Thursday, November 8, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 44 (Issue #662)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Manitoba's super-filly hits the big time—on the turf

Escape Clause entered in a $75,000 stakes race at Del Mar tomorrow

Can Escape Clause handle Cal girls?

After seven stakes wins this year at Assiniboia Downs and Century Downs in Alberta where she toyed with the fields, Escape Clause is taking on bigger gals tomorrow at Del Mar in southern California. The Manitoba-bred super filly is entered in the one-mile $75,000 Kathryn Crosby stakes on the turf, a race for fillies and mares who haven’t won $50,000 in a stakes race since April. It will be the filly's first race ever on the turf.

The Going Commando/Danger Pay 4-year-old filly, bred in Russell, MB. by Cam Ziprick and Arnason Farms is closing in on $400,000 in earnings. Her record this year is 10-8-1-1. The first race at Del Mar goes to post at 2:30 p.m.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Mission accomplished! "Big" betting group gets bacon treat for two months because of it
  • Filly bred by the late Phil Kives makes a winning debut in England
  • What new betting angle for Breeders' Cup races worked well?
  • Injured jockey Prayven Badrie needs help; see GoFundMe page here
  • Racing commission meets tomorrow; to discuss online posting of stewards' decisions
  • On 100th anniversary of World War 1 ending, historian Bob honours the "war horse"
$100,000 guaranteed pool tomorrow
$150 AT STAKE IN “3 FOR THE MONEY” CONTEST SATURDAY: Predict the winner of the first three legs of the late pick-4 at Gulfstream Saturday to be awarded $150 in wagering vouchers in the weekly “3 for the money” contest. Look for entries and program pages in the Race Book Saturday.

tomorrow afternoon. With a carryover from last Friday, when there were no winners, the Stronach 5 wager on five races at Stronach-owned tracks will have a guaranteed pool of $100,000. The wager has a $1 minimum and all races happen within an hour.
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 November? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jets, Bombers, NFL. ASD subscribes to NHL League Pass - watch any NHL game any day!

FREE VLT TOURNAMENTS: Enter in the Club West Gaming lounge every Friday and Saturday at 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: $10 buy-in poker in the clubhouse on the second level. Registration from 8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. Maximum of 60 players. No late registration. Royal Flush progressive jackpot for tomorrow, Friday, is $17,415.

ROCK THE MIC: SING WITH A LIVE BAND! Channel your inner rock star at ASD on Thursday, Nov. 8, 15 and 22. Registration 6 p.m.; music and dancing (large dance floor) starts at 7 p.m. Cover charge: $7. Enjoy the prime rib buffet in the Terrace Dining Room and receive $2 off your cover charge. Just show your receipt at the admission entrance.


Mission accomplished!

"Big" betting group hits pick-6--twice

Mission accomplished! Job One of Saturday’s “I won big” betting group was to nail the Breeders’ Cup pick-6 and the group did it—twice. It paid unusually low for a BC pick-6--$3,706—because of the dominance of favourites—but you take whatever they give you. Each group member collected $53 for each $20 share which included bets made on the late pick-4 and pick-5, too.

But, hey, that wasn’t the end of the group’s good fortune. Achieving that goal will result in a crispy, crunchy bacon treat at each Saturday workshop for the balance of the year (10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse Plaza).

The proudest moment came in Leg 3, the trickiest leg of the pick-6, the turf Mile. Handicapping experts had suggested taking “all” horses in wheels. A few group tickets did have “all” but a turf “rule” horse came through for the group in other tickets. The winner, #7 Expert Eye, had been racing for a HIGHER PURSE than most other horses. You’ll recognize the value of that rule from previous years.

So, with Job One in the bag, Job Two will be to capture a pick-6 at next year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita that pays at least five figures and hopefully six. Do I hear seven?

*       *       *

A happy discovery that WORKED!

In-the-money stats is a huge angle for handicapping Breeders' Cup races

It’s so easy. Yet it has proven to be a very valuable handicapping tool for Breeders’ Cup races: simply note in-the-money stats for the horses. When you have horses coming from all over the place, this is a singular common denominator that usually quickly separates contenders from pretenders.

Although this “rule” is strongest for predicting winners, it also has some use in exactor, triactor and superfecta play in races that seem straightforward. For example the Distaff had three horses with perfect in-the-money stats: Monomoy Girl (10 races in-the-money out of 10 starts), Wow Cat (11 for 11) and Midnight Bisou (10 for 10). The next best horse was Blue Prize (15 of 16).

They were all there
(in that order) and the superfecta paid $372 for $1. The exactor of Monomoy Girl (8-5) and Wow Cat (7-1) paid $37.60 for $2.

*       *       *


It was the chalkiness. Never in the 35-year history of the Breeders’ Cup have we seen so many favourites and near-favourites win. (Read Marshall Posner’s take on that in his HPI column in next week’s Insider.)

My Catholic Boy, a colt I was holding future wagers on, pretty much lost the Classic at the start when, according to the Equibase result chart, he “broke slow and was bumped around.” He ultimately was pulled up. That’s racing luck. Had he won, the “I won big” betting group would have collected about $25,000.

ANTI-GUNNEVERA OPINION FALLS FLAT: Recall this caution in last week’s Insider? “ Those with the loudest, strongest opinions seem to be wrong more often than they’re right.” As it happened, a normally very good handicapper blasted yours truly for even suggesting Gunnevera could show up in bottom positions of exotic bets on the Classic.

I should have taken that as a sign and joined Martin Yeroschak—the owner of the late great Magic D’Oro—and bet Gunnevera confidently across the board. (I just bet him in “saver” pick-3s and in the bottom of supers.) Gunnevera, of course, closed strongly on Accelerate, losing by just a length, and paid $21.80 to place and $11.80 to show. A $2 exactor with Accelerate paid $261.60. Which proves again that nobody should be cowed by anyone’s opinions, regardless how strident and seemingly authoritative they may seem to be.


Take a bow, better bettors!

Churchill and Gulfstream West among 17 better bettor tracks in October

Manitoba horse players seem to have a better handle on racing at Gulfstream West (which used to be Calder) than they do at Gulfstream. ASD wagering statistics for October show a very positive return playing that track along with Churchill Downs, Remington Park, Finger Lakes and Fresno.

The top harness tracks among the 17 better bettor tracks were Flamboro, Plainridge, Northfield and Hawthorne.

The most challenging tracks? Mahoning Valley, Turf Paradise, Thistledown and The Meadows (harness). Playing to your strengths, of course, not only pads your pocket or purse but also brings money into the province (to cover your winnings) which makes you a good citizen.

*       *       *

Larry Liebrecht will host this Saturday's workshop

“BIG” GROUP WORKSHOPS CONTINUE WITH NEW HOSTS (AND BACON, OF COURSE): Since I will be taking a couple weeks off, this Saturday’s “I won big” betting group will be hosted by “Big” group veteran Larry Liebrecht and the following week by two-time Handicapper of the Year Ron Phelps. WITH BACON, of course, because of the Breeders’ Cup pick-6 wins. The group is back to Woodbine, races 2 to 7 (pick-5 and perhaps pick-4) on the Clubhouse plaza at 10:30 a.m. Give me a big score to write about when I return from my holiday!

A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the “I won big” betting group for getting Job One done on Breeders’ Cup Saturday—winning the pick-6—twice. With eight horses on one ticket for the final leg, the Classic, the group had hoped to nail a longshot but had to settle for the favourite, Accelerate. Next year.

to ASD player Rick Ball for predicting seven of the nine Breeders’ Cup winners on Saturday. His late father, Glen Ball, was a great trainer for decades, his brother, Shane, is a jockey agent who looks to put his jockeys on winning horses and now Rick has shown exceptional handicapping prowess. The two races he missed were race 3, the Filly & Mare Sprint (won by #14 Shamrock Rose $53.80) and race 8, the Mile (won by #7 Expert Eye $13.80). Beauty, Ball! Special mention also goes to Robert Dubois and Bill Latta who selected six winners. The three will share the $1,000. Breeders’ Cup Sweepstakes for selecting 6 or more winners. Congratulations to all!

to trainer Bob Baffert for really knowing his stuff. He told us that John Sadler’s Accelerate was “the horse to beat” in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and he was bang-on. When he goes out on a limb on the talent of horses in the future, we should all be listening—carefully. He had to be disappointed in his own horses, McKinzie and West Coast, who didn’t even finish in the top five.


GOLDEN STRIPE’S DAUGHTER WINS AT FIRST ASKING IN ENGLAND: Daddy’s Daughter, the 3-year-old daughter of ASD’s stakes-winning mare, Golden Stripe, made her first start in England a winning one Monday on the Polytrack surface of Kempton race course in London, England. Before his death 2 ½ years ago, K5 Stables’ owner Phil Kives had bred Golden Stripe to Scat Daddy.

Stable manager Leona Stahl sold the resulting yearling for $150,000 at a Keeneland sale to UK interests who later sold her in England as a 2-year-old in training for $310,000. ASD horseplayer Tony Tweed, a native of England, told The Insider he bet Daddy’s Daughter (on his HPI account) for “sentimental” reasons and was happy he did. Her odds were 8-1.

The Manitoba Horse Racing Commission will meet tomorrow to, among other things, consider posting stewards’ decisions on objections and inquiries online the day after such decisions, similar to New York tracks.

Prayven Badrie needs help

GOFUNDME PAGE SET UP FOR INJURED JOCKEY BADRIE: Good on K5 Stable manager Leona Stahl for posting a GoFundMe page for jockey Prayven Badrie who is in Foothills Hospital in Calgary after being trampled in a race two Sundays ago at Century Downs. A hip is held together with plates and screws, he’s needed blood transfusions and the insurance policy the Trinidadian has apparently is insufficient to cover all his medical expenses. Help him out by going to Stahl’s GoFundMe page here.

“Is this what you really want?” Matt Bell kept asking Chef Gerardo when he was baking up a batch of “sea biscuits” to be served with soup last Thursday to commemorate the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral 80 years ago. Yup, Chef Gerardo assured him, that was the authentic recipe (flour, water and a touch of salt) for a biscuit sailors ate on long voyages back then. Did sailors chip their teeth biting into them? Even soaking one in soup for 30 minutes didn’t help. Authenticity has its drawbacks!

On the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1—the war that was supposed to end all wars—track historian Bob Gates has a special blog for us today: an exploration of the role of the horse in the Great War when millions of horses died serving the war effort. Let us not forget. Read Bob’s blog here.


  • Special Chanukah-themed prime rib buffet set for Thursday, Dec. 6

    Sunday, Nov. 11: Remembrance Day in Canada, Veterans Day in the U.S. Racing begins with Aqueduct and Saratoga harness at 11:15 a.m. VLTs open at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 21: Zia Park Derby and other stakes. First post: 1:10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 22: Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Free breakfast sandwich to the first 50 at the track
  • Friday, Nov. 23: Storied $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs
  • Saturday, Nov. 24: Player’s Choice horseplayer tourney; Kentucky Derby prep race at Churchill Downs (Kentucky Jockey Club stakes)
  • Saturday, Dec. 1: Kentucky Derby prep race (the Remsen) at Aqueduct
  • Thursday, Dec. 6: Chanukah-themed prime rib buffet featuring Chanukah dishes, pasta bar, salad bar and dessert bar. Reserve at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.
  • Thursday, Dec. 13: Certified Angus prime rib buffet, additional entrees, pasta bar, salada bar and dessert bar. Reserve at phone number above.
  • Thursday, Dec. 20: Traditional Christmas-themed prime rib buffet, pasta bar, salad bar and dessert bar. . Reserve at the phone number above.

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