Thursday, September 26, 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 14  No 37 (Issue #707)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

BETTING: Mandatory payout at Gulfstream


Betting group will meet SUNDAY instead of Saturday

You’ve been asking about it; it’s finally here: Mandatory payout of Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 which has grown close to $2 million and is likely to exceed $10 million on must-pay Sunday.

That means this weekend’s “I won bigger” betting group will meet SUNDAY rather than Saturday at the usual time and place: 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza. All are invited. Shares are $20 each. Complimentary coffee and muffins will be served.

This Sunday marks the final day of Gulfstream’s summer meet and signals the moving of racing to Gulfstream West (the former Calder) from Wednesday to Sunday through October and November.



"Saddest day of my life"
Super mare and her trainer part ways six weeks before she goes on the auction block

Escape Clause is now stabled beyond these gates awaiting Nov. 4 auction
For the first time in years, Manitoba’s super mare, Escape Clause, and her trainer and part owner, Don Schell are separated. She’s on a farm near Lexington, Ky awaiting the Nov. 4 auction at which she’ll be offered for sale while Schnell is at Turf Paradise in Phoenix where he’ll be training eight 2-year-olds and one 3-year-old this fall and winter.

“It was the saddest day of my life loading her in a van and watching her go,”
Schnell told The Insider from a training centre in Kentucky where Escape Clause has been based for the past five weeks. “She’s a real sweetheart.”

She’ll be able to frolic on the wide-open acreage of Town and Country Farms near Lexington until the Fasig-Tipton “night of the stars” auction on Monday, Nov. 4.

“She’s tired,”
he said of the decision not to race her again following her disappointing fourth-place finish in the $200,000 Grade 3 Lotus Grove Stakes at Churchill two Saturdays ago. She posted a mere 84 Equibase speed figure in that race when her usual speed figure is over 100. “She came up empty. She didn’t have the kick she normally does. We’ll freshen her for the sale.”

Horse and trainer have been together constantly since she was 2--from Manitoba to Alberta to Arizona to California to New Mexico to Arkansas to Minnesota to New York to Delaware to Ohio and now in Kentucky. Racing at 13 different tracks, the 5-year-old may be the most travelled stakes horse on the continent.

“She’s made more than $500,000 (U.S.) this year,”
he said. “How many horses have done that? It’s been a remarkable run by a remarkable horse.”

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Manitoba mare's son is the #1 stud in the world! In what way? See below.
  • What's BEHIND the name change for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile? (No giggling!)
  • How is hot claimer Hot Rodin faring in Alberta?
  • Who won Bob's racing history quiz? Now do the quiz for fun to test your smarts
  • Miss Missile passes
QUIZ FUN: How well do you know ASD’s racing history? Take Bob’s 5-minute fun quiz and find out. Download the quiz here. Watch for answers in next week’s Insider.

Jim Roberts, the retired math prof and consummate ASD contest entrant, won the on-track quiz of Bob’s multiple-choice history questions above. He got 11 of 18 correct followed by electrician Larry Liebrecht who got eight correct. Jim receives a framed Winner’s Circle photo of Well Caught from Polo Park race track taken on June 29, 1951, 23 days after he was born, $50 in ASD merchandise and $50 in betting vouchers.

All through September, enter your name with mutuel sellers at these OTB locations (Pembina, Windsor, Quest & Green Brier) to be drawn on Saturday to win $25 in betting vouchers and 5,000 Player Rewards points (value $25.)
QX104 � Today's Country

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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? Bombers, NFL, Jets

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 8 PM: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge Friday and Saturday. 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.

GREEDY CORNER: More than $1.8M at Gulfstream and $388K at Belmont are the carryovers in their jackpot pick-6 wagers. Sunday is mandatory payout day for Gulfstream’s pick-6.
BREEDING: Manitoba proud

#1 in the world
Goldencents, the son of a Manitoba mare, tops all second-crop studs for progeny earnings

Foaled by a Manitoba mare, Goldencents is this year’s top stud
Goldencents, the son of a Manitoba mare who made us proud by winning back-to-back Breeders’ Cup races in 2013-14, is now excelling in the breeding shed. In fact, he’s #1 stud in the world among stallions who have sired two crops of foals.

His offspring have earned $4.36 million, $550,000 more than the second-leading sire, Noble Mission (GB).

The 9-year-old’s top earner is Mr. Money who has earned $1.3 million in seven starts. Mr. Money finished second in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby this past Saturday. Of 139 runners sired by Goldencents, more than half (72) have been winners. Goldencents’ stud fee is $20,000.


Goldencents’ mother is Manitoba-bred Golden Works but ASD race fans are more likely to recognize the name of his grandmother, Body Works, who won 13 stakes races as a top ASD mare from 1991-1995. Both were bred by Phil Kives’ K5 Stables.

Golden Works was sold for $7,000 at a broodmare sale in Kentucky in 2007 and her buyers bred her to Into Mischief who now commands a $175,000 stud fee because he’s produced so many talented foals, with Goldencents, of course, being the best. He’s now regarded as the sire of sires.

Goldencents was vastly undervalued as a baby, fetching just $5,500 at a yearling sale. He went on, of course, to earn more than $3 million including back-to-back victories in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in 2013-2014 before being retired to stud. (All figures are U.S. dollars.)

Kives, the “As Seen on TV” pitchman for K-tel products, who died in April of 2016 at the age of 87, would certainly be proud to see the results of his breeding efforts. His wife, Ellie, and farm manager, Leona Stahl, representing his K5 Stables, were awarded Canadian Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in Lexington, KY two years ago.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? On the road with ASD horses

Luck runs out for ASD trainer--but only briefly?

Stanford's great claim, Hot Rodin, loses at Century after winning $18,600 at ASD

Maria Stanford, seen her with Hot Rodin at ASD, hopes for the same at Century
Owner/trainer Maria Sanford’s luck ran out in race 1 at Century Downs Sunday when Hot Rodin, the horse she was fortunate enough to claim from Juan Pablo Silva for $5,000 at the Downs in August and who subsequently earned $18,600 with two wins in optional claimers, couldn’t keep the streak going.

Racing in a six-horse $17,500 claimer as the 3-5 prohibitive favourite, the 6-year-old chestnut gelding dueled to the top of the stretch under former ASD jockey Prayven Badrie then tired, finishing fifth.

But Stanford--with a tiny stable--should feel heartened by the fact that Hot Rodin always gives his best--which made him last year’s Claimer of the Year--and, with a small drop in claiming price, could send her to the Winner’s Circle in Alberta for the first time.

But, hey, she almost made it there in the eighth race when her $4,000 claimer, Witt Stamp, finished second.
*       *       *
  • Saturday stakes at Remington Park: Mr. N in the $70K Remington Park Stakes (race 3, 7:03 p.m.). Morning line 8-1. Trainer: Karl Broberg (took over from Jerry Gourneau who is training at Delta). Mr. N finished 2nd in the R J Speers and Free Press Stakes.
  • Saturday optional claimer at Century Downs: Shelley Brown’s Stevie Mac tangles with Michael Nault’s Vivacitas in race 8, a 12-horse field, at 6:15 p.m.
Also, watch for entries Saturday and/or Sunday at Century Downs from Marvin Buffalo and Jared Brown.

“BIGGER” GROUP PLAY: It looked tough but turned out easy. Who knew? Last Saturday’s pick-5 at Woodbine appeared to be more wide-open than ever -- yet, incomprehensibly, favourites won race after race and the “I won bigger” betting group collected a mere $153 for its ticket after spending $975. Big fields, many logical betting angles, first-time starters and seemingly vulnerable favourites had participants licking their chops, predicting a big payoff. Not.

But this Sunday (yes, there is no group session Saturday) should be different. Likely more than $10 million will be at stake in the mandatory payout of Gulfstream’s Rainbow pick-6 on the last six races. So, see you Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Clubhouse plaza. Everyone is invited to join in. Shares in group tickets are $20 and Assiniboia Downs will generously top up every share with $5. Coffee and muffins will be served.

*       *       *
AUGUST WAGERING: You were better bettors at 22 tracks. Take a bow if you were among the Manitoba players who were hitting some nice scores last month at Woodbine, Gulfstream, Remington Park, Century Mile, Charles Town and Parx. Those were the best money-making “better bettor” tracks among 22 such tracks according to wagering stats at Assiniboia Downs in August.

Ruidoso, Santa Rosa, Albuquerque, Kentucky Downs and Pocono Downs were among the next best. The tracks you found most challenging were Retama, Prairie Meadows and two harness tracks: Meadowlands and Plainridge. Playing to your strengths, of course, pads your pocket and benefits the economy, making you a good citizen.

Miss Missile (2005-2019) in 2008 when she won the Assiniboia Oaks with jockey Rohan Singh (Bob Gates photo)
“HEARTBROKEN” OVER MISS MISSILE LOSS: Terry Propps, the owner of Miss Missile, reports that the beloved mare of Assiniboia racegoers died last Thursday at the age of 14. “ We are heartbroken,” Propps said in an email to historian Bob. “She taught me more about life and life's lesson than I realized. Miss her so very much.”

Trained by Propps’ partner, Texas lawyer Charlie Smith, the Kentucky-bred (by Golden Missile out of Whistling Bullet) had a certain bearing that captivated me as well. In her heyday at the Downs as a 3-year-old in 2008 she won the Chantilly, the Canada Day, the Assiniboia Oaks and Jack Hardy stakes in succession which were among 11 stakes she won in her 36-race career. Sad news.

LONGSHOT LES DOES IT AGAIN: Les “Longshot” Buzzell
had Race Book players buzzing again Saturday with his cheering for--and cashing--$80 win bets on horses at odds of 64-1 and 37-1. “This horse hit the gate last time,” he said on why #6 Field Daisey at 37-1 caught his eye in race 7 at Churchill. And the horse had dropped to a claiming race from a maiden allowance. Early speed last year is what caught his attention with #9 Cirque in Belmont’s 11th race. Lady Luck kept the $131.50 front-runner from faltering in the last few strides to win by a neck.

Big Ass Fans will sponsor Breeders’ Cup Mile
BREEDERS’ CUP WELCOMES BIG ASS FANS: If you’ve ever gone shopping for a ceiling fan, Big Ass Fans has likely come to your attention; the company is a world leader in fans and lighting with offices in Canada, the U.S., Australia and Singapore and now Breeders’ Cup officials have welcomed the company as a corporate sponsor for the next three years of the Dirt Mile which means the official race title is: Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

Which will likely turn the heads of more than a few Breeders’ Cup race watchers. The company’s website says it changed its name from HVLS (high volume, low speed) Fan Co. to “Big Ass” in 2003 after customers described their huge ceiling fans that way. Logically, the company logo consists of a donkey’s behind.
Did you know . . . Assiniboia Downs serves more certified Angus prime rib than any other dining place in North America? The first Thursday night buffet begins tonight in the Terrace Dining Room from 5 to 8 p.m. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve.
Quarterback Travers with championship belt his team won Sunday playing at Investors Group Field
SAVVY NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 4
  • Packers over Eagles (tonight): Injuries are piling up for the Eagles, especially defensively. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is expected to suit up after missing last week but I don’t think that will be enough. The Packers defense has looked elite through the first three weeks.
  • Colts over Raiders (Sunday noon): QB Jacoby Brissett has filled in nicely (7 TDs,1 int) after Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement. Even with receiver T.Y Hilton most likely out with an injury, I still expect the Colts to win because the Raiders aren’t that good.
  • Giants over Redskins (Sunday noon): QB Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones debuted last week for the Giants and didn’t disappoint (2 passing TDs, 2 rushing TDs) in a 32-31 victory--and he did it without running back Saquon Barkley who left the game with an ankle injury and is expected to miss 4 to 8 weeks. Jones is the talk of New York City; Giants should beat lowly Redskins.
  • Chiefs over Lions (Sunday noon): A battle of two undefeated teams (how the Lions are undefeated, I don’t understand!). Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes already has amassed 1,195 passing yards in only three games and is on pace to throw for over 6,000 yards for the season. The Lions aren’t equipped in the secondary to handle the Chiefs’ speedy receivers.
NEW! MY $5 PRO-LINE TICKET (which would win $67.45): Packers ($1.60), Falcons ($1.70), Chiefs ($1.55) to win, Redskins/Giants to tie ($3.20)

Week 3: 3 correct out of 4.

In exceptional cases (e.g. injuries to key personnel), these picks may be amended in the online version of The Insider early Saturday afternoon. Go there ( for updates.

THE BEST OF BOB: "Shh! I'll help you but don't tell"

Did you know that local horseman, Max Freed played a key role in the life of T.V. personality Monty Hall? Bob has the details of this feel-good tale here. (First published in May 2014)

to test your racing history smarts. See answers in next week’s Insider.
Thursday night certified Angus prime rib buffets begin again tonight
  • Today: Santa Anita’s fall meet begins at 2:30 p.m. CDT. Thursday night certified Angus prime rib buffets begin in the Terrace Dining Room from 5 to 8 p.m. Just $27.95. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve. Includes salad bar, pasta station, many other entrees and side dishes and a wide dessert selection including ASD’s signature Bourbon Bacon Brownie and help-yourself ice-cream.
  • This Saturday: $100,000 B.C. Premiers Stakes at Hastings; $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park
  • This Sunday: “I won bigger” group discussion on the mandatory pick-6 payout at Gulfstream. 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 3: Regular certified Angus prime rib buffet
  • Saturday, Oct. 5: Monthly Player’s Choice horseplayer tournament with $1,750 in prize money and points toward Handicapper of the Year
  • Thursday, Oct. 10: Thanksgiving buffet. Reserve with Samantha at 204-885-330 ext. 0.
  • Sunday, Oct. 13: Thanksgiving plate special from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Includes roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce and dinner roll. Just $13.95 per plate. Pumpkin pie available for purchase separately.
  • Thanksgiving Day Monday, Oct. 14: Thanksgiving Day plate special as above.
Remember to use recycling bins for your paper but not for mutuel tickets. They’re coated and can’t be recycled. (So just bet winners!)

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3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
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