contest to $567. How did he do it?
  • How much would YOU bet on a $110 horse? Now see what a player did.
  • Bigg event: Ivan catches a $264 horse at Parx
  • Show your jockey/trainer smarts by nailing the quiz below. No peeking!
  • This 95-year-old horseplayer doesn't act his age

ILOTT TAKES "PLACE IN THE SUN" TO A NEW LEVEL: $567.   Did anyone believe someone could increase a $5 place parlay to $567 in just three races? But that’s what Al Ilott did Saturday to lead the Place in the Sun contest for a trip for two to Mexico. But, hey, there are 15 days of live racing left and, who knows, maybe even bigger place prices will have YOU taking over. Here’s what Al did starting with his $5 place wager in race 3 Saturday:
     Race 3 …. $5 place on #2 ($16) = $40.00

     Race 4 ..... $40 place on #1 ($13.20) = $264.00

     Race 5 ….. $264 place on #1 ($4.30) = $567.60

QX104 – Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

Click to expand (Note Arlington Million this Saturday)


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 know live race dates? Click here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jays-Bombers

Next live race days:
Tonight, Friday, Saturday parade to post 7:15 p.m.

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

BUFF DEBUTS TONIGHT!   The Quest colt named for a certain hockey player debuts tonight in race 4, the first leg of the pick 4, with leading jockey Christopher Husbands aboard.  His morning line odds are 6/1. Trained by Steven Gaskin (65-5-10-13), he scored a bullet workout in June but then posted no workouts for a month and his recent three have been slow.  Hmm.  Will he do his hockey namesake proud?


Big, big, big

I catch a $234 horse; friend nails $110 horse

Catching a $100 horse is usually just a pipe dream but that dream came true in dramatic fashion this past week for your dutiful scribe and a horseplayer friend.

I’ll quickly unload my yarn: Playing Parx in Philadelphia this past Monday, I did what I’ve never done before—caught a horse that paid $234 to win, which gave me a triactor that paid $2,366 for $1. What a rush! I’ve never had anything close to a horse with that kind of odds winning my race.

It happened in the ALL position atop two horses I liked in a 5f turf dash. I loved #2, Chesapeake Spring, the even-money horse with a huge 134 pace number whom I figured should go gate to wire. My next “like” was #1, Starship Pleasant (10/1) because, after being claimed for $6,500, her trainer ambitiously catapulted her into this $16,000 claimer. You gotta respect that trainer move.

So I play a big exactor box with those two. But then I add “what if?” plays. What if a horse finishes in the “sandwich” of my two selections? So I play a 2-ALL-1 triactor. What if a horse beats #2? So I play an ALL-2-1 triactor, my final ticket.

Well, #4, the 116/1 filly from the barn of a zero-for-42 trainer, comes roaring past my pace-setting #2 who was being chased throughout by my #1. The result is 4-2-1. And the name of the filly who produces the memorable day? One I won’t soon forget: Hail to Rocknroll.

*      *       *

Four days before that nice score I pick up my ringing phone and it’s a voice from Vancouver I hadn’t heard for some time. It’s Kevin Bruce, a horseplayer/cycling friend. I know something is up.

“You know how you always talk about ‘fresh fillies with speed’
?” he says. “Of course,” I reply, “one of the best angles in horseplaying.”

“Well, I caught one today at Presque Isle,” he says. “Great,” I say, waiting for the punch line because surely he wouldn’t be calling about just any fresh filly. Then he says: “She paid $110.”

Okay, interested. And in the back of my mind, I’m thinking I hope he had $10 or $20 on it. Then comes the kicker: “I had $100 on her. One-third of the money bet on her.” (My Four Rewards, #2, in race 2 last Thursday.)

Gotta love it. Not only that he picked up $5,500 for his courage – but that he didn’t do what most players do and cut back just because it was a higher-priced horse. His strategy is to play a certain percentage of his bankroll – and his Presque Isle play called for $100.

“It was my biggest longshot play in 30 years,”
he says. And how fitting is it that I also catch a crazy longshot just days after his?. Touché, Kevin! Is there anything else in life that produces the highs and lows and more day-to-day drama than playing the horses?


How well do you know your ASD jockeys, trainers and horses?

  1. What jockey has the highest win percentage (27%)? ( a) Christopher Husbands (b) Adolfo Morales (c) Antonio Whitehall (d) Kayla Pizarro
  2. What trainer, on average, gives you your highest win payoff? (a) Cole Bennett (b) Jerry Gourneau (c) Elton Dickey (d) Ardell Sayler
  3. Which of these horses has a perfect 4 for 4 win record? (a) Cal McLish (b) Boozin Time (c) Out of Mischief (d) Girl Boss
  4. What trainer wins 32 per cent of his races, higher than any other trainer? (a) Gary Danelson (b) Ardell Sayler (c) Don Schnell (d) Jared Brown
  5. What trainer has won the most stakes races? (a) Ardell Sayler (b) Shelley Brown (c) Don Schnell (d) Jared Brown
  6. What jockey wins the most stakes races (38%)? (a) Adolfo Morales (b) Kayla Pizarro (c) Christopher Husbands (d) Tyrone Nelson
  7. What jockey wins more route races than any other jockey? (a) Tyrone Nelson (b) Kayla Pizarro (c) Renaldo Cumberbatch (d) Christopher Husbands
  8. What three jockeys together account for 78 per cent of the wins in sprint races? (a) Pizarro/Mairs/Husbands (b) Singh/Whitehall/Walker (c) Husbands/Morales/Whitehall (d) Husbands/Mairs/Nelson

See correct answers here

6-8 correct: Time to write your own racing column!
4-5 correct: You’ve made a good start
0-3 correct: Hey, there are some who have made a fortune betting their house numbers!


Alberta farmer Randy Howg, owner of Derby winner Inside Straight, cuts Derby cake with jockey Scott Stevens


HAT WINNERS: From left Lisa Anderson (Best Racing Theme), Sarah McCulloch (Funniest), Lauri Chamaillard (Most Glamourous), Brock Greaves, TalyaLynn Greaves and Colby Beaulne (Children's Category)

And click here for great Derby Day photos by ace photographer Rob Bye (also includes Canada Day shots).

Hottest jock:
Antonio Whitehall (4 wins)
Hottest trainer: Tom Gardipy Jr. (3 wins)
Biggest longshot: Thisladyisadiamond $30.50 (4th Sat)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $225 (4th Sat)

STRETCH DRIVE OF THE WEEK: Watch video here. (Aug. 6 Race 2)

Gold medalist Kaycee Hunt and Al Ilott


WINS GOLD MEDAL IN WORLD JUNIORS: Several columns ago you read about 18-year-old Kaycee Hunt, athlete of the year at Sturgeon Heights high school, heading to the World Junior Disc Throwing Championships in Poland with the help of highly-competitive horseplayer Al Ilott (see Fun & Games above). Al said she got off the plane near midnight Sunday—with her gold medal!—then was back on a plane at 5 a.m. heading to Edmonton for the Canadian nationals. Ilott said her team went unbeaten in all of its games, ultimately beating the Americans 15 wins to 14. Twenty countries competed. Some feat—which you can tell by the constantly grinning, beaming guy in the Race Book.

Bert Gray (left) with son, Glen

HAPPY 95th BERT! Bert Gray, a semi-regular horse and VLT player, celebrates his 95th birthday on Monday, Aug. 15. He remarried a couple years ago and his wife marks her 90th birthday this month, too. Bert has attended my Saturday “I won big” workshops with his son, Glen. The thing you immediately discover with Bert is that age quickly disappears from the equation; talking to him is like talking to a 35-year-old and not someone who is five years shy of being a centenarian. No wonder he tied the knot again! Many happy returns, Bert, and many more!

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How can I tell if any of the horses in the HPI entries are Main Track Only (MTO)?
Up until recently, you couldn’t tell which, if any, of the horses listed in the RACE ENTRIES were entered for Main Track Only (MTO). However, HPI recently added a new designation below a horse’s post position #, if they are entered for MTO. When you access any turf race with MTO entries, you will now see the abbreviation MTO below the horse’s post position number along the left hand side of the screen (view image here).

Got a question for Marshall? Email


Bob's blog this week is about the fun-loving, dimpled jockey pictured here. Anybody recognize him? Click here for a bigger pic and see if you're correct.

NEXT INSIDER: Wednesday.

Good luck in Saturday's second-last Vegas tourney!
Sign up by 9 p.m. Friday

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