Thursday, October 20, 2016

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 11 No. 37 (Issue #557)

By Ivan Bigg

Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

MONEY-MAKING QUIZ (Be ready to win Breeders' Cup races):

  1. What angle has worked year after year to produce winners in Breeders’ Cup turf route races? (a) top jockey/trainer stats (b) horse who won most races at the distance (c) horses who have raced for highest purses (d) horses with highest lifetime earnings
  2. What’s most important in picking winners in the 6 1/2f down the hill Turf Sprint? (a) horses’ speed numbers (b) whether the horse has won on this course (c) whether the horse has shown speed in route races (d) the class level horses have been racing at

Congratulations if the answers are a breeze. You’re obviously ready to make money again in the Breeders’ Cup two weeks from tomorrow.

If you’re uncertain about the answers but are eager to profit, see bottom of this column.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Rules crush on Canadian International Day
  • Are you fairly new to HPI? Sign up for Saturday workshop
  • Happy day for babies! Microchips to replace lip tattoos
  • Queen has to settle for second. Will she be back?
  • Get your Breeders' Cup outline here
  • Manitoba-bred filly featured in country music video
  • ASD players finish 11th in Las Vegas tournament

$200 GOES BEGGING AGAIN: No one completed a $6 show parlay on Friday or Saturday night to force the Downs to match their winnings. So $200 goes begging again. Let me suggest that your playing, say three $6 parlays each night, you’ll be successful in at least one and grab a share of the $200. And, what’s more, you’ll give yourself a chance to win a Thursday night buffet for two if your parlay is the highest. Someone’s going to realize what a great deal this is and make it a Friday/Saturday ritual.

QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
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94.3 The Drive

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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? 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 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: 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.

*      *       *

Starts 5 p.m. each day

ARE YOU FAIRLY NEW TO HPI? Then sign up for this Saturday’s special workshop with Marshall and Glen to get the skinny on getting the most out of your HPI experience. For more details and to sign up go here. You’ll get $25 in free wagers.

Note that the advance DRF will be available a week from today and Marshall and Glen will host a Breeders’ Cup workshop Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. to discuss wagering strategies. Get more details and sign up for that workshop here. You’ll get $10 in free wagers on Breeders’ Cup races.

Tonight’s regular prime rib buffet from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (reserve at 204-885-3330); the Ukrainian Platter tomorrow night ($10); the 8-oz steak special on Saturday night ($22) and spaghetti and meatballs Sunday night ($10).


Rules crush . . .

. . . on Canadian International Day

Rules, rules, rules. Maybe you get tired of hearing about them. But the fact remains that if you don’t have “rules” but only have “opinions” and “feelings” about horses, you aren’t catching all of the horses you could be catching. You may hate a horse’s chances in a race but if it fits a rule, you may be surprised (and glad) you had the rule when it wins at long odds. Your scepticism may be overcome by examining what happened on Canadian International Day. Rules crushed. Just look at what happened in races 2 to 7 (which were handicapped by the “I won big” group) and in the $1 million International itself:

Race 2: Maiden race. Best “added up numbers” horse wins
. You’ve read in this column many times that the best rule for selecting maiden winners is adding up two numbers: where the horse finished in his last race added to his first-call position in his previous race. #5, Ihaveabetteridea was among the best and, in fact, had the very lowest added-up number, 4, if you looked at the two races before his last. Paid $31.50.

Race 4: Fresh filly with speed wins.
Although the 4-year-old filly, #6 Southern Ring, hadn’t raced since July 1, her pace numbers were higher than other horses in the race, invoking our rule that states that fresh female horses with early speed seem to benefit from a layoff. She paid $7.

Race 5: Highest-paced horse wins.
The 2-year-old filly, #5 Silent Cove, had a pace number in the program of 103 which was 17 higher than any other horse to race on the Tapeta surface. She went gate to wire and paid $17.20.

Race 7: Maiden. Low added-up numbers and huge pace number wins.
Pays $13.40. This filly, #2 Trabatious had a pace number of 119; next was a horse, Grand Fortuna, with 110. They finished one-two for an exactor payoff of $98.40.

Highest-purse horses (Erupt and Dartmouth) finish one-two to pay $77

Race 9: the Canadian International. Two of the three horses who had raced for the HIGHEST PURSE VALUE in recent races, Erupt (12/1) and Dartmouth (3/1), finished one-two and paid $77. (This is also the rule for Breeders’ Cup turf routes.)

The “I won big” group obviously had the rule horses in races 2 to 7 in their pick-5 and pick-4 and stood to make between $5,000 and $8,000 if one of their four “opinion” horses in a non-rule race (race 6) won. Unfortunately, their horse was beaten by a nose. That’s the thing about “opinion” races; you can’t have the same level of confidence as you do with “rule” races.

Manitoba-bred filly is a video "star"

200,000 viewers have seen Victory Cry in band's sexy music video

5-day-old Victory Cry at Stonyfield Farm south of Brandon

Victory Cry —a top-earning Manitoba-bred filly racing at Woodbine this year—is featured in a sexy music video for country music group The Washburn Union that was shot at Woodbine in May.

More than 200,000 people have watched the video on You Tube. The Manitoba-bred goes by the name “Shot of Glory” in the video which also is the title of the group’s new release.

Watch the video here.
Victory Cry (Shot of Glory) is #7

The race was run at Woodbine in May, a race in which Victory Cry finished third at odds of 20/1.

Sandra Lepard
of Gold Medal Stable which owns the 3-year-old filly said she believes her horse is the highest-earning Manitoba-bred in 2016 at $77,013 (Cdn). Victory Cry won two of her seven starts at Woodbine this year (7-2-1-2). Former ASD trainer Martin Drexler trains her. Her sire is Victor’s Cry and mom is Bright Prospect. Mom’s name says it all.

On the way out

Ouchy lip tattoos to end

Next year, horses will be microchipped

If baby horses could read, they’d be happy to read that the era of tattooing an identifying number on their inner lips is being replaced next year with the simple implantation of a microchip in their necks.

A device similar to the one in the picture at right will insert a microchip into the ligaments below the horse’s mane. That will mean a horse will be identified with the quick wave of a microchip-reading wand instead of a horse’s lip being twisted up.

On the way in: Microchip implanter

The current tattooing of a horse is rather cumbersome. It requires two people. A device is wrapped around a horse’s top lip, exposing the inner part. Then numbers made of needles are dipped into ink and pushed into the horse’s lip. Watching the video below, I was surprised that the horse was not as agitated as we would be if someone were trying to tattoo the inside of our top lip.

Watch the video here. It’s rather fascinating.

When horse owners register their horses with the Jockey Club, they will receive a microchip which will require a veterinarian to implant.


Brent Sumja
Wins Fall Classic

ASD PLAYERS FINISH 11th IN LAS VEGAS: Congrats to ASD players Larry, Murray, Wayne, Jeff and Doug for finishing 11th as a team in the Fall Classic horseplayer tournament at the Orleans Hotel Casino on the weekend. They collected $1,800 ( U.S.) that included $600 in “day” money. The prize money was lower than usual because there were only 264 entries. The tournament winner was a former California horse trainer who has become a professional handicapper, Brent Sumja. His strategy was to look for races that had the best possibility of producing a longshot winner. The big tournament at the Orleans is in March—the Horse Player World Series—which will see the participation of players who won tournaments at the Downs during live racing.

QUEEN HAS TO SETTLE FOR SECOND: Her Majesty, perhaps watching the race on her computer at Buckingham Palace Sunday night, had every reason to be enjoying her horse Dartmouth’s run in the $1 million 1 ½ mile Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine. Dartmouth (3/1) was a couple lengths off the leader in the early going and appeared ready to take over when the real running started but Erupt (12/1), the Irish horse in French hands, proved best and Dartmouth had to settle for second. The Queen still collected $200,000 (Cdn) which she had to share with trainer Sir Michael Stoute and jockey William Buick. But was the finish good enough for her to consider a return visit next year on Canada’s 150th birthday?

NOSE COSTS "I WON BIG" BIG: After nailing $31.50 and $17.20 horses in the early pick-5 at Woodbine on Sunday, “I won big” participants were looking at collecting more than $4,800 to $7,800 if one of their four horses won the final leg, a 6f turf event. Unfortunately, one of those horses was just nosed out in the final jump by a 15/1 horse and the pick-5 paid $21,000 for a 20-cent ticket. So close yet so far. So no bacon as the group returns to the drawing board this Saturday—races 2 to 7 at Woodbine. See you on the Clubhouse plaza again at 10:30 a.m. where coffee and pastries will be served and tissues will be available for those still trying to get over last Sunday’s bad beat.

Grandstand seats cost $165 (U.S.) on Jan. 28

GRANDSTAND SEAT FOR PEGASUS CUP COSTS $165 (U.S.): If you wish to attend Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, it will cost you $25. But if you’re in Florida in January and plan to attend the new $12 million Pegasus Cup, the richest race in the world, at Gulfstream on Saturday, Jan. 28, it will cost you $100 (U.S.) to get in, $165 if you wish to sit in the grandstand and $765 if you’d like a seat in the Ten Palms restaurant. The track has 12,000 tickets to sell.

Horses for the race won’t be announced until closer to race day but the 12 available post positions were sold to various individuals for $1 million each. California Chrome, Runhappy and Shaman Ghost have been among horses mentioned for the event which will be broadcast on NBC-TV. Will this latest Frank Stronach innovation be a success?

"MAKE AMERICA BET AGAIN:" Cute. Obviously a take-off on the political slogan “Make America Great Again,” Xpressbet is running full page ads in the Daily Racing Form with that slogan to drum up customers to go to its new website,, to sign up with its betting service. “We believe horse racing is great for America,” the website says, citing the fact that U.S. founding fathers had a connection to horses and Thomas Jefferson “never missed a day at the track.” As I said, “cute.”

On another political/betting front, the Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, is already paying off those who bet Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. presidential election. I compare that to a race track paying off bets on Songbird before she runs. But the publicity-seeking Power did that for Barack Obama, too, paying off on his winning the presidency two days before the election. Power lives on the edge.

HPIBET Marshall Posner

Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. What's the best way to send HPIbet my suggestions/feedback?
There are a variety of different ways to connect with HPIbet online in addition to going “old school” and picking up the phone to actually call them (1-888-675-8886). Depending on the nature of your inquiry, you can choose from the following three options. First, there’s the FEEDBACK button along the top of the screen. If you click this button, a pop-up window will appear and you can submit your suggestions (view image here). Keep in mind, you will not receive any type of acknowledgment or response when using this method.

Second, you can always click on the CONTACT US text link under the SUPPORT heading at the bottom in the footer. This will then prompt you to submit your inquiry or comment through an online form (view image here). You WILL receive a response if you submit an inquiry using this method.

The third and final option is to use the CHAT ONLINE section which can be accessed by clicking the blue button under the SUPPORT menu at the bottom of the footer. This will initiate a live, real-time conversation with one of the HPIbet Customer Service Staff. If you have a question or inquiry that needs immediate attention, this would be your best bet, other than picking up the phone.

Got a question for Marshall? Email

HISTORY ON THE HOOF: The best of Bob

This week Bob tells the story of a multiple stakes winner who was at the heart of a land-for-cash-and-horses deal back in the mid-1970s. What made this champion special was that even at the age of 10, he won five of 10 starts as an allowance/$15,000 claimer. Who was he? Go here.


  1. Answer is (c). In Breeders’ Cup turf route races, look for horses that have been racing for the BIGGEST PURSES in their recent starts. This information is available in the program (but NOT in the racing form). Two years ago, simply boxing the top three produced an exactor that paid more than $600.
  2. Answer is both (b) and (c). In the Breeders’ Cup down-the-hill turf sprint, look for horses who have won a race on this course; those horses win 84 per cent of the races. (Mizdirection, you recall, was a machine on this course, winning six for six.) Also look for horses showing early speed in route races. In the book, Winning Big on Racing’s Biggest Days, one of the continent’s best handicappers, Jonathon Kinchen, said he bet $2,000 on that kind of route-speed-to-a-sprint horse, Bobby’s Kitten at 7/1 in the Breeders’ Cup two years ago—and won, of course.

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