Thursday, October 13, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 11 No. 36 (Issue #556)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Secretariat winning Canadian
International at Woodbine in 1973 >>>

(78th renewal goes this Sunday)


FREE breakfast sand, mandatory Jackpot payout

Sunday's $1 million International highlights huge day in Canadian racing

Sunday is simply a day of racing not to miss—and not only because The Queen would have it no other way since her horse is racing.

In a race made famous by Secretariat’s farewell win in 1973, Woodbine will stage the 78th renewal of the $1 million Pattison Canadian International Stakes on the turf which is made even more exciting because:

  • Free Sunday morning

    FREE BREAKFAST SANDWICH if you’re among the first 50 at the track Sunday morning. Most say it’s the best breakfast sandwich served anywhere (sausage, egg and cheese served on a crisp warm toasted English muffin)
  • IT’S MANDATORY PAYOUT DAY for Woodbine’s Jackpot Hi 5 on the last race. Carryover is $464,321 and it could grow to more than $1.5 million. Will you grab a share for a 20-cent quick-pick ticket?
  • SPECIAL “I WON BIG” WORKSHOP at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza to make group plays at Woodbine, with everyone receiving a free $5 add-in to each $20 share.
  • FAT BETTING POOLS. Will an ASD player take down the whole $52,000 superfecta pool for a mere 20-cents as an ASD player did several years ago on Queen’s Plate Day?

The Jackpot Hi 5 carryover into
mandatory payoff day Sunday

Bullet briefs . . .

  • The Queen's horse takes on The Pizza Man in the Canadian International
  • "I saw Secretariat's farewell race at Woodbine!" It was some adventure
  • Free HPI and Breeders' Cup workshops coming soon! Sign up!
  • New feature: In Harness
  • Turf Paradise meet begins Saturday with Jared Brown among trainer hopefuls
  • Are we in Sports Heaven? (Uh-oh, did I jinx it?)

PLAYERS LEAVE $200 ON THE TABLE -- WILL YOU SCOOP IT? $100 on Friday night and $100 on Saturday night was waiting to be scooped by players who increased a $6 show parlay up to those amounts in five races. Surprisingly, no one did. Will YOU leave that money sitting on the table again tomorrow and Saturday night in the new 5-Alive contest? It’s there for the taking. Play one or more show parlays at any track between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to make it happen. “Show” yourself the money!

QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive

Click to expand


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? Jays-Bombers-NFL-Jets

EVERY FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Free VLT tournaments starting 8 p.m. Get into the draw for 10 chances to win $20 in wagering vouchers. Top winner from each night participates in a month-end finale for more spins and $250 in prize money.

EVERY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT: 5-Alive "Double Your Winnings" contest from 7 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. and $10 buy-in poker. Registration 8 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m.

*      *       *

TURF PARADISE BEGINS SATURDAY: Turf Paradise is expecting to have 1,900 horses stabled at the Arizona track for a 130-day race meet that begins Saturday at 2:55 p.m. Races go every Saturday to Wednesday. Among the many trainers who make the desert track their winter home will be ASD trainer Jared Brown who had 15 wins from 114 starts (and 16 seconds and 20 thirds) at Turf Paradise last season. Robertino Diodoro’s horses dominated the meet last season with 33 per cent wins from 316 starts.

Rocks that rock

ROCK AND MINERAL SHOW AT ASD ‘TIL SUNDAY: You’ll never look at a rock the same way again after visiting the Rock and Mineral Show on the main level of the Downs today through Sunday. Admission is free. Just wander in and see what makes one rock worth $1 and another worth $8,000. Get more details here.

Tonight: Prime rib buffet $26.95; tomorrow night: Ukrainian platter $10; Saturday night: Steak dinner $22; Sunday night: Spaghetti & meatballs $10.


You're invited . . .

Free HPI and Breeders' Cup workshops presented by Marshall and Glen

WORKSHOP #1: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HPI EXPERIENCE This workshop is a MUST for those who signed up with HPI this year. Learn how to navigate the screen layout, designate your track favourites, view carryovers, scratches, etc., place a bet, queue a bet, cancel a bet and wager on your smartphone, watch replays, create handicapping notes and access pool totals, probable payouts and will-pays. Also a discussion about simulcast wagering. Bring your laptop, etc.

SATURDAY, OCT. 22, 10:30 a.m. Terrace Dining Room

You will receive $25 in FREE wagers after you’ve bet $25 in your account within seven days of attending the workshop.

*        *        *

WORKSHOP #2: BREEDERS' CUP WINNING STRATEGIES An interactive discussion and analysis of Breeders' Cup races that will be run at Santa Anita Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5, with special emphasis on the last four BC races each day. Says Marshall: "We'll review criteria from previous Breeders' Cup winners at Santa Anita, discuss Euro chances this year, review Mike Watchmaker's workout reports and formulate wagering strategies."

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 2, 7 p.m.

You will receive $10 in FREE wagers on Breeders’ Cup races.

TO SIGN UP for either or both seminars: Email (include your name and phone number) or phone ASD customer care representative Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext 0. For more info click here.


Will the Queen's horse win?

Queen Elizabeth sends Dartmouth to take on The Pizza Man

Queen Elizabeth's Dartmouth to race at Woodbine Sunday

Will Queen Elizabeth be sitting at her computer in Buckingham Palace Sunday night (10:40 p.m. London time) watching her horse, Dartmouth, race in the $1 million 1 ½-mile Pattison Canadian International Stakes on the turf at Woodbine? And, if she is, will she be yelling at the screen? After all, we know she’s a great racing fan.

More importantly, will YOU be betting on her horse or will you be betting against her, saying she doesn’t need the $600,000 (Cdn) she will earn if her horse wins?

This is the first time she’ll have sent Dartmouth across the ocean so you know she’s “bloody serious” to make a good showing, putting it into the English vernacular. Flying a horse across the ocean isn’t cheap.

The full field will be known today when the entries are drawn at Woodbine at 11 a.m. CDT but The Pizza Man is expected to be among The Queen’s main competitors. The 7-year-old gelding won the grade 1 Arlington Million last year and won the grade 1 Northern Dancer at Woodbine last month.

ASD handicapper Rob MacLennan likes the chances of the European horse, Idaho, which, decidedly, would not amuse Her Majesty. He finished second in the grade 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in June.

The Queen’s horse, meanwhile, was third at Ascot in July in the grade 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and won grade 2 and 3 races.

The race obviously is shaping up to be a particularly exciting contest. Also featured on the Canadian International card will be the $500,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes. First post Sunday is noon.

"I saw Secretariat's farewell race at Woodbine"
By Ivan Bigg

I was a kid working in Ottawa on Sunday, Oct. 28, 1973, when an airline seat sale prompted me to make a spur of the moment decision that afternoon to jump on a plane to fly to Toronto to watch Secretariat’s farewell race, the Canadian International Stakes, at Woodbine. It turned out to be my best last-minute decision ever.

Because Ottawa was experiencing a heat wave, I was dressed only in blue jean cutoffs and a tank top. I grabbed my binocs and was off to the airport, not knowing the adventure in various ways that awaited me.

Toronto was cold and gloomy. The temperature was only a few degrees about freezing and snowflakes swirled in the air. Everyone around me was dressed in coats and scarves but the thought of seeing Secretariat somehow deflected the chill.

Secretariat in the Winner's Circle, Oct. 28, 1973

To try to get a better view of the race on the packed tarmac, I scrambled over some fencing and onto an air conditioning unit or something—tearing a gaping hole in my cutoffs.

Uh-oh. So, as the 1 5/8 mile turf race was off, I was holding the race program over my bum with one hand and fixing the binoculars to my eyes with the other.

Around they went, Kennedy Road on the lead and Secretariat--with Eddie Maple aboard--a couple lengths away. The other 10 horses were well back. They passed the grandstand for the first time with little change and continued down the backstretch.

Then it happened. The moment that gives me shivers every time I talk or think about it.

As Big Red makes his move on Kennedy Road heading into the final turn and announcer Darryl Wells says: “There he goes, there he goes,” the crowd responds with a roar that gets louder and louder to become indescribably overwhelming. It becomes a moment suspended in time. I can hear and feel it still.

I think everyone at the track that day left in a daze and I had to shake myself back to reality, keeping my race program over you-know-where as I hailed a cab for the trip back to the airport, not realizing at the time that I had been to the top of the mountain as a race fan and nothing in the ensuing decades would even come close.

Watch the race here.

Did you know . . . there was a showbiz connection to a jockey whose horse ran against Secretariat in the Canadian International? Robyn Smith, aboard Triangular, would go on to marry the famous actor/dancer Fred Astaire.

This Saturday night the very best 2-year-old and 3-year-old Ontario-bred fillies and colts will vie for top trotter and pacer purses of the year at Mohawk Raceway in what is known as the Super Finals. Everyone will enjoy these eight races – and why not play a $6 show parlay on five of them in the 5-Alive contest?

$6 MILLION BREEDERS CROWN TWO WEEKS AWAY: A week before the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships for thoroughbreds in early November the Breeders Crown for top harness horses will be held at Meadowlands Raceway Friday night, Oct. 29 and Saturday night, Oct. 30. Six Crown races will be held on Friday and six on Saturday, with $6 million in purse money at stake.


ASD PLAYERS BEGIN TOURNEY PLAY IN LAS VEGAS TODAY: About 10 ASD players are in Las Vegas today playing in the three-day Fall Classic horseplayer tournament at the Orleans Hotel Casino. They must make 15 fictional $100 win plays a day from races at six major tracks. Two-time ASD Handicapper of the Year Ron Phelps, who is among the 10, said the top prize is expected to be $50,000 and the top 30 get prize money. It costs $500 U.S. to enter.

Sharon Bennett (1967-2016) visiting Notable Magic in Cole's stable

COLE'S MOTHER PASSES; FUNERAL SUNDAY: The Insider’s sympathies go out to ASD (and now Woodbine) trainer Cole Bennett, 19, whose mother, Sharon, died Monday at the age of 49. She died in her sleep after Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, Cole said. “It was the last thing we expected,” he said, adding she was “on the upswing” from breast cancer and other health issues she had been battling. She had been a nurse for 25 years and was a regular at the track with Cole’s father, Glen. Cole also has a sister, Kayla, 23. Sharon ’s funeral will be Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Alonsa Community Centre in Alonsa which is 212 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

Cole has had two recent second-place finishes in Ontario: Sea of Silence ran a very strong second in a $6,250 claimer at Woodbine last Saturday and About a Girl, winner of the Jack Hardy and Miss Royal Gold stakes at the Downs, ran second in a $10,000 claimer at Fort Erie with Kayla Pizarro in the saddle. Cole said he plans to go to Tampa after the Woodbine meet ends.

SPECIAL "I WON BIG" SESSION SUNDAY: A first-time starter with a below-average sire just nipped the “I won big’s” horse in the pick-5 at Woodbine last Saturday, resulting in the group only winning a modest amount in the pick-4. But we come into this weekend with huge hopes, not only of nailing the pick-5 on Saturday but on Sunday, too, Canadian International Day, when the pools will be gigantic. So be on the plaza in the Clubhouse at 10:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Unable to attend? You may leave your share money of $20 with Margaret at the VLT cage. Note that Margaret will email you the group’s picks if you so desire.

Now worth $200

I SENT SECRETARIAT TICKETS TO FRIENDS: I bought a bunch of $2 win tickets on Secretariat at Woodbine in the Canadian International in 1973, one of which I sent to Lorne Spearman who was a jockey agent at the Downs for Irwin Driedger in the 1980s and now is agent at Woodbine for jockey Omar Moreno (212-18-19-18). The ticket is now worth $200 unless you cash it for $2.40.

PRO LINE PLAYER MAKES $246,000: Chris, an ASD regular, had Pro Line players in the Race Book envying the luck of his brother’s friend who was the only person who correctly predicted the winners of the 13 NFL games two weeks ago and collected the entire $246,000 pool. The student spent $80 on his ticket which “boxed” these four games (which meant either team could win)--Tennessee/Houston; Seahawks/Jets; Buffalo/New England; Carolina/Atlanta-- and he ran the board on the other nine winners. See his winning ticket here. Of course, you can play Sport Select and Pro Line in the Club West Gaming Lounge.

ARE WE IN SPORTS HEAVEN? Race trackers are generally big sports fans, too, and who in Manitoba cannot be enthused by just about everything that’s going on in the sports world? Blue Jays are four games from the World Series, Blue Bombers are in the playoffs and look like serious Grey Cup contenders, the Minnesota Vikings haven’t lost a game (and even the Cowboys are 4-1 for one particular long-suffering horseplayer/fan) and the Jets are set to capitalize on their super-talented draft picks.

Catch all the action in the Race Book:

  • Dig into Ukrainian Platter while watching the Jays

    Tonight, the Jets open their NHL season at home against the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. C’mon out for the super-tender prime rib buffet at 5 p.m. to put yourself in a great mood for the opening face off.
  • Tomorrow, the Blue Jays play the first of a best-of-seven series against the Indians in Cleveland at 7 p.m. Watch the game while enjoying the perogy/cabbage roll/kielbasa Ukrainian Platter for $10.
  • Two hours later, the Bombers will be in Vancouver to beat the Lions for the second week in a row

CANADIAN RACING HAD ITS "TRUMP": Back in 2007 a Kentucky-bred gelding by the name of “Trump” won his maiden race at Fort Erie but disappeared after one more start, which is pretty much what the Republican Party in the U.S. would like the human Trump to do.

Did you know . . . Sports Illustrated sent a helicopter to pick up pictures of Secretariat in the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine in 1973 to use on its cover but because that day was so dark and gloomy, the magazine didn’t use them? Light rain is predicted for this Sunday’s International but the temperature is expected to be 19C compared to the 2C on the day Secretariat raced.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. How can I preview bets that I've placed and access my wagering history?
HPIbet allows you to go back and access the last 60 days of wagering activity in your account. To get started, click on the My Transactions section in the pull-down menu under MY HPIBET along the top of the screen (view image here). This will take you to a new section with a list of your most recent transactions. You can then apply various filters to access the info that you’re looking for.

You can filter by date range or by track if you’re looking to view your betting history with only one track (view image here). Clicking on the actual wager under the DETAILS column will direct you to the results page for that particular race. Also, you can adjust the number of entries that are displayed at the bottom of the page up to a maximum of 50 per page.

Got a question for Marshall? Email

HISTORY ON THE HOOF: The best of Bob

This week’s encore presentation of Bob's blog tells the story of the Father of Thoroughbred Horse Racing on the Canadian Prairies. Robert James Speers, the man responsible for building Whittier Park and Polo Park, was the west's early version of E. P. Taylor. Read it here.

NOTE TUESDAY CLOSING: The ASD complex will be closed on Tuesday until 5 p.m. so Manitoba Hydro can replace the transformer that had led to power outages in the summer.  However, you may still play the races on your HPI account.

How will The Queen be feeling after her race?

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