Thursday, September 23 , 2021

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 16 No. 31 (Issue #808)

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

10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily starting Sunday

EYE ON LIVE: Steward rulings

This is a no-no!
What did it cost Shamaree Muir?
See below. (Jason Halstead photo)


Storied Little Brown Jug races today

One of the most storied harness races of the year, the Little Brown Jug, goes this afternoon at Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Pacing and trotting begins today at 10:30 a.m.

Today was also to have been the day that Gulfstream launched racing on its new Tapeta track but that has been put over until next Thursday because the inner rail for the track from the U.K. had been delayed in Customs.

The biggest carryover for mega-bucks today is at Arlington Park in Chicago where the Jackpot Hi-5 pool sits at $332K. This pool MUST go Saturday, the final day of the Arlington meet--and maybe last day ever. First race post today is 2:25 p.m.

The other mandatory payout will be Monday at Hastings Park in Vancouver for the 20-cent Jackpot pick-5 which stands at nearly $550K and could grow to $2 million. First race post is 5:45 p.m.


Bullet briefs . . .

  • Horse pays $374 after a suspicious rise in class
  • You won't believe who gave Bob Loblaw (the pacer) his name
  • What jockey received the stiffest fine during live racing?
  • Is Saturday Arlington Park's final race day ever?
  • Why did Baffert scratch Kentucky Derby winner from Penn Derby?
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A week from this Saturday is your next chance to dive into the Player’s Choice handicapping tournament with $1,750 in prize money at stake--plus, of course, more points toward being named Handicapper of the Year. See HOTY leader board here. See tourney 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.

GREEDY CORNER: Mandatory payouts at Arlington Park Saturday and at Hastings Monday. If Arlington’s Jackpot Hi-5 pool sitting at $332K isn’t won today or tomorrow, it must be won Saturday, the final day of the meet. On Monday, Hastings Park’s 20-cent Jackpot pick-5 must be won as well. The carryover is nearly $550K. First race post is 5:45 p.m. See list of carryovers here.
EYE ON LIVE: Steward rulings (cont'd)

"Grandstanding" costs Muir $400
Of $4,300 in fines meted out by stewards during live racing, he received the most

A jockey hotdogging at the wire (top of column) might make for an interesting photo but racing stewards only see a careless rider who deserves to be fined.

In one of 19 rulings by the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission during the live race season and posted online, jockey Shamaree Muir was fined $400 for “grandstanding in a careless manner” while riding Top of the Rock in race 6 on July 27. He also was fined $400 for “standing before the finish line” in another race, causing his horse to lose his rightful placing and, in another ruling, Muir was cited for “misuse of the whip.”

In fact, of the $4,300 in fines handed out by stewards during the 51-day meet, Muir was penalized most, with $1,500 in fines and three days suspension for misuse of his whip. Next was leading jockey Jorge Carreno with $1,000 in fines which included the largest fine handed out this season, $500, for “inappropriate conduct toward MHRC licensees” and $400 for “initiating an altercation in the jockey’s room.”

A total of six fines were meted out for “careless riding,” one for “dangerous riding,” two for “easing before the finish line” and one for “standing before the finish line.” The “dangerous riding” penalty was handed to Sheldon Chickeness for allowing his Cypress Point to come over on Miss Imperial in the Polynesian Stakes on Aug. 11, forcing her into Second Grace who lost ground as a result.

A total of six jockeys were cited in the 19 rulings; the worst that happened to any trainer was being fined $200 for submitting an ineligible horse for a race.

You may view details for all these rulings here.


at Remington Thursday
$2 exactor with 2-5 fav: $1,269

Coyote Den was finishing last in maiden claiming races. So why would a trainer elevate the 3-year-old gelding into a much more difficult maiden special-weight race on the turf? Because, as it happened, he believed the horse was showing signs that he could win. Which he did--last Thursday in race 2 at Remington Park--at odds of 136-1. You read right: 136-1. That rise-in-class handicapping angle was all you had to play that 3-year-old gelding. And you likely wish you had, right? See program page here.

*       *       *
at Woodbine Saturday
20-cent superfecta: $62,816 U.S.

A $154 longshot winning race 5 at Woodbine Saturday cost the “I won bigger” betting group about $5,000 in the pick-5 (the group had the 9-1 horse who finished second) but maybe it led to the creation of a new “rule.” The horse, #14 Musical Ride, had previously won his maiden race at a first-time distance of 7 1/2-furlongs.

The race he won on Saturday was 7-furlongs. He obviously seems to like the distance. Therefore, should a 7-furlong first-time winner be bet in his next race at 7-furlongs, regardless of his speed rating in his first 7-furlong win? (He improved his Equibase speed by 14 points.) See program page here.

You won't believe who gave Bob Loblaw his (blah-blah) name

Announcer Ken Middleton, Jr. with the pacer he named, Bob Loblaw
Who knew? A casual race fan would think that 2-year-old pacer Bob Loblaw (say it out loud a few times) who is racing at Woodbine’s Mohawk Park would have been given that name by someone trying to give a track announcer the “blahs.” But, in fact, it was a track announcer who named his horse that. Mohawk announcer Ken Middleton, Jr., who co-bred, co-owns and trains Bob Loblaw, actually gave his horse that name.

“As an announcer I appreciate funny names that give you a chuckle and as a name he kind of hit a home run,”
Middleton has been quoted as saying. “It’s a commonly-used term and a friend of mine, Jimmy McClure, used to say it all the time ‘blah, blah, blah..’ and I thought, ‘That’s funny, I’m going to name a horse that someday.” Which he did. The stakes-winning gelding has earned more than $100,000.

Listen to Middleton’s emotional race call for Bob Loblaw here following his horse partner’s death.

BAFFERT WITHDRAWS KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER FROM PENN DERBY: Citing two speedball horses to his horse’s inside, Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon, trainer Bob Baffert has withdrawn Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit from the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby this Saturday at Parx. “I didn’t like that draw (post 9),” he is quoted as saying. “There is too much speed.” The other two horses drew posts 7 and 8. Instead, he is pointing Medina Spirit to the $300K Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita next Saturday. The Parx card, which also includes the $1 million Cotillion for 3-year-old fillies, starts at 11:25 a.m.

ASD JOCKEYS ON THE ROAD: After the ASD meet ended last Wednesday, jockey Antonio Whitehall was back at his second home, Century Mile in Edmonton, where he won on Saturday with two longshots, one paying $30 and the other $19.60 and he also scored two second-place finishes on the weekend. Neville Stephenson was also there, riding in two quarter horse races on the weekend, finishing third in one of them at 34-1. Century Mile races tomorrow and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and note there is racing at Lethbridge, too, that starts at 7 p.m. both nights.

With Arlington Park for sale by Churchill Downs, uncertainty surrounds the Chicago track that could be seeing its final race day ever this Saturday. The Chicago Bears have expressed an interest in buying the property and so has a possible racing consortium but Churchill doesn’t want to sell the track for racing because it has a casino 15 kilometres away. Stay tuned.

C’mon out Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to the Clubhouse plaza for the continued “I won bigger” discussion on Woodbine’s early pick-5 (races 2 to 6). Last week’s effort was kiboshed by a $154 winner in Leg 4 of the pick-5. If the 9-1 horse who finished second had won, the group would have picked up about $5,000. Grab a free coffee at the bar on your way up to the plaza. Larry and yours truly are hosting and ASD is not involved.
Hooray! Santa Anita’s 6 ½-furlong down-the-hill turf course reopens next week
  • Today: Little Brown Jug -- storied harness race from Delaware County Fair in Ohio. First post 10:30 a.m.
  • This Saturday: $1 million Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Parx, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. First post 11:25 a.m.
  • This Sunday: $400K Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park. First post 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 27: Mandatory payout of Hastings’ 20-cent Jackpot pick-5. First race post 5:45 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 1: Santa Anita meet opens; 6 1/2f down-the-hill turf races return
  • Saturday, Oct. 2: Online Player’s Choice handicapping tournament 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
  • Sunday, Oct. 3: Third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Breeders’ Stakes on Woodbine turf
  • Friday, Oct. 8: Three-week Keeneland meet opens with Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes
  • Saturday, Oct. 9: $750K Grade 1 Turf Mile at Keeneland, full card of West Virginia stakes at Charles Town

Remember ASD’s new hours starting Sunday: 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily  

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