Thursday, October 24, 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 14  No 41 (Issue #711)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


See the lifetime history of every horse pre-entered in the 14 Breeders’ Cup races in the BC Advance edition of the Daily Racing Form that goes on sale today. Breeders’ Cup is next Friday and Saturday.

Read lifetime past performances from the bottom up instead of the usual top down. That shows you how each horse’s career unfolded with different trainers, equipment changes, etc.


How much will super mare fetch?
Email your guess by this Sunday

Where Escape Clause will make her next public appearance
You have five days to email your guess on Escape Clause’s selling price in the Fasig-Tipton “night of the stars” auction in Lexington, KY on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Email your guess in the subject line and send to by midnight this Sunday. The entrant who is closest to the highest bid on Manitoba’s super mare will win $25 in wagering vouchers, $25 in ASD merchandise and bragging rights forever.

Escape Clause is Hip 114 in a 201-horse auction, with the filly, Midnight Bisou, likely attracting bids in the millions of dollars Escape Clause lost by a mere nose to Midnight Bisou in the Apple Blossom Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April.


Unbeaten filly "110% ready" for Saturday stakes
Short field expected in $50,000 CTHS Sales Stake at Century Downs

Manitoba’s unbeaten filly, Hidden Grace, is ready for a big effort in this Saturday’s $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes for 3- and 4-year-old Canadian-bred fillies at Century Downs, trainer Mike Nault told The Insider from the Calgary-area track this week.

“She trains herself hard. She’s 110 per cent,”
he said of the filly who has won all eight of her races--all stakes races--at ASD before hitting the road for her first race at another track.

He said he expects a short field for the race, with her main competition likely coming from 3-year-old BC-bred, Notice, who won the CTHS Sales Stakes as a 2-year-old both at Century Downs and at Hastings Park in Vancouver.

“On paper, Hidden Grace should win it,”
Nault said. “We’ll give her this one more race, then turn her out for the winter and let her grow up a bit. She’s gonna be big!”

When she returns to race in the spring, he said it’s likely she’ll do what Escape Clause did: race at the Downs while looking for races elsewhere such as at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. He also said he believes she had the talent to win the Manitoba Derby, a race in which Escape Clause had finished second. She ran instead in the Manitoba Oaks and aired.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Sign up for Saturday's Player's Choice handicapping tourney with $1,750 in prize money
  • 10 winning tips for playing Breeders' Cup races -- by Glen and Marshall
  • The Insider's five winning tips
  • Breeders' Crown of harness racing goes Friday and Saturday night at Woodbine/Mohawk
  • Catholic Boy's racing career comes to an end
  • Flashback: From concentration camp to leading jockey
WIN $125 IN SATURDAY’S “3 FOR THE MONEY” CONTEST based on three races at Century Downs including the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stake that features Hidden Grace.

The entrant with the most correct predictions of Breeders’ Cup races will win 50,000 Player Rewards points. Also get ready for draws for beautiful new-look BC merchandise with gold highlights.

Enter your name with mutuel sellers at these OTB locations (Pembina, Windsor, Quest & Green Brier) to be drawn on Saturday to win $25 in betting vouchers and 5,000 Player Rewards points.
QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

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? Bombers, NFL, Jets

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 8 PM: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge Friday and Saturday. 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.


GREEDY CORNER: See all jackpot carryovers here.
COUNTDOWN TO BREEDERS' CUP: Santa Anita, Nov. 1 & 2


10 tips from Glen and Marshall
ASD fan education specialists Glen and Marshall will be
your eyes and ears at Santa Anita all through B'Cup week
  1. Avoid the hype, do your own work – forget about going with the headline horse
  2. Don’t be afraid to bet the favourite, especially in the Turf Sprint which has produced 40 per cent chalk winners
  3. Take some shots. Breeders’ Cup is the best two days in racing to hit a big score and you only need one race to hit that home run. Swing for the fences with exactors, triactors and supers.  
  4. Replays, replays and more replays. If you start now, you’ve got no excuse to not watch many prep races to find that diamond in the rough based on the horse’s last race gallop-out or possible bad trip against the track bias or troubled trip. These are all easily available through HPIbet. For the Euro race replays, simply go to YouTube and search for the name of the race you’re looking. Most of those races will be available there.  
  5. Download the Breeders’ Cup App in the Android or Apple App stores and watch the early morning gallops and commentary daily from industry experts. Stay ahead of the curve with all the latest BC news and headlines with push notifications to your phone through the App.
  6. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup races produced more short-priced winners than ever before. Will this year will be all longshots (15-1 or higher prices horses)? Who knows. One thing you should expect, however, is that there will be some longshots for sure as has been the case in all previous nine runnings of the BC at Santa Anita. Here’s a breakdown of the various positions of longshots: 1st – 14%, 2nd – 18%, 3rd – 33% and 4th – 35%.
  7. Chad Brown has won the Juvenile Fillies race 4 out of 5 years
    Euros win the BC Turf – plain and simple. In the 35 years of the Breeders’ Cup Turf race, European-based horses have won 66 per cent of the time including nine of the last 11. With no Enable this year and Bricks and Mortar leaning to this race, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.
  8. Americans win the Juvenile Fillies Turf – in fact, Chad Brown has won this race four of the last five years and U.S.-based trainers have won nine of 11 versions.
  9. Class wins the Classic. Look for the classiest horse in the race and bet him. On paper, it looks like McKinzie is the horse to beat. And, with Mike Smith replaced with Joel Rosario after a couple of suspect rides over the past several months, McKinzie should be primed for a big effort.
  10. Monitor the Santa Anita surface biases. The newly-installed deeper dirt track is likely to play more fair than previous years when speed and pressers have had a distinct advantage. And, with the turf sprint now being run at 5 furlongs as opposed to the previous 6.5 furlongs down the hill, it’s important to remember that inside speed horses or pressers have been winning 90 per cent of these races so far at this meet.

Marshall and Glen have media credentials at Santa Anita. Follow their reports, observations and possible scoops all week by staying connected with the ASD social media channels.

*       *       *
5 Insider tips

What horses have been racing for the biggest purses?
1. IN TURF RACES LOOK FOR HORSES WHO HAVE RACED FOR HIGHEST PURSES: This is simple. Year after year, The Insider has shown you can separate out the major contenders in a BC turf route race by examining the purses each horse has recently been racing for. You’ll require the Equibase program for this; the DRF doesn’t list purse values in U.S. stakes races, only for European ones.

2. TAKE CLOCKER REPORTS TO HEART: You’ve been repeatedly urged to watch clocker reports posted online by DRF’s Mike Welsch. His reports are free at Breeders’ Cup Clocker Reports. Don’t let yourself down.

Read last week’s Insider to jog your memory on how doing something very simple can pay very big. That simple thing is to calculate each horse’s in-the-money finishes. Example: eight in-the-money finishes out of 10 starts.

I twigged to this betting angle while perusing old Breeder’s Cup programs. Example: In the 2006 BC Distaff, the horse with 10 out of 10 in-the-money finishes won the race (Round Pond) and paid $28. A superfecta box of the six horses with the best in-the-money stats produced a $16,900 payoff for a $1 ticket. Crazy!

4: DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR OPINIONS: The simple fact is, our opinions are wrong more often than they are right. And the player with the loudest opinion is usually more often wrong than right. Only listen to those with proven track records and follow “rules” as much as possible such as observing the three tips above.

5. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO WIN BIG: Give yourself permission to collect a big score. Why not? Aren’t you worthy? The biggest change in a famous lawyer’s life (i.e. winning more jury trials) came when he gave himself permission to be better at jury addresses. Pools are huge; you deserve to share in them.
TRIVIA TEASER: What is speed guru Andy Beyer’s favourite angle for playing simulcast races? (a) jockey/trainer stats (b) track bias (c) speed figures (d) equipment changes. See answer at the bottom.

MY CATHOLIC BOY SKIPS BREEDERS’ CUP; BEGINS STUD CAREER: So, despite the buzz, we won’t see my favourite horse, Catholic Boy, race in the Breeders’ Cup. His connections have announced the racing career of the 4-year-old ridgling is over and his stud services are available for $25,000 per appointment at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky. What about all that Breeders’ Cup talk? “Just to keep his name in the news to increase interest in his stud services,” former Woodbine/ASD jockey agent Lorne Spearman speculated to The Insider. Makes sense. Catholic Boy’s ability to win a Grade 1 stakes race on both grass and dirt put him in the same rare league as Secretariat. Gonna miss him.

Even having eight of 12 horses in the last leg of last Saturday’s pick-5 at Woodbine didn’t help the “I won bigger” betting group end its losing streak. It made it even worse when Les “Longshot” Buzzell was cheering for the 27-1 horse the group missed in the maiden race, Under the Eye. “Maybe I should join the group to add horses like that,” he said. Maybe you should, Les. Maybe you should.

A highly worthwhile read
It was a horse with two lifetime starts, both of them out of the money--but the horse was bet down to 2-1 in his last start which is what triggered Les’s big bet. That aspect was overlooked by the group’s snake-bitten players. Can I say a breakthrough is imminent? Hopefully this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Woodbine pick-5 and, especially, in the Breeders’ Cup the following week when winning the pick-6 will be Job One. Hope springs eternal.

FOR THOSE WHO SYMPATHIZED with my snow-storm trials and tribulations in last week’s Insider, here’s a Bigg update: The snow has melted and, thankfully, city crews have removed mountains of broken tree limbs and pruned branches from my boulevard (after lots of huffing and puffing getting them there) but I’m still awaiting repairs to the downed wires connecting my home office to the internet, cable TV and land line. The silver lining is that with no distractions, I gleaned new insights into class, pace, pedigree, stakes races, European racing, record-keeping and lots more in the DRF book, “Bet with the Best.” Just in time for the Breeders’ Cup. Highly recommended.
SAVVY NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 8
  • Packers over Chiefs (Sunday night): The Packers are on a roll right now and are playing a Chiefs team with a terrible defense and also missing starting QB Pat Mahomes.
  • Vikings over Redskins (TONIGHT): Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been red-hot as of late (13TDs, 3 Ints) and will be facing his former team.
  • Lions over Giants (Sunday noon): The Lions have lost three in a row but those loses include the Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings, all .500 teams. This matchup should be a little easier for them.
  • Bills over Eagles (Sunday noon): The Bills are basically winning with defense and the Eagles can’t help but spot their opponents an early lead in almost every game they play (6 out of 7 games they have been behind by 10 or more in the first quarter).
MY $5 PROLINE TICKET (worth $136.55): Bills /Eagles tie ($3.60), Lions over Giants ($1.45), Jets/Jags tie ($3.80) Colts over Broncos ($1.55). Record: -$20

PICKS RECORD: Last week: 3 correct out of 4. Overall (since week 3): 13 correct out of 20.

In exceptional cases (e.g. injuries to key personnel), these picks may be amended in the online version of The Insider early Saturday afternoon. Go there ( for updates.

THE BEST OF BOB: From concentration camp to leading jockey

Did you know that the Downs leading rider in 1958 spent three years in a Russian prison camp? Bob tells "Hustlin" Hugo's story here. (First published in May 2018)
  • Tomorrow: Day 1 of the $6M in Breeders Crown harness races from Woodbine/Mohawk (four races for 2-year-olds today)
  • This Saturday: Player’s Choice horseplayer tourney. Hidden Grace, Manitoba’s new super filly, to race in the $50K CTHS Sales Stake at Century Downs. Day 2 of the $6M Breeders Crown at Woodbine/Mohawk featuring eight races for older harness horses.
  • Friday, Nov. 1: Day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred World Championships from Santa Anita.
  • Saturday, Nov. 2: Day 2 of the Breeders’ Cup. “I won bigger” group discussion at 10:30 a.m. Breeders’ Cup brunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- $19.95. Reserve at 204-885-3330 ext. 0. Enter the Elite 9 to win 50,000 Player Rewards points and get into the draw for Breeders’ Cup merchandise
  • Monday, Nov. 4: Melbourne Cup from Australia
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5: Escape Clause on the auction block in the Fasig-Tipton “night of the stars” auction in Lexington, KY.
ANSWER TO TRIVIA TEASER: (b) track bias. Speed figure guru Andy Beyer says he examines result charts to see if a horse might have finished better in that race if his trip hadn’t been compromised by an outside or inside speed bias.

Say Grace (Saturday afternoon)

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