Friday, September 17, 2021

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 16 No. 30 (Issue #807)

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


Big stakes races, mandatory payout at Woodbine

The 1973 Canadian International at Woodbine
Woodbine sizzles tomorrow with the race that Secretariat made famous almost 50 years ago, the $600K Pattison Canadian International. Desert Encounter will seek to win the 1 ½-mile turf race for the third time in a row.

Then there’s the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile with three Mark Casse horses looking to win the “win and you’re in” (the Breeders’ Cup) race. Of course, the big day means bigger than usual betting pools to take down.

Also take note there’s a mandatory payout in the Jackpot Hi-5 tomorrow that’s likely to reach $1.5 million since the carryover sits at $300K. That’s on Woodbine’s last race. And, if you’d like to join in on a discussion on the early pick-5 and the Jackpot Hi-5, come to the Clubhouse plaza tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. for group play (see below).

Watch Secretariat win the Canadian International in 1973 here.


Bullet briefs . . .

  • Live racing ends with a $1.23 million pick-5 pool. How much did it pay?
  • Embarrassment motivates tourney player to shoot for the stars; he hits Vegas
  • Not nice: Horse named Bob Loblaw forces race caller to blubber
  • Gulfstream to unveil brand new Tapeta track next Thursday
  • The Kentucky Derby road opens tomorrow--except for the suspended
HAVE YOU TRIED WOODBINE’S NEW APP? Dark Horse Bets is the easiest horse betting app for people who want to experience the thrill of horse racing. 
  • Access in-app coaching that easily helps you get up to speed and improve your game    
  • Watch live streaming of your bets thundering down the track in real time  
  • Earn instant Cash Rewards and so much more!  
PLUS, for a limited time, you’ll get  $30 FREE* when you sign up for a Real Money Account. Use Promo Code: GET30. Download here.  

With five trips to Las Vegas given away during live race tournaments, ASD returns to $1,750 in prize money in Player’s Choice tournaments on simulcast races. The next such tournament is two weeks from tomorrow: Saturday, Oct. 2. Bet $2 win/place/show on a horse in 10 races of your choice, thoroughbred or harness, from noon to 10 p.m. There will be a second tournament in October on the 30th. See entry and rules here.
Click to enlarge.

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

Do you have your new HPIbet account card that replaces the previous HPI card and the ASD Player Rewards card? Assiniboia Downs has joined the HPI rewards and bonus program and the new program began Monday, Feb. 1. See details here. If you haven't received your new card in the mail call 204-885-3330 (ext. 225) to check on the status.

with daily specials. Fridays feature a Top Sirloin Steak dinner for $24.95 and Saturdays it’s Certified Angus Prime Rib dinner also for $24.95. Dinners are served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

FINAL MANITOBA NIGHT MARKET THIS SUNDAY: The third and final night market of the summer goes this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the ASD grounds featuring exhibitors and artisans galore, a couple dozen food trucks, 10 bands, a beer garden and more. Admission at the gate $7; parking $5. (Full immunization required.)

GREEDY CORNER: Mandatory payout of Woodbine's Jackpot Hi-5 tomorrow starting with a carryover of $300K. Also note that Hasting’s Jackpot pick-5 is $542K. See list of carryovers here.
EYE ON LIVE: Wrap-up

2021 season ends with $1.7 million night
20-cent Jackpot pick-5 pays $3,009

Assiniboia Downs has continued what it started last year with daily wagering doubling and tripling what it was in pre-COVID 2019. The 2021 season ended Wednesday with $1.7 million in wagering, almost $1 million of which boosted the mandatory-payout Jackpot pick-5 pool to $1.23 million. A 20-cent ticket paid $3,009.

Total wagering for the 51-day meet was $36.6 million or $106,114 per race. Pre-COVID the wagering total was $12.5 million or $35,622 per race.

This year, the Downs offered $25,000 and even $50,000 pick-4 guarantees; in 2019 it would have been hard-pressed to offer even a $10,000 guarantee.

The Downs expanded its sphere of interest in other countries last year when it was one of only a few tracks initially that found a way to operate safely in the face of the pandemic. It also filled a desire for more racing from Monday to Wednesday night.

*       *       *
Never in doubt
Carreno and Gourneau earn titles of top jock, top trainer

CEO Darren Dunn presents Jerry Gourneau with top-trainer trophy; Jorge Carreno (inset) earned title of top jockey (Jason Halstead photos)

It was never in doubt. The jockey who once rode in the Preakness Stakes, Jorge Carreno, and the trainer who won two previous ASD trainer titles, Jerry Gourneau, simply glided to 2021 titles by wide margins.

Carreno chalked up 80 wins, a very impressive 30 per cent of his starts. Stanley Chadee, Jr., was second with 49 and Sheldon Chickeness was third with 48.

Gourneau won 58 races; next was Jared Brown with 40. The top percentage trainer was Murray Duncan who won 33 per cent of his 30 starts.

On the stakes side, Carreno won eight stakes races which was one quarter of those offered during the 2021 season. Gourneau won three stakes races, all with St. Louie Guy who was the top horse on the track earlier in the season.

*       *       *
Hottest jockey: Antonio Whitehall (5 wins)
Hottest trainer:
Jerry Gourneau (6 wins)
Biggest longshot: Aniar $15 (Race 4 Wednesday)
Stakes champions:
Jackpot pick-5 pay out:
$3,009 for a 20-cent ticket. Total pool: $1.23 million
Jackpot Hi-5 pay out:
$209 for a 20-cent ticket. Total pool: $124,161.


Mandatory payout at Woodbine will be part of group play

So you’re invited tomorrow morning and every Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. to the Clubhouse plaza for group play hosted by yours truly and horse owner/handicapper extraordinaire Larry Liebrecht (no ASD involvement).

Be ready to discuss Woodbine’s early pick-5 (races 2 to 6) and the last race BECAUSE THERE’S A $300K CARRYOVER in the Jackpot Hi-5 and it is mandatory payout day. Pools will be bigger than usual because two big stakes races are being run: the $1 million Ricoh Mile and the $600K Pattison Canadian International.
So see you tomorrow! (Coffee is available free at the bar on your way up to the plaza.)

"I was embarrassed"
Motivated by dismal one-point tournaments, player tops out with Vegas trip

Embarrassment can be a strong motivator. After scoring just one point in three previous tournaments, semi-retired maintenance man James McMullin honed in with a vengeance Monday to win the final Las Vegas Challenge handicapping tournament of the year by picking six winners and one second-place finisher on the seven-race card. His bankroll was $60.50.

That earned the 62-year-old a trip for two to Las Vegas to compete in the Horse Player World Series next spring where hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake.

“Those previous tournament results were embarrassing,”
he told The Insider in a telephone interview. “I’m a good handicapper.”

In fact, he proved so “back in the day,” as he put it, when he won multiple tournaments when players bet anything they wanted with fictional $1,000 bankrolls. After a sabbatical of about 10 years, he started playing again this year.

Luck played a role, too. He nailed the longest shot of the night, Warbridge ($9.80) because the horse happened to be on his watch list because of a troubled trip last time.

Just 80-cents behind him with a bankroll of $59.70 was Alan Twerdochlib and Ralph Gelardi was third with $56.70. The next tournament, the Player’s Choice with $1,750 in prize money, goes Saturday, Oct. 2.

See full tourney results here. See HOTY leader board here.

Iroquois Stakes at Churchill is first stop
"You're not allowed on the road," Churchill warns suspended horsemen

Road closed to suspended horsemen
Churchill Downs opens the road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby with the Iroquois Stakes for 2-year-olds tomorrow and warns that suspended horsemen can’t be involved in any horses that ultimately will race in the Derby. Churchill also reminds prep race entrants that horses must race without Lasix in Derby prep races; otherwise they will not receive points to qualify for Derby entry.

The “suspended horsemen” provision obviously refers to Bob Baffert whom Churchill banned from Derby involvement for two years because this year’s Derby winner, Medina Spirit--a horse Baffert trained--tested positive for a banned substance. Baffert can’t personally train a Derby hopeful, nor can anyone working under him.

Churchill has also added a new prep race to the Derby road, the $100,000 Gun Runner Stakes that will be run at Fair Grounds on Dec. 26. That race will carry Derby qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 for the top four finishers in the race.

In addition to 37 Derby prep races that will be run in North America, there will be a chance for a Japanese horse to qualify for the Derby (from a series of four races in Japan) and a European horse to qualify as well (from seven races run in Europe). The Kentucky Derby goes May 7; the same rules apply to the Kentucky Oaks Stakes which goes the day before the Derby.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Bob Loblaw, Are you laughing already? If not, say this horse name over and over again and listen to what comes out of your mouth. I guess it had to happen -- giving a horse a name that makes the race caller sound like he’s substituting “blah, blah” for real words. Bob Loblaw is a 2-year-old gelding pacing at Woodbine’s Mohawk Park. The mischief-makers who named the horse must be in stitches listening to a race in which Bob Loblaw is racing.
WIN A TON IN '21: How can you "pick" a non-pickable chaos horse for big money?

How can you pick the chaos horse that could make you a fortune such as the $313,000 pick-6 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday?

By definition, you can’t “pick” a chaos horse because logic doesn’t work. But you CAN give yourself a chance at nailing the chaos horse by taking “all” somewhere in your sequences. Here’s how I will consider tackling the next one:
  • Find two of the most solid keys
  • Take “all” in three of the remaining legs
  • Take three horses in the remaining leg
The cost will be somewhere around $450 depending on the number of horses in the “all” legs. It’s a cost you can share with a partner or two (as I do). The kind of money you have a chance at winning is huge so taking a shot like this is worth the gamble, I think. In Saturday’s pick-6, the first and third legs were arguably keyable, allowing “all” in the legs won by the 43-1 and 34-1 horses.

In superfecta play, my favourite wager is wheeling the three obvious horses in the first, second and fourth positions, leaving the possibility of a chaos horse finishing third. It’s amazing how often this happens: the top three horses try hard to win, then one of them tires late, allowing a longshot to saunter by to get third. Payoffs are often big.

Installing Tapeta track at Gulfstream
MANITOBA DERBY WINNER DOUBLES UP IN ALBERTA: Alberta native Robertino Diodoro had to settle for second again Saturday in the $125K Canadian Derby at Century Mile race track in Edmonton when his favoured Myopic (3-2) was beaten again by B.C.’s Uncharacteristic (7-2) as he was in the $100K Manitoba Derby. Before the race, Diodoro told an interviewer he thought Myopic was “a little green” in his loss to Uncharacteristic in the Manitoba Derby. A $2 exactor paid $24.10; the same result in the Manitoba Derby paid $19.90.

GULFSTREAM LAUNCHES NEW TAPETA TRACK NEXT THURSDAY: Gulfstream has become the only track on the continent to offer three different racing surfaces: dirt, turf and now Tapeta which was installed between the dirt and turf course. Its first Tapeta race will be run next Thursday. The Florida track installed the synthetic track as an all-weather turf-like course that could be substituted for races that are rained off the turf.
Storied Little Brown Jug harness race goes Thursday; Jugette on Wednesday
  • Tomorrow: $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile and $600K Pattison Canadian International --the race made famous by Secretariat-- at Woodbine, “I won bigger” betting group meets at 10:30 a.m. to play Woodbine pick-5, Belmont Park features the $1 million Jockey Club Derby and the $750K Jockey Club Oaks
  • This Sunday: Final Manitoba Night Market on ASD grounds from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission $7, parking $5.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22: Jugette -- famous harness race from Delaware County Fair in Ohio
  • Thursday, Sept. 23: Little Brown Jug -- storied harness race from Delaware County Fair in Ohio
  • Saturday, Sept. 25: $1 million Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Parx, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx
  • Sunday, Sept. 26: $400K Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park
  • Friday, Oct. 1: Santa Anita meet opens; 6 1/2f down-the-hill turf races return
  • Saturday, Oct. 2: Player’s Choice handicapping tournament from noon to 10 p.m. at ASD with $1,750 in prize money; $500K Champagne Stakes for 2-year-olds at Belmont; seven stakes races at Century Mile including races for 2- and 3-year-olds; two Grade 1 stakes at Santa Anita


© Copyright 1996-2021 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