Friday, August 28, 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 34 (Issue #753)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

and, remember, if you don’t receive The Insider in the usual way,
you can always find it--and past columns--at


Today is a big day at Charles Town with the $600K Charles Town Classic and a mandatory payout of their $1 pick-6 pool that could reach $500K. First post at Charles Town is 6 p.m.

And if Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 isn’t won today, there will be a mandatory payout tomorrow of a pool expected to reach $1.5 million. The “I won bigger” betting group will take a stab at it.

The FINAL EIGHT DAYS of live racing also mean a surfeit of important stakes races. Next Monday it’s the Phil Kives for Manitoba-bred 3-year-olds & up and Wednesday will feature the Matron Stakes which is expected to include Hidden Grace taking on the best fillies and mares on the grounds.


Oddsmaker Dustin Davis is Mr. Perfect!
Every horse he picked on Monday won; if you had bet $26, you'd have collected $264

Oddsmaker/race secretary Dustin Davis
If you had decided to play the ASD program selections for Monday’s seven-race card, you would have had a perfect day: 7 for 7 winners and you would have pocketed $238.25 profit for a measly outlay of $26.

That’s because oddsmaker Dustin Davis, ASD’s race secretary, picked the winner for all seven races through his morning line odds. Here’s what you would have collected had you bet $2 to win on each race pick and played the two $2 doubles and the $1 pick-3s, pick-4 and pick-5:

Race 1:
#3 Hidden Grace -- Paid $2.10 to win.
Race 2:
#4 Tres Magnifique $2.70. The $2 double paid $3.90.
Race 3:
#6 More Than Stature $6.30. The $1 pick-3 paid $8.00.
Race 4:
#5 American League $4.50. The $1 pick-3 paid $11.50.
Race 5:
#4 Swear Vengence $5.50. The $1 pick-3 paid $25.80.
Race 6:
#6 Purely Given $5.30. The $1 pick-3 paid $16.95.
Race 7:
#3 Bunchofcash $4.70. The $2 double paid $18.70. The $1 pick-3 paid $20.55. The $1 pick-4 paid $56.95 and the $1 pick-5 paid $70.80.

$26. AMOUNT COLLECTED: $264.25. PROFIT: $238.25

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Sales topper at yearling sale is described as a "wow factor horse." Why?
  • Saskatchewan-bred horse now #1 in wins at ASD
  • Kentucky Derby longshot has a faster closing kick than most Derby winners
  • Leading Manitoba sire is declining in health
  • Where will top trainer Gourneau ship his horses after ASD?
FINAL LIVE RACE TOURNAMENT IS TWO WEEKS FROM MONDAY: Players who correctly predict three winners on live race cards get their tournament entry fee discounted--and can even win $100! See details here.
Click to enlarge.
DO THE DOWNS for racing and gaming

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in August? Find out  here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.

60 VLTs OPEN DAILY: From 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.

HOW TO WATCH LIVE RACING: While the grandstand and tarmac are still closed to spectators, you can watch and wager on live racing from the Terrace Dining Room, Club West Lounge and Racebook (capacity restrictions are in place.) Reservations are required for the Terrace Dining Room. Call 204-885-3330. See menu here.


  • Green Brier: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Rookies Sports Bar in the Central Hotel: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
  • Pembina Hotel: open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Canad Inns Windsor Park: open daily at 9 a.m.
  • McPhillips Station Casino: open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Club Regent Casino: open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Quest Inn: closed at this time
  • HARD COPIES OF ALL PROGRAMS FOR ALL TRACKS: Equibase race programs ($2), DRF race programs ($2) and DRF Pro Picks (50-cents) are available at program kiosks in the ASD lobby and at the above OTBs.
  • ASD LIVE PROGRAMS: Can be purchased from the program kiosks and at the VLT cage at ASD.
  • EMAILED PROGRAMS: ASD program director Sheri will email programs without charge to Manitobans who email their request to her at Specify the track and DRF or Equibase program.
HOW TO OPEN AN HPI ACCOUNT FOR BETTING ONLINE: Go to or phone 204-885-3330 ext. 225 for assistance.
DO THE DOWNS for delicious dining


Assiniboia Downs is introducing a brand new way of dining every Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting Sept. 24 in the Terrace Dining Room:
  • All you can eat signature soup, salad and freshly-baked breads
  • New hand-served a la carte menu featuring famous certified Angus prime rib, steak, chicken, pasta, salmon and ribs
  • New appetizers and desserts
Reservations required. Call 204-885-3330 ext. 0.

Say “Insider $5” when you make your reservation and receive $5 off any entrée. This offer is effective until Oct. 31.

Bojo Jammer fetches $16,100 at Sunday’s yearling sale

"The wow factor horse"

Sales topper "immediately caught my eye; everything about him is so correct"

Harvey Warner’s team bought the sales topper
Remember this yearling’s name: Bojo Jammer. Manitoba Jockey Club president Harvey Warner, MJC director Barry Anderson and other partners spent $16,100 at Sunday’s yearling sale to buy what a breeder calls “one of the most correct horses I’ve ever seen.”

It was the highest price paid for a yearling at the annual CTHS auction held on the Red River Ex grounds behind the ASD grandstand.

“He’s the wow factor horse,”
said Guy Kling. “I was looking at the horses (offered for sale in the barn area) and all of a sudden this yearling caught my eye. He’s got the head, he’s got the look, he’s got the breeding, he’s got everything. The way he moves, his presence . . . I couldn’t find a fault.”

Wow! I don’t recall hearing anyone that impressed with a horse so Bojo Jammer is certainly a yearling you’ll want to keep an eye on. Consigned by Kelly Halliday, the gelding’s sire is Going Commando (sound familiar?) and his mother is Mariaburg.

Twenty-nine yearlings were offered for sale but half were bought back. Yearlings must be sent through the sales ring to be eligible to enter next year’s CTHS Sales Stakes. The remaining horses fetched $62,000. See all listings here.
EYE ON LIVE (cont'd)

Will the third time be the charm?

Hidden Grace will take on top fillies and mares in Manitoba Matron Stakes next Wednesday

Hidden Grace is a superior Manitoba-bred filly; that’s a given. But two attempts to tackle the best fillies and mares on the grounds resulted in second-place finishes. After winning an allowance race and the Distaff Stakes restricted to Manitoba-bred horses, she’ll once again take on ALL fillies and mares in next Wednesday’s Matron Stakes.

Will she finally do what many expected of her when she came into this season with a nine-for-nine unbeaten record, all stakes races? Circle next Wednesday on your racing calendar to be ready for this one. Will she follow in Escape Clause’s hoofprints or not?

*       *      *   

Hottest jockey: Antonio Whitehall (8 wins)
Hottest trainer: Jerry Gourneau (4 wins)
Biggest longshot: Run Jeanne Run $25.20 (Race 7 Tuesday)
Stakes champions:
Hidden Grace (Distaff), Melisandre (CTHS Sales), Explorer Bill (Osiris)
Upcoming stakes:
Phil Kives for 3-year-olds & up MB-breds (Monday), Matron (Wednesday)
$82,154 in the Jackpot pick-5; $35,662 in the Super Hi-5

Sask-bred Bunchofcash digs in for win #4 Monday (Jason Halstead photo)
A BIG SHOUT OUT to Kevin Sousa of Saskatoon, the breeder/owner/trainer of Saskatchewan-bred Bunchofcash who is now THE #1 WINNINGEST HORSE at the Downs this season. Never has a Saskatchewan horse led that stat. His record is four wins and two thirds. Two other horses have four wins--Miss Imperial and Button Mushroom--but have only third-place finishes compared to two thirds for Bunchofcash. Does Bunchofcash have one more win in him to hold off about six horses who can still catch him?
COUNTDOWN TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY -- one week from tomorrow

Am I grasping at straws?

Study shows "my" Thousand Words has better closing kick than past Derby winners

Thousand Words beats Honor A.P. in Shared Belief Stakes (HorsePhotos)
Okay, I may be reaching for straws but a study shows that the horse I’m supporting to win the Kentucky Derby, Thousand Words, has a better closing kick leading up to the Kentucky Derby than most Derby winners over the past 20 years.

Even Triple Crown winners Justify and American Pharoah had slower closing fractions in their best Derby prep race than Thousand Words had in the Los Alamitos Derby.

Hey, when $200 in future wagers could win you $8,500 if Thousand Words wins the Kentucky Derby, you’ll gladly grasp whatever supportive stats come your way. Of 20 horses expected to run in the Derby, Thousand Words’ closing fraction for 3/8ths of a mile is fourth best in the field:

1. Tiz the Law had a closing fraction of :36.39 in the Belmont Stakes
2. Dr Post :36.62 in the Belmont Stakes
3. Max Player :36.74 in the Belmont Stakes
4. Thousand Words :36.76 in the Los Alamitos Derby

Of course, I’m under no illusion that Tiz the Law is a beast, far above other hopefuls. But it still IS a horse race, right? No one’s telling you to key him in the pick-4.

*       *      * 
HAPPY HOUR ALL DAY: All day Derby day will be Happy Hour time in the ASD Clubhouse. Also note you may book a table for the day in the Terrace Dining Room which opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 by calling 204-885-3330 ext. 0.

MANITOBA’S LEADING STALLION IS IN DECLINING HEALTH: Going Commando, the stallion who fathered Manitoba’s best race horse ever, Escape Clause, and many others, now is in declining health, his breeder, Cam Ziprick of Ziprick Thoroughbreds in Russell, Man., has told The Insider. In his final breeding efforts this past winter he serviced the same mares who produced Escape Clause and Hidden Grace -- so their progeny will be widely anticipated next year.

But sadly, Ziprick said, their dad’s days are numbered. Born in 2000, his racing career was unspectacular (16-3-2-0, all claiming races) but he brought his sire’s genes (Unbridled’s Song -- Florida Derby and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner) into the breeding mix. Said Sherisse Ziprick: "He will end his dynasty with 15 years at stud and about 110-115 registered foals."

So where will ASD’s winningest trainer head to after ASD’s race season ends on Tuesday, Sept. 15? “Woodbine,” Jerry Gourneau said. “And maybe a few races at Century Mile (in Edmonton).” After that, he said he may take a holiday (much-deserved) during the winter before resuming racing again at Fonner Park in Nebraska before returning to the Downs. He currently sits at 61 wins and needs 17 more in eight days of racing to tie the record of 78 wins set by trainer Tom Dodds in 1990 -- but Dodds accomplished the feat in a lengthy 117 days of racing, not 50.

So ASD “I won bigger” betting group participants got a return of $8.77 on their $20 investment in Woodbine’s pick-4 last Saturday with the pick-5 and pick-6 once again eluding them. Maybe tackling the mandatory payout Gulfstream pick-6 tomorrow will be the charm. At the usual 10:30 a.m. time, the group will discuss those races as well as Woodbine’s pick-5. C’mon, racing gods! You’ve had your fun!
HISTORY ON THE HOOF by Bob Gates: Test your stakes smarts

This week Bob examines memorial stakes races that were named for influential builders. The current calendar features seven memorial races.  Bob found five others – one of which was not a memorial.  How many stakes races can you name that honoured a person for contributions to the local racing scene?  Click here to compare your list with Bob’s.
At Mohawk tomorrow. First post 5:30 p.m.
  • Today: $600K Charles Town Classic at Charles Town. First post 6 p.m.
  • Tomorrow: “I won bigger” betting group workshop 10:30 a.m., Grade 1 stakes at Saratoga, $1 million Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk for the best 3-year-old pacers. Note earlier post time for that special card: 5:30 p.m. CDT
  • Monday, Aug. 31: Live racing 7:30 p.m. Phil Kives Stakes for 3-year-olds & up Manitoba-breds
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1: Live racing 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2: Live racing 7:30 p.m. Manitoba Matron Stakes
  • Friday, Sept. 4: Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. First post 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 5: Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill. First post 10 a.m. Terrace Dining Room opens at ASD at 9:30 a.m. for those with reservations. “I won bigger” betting group on Derby card 10:30 a.m.

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3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

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