Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 32 (Issue #600)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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




With nine days to go, who wants a title more?

Jockeys are tied in standings; Schnell one ahead of Dickey

With only nine days of live racing remaining, it appears the race to determine the top jockey and top trainer is going to be a scratch-and-claw drag ‘em out to the wire affair.

Jockeys Rohan Singh and Adolfo Morales are tied with 35 wins apiece. Singh, with three titles earned at the beginning of the millennium, would like nothing better than to prove he’s still got what it takes to get another picture mounted on the jockey wall of fame.

But Morales, who has never won a title, has every reason to believe he deserves one after all those years of being top win-percentage jockey without getting any recognition for that feat. Nipping at their heels five back is former title holder Christopher Husbands with 29 wins and Canada’s leading apprentice rider last year, Kayla Pizarro, with 27. Will one of them go on a roll?

On the trainer side, Don Schnell has 29 wins, one more than Elton Dickey. Neither has won a trainer title. Behind them with 24 wins apiece are former top trainers Tom Gardipy, Jr. and Shelley Brown.

Singh has the edge with six mounts (including Dink of the Year) compared to two mounts for Adolfo. Trainer-wise, Dickey has two horses and Schnell has one.

Whom are you pulling for?

Bullet briefs . . .

  • ASD player takes down entire double pool for $1. See Shout-outs of the Week.
  • $11,596 carryover in tonight's 20-cent Jackpot Hi 5 at ASD
  • Rob & Kirt pick horses with 6-1 odds as their best bets tonight. Will they win?
  • She won 12 of 14 races at ASD -- and is being celebrated in tonight's stakes. Who?
  • How much did "name the filly" filly fetch at Sunday's yearling sale?
  • Media Melee bounces back after "adjustment;" is it clear sailing to Gold Cup?

JUST EIGHT CHANCES TO GET DRAWN INTO BETTING SPREE: Just eight more draws remain in the 60-second betting spree—four in August and four in September—but remember that the highest amount in August and September will get to participate in the grand finale on Sunday, Sept. 10 to win the $600 Season-60 bonus.

QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

Click to expand


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? Jays - Bombers

AFTER LIVE RACING: Free VLT tournaments. 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. Plus Crazy Hour. Beer, shots and wine only $2.95 plus half-price appetizers (nachos, chicken fingers, chicken wings and gyoza.)

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker. Registration 10 p.m. Game starts at 10:30 p.m. New Royal Flush progressive jackpot is at $130! Entry fee to play the jackpot is an additional $5. Click here for new features!

EVER EATEN A CHURRO? TRY THEM AT SEPT. 3 NIGHT MARKET! Calling itself “the new prairie treat,” the Churro Stop will be one of more than 20 food trucks at the Downs’ second Night Market on Sunday, Sept. 3 that will feature an authentic Spanish treat—churros—which essentially are light, delicious deep-fried doughy strips you dip into berry sauces and chocolate or eat as-is dusted with sugar or cinnamon. The Night Market will include scores of vendors, micro-breweries, beer garden, live entertainment and kiddie fun, too, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission just $5.



"Name the filly" filly fetches $15,000

Modesty's Tribute tied for sales topper at Sunday's yearling sale

Modesty's Tribute fetches $15,000

The filly named to celebrate 250 years of racing in Canada, Modesty’s Tribute, was purchased at Sunday’s annual CTHS yearling sale for $15,000—which tied her for the highest price paid for any horse at the auction.

The same team of owners who bought last year’s sales topper, Why So Blue, for $13,000 bought Modesty’s Tribute. They had to be in a good mood coming into the sale because their Why So Blue had just won the CTHS Sales Stake the night before the sale. (See “Shout-outs of the Week”).

The other $15,000 filly, as yet unnamed, was bought back by the breeder, Cam Ziprick.

YOUNGEST OWNERS: The youngest owners with a horse to sell, Aiden Ziprick, 11, and his brother, Keaton, 14, saw their filly, Sweet Design, go for $9,250 to Jerry Lambert. “That will go to their college fund,” said their father-- veteran Russell, Man. breeder Cam Ziprick.

Aiden Ziprick, 11, watches the sale of his and his brother's horse with dad, Cam, and mom, Sherisse

Cam told The Insider his sons were involved with the filly right from conception and earned ownership through all the chores they do on their parent’s farm. Mom is a school teacher and a horse breeder, too--Sherisse Ziprick.

Sales stats were similar to last year: Of 18 horses offered, 12 were sold for a total of $71,850. Last year, of 26 yearlings offered, 13 were sold for $76,100.

JOCKEY BUYS YEARLING: Jockey Jerry Pruitt bought a yearling for $800, the lowest price of the sale, and Grant Watson, a former Manitoban who now heads the CTHS in Abbotsford, B.C. bought a gelding, Classic Smarts, for $1,000. He said Shelley Brown will train for him.




Tonight's best bets

Selectors take two 6-1 horses. My bet is a $20 place parlay

  • Kirt, Rob, Marshall

    Kirt’s best (post-Derby record 2-1-1-0): Race 3 -- #5 Defiant One (6-1)
  • Rob’s best (post Derby record 2-1-1-0): Race 4 -- #2 Vidira (6-1)
  • Marshall ’s best (post Derby record 2-1-1-0): Race 5 -- #6 Britt’s Vow (7-2)

LAST FRIDAY’S RESULTS: All of their selections finished second.

A $20 WIN PARLAY PAID $0. So I’m changing my $20 win parlay to a $20 place parlay going forward.

*        *        *


Tonight’s Nocalero Stakes celebrates 12-for-14 gal
By Wayne King, vice-president HBPA

Nocalero wins 1994 Canada Day Stakes

Tonight features the final prep race, the Nocalero, for the Manitoba Matron at 1 1/16 miles. Nocalero was a Manitoba-bred filly who turned out to be quite a buy at the annual CTHS yearling auction in 1989. Over the next five years she won nine stakes races at ASD, one of the most dominant mares in her division. Owned by Gerry Antoniuk and trained by John Keegan, she split her racing career between ASD and Northlands Park in Edmonton.

She was a true home-town girl winning 12 of her 14 local lifetime wins. Her stakes victories included the R. C. Anderson, Hugh Jackson Handicap, Agassiz (now Phil Kives) vs males, the Duchess Stakes, Canada Day Handicap, Winnipeg Sun Stakes, Victoria Day Stakes twice and the division championship race, the Manitoba Matron. There were also multiple seconds and thirds in stakes races. Her career record in 29 starts was 12 wins, four seconds and four thirds and earnings of more than $120,000.



Arlington and Monmouth were your best tracks

They were among 20 tracks you were better bettors at in July

ASD betting statistics for July showed players were better bettors at 20 tracks but had their biggest success playing Arlington and Monmouth. Unusually, Woodbine/Mohawk races were up there, too.

Also showing positive results were Suffolk, Delta, Louisiana, Pleasanton, Los Alamitos thoroughbreds, Finger Lakes, Penn National and Belmont. And, on the harness side, Harrah’s Philly, Running Aces and The Meadows were on the plus side.

Among tracks you found trickiest to play were Fairmount Park, Albuquerque, Monticello harness and Ellis Park.

Playing to your strengths, of course, not only increases your bankroll, it also draws more money into the provincial economy, making you a better citizen.


  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to long time racing fan and sometime horse-owner Randy Premachuk for taking down the entire late double pool of $1,779 for $1 in Saturday’s last two races at ASD. He said watching a replay of #8 Sheshouldbedancin (28-1) in the last race showed the horse made a better move than the race lines indicated so he combined that horse with five horses in the second-last race including #8 Secret Wishes (9-1). Certainly shows the value of watching replays.
  • Why So Blue co-owner Wayne Anderson, trainer Steve Gaskin and jockey Prayven Badrie

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to 2-year-old Why So Blue and his connections--trainer Steve Gaskin and owners Hillside Farm, Right Attitude, Harvey Warner and Wayne and Scott Anderson--for winning the CTHS Sales Stake with last year’s $13,000 sales topper. It rarely is this simple so it’s nice when the stars are aligned and the horse you thought was best in the sale turns out to be best. Will they be as lucky with their $15,000 purchase Sunday of Modesty’s Tribute?

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to jockey Praven Badrie for winning his second lifetime stakes race, the CTHS Sales Stake Saturday on Why So Blue. That win came exactly six years to the day (Saturday, Aug. 19, 2011) that he won his first ASD stakes race with the Jerry Gourneau-trained Hop Along Harry at odds of 26-1 in the Agassiz Stakes (now the Phil Kives). This time he did it on the fan favourite that paid $4.40.

  • Media Melee beats favourite Freestyler
    (Jason Halstead photo)

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the connections of Media Melee--trainer Steven Gaskin and owner John Ganas--for “making an adjustment” as Ganas put it, so the 4-year-old gelding got the 1 1/16 mile distance of the R. J. Speers Stakes Saturday, setting him up as the horse to beat in the 1 1/8 mile $25,000 Gold Cup two weeks from this Saturday. He stalked the quick pace-setters that included Freestyler, the 3-5 favourite from Lone Star, and 16-1 Son of Eleanor, and pounced at the three-quarter pole. Since being claimed in March last year at Santa Anita for $16,000 U.S., Media Melee has won six of 11 stakes at the Downs and finished second in two others for a stakes record of 11-6-2-0. He has earned more than $79,000 in those races.

  • Rob MacLennan (right) with auctioneer Ward Cutler

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to ASD paddock host Rob MacLennan who took on a different task Sunday, colour commentator in the CTHS yearling sale, and excelled at it. He had written a well-researched script of fascinating details on each of the horses and read from it in between auctioneer Ward Cutler’s bidding banter. Rob’s commentary helped pique interest in each of the offerings.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT I’d love to be writing this one for Northlands Park moving its Canadian Derby and Distaff Stakes to THREE weeks after the Manitoba Derby instead of less than two weeks. Such a short time between the races pretty much eliminates ASD horses from shipping there to participate—and surely fans there would have enjoyed seeing Escape Clause taking on their top fillies.

Antonio Whitehall
5 wins

Hottest jockey(s): Antonio Whitehall (5 wins)
Hottest trainer(s): Don Schnell  (5 wins)
Biggest longshot: Sheshouldbedancin $58.90 (race 7 Saturday)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $3,854 (race 7 Saturday)
Stakes champion(s):
Langara (Phil Kives), Media Melee (R. J. Speers), Escape Clause (Distaff) and Why So Blue (CTHS Sale Stakes)


ARROGATE WHO? Wasn’t it surprising that despite his fourth-place finish in his previous race that Arrogate would be bet down to 3-5 in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Saturday? I certainly went deeper in my pick-4. He lost to the front-running Collected by a long neck ($8). Suddenly, the Breeders’ Cup Classic doesn’t look like a slam-dunk affair anymore, does it?

Escape Clause and Secretariat stretch the distance

A SECRETARIAT MOMENT AT ASD: Standing in the Winner’s Circle Saturday taking the accompanying picture of 3-year-old filly Escape Clause widening to 21 ½ lengths on Gold N Sochi in the non-betting Distaff Stakes reminded me of the photo of Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes by 31 ½ lengths. It was a neat moment. Escape Clause, of course, is a world onto herself in the female ranks at the Downs. It’s too bad Northlands Park’s $75,000 Distaff Stakes Saturday wasn’t held so close to the Manitoba Derby. Otherwise we would likely have seen Escape Clause make the 14-hour trip to take on the gals out there. ASD’s Can’t Use Nellie DID ship to that race and finished sixth at odds of 6-1.

MUST-WATCH THRILLER -- WINX WINS DESPITE TERRIBLE START: A must-watch thriller is the unbeaten Australian mare, Winx, winning her last race despite a terrible start. It had ASD Race Book players buzzing. Watch that race here. A fan’s tweet from Royal Randwick race course in Sydney said it all: “ The collective gasp after Winx missed the start by four lengths was something I've never experienced.” The mare is unbeaten in 18 starts.

BRIDGEJUMPER(S) JUMP AFTER ASD RACE: The only speed horse, No Hit No Run, in the first race last Wednesday failed to hang on for a share of the show pool so bridgejumpers did the dive while other players swooned over show prices on the top two finishers of $23.40 and $14.90. Were you swooning or diving or just watching with envy? The longest shot at 7-1, Zingara, won the race.

FIRST ON FORT ERIE DIRT, LAST ON WOODBINE TURF: So Cool Catomine, the winner of the Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown on Fort Erie dirt, ended up finishing last on Woodbine turf in the third leg, the Breeders’ Stakes Sunday. That’s what makes the Canadian Triple Crown so difficult to achieve; few horses are specialists on both surfaces. The winner was fan favourite Channel Maker ($5.50).

CANADIAN DERBY WINNER WAS AN ASD DROP-IN! In his foray into western Canada with three horses in early August, trainer Robertino Diodoro dropped off two at the Downs to run in the Manitoba Derby (Coors Lute and Tizfun) and boarded the third one, Chief Know It All, at the Downs for 24 hours three days before the Derby before shipping him to Northlands Park in Edmonton to run in the 1 3/8 mile $150,000 Canadian Derby this past Saturday—which he won ($6.30).

He scored only a fourth at the Downs with Tizfun but made up for it with His Chief Know It All earning $90,000 from his Canadian Derby win. He beat Northlands’ top 3-year-old, Trooper John (6-5 favourite) who deadheated for second with Double Bear (9-1). Trooper John had beaten ASD’s filly, Escape Clause, by a nose in last year’s Winnipeg Futurity.


HISTORY ON THE HOOF: Filly remembered for an evening of celebration

This week Bob tells the story of the 2-year-old champion filly from 1968.  As remarkable as this filly’s on-track accomplishments were, she will be forever remembered for memories of strawberry shortcake, a leather coat and an evening of celebration at the Paddock Restaurant. What? Bob has the details here.

Don't forget biggest day at Saratoga Saturday
featuring the Travers Stakes, first post 10:35 a.m.

© Copyright 1996-2017 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