Thursday, October 31, 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 14  No 42 (Issue #712)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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

and last until Wednesday. Happy Halloween!

See bonus levels here.

BREEDERS' CUP: Tomorrow and Saturday at Santa Anita

Welcome to horseplayer Christmas!
Great racing, fat pools!

TOMORROW: Day 1 of the 36th edition of the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred World Championships. Five races today feature the stars of tomorrow, the 2-year-olds. First post at Santa Anita 12:45 p.m. First BC race, the Juvenile Turf Sprint, goes at 3:12 p.m.

  • 10:30 a.m. “I won bigger” betting group will discuss the Breeders’ Cup pick-6 and other wagers based on the last six races of today’s nine-BC races. Winning the pick-6 is Job One for the betting group (see Insider betting angles below). Clubhouse plaza. Everyone is invited. ASD will generously add an extra $5 to each $20 share. Coffee and muffins will be served.
  • 11 a.m. Breeders’ Cup brunch begins in the Terrace Dining Room. Phone Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve.
  • Enter the Elite 9 contest on the nine BC races either at the track to win 50,000 Player Rewards points or at an OTB (see Fun N Games below) to win the same. Note there also will be draws for BC merchandise from your contest entries.
  • 12:07: First race at Santa Anita
  • 1:55: First of nine BC races, the Filly & Mare Sprint
*       *       *
Your eyes and ears at Santa Anita

With press credentials, ASD’s Glen Sirkis (left) and Marshall Posner have been gathering the latest news at Santa Anita with a view to presenting insights into the 14 Breeders’ Cup races in a special edition of The Insider you will receive tomorrow.

Here’s Marshall’s latest report: “Lots of great sights and sounds at Santa Anita on this Wednesday morning before BC. The grandstand is full of onlookers at Clocker’s Corner, an artist is painting a masterpiece of the Santa Anita landscape and a backstretch worker is selling former Champions paraphernalia such as American Pharaoh’s old shoes and name plates.” See his pictures here.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • What are readers' predictions for Escape Clauses's highest auction bid? See below.
  • What horse will win Breeders' Cup pick-6 based on Insider angles?
  • "She's a handful. Escape Clause is even worse." Who said that? See below.
  • How did Winnipeg Futurity winner do at Century Downs?
  • A knack for sniffing out longshots boosts the fortune of tourney winner and a veteran player
WHAT WILL ESCAPE CLAUSE FETCH AT AUCTION? See readers’ predictions here. They range up to $1.2 million--which would be music to the ears of her owners. Manitoba’s super mare goes on the block at the Fasig-Tipton auction as Hip 114 on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. CDT. Go to the Fasig-Tipton or website to watch the bidding. Entrant closest to final bid without going over wins $25 in betting vouchers and $25 in ASD merchandise, not to mention bragging rights.

"3 for the money” winner Ken Stewin; that’s Hidden Grace at Century Downs in the background
HIDDEN GRACE ANCHORS $125 “3 FOR THE MONEY” WIN: Congrats to Canadian Pacific Railways retiree Ken Stewin who picked up $125 in wagering vouchers for predicting three winners in a row at Century Downs Saturday afternoon, concluding with #9 Hidden Grace’s victory in race 10. Race 8 was won by #4 I Tricked My Ride ($8.20) and race 9 by #4 Texas Alley ($12.60). There will be no “3 for the money” this Saturday because of the Elite 9 contest but will resume next Saturday.

Entrant at track with most correct predictions of Breeders’ Cup races wins 50,000 Player Rewards points and an entrant at an OTB (Pembina, Quest, Windsor, Green Brier or Rookies) also will win 50,000 points There will be draws for handsome BC merchandise and glasses, too, at both the track and at the listed OTBs.
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/November? 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.

Play “Chase the Ace” every Saturday!
“CHASE THE ACE” IS BACK! Every Saturday in the Clubhouse in aid of the Winners Foundation. Tickets are on sale at the VLT cage from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Draw at 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 or three for $10. Win a minimum of $1,000 for flipping the ace of diamonds, $100 for the two jokers. Other cards are worth $25. (License # LGCA-5630-RF-31556)


GREEDY CORNER: See all jackpot carryovers here.
BREEDERS' CUP PLAY: The last six BC races Saturday

Will Insider betting angles scoop the pick-6?
(Winning the pick-6 is Job One for "Bigger" betting group)

    1. Look for horses with the best in-the-money finishes
    2. In turf route races, also look for horses who have been racing for the highest purses

The horses in red are the prime plays. Wheeling them on a pick-6 ticket (3 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 2 x 2) would cost you $24 because the pick-6 is now a $1 bet! Go deeper in pick-3s and pick-4s .

-- Best in-the-money finishes: #2 Sistercharlie 13/14, #9 Villa Marina 7/8, #12 Fanny Logan 7/8, #8 Castle Lady 4/5

-- Highest purse values: #11 Just Wonderful $730K, #3 Fleeting $714K, #9 Villa Marina $664K and #8 Castle Lady $635

Race 8 -- SPRINT
Best in-the-money finishes: #4 Mitole 13/13, #6 Shancelot 5/5, #1 Catalina Cruiser 7/8, #8 Landeskog 4/5, #9 Imperial Hint 19/23, #7 Whitmore 23/29

Race 9 -- MILE (turf)
-- Best in-the-money finishes: #11 Uni 15/17, #2 Lucullan 10/13, #6 Got Stormy 12/16, #3 Trais Fluors 15/20
-- Highest purse values: #9 Circus Maximus $2M, #12 Lord Glitters $1.4M

Race 10 -- DISTAFF
Best in-the-money finishes: #4 Midnight Bisou 18/18, #5 Dunbar Road 6/6, #6 Wow Cat 14/15, #2 Ollie’s Candy 8/9, #11 Blue Prize 20/22

Race 11 -- TURF
-- Best in-the-money finishes: #9 Bricks and Mortar 12/12, #5 Anthony Van Dyck 9/12, #10 Old Persian 12/16
-- Highest purse values: #5 Anthony Van Dyck $2M; #9 Bricks and Mortar and #8 Bandura have raced for

Race 12 -- CLASSIC

Best in-the-money finishes: #8 McKinzie 12/13, #11 Code of Honor 8/9, #6 Elate (mare) 16/18, #7 Higher Power 11/14.


Click to watch Mike Welsch’s latest clocker report.
You may wish to use those two angles in the other races as well, although less so in the juvenile races where horses haven’t made many starts. Of course, you’ll find Mike Welsch’s clocker reports especially insightful. For example, he has been very high on Shancelot in the Sprint. Download his reports at Breeders Cup Clocker Reports.

Watch for a special Insider with an analysis of all BC races by ASD’s Glen and Marshall who have been sleuthing around at Santa Anita

Don’t be rattled if a seemingly unbeatable horse gets beaten. In fact, you can capitalize on beaten favourites by going deeper in your pick-3 or pick-4 wagers.

For example, Midnight Bisou will be highly favoured in the Distaff because she is seven for seven this year. But consider the case of Lost in the Fog in the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont Park. He had never lost a race; he was 10 for 10 going into the Sprint. But he finished seventh. The winner was Silver Train at 11-1, a horse you might have played in addition to Lost in the Fog because he had finished in the money 8 out of 10 starts and was 5 for 5 in the money at this 6-furlong sprint distance.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Mrs. Sippy. The 4-year-old filly with this cute, inspired name is taking on the boys in the $4 million BC Turf on Saturday. Trainer Graham Motion wouldn’t be putting her in this race if he didn’t think she has a chance, just like Bill Mott has the filly, Elate, entered in the race after this one, the Longines BC Classic against the boys as well. Will it be a female double? That would make the record books--and pay big.

Mission accomplished

Unbeaten Manitoba filly is now 9-for-9; trainer reveals "she's a handful"

Her win in the $50,000 CTHS Sales Stakes for fillies at Century Downs on Saturday was never in doubt; Manitoba’s newest filly menace, Hidden Grace, went to the lead and never looked back, extending her lifetime winning streak to nine races, all of them stakes races.

So she and several other horses trained by Michael Nault have returned to Manitoba to idle away the winter as she grows bigger and stronger with a view to following in the hoofprints of Escape Clause who is five and has earned more than $1 million racing at 13 different tracks.

Little known, perhaps, is Hidden Grace’s demeanor--which Nault revealed in an interview before leaving Century Downs. “She’s a handful,” he said. “She’d just as soon buck you off or run away on you,” he said. And, he added, “Escape Clause is even worse.”

Hmm. And he should know: When he started training in 2000 he continued exercising horses, which is what he’s done since he was nine years old--and he’s made plenty of trips on both of the mighty Manitoba mare and her prodigy. But he’d have it no other way: “A bit of attitude helps make them better race horses.”

ASD tournament director Dawn Forbes presents $1,000 to Damian D’Souza flanked by runners-up Cristen Parks and Jeff Rozmus
A BIG SHOUT-OUT to industrial machinist Damian D’Souza whose love of longshots earned him a victory in Saturday’s Player’s Choice handicapping tournament with a whopping bankroll of $157.30 that could have been a lot more if contest bets aren’t capped at $42, $22, $12 across the board. “You don’t have to win often to make money,” he said about his reason for preferring longshots. His longest horse was 30-1 Wailin Josie in race 3 at Belmont which he played because she had just won her maiden which was a sudden reversal of six very dismal efforts. Most players thought she’d revert back to her previous form but it seems her trainer had discovered how to turn things around. D’Souza’s tournament win earned him $1,000. Runners-up were:

2. Cristen Parks $144.10 bankroll. Prize: $400.
3. Jeff Rozmus $113.70 -- $200
4. Steve Holborn $106.50 -- $100
5. Les Buzzell $99.80 -- $50

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the ASD regular who held the lone winning pick-5 ticket at Hawthorne Saturday afternoon and collected $7,060 thanks to a 37-1 longshot, Shes Just Capital in race 3, that had lost her previous two races by a combined 52 lengths. What? “She had won her maiden at Hawthorne in the spring,” he noted, “and was being ridden by an apprentice with a 10-pound bug. I thought I’d throw it in.” His 60-cent pick-5 wheel cost him $57.60. Another favourite track is Thistledown, he said. “I like playing these small tracks multi-race bets. There is just very few big tickets played at them.”

WINNIPEG FUTURITY WINNER FINISHES 4TH IN $100K STAKES: Cash Or Card, the 2-year-old chestnut gelding who won ASD’s Winnipeg Futurity and Osiris Stakes finished a respectable fourth at 10-1 in the 12-horse $100K Canadian Juvenile Stakes Sunday at Century Downs, the final day of the Calgary-area’s fall thoroughbred meet. Trained and co-owned by Shelley Brown and ridden by Rigo Sarmiento, the colt closed to within three lengths of 8-1 winner Rail Hugger trained by Elige Bourne and ridden by Prayven Badrie.

Brown’s season-closing stats are 33-3-3-3. Also racing horses at Century were Mike Nault (9-2-1-2), Jamie Hartmann (9-1-1-2) and Marie Stanford (4-0-1-0). Stanford’s Hot Rodin, last year’s ASD Claimer of the Year and fan favourite this year, led for half of the $100K Harvest Plate Stakes then retreated, finishing 10th.

On the jockey side, Rico Walcott was leading jockey with 27 per cent wins (78-21-19-12). ASD jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch was ninth (45-4-5-3) and Prayven Badrie, last year’s co-leading jockey at ASD finished fifth in the standings (65-6-9-9).

“They told me I can say this,” TVG host Britney Eurton assured onlookers at Monday’s Breeders’ Cup post-position draw at Santa Anita when she introduced the “Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.” Predictably, the name drew laughter and a loud “whoop” and, after the draw for the race was completed, BC racing broadcaster Nick Luck commented “I think the sponsors got their due there.” Indeed. Big Ass Fans manufactures very large ceiling fans which are sold around the world.

Three people thought I was dead when I didn’t respond to email and my phone land line didn’t ring before reverting to voice mail but 16 days after a freak snow storm knocked out my internet, cable TV and land line I’ve sprung back to full life, just in time to write an inaugural column for the Winnipeg Free Press. “You’re a sight for sore eyes,” I gratefully told the installer as he replaced wires snapped by sagging tree limbs.
SAVVY NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 9
  • Jets over Dolphins (Sunday noon): I’m only choosing to pick this game because I will be in Miami watching it live. Both teams stink but like I stated a few weeks ago, the Dolphins are doing everything in their power to sabotage their season.
  • Eagles over Bears (Sunday noon): I picked the Bears as one of my top four teams to start the season, but I also said the jury was still out on QB Mitch Trubisky. Well, the jury has returned its verdict: He’s terrible.
  • Patriots over Ravens (Sunday night): This will be the Patriots’ toughest game so far but their defense is playing at an all-time great level. It’s going to be fun to see what kind of defensive scheme Bill Belichick comes up with to slow down QB Lamar Jackson.
  • Giants over Cowboys (Monday night): On paper, there’s no reason why the Giants have any chance to win this game but divisional matchups are always tough, especially in the NFC East.
MY $5 PROLINE TICKET (worth $155.70): Colts/Steelers tie ($3.10), Panthers over Titans ($1.80), Lions/Raiders tie ($3.10), Packers over Chargers ($1.80). Record: -$25

PICKS RECORD: Last week: 3 correct out of 4. Overall (since week 3): 16 correct out of 24.

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: Seven decades of "Boo Boo" Watt

Did you know that trainer Bob Watt was around a racetrack in seven different decades and conditioned the likes of Fort Garry, Victory Gift and Light Dust? Bob's blog this week is a must-read as he recounts the life of Bob "Boo Boo" Watt here. (First published in May 2018.)
Watch the Melbourne Cup Monday night
  • 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
  • Sunday, Nov. 3: Santa Anita meet ends which means all pools must be paid out
  • Monday, Nov. 4: Melbourne Cup from Australia. First post 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5: Escape Clause on the auction block in the Fasig-Tipton “night of the stars” auction in Lexington, KY. Download catalogue here. Sale begins at 3 p.m. CDT.
  • Saturday, Nov. 9: It’s Millions Stakes Day at Gulfstream West

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