Thursday, September 21, 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 36 (Issue #604)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


B.C.-bred Daz Lin Dawn seen here winning the Emerald Downs Handicap at Hastings Park. She's 7-for-7 this year. ( photo)

"Should be one heck of a showdown"

Escape Clause prepares to face B.C.'s 7-for-7 Daz Lin Dawn in Calgary

Trainer Don Schnell
A Calgary homecoming, too

Brace yourself for Western Canada’s battle of the fillies as Manitoba’s Escape Clause prepares to face B.C.’s 7-for-7 Daz Lin Dawn in a $50,000 stakes race at Century Downs in Balzac, just outside of Calgary, on Sunday, Oct. 8.

“It will be one heck of a showdown at the OK Corral,”
Escape Clause trainer Don Schnell told The Insider this week as he prepared to head to Century with this filly and other horses. The race is a $50,000 sales stakes for 3-and 4-year-old fillies bred in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.

Century Downs will feature thoroughbreds for the first time on the weekends starting this Saturday. It will also be a sort of Calgary homecoming for Schnell who trained at Stampede Park for 25 years and was leading trainer in three out of four years. Racing ended there in 2008.

Escape Clause has won seven of eight races this year. Her second-place finish was in the Manitoba Derby facing the boys. Her highest Equibase speed number is 96. Daz Lin Dawn is seven-for-seven this year. All were fillies stakes races. Her highest Equibase speed number is 90.

“I’m going back to a bullring I’m not fond of,”
Schnell said of Century’s 5/8-mile circumference but said he’ll be ready with not only Escape Clause but with Manitoba-breds 3-year-old Paint My Ride (9-4-1-1) and 4-year-old Langara (18-9-3-2). He said 7f allowance races should be a good fit for Paint My Ride.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Historic Little Brown Jug races today. First post at Delaware, Ohio track: 10 a.m.
  • At last! Thoroughbreds return Saturday to long-suffering Calgarians
  • "I won big" group off to fast start with Woodbine wins
  • Manitoba proud: Goldencents' son fetches $260,000 at yearling sale
  • Will Canadian Derby result be overturned?
  • Why should you share a beer with a horse? See The Week That Was
YOU ASKED FOR IT! NOW YOU CAN CHOOSE 5-ALIVE TRACK: So the prevailing comments on the tweaked 5-Alive contest is that you like the prizing but would like to be able to play a track of your choice. Done! Rules have been changed so you may now play any five races at one track (your choice) between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. You pick three show horses, a place horse and the winner. You win twice the amount you bet. So if you bet $2 a race, your prize is $20, $5 a bet, your prize is $50, $10 a bet and your prize is $100.
QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
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94.3 The Drive

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Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in September? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jays - Bombers

FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS : Free VLT tournaments starting at 8 p.m. 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.

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: $10 buy-in poker. Registration 8 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. New Royal Flush progressive jackpot is at $1,175! Entry fee to play the jackpot is an additional $5. Click here for new features!

All you can eat $27.95 begins next Thursday

PRIME RIB BUFFETS BEGIN NEXT THURSDAY: The popular Thursday night prime rib buffets begin next Thursday in the ambience-rich Terrace Dining Room. Everything from soup and freshly baked buns to salad bar to pasta station to certified Angus prime rib to other delicious entrees to multiple dessert selections including serve-yourself ice cream. All you can eat only $27.95. For reservations (from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0. Playing the races? Buy a plate, fill up it up and enjoy it in your carrel or at a Clubhouse table!

LATE NIGHT FOOD & BAR SPECIALS EVERY NIGHT: 9 p.m. to midnight -- $2 off chicken fingers, regular wings, cheese nachos, gyoza. And, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., domestic beer, house spirits and house wine (6 oz) just $4.75.

WEEKEND SPECIALS ANNOUNCED: Enjoy specials each evening starting at 5 p.m.: FRIDAY: Pizza ($10). SATURDAY: Southern fried chicken dinner ($12). SUNDAY: Perogies and kielbasa ($11).



"I won big" group off to a fast start

Wins pick-5 and Jackpot Hi 5 at Woodbine, collects $7,581

Fortified with a huge platter of crispy crunchy bacon, Saturday’s “I won big” group—in its first workshop of the season—won all bets it made.

  • Woodbine pick-5: $3,019
  • Woodbine pick-4: $242
  • Woodbine’s mandatory Jackpot Hi 5: $4,320. Total winnings $7,581. Each $20 share was worth $176.


: The group’s pick-5 ticket (which paid $1,009 for 20-cents and which the group had three times) keyed a 6-1 horse in the first leg because its pace number had shot up dramatically off the claim, from 87 to 117. That was a 30-point improvement! See race 2, #2 Sky Vision, here.

The important element in the Jackpot Hi 5 race was picking the solid “underneath” horse—the horse that could be counted on to finish third, fourth or fifth. That horse was #1 Orphan Queen who had been showing speed at a mile. Cutting back to a sprint meant that she should be coming late—which she did. The group’s ticket keyed the best three horses (2,4,5) in the top two positions wheeled to #1 Orphan Queen in the bottom three positions. Each wheel cost $86. The winning ticket was 2,4,5 with 2,4,5 with ALL with #1 with ALL (5-2-10-1-3). The fifth place finisher went off at odds of 68-1 which helped the price. See program page here.

Can we double up this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza? Everyone is invited. And, yes, THERE WILL BE BACON AGAIN to celebrate the previous week’s BIG win. We’ll play races 2 to 7 at Woodbine – the pick-5 and the pick-4.

YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Mary Sue Weloveyou. A gray 3-year-old filly racing at Woodbine, bred and owned by Frank Di Giulio. What’s an obvious name for a subsequent foal? Marysue Lovesuback.



Will Goldencents (son of MB mare) excel at breeding?

Yearling from his first crop of foals sells for $260,000 in Keeneland sale

Goldencents' son fetched $260,000 Sunday

Goldencents, the two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile and son of a Manitoba mare, has been busy in the breeding shed. As a highly sought-after stud, he has linked up with 369 mares over the past two years.

His first crop of yearlings bred at Spendthrift Farms in Kentucky have now hit the auction block at Keeneland. A colt out of Phantom Rising sold this past Sunday for $260,000. The purchasers were Jim and Susan Hill, native Calgarians who have a huge farm and training facility near Keeneland. The Hills have regularly campaigned horses at ASD over the years under trainer Shelley Brown. Their most notable local offering is the multiple stakes winning mare Can't Use Nellie.

Goldencents, of course, has the genes of his grandmother, Body Works, who was one of the greatest mares to race at the Downs, winning 11 stakes races in the early 1990’s. The late Phil Kives of K-5 Stables sold Body Works’ daughter, Golden Works, to Kentucky breeders and she was bred to Into Mischief to produce that stallion’s #1 colt, Goldencents.

Will the pride of Manitoba now come through with talented offspring? Next summer will tell.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to 'lectrician Larry (Larry Liebrecht) whose horse pick in race 6 at Woodbine Saturday, the last leg of the pick-5, brought home the bacon ($3,019) for the “I won big” group. Others in the group weren’t as high on the horse, #1 Ikerrin Road, who had a morning line of 12-1. That’s the benefit of group play.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to Woodbine for picking a race for its Jackpot Hi 5 wager that could be logically handicapped and not a race which required throwing darts. Attracting $3.3 million in wagers was likely due largely to players believing they had a legitimate shot at nailing the correct sequence. Interestingly, The Insider predicted a $3 million pool whereas Woodbine had used $2 million in its advertising.

  • Has everyone buzzing

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to Meadowlands for coming up with an intriguing new wager that is creating a lot of buzz: the Survivor 10. You bet 10 races on a ticket, using as many horses in each leg as you like, and players are eliminated leg by leg until no one makes it to the next leg. Those left standing share the pool. The minimum wager is 20-cents. How long will it be before other tracks introduce it as well, just as they copied Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6? The new wager begins on Meadowlands harness racing Saturday night, Nov. 4, after Breeders’ Cup races during the day.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to long-suffering Calgary thoroughbred fans who finally can get their racing fix at Century Downs starting this weekend after a nine year absence caused by the elimination of racing at Stampede Park in 2008. Racing will take place Saturday and Sunday at 1:50 p.m. with two special Monday cards (Oct. 2 & Oct. 9) at 4:10 p.m. Racing goes until early November.



$90,000 purse money on hold

Tribunal to decide whether Chief Know It All interfered with second-place horse

Did Chief Know It All (middle) impede Double Bear (on the rail)?

Robertino Diodoro-trained Chief Know It All won the Canadian Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton last month but his $90,000 share of the $150,000 purse is still on hold.

Rod Cone
, the trainer of Double Bear who finished in a deadheat for second with Trooper John wants Chief Know It All, ridden by Rico Walcott, to be disqualified from receiving the $90,000 first-place purse because of interference in the stretch. Said Double Bear’s jockey (and former jockey at ASD) Dane Nelson: “He kept coming down on me. At the top of the stretch, bang, I was against the rail. Then bang. He hit me again.”

Although the stewards declined to overturn the result after an objection, Cone’s appeal to Horse Racing Alberta will result in the province setting up an independent tribunal to examine the race.

What do you think? Anything you see that causes concerns? Watch the race here. (Click on Aug. 19, race 11).


Penny Chenery (1922-2017)
After Secretariat won Triple Crown 1973

LAST VESTIGE OF SECRETARIAT ERA PASSES: The last vestige of the Secretariat era left us on the weekend with the sad passing of one of the most beloved horse owners and racing promoters of all time, Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner. She was 95. Her memory will live on in the 2010 Secretariat movie and will be rekindled annually in the Vox Populi, an award she created to give fans an opportunity to pick their favourite horse. A public celebration of her life is being planned.

A seldom-seen ruling was issued by stewards at ASD during the recently-concluded live racing season. The stewards fined jockey Stanley Chadee, Jr., $100 for “failing to call an objection” during the stretch drive in race 5 on Wednesday, Aug. 30 when he was in close quarters between horses on Norm’s Place (6-1) who finished third. (Stewards had not called an inquiry.) It was a race that, in the words of race-caller Kirt Contois, “blew up the tote board” because it was won by longshot Sumerian Bell (19-1) ridden by Antonio Whitehall. The second-place finisher was Strawberry Gulch (6-1) ridden by Praven Badrie. Would an objection have resulted in a different result? See race here (Aug. 30, race 5). See other thoroughbred rulings here.

John Field
Coordinates ownership club

SHARE MONEY ANNOUNCED FOR ASSINIBOIA RACING CLUB: John Field, coordinator of the Assiniboia Racing Club which owned This Cat’s Awesome, said the 34 shareholders of 41 shares in the Club will be receiving $440 per share. They had paid $500 each to join. Their horse had won two races and had a second and a third. Jared Brown, who had trained him, bought him from the group at the end of the season and is likely to race him at Turf Paradise.

That pretty much shows what a horse needs to do for an owner to break even – although a good chunk of money in this case paid for the horse’s upkeep and training at Turf Paradise and shipping him up to the Downs after he was claimed for $3,200 U.S. on March 12. Almost all members are signing up again for next year or are venturing out on their own, said Field, and consideration will be given to buying more than one horse next year as more members are likely to be involved.

Health drink?

REASONS TO SHARE BEER WITH A HORSE: What? Yup, grab a brewski for yourself and for your horse, if you have one handy, and read this article from Horse magazine.

Despite his vow to remain “one step ahead,” there has been no word yet from Dubai ruler and horse breeder Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum to increase the Dubai World Cup to $20 million so that race at the end of March could exceed the now-$16 million purse of Gulfstream’s Pegasus World Cup that will be held on Saturday, Jan. 27. With Gulfstream adding $4 million to the first $12 million Pegasus, every horse owner will be guaranteed at least $650,000 just for entering the race. Arrogate won the race this year. Will Gun Runner be the next best thing? Will it still cost $165 to sit in the Gulfstream grandstand that day?

Karl Broberg
Runs wrong horse

TRAINER “ASHAMED” AT BRINGING WRONG HORSE TO PADDOCK: Oklahoma trainer Karl Broberg has said he is “ashamed” that his barn brought the wrong horse to the paddock for Saturday’s fifth race at Remington, a race the horse won. A person standing in for the regular horse identifier apparently missed noticing that Broberg’s mare, Onemorefastdance was brought to the paddock instead of gelding Collateral Kitten. The misidentified horse paid $4 as the race favourite. The Oklahoma Racing Commission is investigating. Horses have identifying numbers tattooed in the inside of their upper lip. With the introduction this year of identity chips implanted in the necks of newly registered horses, identifying mistakes should eventually disappear.

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How can I track my “watch” horses and be notified when they’re racing again?

A. Now that live racing has ended, most of us will be playing our favourite simulcast tracks through the fall and winter. Considering that you’ll likely be watching dozens of races from several different tracks on a regular basis, it’s a very good idea to make sure you have a Virtual Stable setup at Equibase. This FREE service will allow you to track your “watch” horses and be notified about their workouts, entries and race results (view image here).

Once registered, you can easily search for any horse, from any track, and quickly add them to your virtual stable. Then you’ll be able to record any trip handicapping notes for every one of the horses that you’ve added (view image here). This great service will ensure you never miss another betting opportunity by not knowing a horse you’ve been waiting to run back is entered to run in the coming days.

Sign up for a FREE Virtual Stable today –

Got a question for Marshall? Email


Did you know . . . that the first race of every season is dedicated to the late, great, trainer Don Gray who passed on Christmas Day 1993? Read more here.

Don’t forget thoroughbred racing returns to the Calgary
area at Century Downs Saturday at 1:50 p.m. Check it out!

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