Thursday, September 24 , 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 38 (Issue #757)

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


After a highly successful live racing season in which wagering quintupled over the previous year, Assiniboia Downs has announced more cash-back bonuses for Manitoba players:

will be added to current bonuses--which means a total bonus of 3 per cent to 6 per cent on your bets depending on your wagering level. See levels here.

Next Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- 3 per cent bonus on daily wagering of at least $250. Maximum bonus: $100. ($2.10 payoffs ineligible.)

Receive 5 per cent cash back on all bets you make on Tuesdays (except for $2.10 payoffs). Minimum wagered $100; maximum bonus $50.


Charley Horse
reminds us to pay heed to four events over the next six days:
  • Today marks the 75th anniversary of perhaps THE most historic harness race on the continent--the Little Brown Jug--from Delaware Fair in Ohio with legendary harness race caller Roger Huston. First post today is 11 a.m. CDT.
  • Tomorrow Santa Anita’s fall meet finally gets underway after a smoke-delayed postponement. Enter free ShowVivor contest online to share in $5,000 U.S. in prize money.
  • Sunday features the $100,000 Canadian Derby from Century Mile in Edmonton. Will Manitoba Derby/Gold Cup winner Mongolian Wind make it three stakes in a row?
  • And next Tuesday features the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown--the Prince of Wales Stakes from Fort Erie. Will Queen’s Plate winner Mighty Heart make a bid to become the first Canadian Triple Crown winner since Wando in 2003?
GREEDY PLAY TODAY: Gulfstream’s Rainbow 6 has a carryover of almost $600,000. Manitoba players may request the programs or DRF from Sheri at (And today is part of Super Bonus Week for all your wagers.)

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Who was named Horse of the Year? Awards quietly handed out in Winner's Circle
  • Longshot Les cashes a $40 exactor that pays $12,000. Ho-hum?
  • Beauregard undergoes surgery for fractured pelvis
  • New whipping rules in California: Three strikes and you're out
  • TravyFootball hits three out of three
HAVE YOU ENTERED THE FREE ONLINE CONTEST TO WIN $5,000? Better sign up soon in Santa Anita’s ShowVivor contest in which you pick a show daily that could have you sharing in $5,000 U.S. Remember that ASD player Jim Roberts won $6,000 at Hollywood Park some years ago in a similar contest. To sign up, go here.
Click to enlarge.
DO THE DOWNS for racing, gaming and dining

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.

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


OFF-TRACK WAGERING: See location of OTBs and hours here

HOW TO OPEN AN HPI ACCOUNT FOR BETTING ONLINE: Go to or phone 204-885-3330 ext. 225 for assistance.

*       *      * 

DELICIOUS DINING: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be extra-special in the Terrace Dining Room starting tonight.

New appetizers and desserts will be featured along with, all-you-can eat signature soup, salad and freshly-baked bread and the Downs’ famous certified Angus prime rib, steak, chicken, pasta, salmon and ribs. Menu. Reservations required at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.

Special offer:
Say “Insider $5” and get $5 off any entrée! (Valid until Oct. 31.)

Three jockeys seriously injured

Beauregard undergoes surgery for pelvis fractures in Century Mile spill

Jockey Shannon Beauregard undergoes surgery
The last day of live racing at the Downs and a race Saturday at Century Mile in Edmonton has three ASD jockeys nursing serious injuries. According to Derek Corbel, ASD’s assistant director of racing:
  • Kayla Pizarro has a broken collarbone
  • Rafael Zenteno Jr. has a broken collarbone
  • Shannon Beauregard underwent surgery this week to implant a plate and pins to multiple pelvis fractures
Pizarro was injured in the final card at ASD in a spill in race 7 after her mount, Witts Mambo Jack, clipped heels with Yeah I Got This as she moved to pass that horse in the turn. Zenteno and Beauregard went down at the finish line of race 3 at Century Mile Saturday night. In a race for 2-year-olds, Zenteno’s horse, Finders Keepers ($21.20) fell over Beauregard and her horse, Dark Invader, who stumbled and fell at the wire.

*       *      *   

ON THE ROAD: Trainers at ASD have taken some horses to other Canadian tracks. For starters, Jerry Gourneau has horses at Century Mile and  Wade Eno has horses in Lethbridge and Hastings and, of course, Mongolian Wind at Century Mile for Sunday’s Canadian Derby.

Who was voted Horse of the Year?

With no spring banquet, 2019 awards were handed out in Winner's Circle and office

Shelley Brown, who’s fighting Stage 4 cancer, still manages a big smile as her Cash or Card is named 2-year-old Colt of the Year. To donate to Shelley's GoFundMe click here. (Jason Halstead photo)
With no fanfare, the biggest achievements by horses and people in 2019--typically celebrated in an awards banquet in the spring--were simply marked in the Winner’s Circle and in an office. This was another consequence of the Year of Covid in which group events weren’t held.

The HBPA awards were dispensed in the afternoon of Sept. 10 in the Winner’s Circle. And the CTHS awards for Manitoba breeding were given out in the CTHS office.

If you’re a regular at the Downs, you probably have a pretty good idea who was named Horse of the Year--by both the HBPA and CTHS. To see if you’re right--and to see the recipients of all awards--go here.

New rules for next Player's Choice tourney

Online contest lasts until 10 p.m. and includes standardbred race cards

ASD’s popular Player’s Choice tournament--with $1,750 in prize money--resumes a week from this Saturday (Preakness Stakes day) with new rules:
  • First of all, note this is an ONLINE contest
  • You can make tournament bets until 10 p.m. Saturday
  • You can play any races including standardbreds
  • Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. on Friday
This opens up the tournament to players who specialize in race cards held at night and to harness racing fans. See the full rules and sign-up sheet here.

Longshot Les
A $21,000 weekend
A BIG SHOUT-OUT to LesLongshot” Buzzell who exceeded himself on the weekend when his $288 wager on Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 netted him $9,700 followed on Sunday with a $40 exactor on two bombs away horses that paid $635 for each $2 wager. That resulted in a whopping pick-up of more than $12,000.

How did he pick the $635 exactor? When there are only seven horses in a race I always play my three exactas: 5 with 7, 4 with 1, and 3 with 2. I usually only play $20 on each but since I won 10 grand on Saturday I decided to play $40 tickets. McKellar (former Handicapper of the Year Brian McKellar) cannot believe how lucky I am.” Ditto.

His 20-cent Gulfstream ticket looked like this: 6 x 5 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 2 and was won by horses that paid $46, $10.80, $3.60, $13.40, $3.80 and $12.60. The “luck” factor figured into the score because he received the post-time favourite in the third leg because his longshot horse had been scratched.

Buzzell owns a Winnipeg railway signals company that just signed a multi-million dollar contract to upgrade railways in the African gold-rich country of Gabon.

to ASD staffers and others who walked three times (four kilometres) around the ASD race track last Friday to help raise money for the United Way charity. And a shout-out, too, to Mitch Janzen of ONTrack Media that broadcasts ASD’s simulcast and live racing, for producing a hilarious one-minute video of the charity “walk.” That’s CEO Darren Dunn hotdogging it, walking backwards and food and beverage director Manley Chan and bartender Cory O’Grodnik sprinting to the wire. Watch it here.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Forgot to Forget. A clever name of a gelding racing at Arlington Park that appears to have been derived from his sire, Misremembered.

Three strikes and you're out (for three days)

Jockeys can strike a horse only twice in a row but not more than six times in a race

California race tracks are rolling out new whipping rule next Thursday, Oct. 1 that will result in a jockey being suspended for three days--and perhaps fined up to $1,000--for striking a horse more that six times in a race and more than twice in succession.

Horses may be shown the whip, however, and can be tapped on the shoulder for safety or guiding purposes. A whip can never be raised above the shoulder.

This will immediately apply to Golden Gate, Los Alamitos quarter horses and Santa Anita which opens for its fall meet tomorrow.

Jockeys generally believe the rules are too restrictive, citing safety and performance concerns. The stewards may allow more use in special situations where safety is at stake.
POCKET PLENTY IN '20: How to get an edge over lazy/uniformed players

Q: If you were a horse owner, when would you pony up an extra fee to enter your horse into a stakes race that you didn’t nominate him for in the first place?

When your horse is now doing so well, you think he’s got a shot at winning the race. . .

Exactly. The race conditions atop race 3 at Woodbine Saturday said a supplemental fee was paid to enter one horse into that Ontario Racing Stakes. Who was it? You had to go back to the overnight entries (on the Woodbine Entertainment website) to find out. Note the big “S” next to Credit River.

So would your effort have been worth it? You tell me. The 2-year-old, a first-time starter, won and paid $84.20 and was the only tricky horse in a pick-5 that paid $2,890. Will you now take the time to track down supplemented horses in stakes races?

Group’s key horse pulls up after being crowded into the rail
BAD LUCK HITS “I WON BIGGER” GROUP’S KEY HORSE: “I won bigger” betting group players were holding their breath Saturday afternoon, which is what many players do when they have a horse singled in a pick-5 wager. The breath-holding turned to a groan when the 2-year-old colt, Amsden was crowded into the rail in the stretch and had to pull up. An inquiry showed the other horse, Quick Tempo, was in the wrong--but the incident still killed a group ticket that otherwise could have won.

However, what was interesting is that the ultimate race winner, #2 Credit River, a first-time starter at 41-1, had an interesting angle that could have prompted the group to play that horse, too. (See POCKET PLENTY IN '20 above.) This Saturday, the group will play the Woodbine pick-5 but will also look at the Rainbow pick-6 at Gulfstream that will be more than $650,000 if not won today or tomorrow. That’s 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza.

In last week’s Insider, ASD handicapper Marshall Posner predicted Authentic would “bounce” in the Preakness Stakes because of his big gate-to-wire effort in the Kentucky Derby. But a sizzling workout at Churchill this past weekend suggests otherwise: He was first of 38 in a 5f workout of :59.20. The Preakness goes next Saturday at Pimlico.
TOP 3 NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 3

Bills over Rams (Sunday noon): After two games, Buffalo seems to be living up to pre-season hype. Bills QB Josh Allen had possibly his best game of his career last week (24 of 35 for 417 yards and 4TDs) and I look to him to continue that success, although it won’t be easy.

Seahawks over Cowboys (Sunday afternoon): Russell Wilson has been the MVP of the league through two weeks. After years of being a run-based offense, they finally have taken the cuffs off Wilson and let him do what he does best--throw deep. Dallas had a great come-from-behind victory last week, but don’t expect that to happen this weekend

Ravens over Chiefs (Monday night): What was going on with the Chiefs last week? For three quarters they looked out of sync. In the end they still got the victory in overtime after kicker Harrison Butker had to make three 50+ field goals (the first two didn’t count). But the defense will have to play MUCH better to stop the Ravens and Lamar Jackson who have put up 30+ points two weeks in a row.


Last week’s picks (3-0): Just like I said, the Falcons’ defense is a mess, hence the Cowboys being able to come back from a 20-point deficit . . . Tom Brady got his first win as a Buc, they looked much better than they did in week one. The Panthers lost Christian McCaffrey for four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain . . .The Steelers were helped out by a couple of key injuries suffered by the Broncos Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton) but in the NFL, you take the win any way you can.

THE BEST OF BOB by Bob Gates: Capt. Harrison pioneered Winnipeg racing

Did you know that in the 1967 Centennial issue of the Canadian Horse magazine, Stanley Harrison was one of ten men honoured for their contributions to racing in Canada? Capt. Harrison believed it was the broodmare and not the sire that played the major role in producing an outstanding race horse. Click here to read more about this great racing icon and his interesting views on breeding. (First published in June 2018)
Second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown goes Tuesday at Fort Erie
  • Today: The Little Brown Jug from Delaware Fair. First post 11 a.m. Special Terrace Dining Room “delicious dining” menu is launched. See DO THE DOWNS above.
  • Tomorrow: Santa Anita is scheduled to begin its fall meet after a one week postponement because of smoke from wild fires
  • This Saturday: “I won bigger” betting group plays the Woodbine pick-5 for starters.
  • This Sunday: $100K Canadian Derby at Century Mile with likely entrant being Mongolian Wind, winner of the Manitoba Derby and Gold Cup Stakes.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29: Second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $400K Prince of Wale Stakes, at Fort Erie
  • Saturday, Oct. 3: Final leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, from Pimlico. “I won bigger” workshop. Player’s Choice horseplayer tournament


© Copyright 1996-2020 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