Thursday, September 28, 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 37 (Issue #605)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Note proximity of people taking pictures of Filibuster Hanover

Up close and personal

Fans within feet of horses in storied pacing race

Look at the picture. Not at the horses but the people and their camera phones. It was remindful of the days in thoroughbred racing when fans in the infield actually leaned over the rail as horses turned for home.

Ah yes, there’s nothing quite like the casualness of racing at a county fair – which is where the historic Little Brown Jug race was held last Thursday – at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio.

The Little Brown Jug was the last race on a 20-race card (phew!) that saw Filibuster Hanover pace the mile in a time of 1:50 at odds of 5-1. A reported crowd of 42,000 watched the event.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • More than $740,000 at stake in tonight's Jackpot Hi 5 at Mohawk. Will you win it?
  • Will this "golden" mating produce a golden result at ASD next year?
  • Alberta trainers question Escape Clause's credentials to race in sales stakes
  • Trainer Jerry Gourneau pooh-poohs rumours. "I'll be back," he says.
  • Breeders' Cup brunch reservations now open
  • U.S. bettors to pocket $1 billion a year more in winnings. How? See Shout-Outs.
“KEEP ‘EM COMING!” SAYS FIRST CONSOLATION WINNER OF 5-ALIVE: So former probation officer Glen Burke picked up a $15 consolation when his 5-Alive contest play on Friday missed the last leg of five races he was playing at Mohawk. But he said he loves the game and said “keep ‘em coming!” Want a tip on maximizing your chance to win up to $100 in the contest Friday and Saturday night? Read “how I would play the game” – under HANDICAPPING.
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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? Jets - 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 $1,320! Entry fee to play the jackpot is an additional $5. Click here for new features!

THURSDAY PRIME RIB BUFFETS BEGIN TONIGHT: All-you-can-eat certified Angus prime rib buffets begin tonight ($27.95) which includes other delicious entrees, pasta station, salad bar, soup and multiple specialty desserts. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve or eat at your carrel while you’re playing tonight’s races: Pay a server and load up a plate as many times as you like.

Chef Gerry
With classic reuben and prime rib

DELICIOUS CLASSIC REUBEN AND MORE: ASD’s newly-appointed executive chef Gerry keeps on adding tasty items to the menu, the latest being a classic reuben on marble rye (which is the best reuben I’ve ever tasted). Ask about others. And remember there are specials every Friday to Sunday beginning at 5 p.m.: Friday—pizza ($10); Saturday—Southern fried chicken ($12) and Sunday—perogies and kielbasa ($11).

Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 for reservations for the Breeders’ Cup brunch ($14.95) in the Terrace Dining Room on Saturday, Nov. 4. Dining room opens at 10:30 a.m.; brunch served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Restricted to diners 18+).



Will "golden" mating produce golden results?

Goldencents/Golden Stripe yearling being prepped to race at ASD next year

Goldencents/Golden Stripe yearling at K-5 Stables farm (Bob Gates photo)

YEARLING'S MAMA: Golden Stripe with K-5 Stables manager Leona Stahl after winning 2011 La Verendrye Stakes
What could have more promise than a “golden” stallion (Kentucky’s Goldencents) linking up with a “golden” mare (Manitoba’s Golden Stripe) to produce a colt that is being primed to race at the Downs next year?

That’s exactly what is happening at K-5 Stables near Winnipeg, reports stable manager Leona Stahl.

Before his death and before Goldencents had won his second Breeders’ Cup Mile, she said, K-5 Stables owner Phil Kives had purchased syndication rights to Goldencents because the colt was the son of a Manitoba mare, Golden Works, Kives had sold to Kentucky breeders.

The broodmare K-5 Stables chose to mate with Goldencents at Spendthrift Farms in Kentucky in 2015 was Golden Stripe, the multiple stakes-winning mare which included four Distaff Stakes in a row and two Canada Day Stakes.

The resulting unnamed yearling is now being schooled by Laura McIvor, Stahl said, and will be trained next spring by Don Schnell.

But the “golden” breeding doesn’t stop there. Golden Stripe is pregnant with another Goldencents foal after mating with him again last year, Stahl said. Does this count as “going steady” in the equine world?

*        *        *

Black Caviar runs free in Australian pasture. How idyllic is this?

BLACK CAVIAR GIVES BIRTH TO HER FOURTH FOAL: The darling mare of Australians, Black Caviar (25 wins in 25 starts), gave birth last Friday to her fourth foal, a filly that is reported to look sort of like mom, in a procedure that owner Neil Werrett decribed as fuss-free: “It was about 30 minutes from when she broke water to the foal walking. You don’t get much smoother than that. And within 15 minutes of walking the foal was drinking milk,” he was quoted as saying. The filly’s dad? More Than Ready. Figures.

*        *        *

STRONG YEARLING SALES REPORTED; BEST SINCE 2008: Yearlings were in big demand at the annual 12-day September yearling sale at Keeneland in Kentucky: There were slightly fewer yearlings offered than last year (2,555 vs 2,792) but they brought in almost 13 per cent more money than last year’s crop. Total sales exceeded $300 million for the first time since 2008, a sign that the racing industry is rebounding from the depression years.



Fourth last tournament goes Saturday

Who will emerge as Handicapper of the Year?

So here come the four most important horseplayer tournaments in the run up to the naming of the Handicapper of the Year. The first of those is this Saturday and you should sign up by 9 p.m. tomorrow. Entry fee is just $25 and $1,750 in prize money is at stake.

Seven of your best scores in this year’s 12 tournaments will determine the Handicapper of the Year. Most of you have fewer than seven tournaments so Saturday is your first chance to add to your points. Good luck.

Entrants must bet $2 win/place on 10 horses at thoroughbred tracks of their choice. The tournament lasts from noon to 4:30 p.m. The top five share in $1,750, with $1,000 going to the winner.

*        *        *

HOW I'D PLAY NEW 5-ALIVE CONTEST: The new 5-Alive contest represents a great opportunity for you to pick up $100 in betting vouchers Friday and Saturday night! What’s the trickiest leg of the five races you must play? The last leg where you must pick a winning horse. (In the first three legs, you select a show horse and in the fourth leg, you select a place horse.) So the way I would play it is to find the race with the most likely winner and make that your final leg. You can select any track and just be sure your five races in a row fit between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. You’re welcome!

*        *        *

"I WON BIG" GROUP SNATCHES VICTORY FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT: It didn’t look good for Saturday’s “I won big” workshop group as only one longshot won a leg of the pick-5 at Woodbine, which could have resulted in a big loss on the pick-5 ticket – but, tadaa, that 10-1 horse, Honor and Trust, was the first leg of the pick-4 and a $1 ticket paid a monster $1,187. So, with a $1.20 ticket, the group ended up making a modest profit of almost 70 per cent on each $20 share. That makes it two winning sessions in a row although this one wasn’t big enough for a bacon treat. Let’s make it three in a row this Saturday! Playing in the horseplayer tournament? Maybe attending the workshop will result in your finding a play or two. We’ll be discussing Woodbine races 2 to 7 at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza.
  • Renaldo Cumberbatch
    Rides Coolidge at 39-1

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to ASD owners/trainers Jared Brown and Don Schnell who shipped horses to Century Downs near Calgary to help the track launch its first-ever thoroughbred meet. Each had second-place finishes on opening day Saturday. Brown’s The Spinmeister finished second at 7-1 in race 3, losing by a neck to 3-5 favourite Hardly Forgotten. Schnell’s Coolidge lit up the board at 39-1 in race 7, setting up an exactor that paid $515. Coolidge, who finished second in the Winnipeg Futurity in 2015, was ridden by Renaldo Cumberbatch.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association whose lobbying of the U.S. Congress will put an estimated $1 billion more in winnings annually into the pockets of U.S. bettors. That’s because Congress has changed the formula for withholding tax from big wins (over $5,000). Under the new rules, taxes are withheld BASED ON THE TOTAL TICKET VALUE of a bet and not just on the cost of the winning combination on the ticket.

    For example, under the old rules if a player won $10,000 for a $1 pick-4 the entire $10,000 would be eligible for tax withholding because the win is greater than 299:1. However, let’s suppose the player spent $400 on that ticket. Under the new rules the full $400 would be divided into $10,000 which shows a ratio of 25:1. So no tax would be withheld. In Canada, windfall wins are not taxed. Will this tax change result in pick-6 players returning to playing “caveman” tickets in which one gigantic ticket is played instead of a bunch of smaller ones using keys?

  • Cole Bennett
    Has third win at Woodbine

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to former ASD trainer Cole Bennett, 20, who chalked up his third win Sunday in his first season of tackling big-league racing at Woodbine, the same number of wins as another former ASD trainer, Blair Miller. Bennett won a $20,000 claimer Sunday with Crushin It ($8.50) with Patrick Husbands riding. His previous win was a bombs-away result: His WeekendUpdate ($49.90) won a maiden allowance race on July 30 with Emma-Jayne Wilson aboard. His stats are now 22-3-1-5 with earnings of $77,479. Miller’s horses seem to be good exactor bets; almost 20 per cent have finished second: 52-3-10-8. His horses have earned $153,214.


Jerry Gourneau
Will bring "40 or 50" horses

“I’LL BE BACK,” SAYS TRAINER JERRY GOURNEAU: Putting rumours to rest, ASD trainer Jerry Gourneau has told The Insider he’ll be back training at the Downs next year with “about 40 or 50 horses,” most of which will be those of Texan Henry S. Witt, Jr. "Winnipeg is still the place we like to go,” he said as he waited for repairs to be completed on a Witt trailer for eight horses he is taking south. He said he has applied for stall space at Delta Downs and Fair Grounds, and will likely race at both tracks which are 3 ½ hours of driving apart. He is also watching with concern what is happening in Texas where the number of race days may be slashed.

TRAINERS QUESTION ELIGIBILITY OF MANITOBA’S ESCAPE CLAUSE: Fearful of facing Manitoba super filly Escape Clause in a $50,000 stakes race at Century Downs a week from this Sunday, Alberta trainers have been questioning the eligibility of the filly to run in the race, the filly’s trainer, Don Schnell, has told The Insider. But, Schnell said, he has been assured the race is open to all horses in western Canada that have gone through yearling sales in their respective provinces.

He said the filly is training “as good as ever” and will be ready to face 7-for-7 B.C.-bred Daz Lin Dawn in the stakes. “The surface is good,” he said of the 5/8th mile track and “the turns are comparable to Assiniboia Downs.” About four of his horses will be racing at the Calgary-area track this weekend, he said, that could include Paint My Ride, Key to Glory, Supreme Rush and Tizno’s Dilemma. Post time Saturday and Sunday is 1:50 p.m. and a special card will be held Monday at 4 p.m.

New track will overlook golf course at bottom of this photo

NO TOTEBOARD AT NEW EDMONTON TRACK: Construction is proceeding on the new Century Mile race track in Edmonton that will replace Northlands Park that will hold its final thoroughbred meet next summer. It is located near the international airport and overlooks a golf course. The mile track, the longest in western Canada, will have a LED screen in the place of the long toteboard familiar at most tracks and the grandstand will have a terraced restaurant that is being modelled after Front Runners at Santa Anita. Harness racing is scheduled to be held next fall and thoroughbred racing is scheduled to begin on Kentucky Derby weekend the following spring.


Did you know . . . that K-4 Stables was named for the four members of the Kives family (Phil, Ellie, Kelly and Samantha) and was changed to K-5 in 1982 when son Daniel was born? Read more here.


  • Sunday, Oct. 8: Filly showdown – Escape Clause vs 7-for-7 B.C.-bred Daz Lin Dawn at Century Downs
  • Friday & Saturday, Oct. 27 & 28: Breeders Crown harness championships at Hoosier Park, Indiana
  • Friday & Saturday, Nov. 3 & 4: Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Del Mar.
  • Saturday, Nov. 4: Exciting new “survivor” wager begins at Meadowlands (harness)
  • Monday, Nov. 6: Melbourne Cup at Flemington in Australia

Remember, Century Downs races Monday at 4 p.m.
in addition to its regular Saturday & Sunday times of 1:50 p.m.

This Black Forest breed horse of southern Germany looks like a movie star but these horses are actually known for their ability to work hard.

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3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

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