Thursday, October 7, 2021

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 16 No. 33 (Issue #810)

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


Follow Keeneland for Breeders' Cup clues

Keeneland’s three-week fall meet begins tomorrow at noon central time; following that track’s turf races could help you pick Breeders’ Cup winners four weeks from tomorrow.

That’s because Keeneland horses have figured prominently in one Breeders’ Cup turf race held at California this past decade. Keeneland horses won four of the six Breeders’ Cup Mile (turf) races. The Keeneland horses paid $5.60, $3.60, $26.80 and $9.20. The other two BC Mile races were won by horses from Woodbine ($7.40) and Europe ($60).

This is the weekend, too, from tomorrow through Monday to dig into Thanksgiving dinner at ASD--roast turkey and all the trimmings--for $14.95 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day.


Bullet briefs . . .

  • Will these stats from previous Breeders' Cup races help you win? Save 'em!
  • City engineer chalks up hefty $154 bankroll in Player's Choice tourney
  • This weekend features 11 important "win and you're in the Breeders' Cup" races
  • What was the clue to picking Longshot of the Week at Woodbine?
  • Celebration of Life planned for CEO's mother
FREE $5,000 SHOWVIVOR CONTEST CONTINUES AT SANTA ANITA: Making one online play at Santa Anita each race day could win you a share in $5,000 U.S. prize money. See rules here.

There’s another Player’s Choice handicapping tournament this month--on Saturday, Oct. 30--with $1,750 in prize money, bragging rights and points toward Handicapper of the Year at stake again. Bet $2 win/place/show on 10 horses in at any track(s) from noon to 10 p.m. See tourney rules here.
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in October? 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.

Served from tomorrow through Monday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
DO THANKSGIVING AT THE DOWNS! All Thanksgiving weekend from tomorrow through Monday, enjoy roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, veggies, stuffing and cranberry sauce for $14.95 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each of those days. Add pumpkin pie or apple pie for $4.95. Reservations not required.

GREEDY CORNER: 20-cent Jackpot pick-6s are growing everywhere: $314K at Gulfstream, $170K at Santa Anita and $90K at Woodbine. See list of carryovers here.

City engineer wins Player's Choice tournament with hefty $154 bankroll

Brent Daurie
When Brent Daurie, 53, isn’t chauffeuring his soon-to-be-11 daughter, Shayla, to Triple A softball games or, as Winnipeg’s power engineer, testing the water in boilers in 100 buildings, he’s picking longshot horses that won him the first-place prize of $1,000 in last Saturday’s Player’s Choice handicapping tournament.

“I look for troubled trips,” he
says of his main angle in picking winners. And he’s not above picking the gray horse. “They win more often,” he told The Insider in a telephone interview after being congratulated for increasing his $60 bankroll to a hefty $154.60--$34 more than his closest rival--by betting $2 win/place/show on 10 horses throughout Saturday in his HPIbet account.

He's been betting horses since he was 18 and his goal, he said, is to earn a trip to Las Vegas in the live racing tournaments. Problem is, he said, is that his specialty is long races--especially turf routes--and most races at ASD are sprints. Here are his main plays that won him the tournament:
  • Belmont race 11: #6 Gongheigatchoy. Paid $33.80 to win. “Showed early pace last race in June then had four decent workouts. Went wire to wire!”
  • Belmont race 7: #3 Molino. Paid $21 to win. “Broke maiden first race then was bet down to the favourite and got into some trouble out of the gate. So I had a hunch it would run better this time.”
  • Woodbine race 7: #7 Believing: Paid $14 to win. “Second start of the year. Showed some early speed so I had a feeling he would run better second time out.”
The top five finishers who shared in $1,750 in prize money were:
1. Brent Daurie -- bankroll $154.60 -- $1,000 prize money
2. Darcy Backman -- $120 -- $400
3. Stewart Hayek -- $116.30 -- $200
4. Jeff Rozmus -- $93.90 -- $100
5. Barry Mymko -- $86.50 -- $50


at Woodbine Saturday
20-cent superfecta: $7,265

Some years ago, Stretch (from the ASD Live show) made the observation that horses with identical back-to-back workouts had a better-than-average chance of winning races and you could go to the bank on three identical workouts.

A first-time starter in race 8 at Woodbine Saturday, #2 J M R Best of Turf, fit that profile. The 2-year-old colt registered 1:00.60 in back-to-back five-furlong workouts. He won, paying $110.50, $47.60 and $16.60 across the board. What a great play for tournament players who watch for this angle!

A $2 exactor with a “rule” horse paid $692. The 5-1 rule horse was #5 Perfect Picture who had the lowest added up numbers of 3 in his last two races (you add up where the horse finished in his last race with his position at the first quarter of his race before that.)

A 20-cent superfecta with a 5-1 maiden special weight horse finishing third, #8 Point to the Stars, paid $7,265. My ticket sadly missed the fourth position in which I took two horses but not the correct one, #1 Tara Tattoo.


Seaside site of this year's Breeders' Cup in four weeks

WHERE AND WHEN: At Del Mar race track on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6. Del Mar is located in the town of Del Mar--pop. 4,300--40 kilometres north of San Diego. “Del Mar” is Spanish for “by the sea.”
14 Breeders’ Cup races with purses totalling $31 million
Five ‘Cup races on Friday starting at 4:50 p.m. CT. Nine ‘Cup races on Saturday starting at 2:05 p.m. CT. There will be preliminary races each day: Five on Friday starting at 1:55 p.m. and three on Saturday starting at 12:15 p.m.’’  

Join the excitement and potential big payoffs of Breeders’ Cup by sharing in group tickets that will be put together at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza on BC Saturday in four weeks. You may buy shares ($20 each) to be applied to BC play at any time from Larry or me in the Race Book. (Assiniboia Downs is not involved.)

*       *       *
What BC races are likely to produce longshots?
And what BC races are likely to produce lower-priced winners?



Take Charge Brandi at 60-1 was one of several Juvenile Fillies longshots
The Insider has analyzed the payoffs of the past six Breeders’ Cup cards held at California tracks--five at Santa Anita (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019) and one at Del Mar (2017). It chose just California tracks, of course, because this year’s Breeders’ Cup is in California. Here’s what the stats show:
  • The Juvenile Fillies race has seen the most extreme longshots. The average price in the previous six Breeders’ Cup races in California was $51. Winners paid $9.80, $66.60 (Ria Antonia), $125.40 (Take Charge Brandi), $69.20 (Champagne Room), $36.60 and $7.40.
  • The Juvenile has had a tendency to produce longshots as well with an average price of $31.20. The prices for the six Juvenile races have been $4,60, $23, $29.80, $11, $25 and $93.80 (Storm the Court).
  • The Dirt Mile is up there, too. Once you’ve eliminated the dominating Goldencents who won that race in 2013 and 2014, you have payoffs that have ranged from 8-1 to 15-1.
  • You’re least likely to see a longshot win the Distaff, previously referred to as the Ladies Classic. The prices there were $5.40, $7.60, $5.20, $8.60, $9.40 and $19.80 for an average win price of $9.30.
  • The Fillies & Mares Sprint was also very formful with prices of $3.40, $8, $8.20, $19.40 and $5 except for the race at Del Mar in 2017 when Bar of Gold lit up the tote board with a payoff of $135.40.
  • You’re unlikely to see anything extreme in the Classic, either, where the prices have been $20.80 (Fort Larned), $10 (Mucho Macho Man), $14.20 (Bayern), $5.40 (Arrogate), $6.80 (Gun Runner) and $11.20 (Vino Rosso).
Here are the prices for the other Breeders’ Cup races for you to draw your own conclusions:

Juvenile Fillies Turf:
$24.80, $15.80, $6.80, $15, $8 and $29.60.
Fillies and Mares Turf:
$20.40, $5, $13, $18, $24.40 and $28.40.
Juvenile Turf:
$20.60, $14, $14, $15.20, $11.60 and $12.60.
Turf Sprint
(hillside at Santa): $15.80, $7.40, $16.40, $9.60, $62.40 (Stormy Liberal at Del Mar), $31.60
$36.60, $27, $14.40, $9.60, $30.20 and $4
$29.40, $7, $40.20, $9.80, $11.80 and 45.60
(turf): $5.60, $3.60, $60, $26.80, $7.40 and $9.20

What percentage of the 36 Breeders’ Cup turf races that were run in six years at the California tracks above (6 x 6) were won by European invaders? (a) 40% (b) 50% (c) 60% (d) 70% (e) 80%. See answer in next Thursday’s Insider.

What turf race do you think was won by the most Europeans? (a) Juvenile Fillies Turf (b) Fillies & Mares Turf (c) Juvenile Turf (d) Turf Sprint (e) Turf (f) Mile. See answer in next Thursday’s Insider.

*       *       *
Win and you're in
This weekend features 11 races where winner gets entry paid into BC race

--$400K Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland for 2-year-old fillies
--$350K Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix at Keeneland for older horses

--$250K Vosburgh at Belmont for older horses
--$500K Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland for 2-year-olds
--$400K First Lady at Keeneland for older fillies and mares (turf)
--$750K Keeneland Turf Mile for older horses
--$250K Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland for older fillies and mares

--$150K Futurity at Belmont for 2-year-olds (turf)
--$200K Castle & Key Bourbon at Keeneland for 2-year-olds (turf)
--$200K Indian Summer at Keeneland for 2-year-olds (turf)
--$500K Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland for older fillies and mares
TOP 3 NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 5

Rams over Seahawks (Thursday night): The Rams were dealt their first loss of the season at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals last week. You aren’t going to win a game when your defense gives up over 200 yards rushing to Chase Edmonds and James Conner. It doesn’t get much easier as they hit the road to face the Seattle Seahawks who are coming off their own victory over the once again injury-prone 49ers (sigh). If the Rams want to stay contenders in the NFC, they are going to have to contain Russell Wilson and not let him do what he does best, which is turn a nothing play, into a something play. 

Chargers over Browns
(Sunday afternoon):  Even though the Browns are 3-1, there’s something about them I just don’t trust, and by “something” I mean their quarterback, Baker Mayfield. The Browns have a strong running game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, a stout defense lead by Myles Garrett, but I feel that at any point Mayfield is going to make a bad throw or take a sack that puts his team in a bad position. The Chargers have back-to-back wins against the Chiefs and Raiders and may be the team to beat in the AFC West. 

Bills over Chiefs
(Sunday night): A battle of a couple heavyweights in the AFC. If the Kansas City Chiefs want this game to stay close, then their defense is going to have to show up. Buffalo feels like they could put points on the board whenever they want right now. Couple that with Kansas City’s inability to stop teams from throwing the ball, the Bills QB Josh Allen could be looking forward to a career game. The Chiefs find themselves in unfamiliar territory at the bottom of a surprisingly competitive AFC West division.


Marion Dunn (1942-2021)
CELEBRATION OF LIFE PLANNED FOR DARREN DUNN’S MOTHER: A celebration of life will be held a week from this Saturday at Assiniboia Downs for Marion Dunn, mother of the Downs’ CEO Darren Dunn, who died at 79 after what was described as “an incredibly courageous battle with cancer.” A nurse from a very large family (she is survived by six sisters and two brothers) in the Interlake, she had a huge passion for nature and the creatures in it, setting out food trays throughout the year in her well-treed Winnipeg yard and was a big fan of ASD’s greatest horse, Escape Clause, whose likeness on a pillow she was fond of hugging. “The daily exposure (at a cabin in the woods) to nature, walks, campfires and nostalgic music would put a never-ending smile on her face,” reads her obituary you may read here.

BETTING PUZZLER AT GULFSTREAM: Racing news is abuzz about a $12,000 maiden claimer at Gulfstream Sunday that attracted 23 per cent more wagering than any other race that day and, in fact, of 177 races run since Sept. 3, only five had a bigger exactor pool and just four had a larger triactor pool. The race was won gate-to-wire by Rubyska who hadn’t raced since March and had a morning line of 15-1 but went off at 5-2. The filly was trained by Juan Reviriego who was making a comeback since last training in 2009.

A soft turf under rainy skies at Woodbine Sunday produced upset winner British Royalty at 24-1 in the Breeders’ Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Queen’s Plate winner Safe Conduct, second choice at 5-2, finished eighth after leading the field in the 1 ½-mile turf test. No horse has won the Canadian Triple--that also includes the Prince of Wales Stakes on Fort Erie dirt--since Wando in 2003.

100-year-old John Shear near plaque recognizing his bravery
STAKES RACE NAMED FOR 100-YEAR-OLD: Living a long time can have its benefits--such as having a stakes race named for you. That’s the honour bestowed on an orphan from England, John Shear, who accompanied a group of horses from Vancouver, Canada, to Santa Anita race track in California in 1954 and decided to stay there where he worked at the track from 1961 to recently, retiring as the Paddock Captain just before he turned 100.

Making national news a decade ago when he injured himself throwing himself between an onrushing horse and a 5-year-old girl near the walking ring, he was cited by the track on his 100th birthday for “his legacy of kindness, compassion and dedication to the well-being of our sport.” as the track changed the $75,000 Santana Mile for older horses to the John Shear Mile. Turning 100 DOES have its perks.

Saturday’s “I won bigger” betting group are going to have to be careful about Woodbine; the Tapeta track has been playing rather chaotically and the Bigger group didn’t even come close in its pick-5 play last Saturday. It did win a small pick-4 at Santa Anita, however, and will look for the best money-making opportunities this Saturday that could weigh more heavily in favour of Santa. You may wish to build up your Breeders’ Cup Day shares as we get closer to Horseplayer Christmas.

ON THE ROAD: SHELLEY WINS BABY RACE AT CENTURY MILE Trainer Shelley Brown, who continues to be a medical marvel by staving off stage-four cancer, was in the Winner’s Circle at Century Mile race track in Edmonton Friday night with her $10,000 U.S. 2-year-old Florida purchase, Kiton, who won a $16,500 maiden race as the 3-5 favourite. Kiton had finished third in the Winnipeg Futurity before heading west. Brown had won the previous weekend, too, with a horse that The Insider had mistakenly said finished second, Orange Theory. That horse was bumped up to first after the first-place finisher was DQed for drifting into Brown’s horse.
Important Keeneland meet with Breeders’ Cup win-and-you’re-in stakes races begins tomorrow
  • Tomorrow: Three-week Keeneland meet opens with Grade 1 $400K Darley Alcibiades Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. First post 12 p.m. Thanksgiving dinner special at ASD from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. $14.95.
  • This Saturday: $750K Grade 1 Turf Mile at Keeneland, full card of West Virginia stakes at Charles Town. Thanksgiving dinner at ASD $14.95.
  • This Sunday, Oct. 10: Thanksgiving dinner at ASD $14.95.
  • Monday, Oct. 11: Happy Thanksgiving in Canada! Thanksgiving dinner at ASD $14.95. Happy Columbus Day in the U.S.
  • Friday, Oct. 29: Breeders’ Crown harness racing at Meadowlands with $6 million in purse money
  • Saturday, Oct. 30: ASD Player’s Choice online handicapping tournament. Day 2 of Breeders’ Crown harness racing at Meadowlands.
  • Friday, Nov. 5: Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. Five BC races starting at 4:50 p.m. CT
  • Saturday, Nov. 6: Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar. Nine BC races starting at 2:05 p.m. CT

Happy Thanksgiving! (Happy Columbus Day to our U.S. friends)


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