Wednesday, August 22 , 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 33 (Issue #651)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Whoa, boy!
Yearlings prepare to enter the sales ring at Sunday’s auction. What was the sales topper? See below.



Now you can predict Breeders' Cup winners in future pools

Similar to Kentucky Derby future pools, from this Friday to Sunday you’ll get to take a stab on a horse or horses you think will win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Distaff to be run at Churchill Downs in early November. Here’s what you’ll be able to bet and when:
  • From this Friday to Sunday: You can make win bets on the Classic and Distaff.
  • Aug. 31 to Sept. 2: There will be two future pools on the Juvenile (2-year-olds). You can predict the winner of that race AND you can bet the name of the winner’s sire (father).
  • Oct. 5 to 7: Another chance to forecast the Classic winner and an opportunity to predict the winner of the BC Turf.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • How much did name-the-yearling colt fetch at Sunday's yearling sale? Who bought him?
  • Jockey who taught himself to ride on a wooden horse wins 7 races at Del Mar; ties record
  • So long, Northlands Park: Canadian Derby Saturday brings an end to an era
  • Good memories at Northlands: My first-ever $1,000 win wager; my $10,000 "accidental" win
  • Queen's Plate winner, Wonder Gadot, first filly since 1979 to race in Travers Saturday
  • What were your better-bettor tracks for July?
PREDICT CROSS-BORDER STAKES RACES FOR $200 PRIZE: For a bit of fun on a big day in U.S. racing (the Travers Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga) and in Canadian racing (the $200,000 Canadian Derby on Northlands’ very last day of racing), predict the one-two finish in each race for $200 in wagering vouchers. Get one track correct, get $50. Consolation draw for $25 if there are no winners. Look for entry ballots Saturday. My choice in the Travers is, of course, Catholic Boy. And will Manitoba Derby winner Sky Promise win the Canadian Derby?
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.

RazDerby lemonade continues to be offered

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 24 is $12,380.

GOOD NEWS! RAZDERBY LEMONADE STILL AVAILABLE: The drink that was so popular on Derby Day that the track sold out of Absolut raspberry vodka before the first race was run is now part of the regular cocktail menu. Very refreshing on a hot day. Or anytime for that matter. $6.75.

Fall off the bone barbequed ribs remain a highlight on the remaining Wednesdays of live racing: half-rack with fries and coleslaw $10. Full rack $16.

The first Thursday of certified Angus prime rib, salad bar, specialty soups, pasta station, lots of other entrees, great desserts and self-serve ice-cream begin on Thursday, Sept. 27. All you can eat buffet $27.95. Reserve at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.


My $9 pick-4 ticket for tonight

Card starts with rare paint horse and includes Osiris stakes sprint for 2-year-olds

Will paint horse, E E Legal with trainer Shelley Brown, improve in his second start? (Race 1)

How will the rare paint horse, E E Legal, perform in his second lifetime start? Watch him in race 1. Then, in race 3, a compact but talented group of 2-year-olds will tangle in the $27,500 Osiris Stakes. Will the former Canterbury winner, Say It’s Not So, bounce back from a flat effort in the Debutante?

Now here’s my take on tonight’s 15 per cent takeout pick-4 where the pool is likely to be more than $10,000:

Why is Praven Badrie riding Marquis Downs invader, #1 Creative Crossing (10-1), and not on #4 Philngood that he won on three races ago? Hmm. Appears to be a gate-to-wire possibility. Leading jockey Antonio Whitehall leaves #5 Respect the Shot to ride #2, Pashito (6-5) for the first time.

Why did jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch leave #1 Dancing Wildcat that he won on two races ago, for #3 Teiaiagon that he won on, also, two races ago? Hmm. Whitehall is on #5 Bold Charmant who finished behind Teiaiagon last time. But doesn’t #8 Pepper Fantasy (15-1) have a shot at wiring the field especially with blinkers added?

RACE SIX: Doug Mustard
is dropping #7 Shiloh’s Phil (12-1) to a much easier condition—after racing open—and could have a gate-to-wire effort in mind. But Elton Dickey’s #3 Peppermint Kitty (4-1) is a fresh mare with speed who could argue that point and #6 Two Steps of Glory (3-1) looks to double up with Whitehall aboard.

RACE SEVEN: Brent Hrymak
is having a very good season (19-4-6-3) because he knows where to spot his horses which could be the case for #9 Tally (9-5) who is being dropped into a considerably easier race. Longshots with a chance: #3 Dublin Day (20-1) because 25 per cent trainer Eurico Martens knows how to get ‘em ready; #5 Krews Pass (35-1) is an unknown who won easily at a bush track; #11 Uncle Mo Money (12-1) is a “speed off a claim” rule horse.

See my $9 suggested ticket here.

*       *       *

HOTTIES OF THE WEEK (Wed, Fri, Sat):  
Hottest jockey(s): Antonio Whitehall
(5 wins) 
Hottest trainer(s): Don Schnell
(4 wins)
Biggest longshot: Impressive Reality
$94.20 (Wednesday race 6)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta:
$2,900 (Wednesday race 6)
Stakes champion(s): Langara
(Phil Kives), Escape Clause (Distaff), Hidden Grace (CTHS Sales Stakes)


Better Bettor stats return to normal after huge month

Laurel, Los Alamitos and Mountaineer are top money-makers

After a spectacular month in which Manitoba bettors produced profits at 46 out of 65 tracks they played, July saw a return to “normal” with profits at 20 tracks.

But three tracks were way ahead of the others: Laurel, Los Alamitos and Mountaineer. Those tracks owed big money to the Downs, thanks to smart bettors.

Also among the winningest tracks were Parx, Presque Isle, Arlington and Monmouth, Among harness tracks, players made modest gains at Running Aces and Meadowlands.

On the converse, after a profitable month at Woodbine thoroughbreds and Gulfstream in June, Manitoba bettors took a bit of a hit in July. Belmont was among the most challenging as well.

Betting to your strengths, of course, brings more money into the provincial economy and therefore makes you a good citizen.

*       *       *

“BIG” GROUP TAKES A BREAK AFTER 5 HORSES FAIL TO BRING HOME THE BACON: Two players at Saturday’s ‘I won big” group betting workshop who suggested taking “all” horses in the fifth leg of the pick-5 Saturday at Woodbine had it right: Even though the group had five horses in that leg with a possible payday of up to $7,700 for a 20-cent ticket, a horse they didn’t have—a horse ridden by former ASD leading jockey Chris Husbands, no less—won at odds of 18-1 putting the kibosh to the group’s ticket and producing a 20-cent pick-5 payoff of $7,718.

Groan! Good time to take a break. Group will re-unite to tackle big pools with renewed relish Saturday, Sept. 15 after live racing ends on Sept. 9. In the meantime, do good deeds to bring a load of good karma with you on your return!


Name the yearling, Bear Me a Moment, fetches $6,100

Sales topper is $20,000

Bear Me a Moment, named in a name-the-yearling contest, fetches $6,100

Of 27 yearlings who passed through the sales ring at the annual CTHS yearling sale Sunday, the sales topper was $20,000 for a gelding named Vasalund bred at the Ziprick Thoroughbreds farm in Russell, Man. The owner is Pat Beavis, the general manager of an agriculture services company who has owned horses alone or in part, including in the U.S., for years.

Barry Arnason buys "Bear" and two others

The sire is the prodigious Going Commando and his mother is Midnight Shadow, an Ontario-bred mare who won multiple stakes races at Woodbine in 2006. Keep the name in mind for next year’s baby races.

Of special note, too, is the yearling, Bear Me a Moment, who was named in a Canstar Community News contest. He was snapped up for $6,100 by major ASD horse owner and construction company owner, Barry Arnason. Bear is one of three horses he bought for a total of $27,700.

Ten horses were actually sold for a total of $88,500; others had reserve bids that weren’t met. Two horses bred by the Guy Kling family had reached $19,500 in bids without being sold.

Even if horses aren’t sold, being put through the sales ring gives those horses an opportunity to race in next year’s CTHS Sales Stakes which would not be possible without auction participation.

Last year’s sale grossed $71,850 when 18 yearlings were offered and 12 were sold. This year’s average of $8,850 per yearling is 47 per cent higher than the $5,987 average last year.

See the full sales sheet here.

*       *       *


Filly goes through the auction without a single bid

The daughter of True Sense and City Slewtions has something to prove. No one bid on her despite the best efforts of announcer and colour commentator Rob MacLennan and auctioneer Kolton McIntosh. No one nodded or raised a hand or lifted an eyebrow. Nothing. (The minimum initial bid had to be $800.) So if the breeder, Kelly Halliday, keeps her or sells her privately and she makes it to the races next year, she’ll be out to prove how wrong buyers were in giving her the cold shoulder.

No bids is a rarity. She could even have become someone’s pet! Let’s see what her name will be (how about “No Bid Betty?”) and then follow her progress.

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the third-floor player at the Downs who won the entire pick-4 pool of $9,482 last Wednesday with a $42 ticket which is shown here. The $18 ticket suggested by The Insider had two correct horses including the key in the last leg. It predicted the wrong speed horse in the first leg and missed the $90 horse, #2 in the third leg, Impressive Reality, who won after the horse on the lead, #1 T G’s Quest went lame halfway through the race and was pulled up, leaving #2 on the lead.

to leading ASD jockey Antonio Whitehall who bagged four of the seven races on Friday and to Renaldo Cumberbatch for his hat-trick on Saturday. These were Whitehall’s wins:
  • Race 1 Langara $2.90
  • Race 5 To Honorandcherish $5.30
  • Race 6 Soul Shaker $6.10
  • Race 7 Ready for Luck $10 (despite rearing at the break)

Drayden Van Dyke
Rides seven winners at Del Mar

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the hottest jockey on the continent, Drayden Van Dyke, 23—who learned how to ride on a homemade wooden horse—for winning seven of eight races he rode in Sunday at Del Mar, earning a whopping $32,520 U.S. on the card. The seven wins by a jockey at the southern California track equaled the track record and was a Van Dyke personal best in his five years of riding. He finished second in his other mount. He won all four legs of the first pick-4 that paid $865 for $1. His wins included:
  • Race 2 Neighbourhood Bully $12.80
  • Race 3 Quebec $8
  • Race 4 Triple Shot $26.20
  • Race 5 Tantara $6.20. Pick-4: $1 ticket paid $865
  • Race 8 Del Mar Mile Handicap: Catapult $12.20
  • Race 9 Policy $3.80
  • Race 10 Ohio $9.80


Only good memories for me

Made first $1,000 wager there; "accidentally" won $10,000 another time

Fades into history after Saturday's Canadian Derby

So Northlands Park in Edmonton, affectionately or not-so-affectionately dubbed the “bullring track,” will be going dark forever after the Canadian Derby this Saturday. It will be replaced by Century Mile near the Edmonton International Airport next spring.

So what memories do you have? Betting-wise, mine are only positive. I made my first-ever $1,000 wager there in 1993 (dropping speed that won and returned $5,500 for my $1,000). Everyone who was on the third floor of the ASD grandstand that night, including ASD’s current fan education specialist Glen Sirkis, will remember the thrilling moment we were watching the race on TV screens.

And a few years after that, Northlands rewarded me with $10,000 when I miscounted the horses in a leg of the pick-4 and pick-3 and won about $10,000 as a result.

You may recall that the DRF in the past didn’t have program numbers next to horses’ past performances. Standing in line to bet a pick-4 from Northlands, I counted down to what I thought was the horse I wanted but instead was a 20-1 first-time starter which I included in the pick-4 and a subsequent $3 pick-3 wheel. I was surprised to find out I had the horse.

My horses lost the final leg—until the inquiry sign lit up—which resulted in the disqualification of the winner and my second-place horse being elevated to first. Resulting in the $10,000 pick-up. Who says inquiries and mistakes always go against them?

*       *       *

DIODORO NOMINATES MANITOBA DERBY WINNER AND ONE OTHER: Trainer Robertino Diodoro has nominated Manitoba Derby winner Sky Promise and another horse, Hyndford, to the $200,000 Canadian Derby this Saturday. Hyndford had finished sixth in the Louisiana Derby in March and, more recently, won an allowance race at Belmont. Eleven horses have been nominated to the 1 3/8-mile race on the last day of racing for Northlands. Entries will be drawn this morning.

HISTORY ON THE HOOF with Bob: This Mr. Ed did his talking on the track

In the first half of the 1960s, a certain TV horse by the name of Mr. Ed wouldn’t shut up but ASD’s “Mr. Ed” in the second half of the 60s saved his talking for the track where he was still wowing spectators when other horses were out to pasture. Read about that classy Mr. Ed here.
  • Tonight: Live racing 7:15. Osiris Stakes sprint for 2-year-olds
  • Friday, Aug. 24: Live racing 7:15.
  • Saturday, Aug. 25: Canadian Derby at Northlands Park on its final day of racing in Edmonton, to be replaced by Century Mile next spring. Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Live racing 7:15.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29: Live racing 7:15
  • Saturday, Sept. 1: Live racing 7:15

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