Thursday, November 5, 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 44 (Issue #763)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

and, remember, if you don’t receive The Insider in the usual way,
you can always find it--and past columns--at

ASSINIBOIA DOWNS REMAINS CLOSED due to Code Red coronavirus restrictions but online wagering and ASD pick-ups and deliveries continue. See the bottom of today’s column for details.

SUPER BONUSES CONTINUE TOMORROW, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY for Breeders' Cup weekend. Find out more here.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • How to crush the 'Cup -- or at least enjoy it
  • Whips don't work -- British study
  • Deep Explorer rebounds in Edmonton after leaving ASD
  • Why should you watch the Keeneland Broodmare Sale online Monday?
  • What's the goal of the "I won bigger" betting group on Breeders' Cup Saturday?
JUST LOOKING AT ONE NUMBER in the DRF helped Cecelia Liebrecht win last Saturday’s Player’s Choice handicapping tournament, the third-last tournament of the year. What did she look at? See below. The tourney results also suddenly put pressure on the Handicapper of the Year leader. See HANDICAPPING below.
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in November? Find out  here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.

HOW TO CRUSH THE 'CUP (or at least enjoy it)
Watch the videos of their Breeders’ Cup picks

Who do ASD Live handicappers Kirt, Marshall and Stretch like in the 14 Breeders' Cup races?

  • Watch their discussion of Friday’s five juvenile races here.
  • Watch their analysis of Saturday’s nine other BC races here tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Did DRF clocker Mike Welsch offer any clues on stand-out horses?

  • Tiz the Law has done everything right and appears to be heading into the Classic as sharp as he can be.”
  • Dayoutoftheoffice gave a very favourable impression . . . excellent energy . . . galloped out well . . . up to the task of two turns.”
  • Dreamer’s Disease -- powerful gallop out.”
  • Negative comment: Chaos Theory didn’t switch leads, needed prompting.”
  • Favourable impressions: Midnight Sands, Vequist. Ollie’s Candy overtook Mongolian Hero target.”

What will the “I won bigger” betting group play?

The group will concentrate on the $1 pick-6 on the last six races Saturday which also includes a pick-5 and a pick-4. The group won the BC pick-6 two years ago. Want to buy $20 shares in the ticket (generously topped up with $5 from ASD), contact Sheri at .

What are The Insider’s two main angles for identifying contenders quickly?

Tried and true over the years have been these two angles: in-the-money finishes and also, in turf route races, looking for horses who have raced for the highest purses. In specialty races such as 7-furlongs, look for in-the-money finishes at that distance. Also look for the horses with the highest speed number at that distance.

General comments:
About four races will be won by favourites. Several will be won by “chaos” horses that will require you to press the “all” button. Taking two favourites and two “all” legs in a pick-4 could reward you handsomely. My specialty is superfectas (that have a 20-cent minimum). I’ll be boxing the top five or six horses in a race that have the best record of in-the-money finishes because this has paid big in the past.

Betting the Classic:
I’m leaning to taking Maximum Security first and second in superfecta wheels with By My Standards third and fourth -- with “all” in the other positions. Both of those horses come across as exceptionally gutsy. Mike Welsch’s comment on Tiz the Law (see above) means I’m going to have to use him, too.

Best of luck in all your plays!
Make them memorable for all the right reasons.
MONDAY REMINDER -- WATCH SALE OF ASD HORSE: Is It Gold, a mare who raced in claiming races at ASD last year, goes on the auction block Monday as Hip #34 in the Keeneland Broodmare sale you can watch online. She suddenly soared in value after her half-sister, Swiss Skydiver, began winning stakes races including the Preakness Stakes. Is It Gold was bred to Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist whose stud fee is now $75,000. What will she fetch?

Stable owner wins handicapping tourney . . .
. . . while a grateful standardbred player finishes second

Cecelia Liebrecht wins tourney; Glen Burke places second playing standardbreds
Congrats to stable owner Cecelia Liebrecht who won the third-last Player’s Choice handicapping tournament of the year last Saturday and to retired probation officer Glen Burke--a first time tourney player--who finished second while expressing delight that he was able to bet his specialty, standardbreds.

A rule change two tournaments ago allowed tournament entrants to play any horses they wanted all day of the tournament until 10 p.m. Liebrecht’s major win came on a thoroughbred race on sloppy Gulfstream Park West where she bet 18-1 Victory Crusade in race 8 “because it had the highest wet Tomlinson figure (430).” That accounted for more than half of her $111 bankroll. She owns St. Andrews Stables and operates an online tack store called Tack in the Box.

Burke, meanwhile, concentrated his attention on pacers and trotters at Mohawk Park and at the Meadowlands. “This has been really enjoyable,” he repeatedly told The Insider while betting Saturday night. “I worked on these races all afternoon.”

The top five finishers out of 44 entrants were:
1. Cecelia Liebrecht
- $111.60 bankroll – prize $1,000
2. Glen Burke
- $102.30 bankroll – prize $400
3. George Williams
- $85.10 bankroll – prize - $200
4. Rob Solmundson
- $79.50 – prize $100
5. Trevor Tilston-Jones
- $77.10 – prize $50. See full results here.

Roger Jones continues to top the Handicapper of the Year leader board with 219 points but Trevor Tilston-Jones is breathing down his neck, just one point behind. See HOTY leader board here.

The second-last tournament goes Saturday, Nov. 28. With an entry fee of $25, players bet $2 win/place/show in their HPIbet accounts on a horse in 10 races, with a chance of sharing in $1,750 in prize money.


When was the last time you saw the winner of a stakes race pay $400? Well, that’s what happened Saturday night in a Breeders Crown standardbred race at Hoosier Park in Ohio when #8 Sandbetweenmytoes at 203-1, beat the 1-9 favourite, Tall Dark Stranger, at the wire. If you like to wheel a big favourite second in exactors (I do), you won more than $750 for a $1 exactor.
POCKET PLENTY IN '20: Sometimes things are this easy

Tournament winner Cecelia Liebrecht proved (above) that winning a tournament could be as easy as playing an 18-1 horse who had the highest wet Tomlinson figure in a race that was being run on a sloppy track.

This was another outrageously easy pick. In race 5 in last Thursday’s Woodbine DRF, here’s what was written about the sire of first-time-starter #2 Loaded Question: “Runaway leading Ontario freshman sire Reload is 4 for 11 (36%).” You rarely see stats over 20 per cent and, yup, Loaded Question won in a romp and paid more than $30.

There are three things available for most tracks: the Equibase program with pace and speed numbers, the DRF with Beyer speed figures and comments written under horses in some races and “Pro Picks” by several analysts. There are potentially profitable nuggets in all three.

WHIPS DON’T HELP: Jockeys were able to carry whips--but not use them--in 67 races and were able to carry whips--and use them--in 59 races. What was the difference? None. Horses didn’t go faster; steering a horse was the same. That’s the conclusion of a study by British researchers that was published in the Animals journal. Stewards who watched the races carefully provided the main input for the study. Read more here.

Deep Explorer (inside) finishes second at 19-1
DEEP EXPLORER REBOUNDS AT CENTURY MILE: Last year’s Gold Cup Stakes winner at ASD, Deep Explorer, rebounded on Sunday from a couple less-than-stellar efforts at western Canadian tracks by finishing a very game second at 19-1 in the $40,000 Don Getty Handicap. Deep Explorer, who was considered a “horse for course” horse at ASD while racing for trainer Jerry Gourneau, had been purchased by Andy Stronach and taken to Hastings in Vancouver where he ran fourth in an allowance race then fifth in a subsequent start at Century Mile. Seems he’s found another “course” he likes.

In the same race Deep Explorer finished second (above), Real Grace, the 3-year-old with Winnipeg connections who won the Canadian Derby, surged to the lead in the stretch of the 1 1/8-mile race but faded in deep stretch to finish ninth.
TOP 3 NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 9

Bills over Seahawks (Sunday noon): The Bills have cooled off after their hot start to the season. QB Josh Allen certainly has taken a step back and now their offense is struggling to find the endzone. But with Seattle, and more specifically Seattle’s defense coming to town, I think Buffalo can right the ship and get back on track.

Bucs over Saints
(Sunday night ): The Bucs continue to roll even after getting a bit of a scare from the New York Giants on Monday night. Even though the Saints won last week it was only by a field goal in overtime. The first time these two teams played was in week one where Drew Brees was victorious, but the Bucs are much improved since then. This will also mark the return of WR Antonio Brown.

Patriots over Jets
(Monday night): The Patriots were one of my pre season picks to be on the decline this year and with a 2-5 record that is proving to be true. As bad as they are, though, the Jets are much worse. Patrick Mahomes threw more touchdown passes against them last week (five) than all of the Jets’ QBs have thrown during this entire season (four).

Unless something drastically changes, the Cowboys are not going to win another game this season no matter who they play....The Chiefs probably could’ve scored 100 points if they wanted against the Jets last week but they took it easy and only put up 35....The Giants gave the Bucs a scare but in the end Tom Brady was too much for them.
THE BEST OF BOB by Bob Gates: A tribute to the master of K5 Stables

Did you know that there were many times that Phil Kives’ executive assistant, Shelley Colquhoun had to drag him away from his horseracing exploits to deal with more pressing K-Tel business? Ponies were Phil's passion! Click here to read about the master of K5 Stables. (First published May 2016)
Lest we forget
  • Friday, Nov. 6: Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. Breeders' Cup bonus weekend. Earn 3% bonus on all wagering over $1,000 Nov. 6 through 8.
  • Saturday, Nov. 7: Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland. Breeders' Cup bonus weekend. Earn 3% bonus on all wagering over $1,000 Nov. 6 through 8.
  • Sunday, Nov 8: Breeders' Cup bonus weekend. Earn 3% bonus on all wagering over $1,000 Nov. 6 through 8.
  • Monday: 5% cash back on all eligible wagering every Monday in November. ASD horse, Is It Gold, goes on auction block--in foal to Nyquist--in the Keeneland Broodmare Sale as Hip #34. Sale can be watched online.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 11: Remembrance Day. First race of the day goes at 11:15 a.m. from Parx. Zia Park features eight stakes races
  • Saturday, Nov. 14: “I won bigger” betting group play online

While Assiniboia Downs and OTBs remain closed due to Code Red coronavirus directives, here’s how to play races, make deposits or withdrawals and get racing programs.

Where can I wager and watch the races?

  • You can wager on your account at or by calling a Telephone Account Betting Operator at 204-885-9800. No account? Call 204-885-3330 ext. 225.
  • Watch the races at or on MTS T.V. channels 179 & 180

How do I open an HPIbet account?

  • You can open an acccount quickly and easily at or by calling the mutuel desk at 204-885-3330 ext. 225.

How do I make a deposit to my HPI account?

  • Deposits can be made at using a Credit Card, Interac Online or PayPal.
  • Deposits can be made by e-transfer. Send e-transfer to and place your HPI account number in the message portion of the e-transfer .
  • Deposits can be made using a credit card by calling 204-885-9800.
  • Deposits can be dropped off at the General Office by using our curbside drop-off service. Please call 204-885-3330 ext. 225 to make these arrangements in advance.
  • Deposits can be picked up from your home. Please call 204-885-3330 ext. 225 to make these arrangements in advance.

How do I make a withdrawal from my HPI account?

  • Withdrawals can be made at
  • Withdrawals can be made by calling 204-885-9800

How can I get a Program or Daily Racing Form?

  • Programs and Daily Racing Forms will be emailed to you. Request the track you want by emailing Sheri at
  • Programs and Daily Racing Forms can be obtained via contactless curbside pickup. Call 204-885-3330 ext. 225 in advance to make those arrangements or email
  • Programs and Daily Racing Forms will be delivered to your home. Call 204-885-3330 ext. 225 to make those arrangements or email

© Copyright 1996-2020 All Rights Reserved. Assiniboia Downs.
3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Read our Blog  See us on Instagram  Watch us on Youtube