Thursday, October 4, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 39 (Issue #657)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Filly goes bar-busting
near Chantilly Racecourse north of Paris, France, after getting away from her trainer on the way to race

Speaking of France, HPI players will have a unique opportunity to bet a France/Belmont Park pick-4 Sunday morning. Races include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at 9:05 a.m. CDT and the Prix de l’Opera at 9:50 a.m., both from Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, followed in the afternoon by the $400,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies and $500,000 Flower Bowl for 3-year-old fillies and mares on the turf from Belmont Park, two races that comprise “Win and You’re In” events for the Breeders’ Cup.

(The bar-bucking episode shown above occurred near the fabled Zorin stables featured in the 1985 James Bond movie, A View to a Kill, with Roger Moore.)

QUICKIE QUIZ: What famous horse lost his first 17 starts but, a few years later, had 40,000 fans turn up to watch him run in a match race? See COUNTDOWN below.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Mymko deploys interesting strategy to win horseplayer tournament
  • Why Santa Anita show players are either very happy or searching for a steep bridge
  • Future wager on two Breeders' Cup races this weekend
  • Super filly Escape Clause, Hey Bro to race at Century Downs on Thanksgiving Monday
  • Sea biscuits to be served on 80th anniversary of Seabiscuit/War Admiral match race
“3 FOR THE MONEY” CONTEST CENTRES ON KEENELAND THIS SATURDAY: With no winner last week when 45-1 Discreet Lover won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont—and 3-5 favourite Diversify finished fifth—this week’s “3 for the money” contest will be $75 in wagering vouchers for correct predictions in three feature races at Keeneland. Last week, three entrants were “alive” to Diversify in the Gold Cup. Look for free programs on the Keeneland races in the Race Book Saturday.
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Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are running in October? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jets, Bombers, NFL

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Get into the draw for 10 chances to win $20 in free VLT spins tonight. 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 in the clubhouse on the second level. Registration from 8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. Maximum of 60 players. No late registration. Royal Flush progressive jackpot for tomorrow, Friday, is $14,775.

Available Sunday and Monday

DO TURKEY AT THE DOWNS SUNDAY AND MONDAY: Dig into Thanksgiving favourites this Sunday and Thanksgiving Monday in the Clubhouse at the Downs. Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce and dinner roll for $12. Pumpkin pie available separately, too.


Just four weeks to Breeders' Cup world championships . . .

. . . and the 80th anniversary of Seabiscuit's famous match race

The countdown has begun in earnest for the 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, 14 races worth $30 million to be run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2 and 3, four weeks from tomorrow.

Sea biscuits
To be served with soup on Nov. 1

Noteworthy, too, is the historic day on the eve of Breeders’ Cup races. Nov. 1 will mark the 80th anniversary of the most famous match race in horse racing history, War Admiral vs Seabiscuit--a race that pitted privilege and power and a Triple Crown winner against the knobby-kneed people’s horse who had a reputation for being so lazy he didn’t win a race until his 18th try.

To mark the anniversary, sea biscuits will be served with your soup in the Clubhouse that day. Sea biscuits? Yes, the sea biscuit was a staple for sailors on long voyages. A sea biscuit was also known as a “hard tack” which was the name of Seabiscuit’s father.

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FUTURE BET THE BC CLASSIC AND TURF TOMORROW THRU SUNDAY: The final Breeders’ Cup future wagering pool goes this weekend from Friday to Sunday in which you can place win bets on horses that could be entered in the BC Classic and BC Turf. Free booklets on the wagering interests for those races are available in the Race Book. Or see choices here.

Five Breeders’ Cup races will be run on Friday, Nov. 2 from about 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. CDT and nine will be run on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

in the Terrace Dining Room Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $16.95. Reserve with Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.

At 7 p.m. in the lower-level Finish Line banquet hall. Registrants will receive free programs for both Breeders’ Cup Days and entry into a draw for BC merchandise. To reserve a place, call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0. Topics:
  • Trends that have worked in the past
  • How to spot live longshots
  • Vulnerable favourites and why you should avoid betting them
  • Ways to improve your success with triactors and pick-3s.
YOU’RE INVITED TO THE “I WON BIG” WORKSHOP SATURDAY AT 9 AM: Clubhouse plaza. Last six Breeders’ Cup races will be discussed (pick-4, pick-5, superfectas, etc.) Each $20 share will be generously topped up with $5 from the Downs. The first race at Churchill goes at 9:45 a.m. and the first Breeders’ Cup race at 11 a.m. Complimentary coffee and muffins/pastries will be served.

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FLASHBACK VIDEO: $269 horse wins 1993 Classic

Arcangues was the longest shot in Breeders' Cup history

1993 Breeders' Cup Classic


Escape Clause, Hey Bro to race on Thanksgiving Day

Both are entered in stakes races at Century Downs

Hey Bro finishes second to Plentiful in R.J. Speers; entered in $100,000 Harvest Plate at Century

Manitoba’s super filly Escape Clause and Hey Bro, the 6-year-old gelding who broke the 7 ½-furlong track record at Century Downs, are both slated to run in stakes races at Century Downs on Thanksgiving Day Monday.

Their trainer, Don Schnell, told The Insider from a snow-bound Calgary that Escape Clause will be entered in the $25,000 1 1/16-mile Founders Stakes for fillies and mares and Hey Bro in the $100,000 Harvest Plate for the best horses on the grounds.

Hey Bro set a track record and ran so well, I thought I’d enter him,”
Schnell said of Hey Bro. The gelding won three races at the Downs and was second to Plentiful in the R. J. Speers Stakes before being shipped to Century where he set a 7 ½-furlong record of 1:28.90. The Harvest Plate is 7-furlongs.

Tournament director Dawn Forbes doles out $1,000 to winner Barry Mymko; Greg Earl 2nd (extreme right) and James Whapham 3rd.

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to marketer Barry Mymko who won Saturday’s Player’s Choice tournament with an interesting strategy: “Specializing in a track I didn’t think most would be playing.” That track was Belterra in Ohio. Entrants playing the usual batch of major tracks were having trouble finding longshot winners while Belterra had winners paying 16-1, 6-1, 4-1, 5-1, etc. It was nice to see Mymko make a tournament breakthrough after multiple bridesmaid finishes in the past. He operates Silvertip Sport and Promotions in Brandon, a business he started nine years ago that outfits sports teams and creates apparel for company promotions. Congrats, too, to the tourney runners up who were:
  1. Barry Mymko—bankroll $100.50, won $1,000
  2. Greg Earl —bankroll $83.60, won $400
  3. James Whapham —bankroll $82.70, won $200
  4. Doug Evans —bankroll $75.70, won $100
  5. Robert Mann —bankroll $75.50, won $50

See full results here. See Handicapper of the Year leader board here.


Bridgejumper(s) bet half a million dollars on Abel Talisman

SHOW PLAYERS LOOK FOR A STEEP BRIDGE AS 1-10 ABEL TALISMAN FAILS TO FIRE: Trainer Bob Baffert had two entrants in the six-horse Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday and, if you decided to bet $20 to show on the longer of the two, Vale Dori, you picked up $406. That was because bridgejumping show players were all over his Abel Talisman ($561,486 Cdn) who, inexplicably, simply failed to fire after a sluggish start and finished fifth. “I’m at a loss” to figure out why she didn’t respond, jockey Mike Smith said after the race. Was it a virus that had affected another horse in the barns? Happiest of all were players who bet the other horses to show; $2 on the remaining five horses returned a total of $81.80. The show prices were:
  1. Vale Dori $40.60
  2. La Force $14.60
  3. Shenandoah $26.60
How much would the bridgejumpers have won for their $500,000 in show bets had Abel Talisman finished in the money? $25,000

Make it two for two for Jared Brown’s Alpine Luck at Century Downs in Alberta. Both wins came in $12,500 claiming events. The 7-year-old gelding paid his backers $12.20 and $6.10.

Saturday’s “I won big” betting group was betting that the favourites in Woodbine’s pick-5 on Saturday were vulnerable which could have led to a big payoff. Except for a bit of a thrill in the first leg when a 57-1 horse finished second to the 4-5 winner, the group uneventfully experienced favourite after favourite after favourite, producing a pick-5 payoff of $31, likely the lowest of the meet. On a side note, someone suggested playing the new Rainbow 6 at Santa Anita (in addition to Woodbine’s pick-5) which will be discussed (and maybe played?) this Saturday, given the fact that payoffs have been huge for 20-cent wagers even when three legs are won by favourites. Time to hit a biggie. Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Clubhouse plaza.

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q: What can I do to start prepping for the 2018 Breeders' Cup?

It’s never too early to start getting ready for this year’s Breeders’ Cup (BC) which is being run on Nov. 2 and 3 at Churchill Downs (CD).  This year’s edition represents the 9th time that the BC will be held at Churchill Downs. Here are five ideas to get your handicapping pointed in the right direction and ensure that 2018 is the year that you Crush the Cup!
  1. Visit the Breeders’ Cup website and view the leading contenders for each of the races.
  2. Get to know Churchill Downs and how the previous BC races have been run by reading these tips on betting the BC at CD.
  3. Get up to speed on the top storylines by checking out the BC section of the Daily Racing Form.
  4. Check the current odds for the most popular BC races at an online book like Bet365.
  5. Sign-up for the ASD Breeders’ Cup Workshop on Oct. 31 st by calling Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.

    Got a question for Marshall? Email
THE BEST OF BOB: Revisiting the patriarch

What led historian Bob to revisit the memory of Downs patriarch, Bert Blake and his bride Eileen more than three years after their passing? Bob's must-read blog shares private details of his final conversations with the Downs’ legend. Read it here.

While Canadians are eating turkey Monday, Americans will be celebrating Columbus Day


  • Tonight: Certified Angus prime rib buffet 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Watch Winnipeg Jets’ NHL opener vs St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. in Race Book while playing Woodbine harness and Remington.
  • Tomorrow: Keeneland’s boutique fall meet begins.
  • Saturday: $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.
  • Sunday, Oct. 7: Transatlantic pick-4 (two races at Longchamp, two at Belmont) starts 9:05 a.m. (HPI players only). Thanksgiving dinner $12.
  • Monday, Oct. 8: Happy Thanksgiving—or happy Columbus Day in the U.S. All major tracks in play. Thanksgiving dinner $12.
  • Saturday: Oct. 13: $800,000 Canadian International (turf) at Woodbine, the race made famous by Secretariat in 1973.

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