Friday, November 1, 2019

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Insider Special

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Sunday is the final day of Santa’s fall meet so all pools must be paid out Sunday including carryovers from Thursday’s card including the 20-cent Rainbow pick-6.

Jackpot Super High 5 and the $2 Ultra pick-6 -- both in the final Breeders’ Cup race, the Classic.

ASD’s Glen Sirkis (left) and Marshall Posner at Santa Anita

Race-by-race Breeders’ Cup analysis by Glen and Marshall

Best plays for each race are red


Wesley Ward seems to have a strangle hold on this race with the top two morning line favourites in #7 Kimari and #9 Four Wheel Drive. Both look like top contenders and must be used.

The Euro that interests us the most is #10 A’Ali, although he’s potentially a need-the-lead type and he might not be fast enough out of the gate which is common for Euro sprinters who don’t work on the start as much as U.S. sprinters. Having said that, they’ve been pointing him to this race all year and he should love the firm ground. Another Euro to consider for the upset is #6 Alligator Alley, the beaten fave last out against some of these but he had a bad start so toss that race.

JUVENILE TURF -- 3:52 p.m.

Euros have won six of the last eight runnings of this race and Aiden O’Brien has won four of the last eight so let’s starts there.

The race seems go through #12 Arizona, who has been facing the best 2-year-old turfer in the world in Pinutabo. However, his chances could be compromised with an outside post. Another Euro with a huge shot is #5 Vitalogy who will be flying late and has some North American turf racing on his resume already.

The strongest U.S. contender looks to be #14 Hit the Road, but his post position leaves a lot to be desired with the first turn coming quickly out of the gate. He’s training great, has a nice turn of foot and gets Prat. We’re going to be pass on #4 Decorated Invader because his trainer Christophe Clemente is 0/36 in Breeders’ Cup races.

JUVENILE FILLIES -- 4:32 p.m. (Glen’s best bet)

On paper this looks like a potential standout with #7 Wicked Whisper being the lone speed (Glen’s Best Bet for Friday with an exacta box 6-7). The challenge is that she’s never raced at Santa before and never gone two turns. And, with #1 Donna Veloce drawing the rail and stretching out there could be a heated duel. If that’s the case, we like #6 Bast to stalk and get first run. If the race breaks down completely, then it could setup for the Mark Casse closer #3 Perfect Alibi. It’s a compact field but those four should cover the race.


Another turf race and another couple Euro selections from us. We like #5 Daayeh and #9 Albignia the most. The question for us is whether the #9 will appreciate the fast turf though having won only on soft ground so far. The U.S. contenders seem to be up against it in here with #7 Crystalle having a deep closing running style that goes against the Santa turf bias and the #13 Selflessly compromised by her extreme outside draw.

JUVENILE -- 6:03 p.m.

This race seems to have two standouts with the scratch of #9 Maxfield. We’re left with #1 Dennis’ Moment, who has been the buzz horse all week and has looked great on the track each morning and #6 Eight Rings, the Bob Baffert hometown hero who appears to be the speed of the race and has experience over the surface. We think you need both horses in multi-race wagers although they’ll be short-priced.

*       *       *
Best plays in each race are

Glen –  Filly and Mare Sprint – #4 Come Dancing
Marshall -- Dirt Mile  #2 Improbable


Glen – Dirt Mile – #8 Blue Chipper
Marshall – Mile - #12 Lord Glitters

FILLY & MARE SPRINT -- 1:55 p.m.

There looks to be a lot of speed in here which should lead to a big duel. There’s no question the likely fave #1 Covfefe will have to gun from the rail. Typically, 3-year-olds have been bet down heavily in this race and not won. Also, 7 furlongs is a tricky distance for speed to hold. The most likely winner seems to be #4 Come Dancing, who should get a great stalking trip and has two wins from four tries at the distance. Bellafina is your horse for course angle and she now gets several of these on her home dirt. However, she’s also a 3-year-old and seems to be off-form this year.

TURF SPRINT -- 2:35 p.m.

This looks like a wide-open race. The Santa turf course has been favouring speed and stalkers big time this meet. It looks like #2 Pure Sensation (Christophe Clemente still winless at the BC) and #4 Sheky Shebaz should knock heads and it’s possible one of them goes all the way. #10 Eddie Haskel is a pure turf sprinter on his home track and the last race sure looked like a prep for this as he has more speed than he showed.

He should get a perfect stalking trip but outside horses haven’t been winning so far on the turf at 5 panels. #11 Om will be flying late and his trainer Peter Miller has won this race the last two years with #6 Stormy Liberal who is winless this year and seems to have lost a step or three. Our advice is to spread as much as possible in this race.

DIRT MILE -- 3:10 p.m.

This will be one of the shortest priced horses on the day in #5 Omaha Beach. No doubt this horse has a great shot but he ran his eyeballs out in the so-called prep race to run down Shancealot and could bounce as result of that huge performance. It looks like #7 Coal Front is going to the lead and could be loose which is always dangerous although he isn’t the same horse since his excursion to Dubai.

Glen has been impressed with #8 Blue Chipper all week based on his gallops and appearance but this is a huge class rise coming over from South Korea. He’s a longshot/hunch play that we’ll be making for sure. Marshall really likes #2 Improbable, who has been training up a storm at Santa with two bullets in the past month. He lost all chance out of the gate in his last and made a wide move to get into contention before fading. He’s 2/2 at the distance and looks to be sitting on a peak effort.

FILLY & MARE TURF -- 3:54 p.m.

#2 Sistercharlie
has her rabbit #6 Thais to chase as a target and has done nothing wrong this year. She looks to be the most likely winner on the entire Saturday card and her odds will reflect it, especially with the defection of Magical. Marshall also likes #4 Billesdon Brook who won her prep race and looks to be an improving Euro. If you’re a horse for course player, then look no further than #7 Vasilika who is 11/12 on the Santa Anita turf. If the top choice falters, it’s possible she gets a piece of the exotics.

SPRINT -- 4:36 p.m.

This looks like one of the best races on the card with lots of good chances. With the scratch of Landeskog, it looks as though #6 Shancealot could be loose and he had a great prep over the surface losing to a potential monster in Omaha Beach. He’s also come back with a big bullet work and will likely be overlooked slightly. #4 Mitole seems to be everyone’s top selection based on how he’s run all season and how he’s looked sharp at Santa leading up to the race. He’s a definite use for Marshall and Glen. If the race falls apart, then it could setup for #1 Catalina Cruiser who is 7/8 lifetime and 2/2 at Santa. No doubt this horse has talent although he’s never a Grade 1 race so we’re going to pass.

MILE -- 5:20 p.m.

Marshall suggests sticking to the Euros in this race. #9 Circus Maximus seems to be the top Euro although #12 Lord Glitters will be charging like a freight train down the lane. If this horse gets all green lights and doesn’t have to check, look out at a nice price. Not sure what to do with the filly #6 Get Stormy who is being referred to as Tepin 2.0 for Mark Casse. This horse was razor sharp in the summer but could have tailed off. We’re going to play against #11 Uni who is a deep closer and will be compromised by both her post and running style.

DISTAFF -- 6:00 p.m.

#4 Midnight Bisou has done nothing wrong all year and could make a case for HOTY with a win here. She’ll be a very short price so we’re going to take a shot against. Marshall thinks that #9 Serengetti Empress can wire the field as the lone speed. Glen likes #11 Blue Prize as his longshot in here. #5 Dunbar Road had a tough trip last out and looks to be an improving 3-year-old whereas #1 Paradise Woods is a veteran that loves Santa and should get first run as the stalker. You’ll have to decide if you’re a Bisou fan or not.

TURF -- 6:40 p.m.

Marshall is going with the Euro in here preferring #10 Old Persian slightly over #5 Anthony Van Dyck. There are distance questions surrounding #9 Bricks and Mortar who has beaten everyone he’s faced this year and is definitely the strongest U.S. contender. Glen likes #11 Arklow as a longshot who fits all of the criteria of previous winners and could surprise at a big number.

CLASSIC -- 7:44 p.m.

This looks to be a competitive field for this year’s version of the penultimate BC race. East Coast t3-year-olds travelling west are 0/22 in this race which disqualifies one of the likely faves #11 Code of Honor who was never really pointed to this race until recently and longshot #3 Owendale. The lone mare #6 Elate loves the distance but seems be tailing off and will get a class test facing males for the first time. If you think she’s another Zenyatta then go for it. We’ll pass opting instead to look at #8 McKinzie, the class of the field and #10 Vino Rosso, who has shipped West and won earlier this year.

Good luck!
Give yourself permission to be a big winner

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