Thursday, November 12, 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 45 (Issue #764)

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 AS COVID RESTRICTIONS CONTINUE but online wagering fun continues as does emailing of programs, home delivery and pick-ups by ASD staff. See bottom of column.


You knew there would be one of these.

MONDAYS ARE BONUS DAYS IN NOVEMBER: Receive a 5% bonus on wagers you make Mondays in November. See details here.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • What's a $7,500 ASD claimer doing in a Keeneland sales ring?
  • Do you wish there was a Breeders' Cup do-over? Me, too, and here's why
  • Look and weep: If you simply had bet ASD Live picks, you'd have made $3,100
  • Jockeys' Guild takes legal action against whipping ban
  • Where has ASD leading trainer Jerry Gourneau landed? See THE WEEK THAT WAS
  • Did you acknowledge horse sacrifices yesterday? Read historian Bob's reminder
SECOND-LAST TOURNEY IS TWO WEEKS FROM SATURDAY: The next Player’s Choice handicapping tournament for $1,750 prize money and points toward Handicapper of the Year goes Saturday, Nov. 28. Play a practise round this Saturday by picking 10 “pretend” horses. Would they have won you enough to win the tournament?
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.


Is that a cheap ASD claimer in the Keeneland sale?
Yes, and she just fetched $306,000 (Cdn)

“I just shot back a Crown Royal straight and there will be more to come,”
Kane Kachur, the owner of a mare who had raced at ASD last year, told The Insider in a phone interview from Saskatoon Monday afternoon.

And who could blame him?

With friends in a farm bunkhouse near Saskatoon Kachur had just watched his $7,500 claimer, Is It Gold, fetch $230,000 U.S. in a Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale carried on the internet. That’s $306,000 Canadian.

What suddenly made his mare so valuable? After all, she was known around the Downs last year as the winner of one race out of five starts, a $7,500 claimer. It’s because she’s a half-sister to Swiss Skydiver, the Preakness Stakes winner who just raced in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. A bloodstock agent tracked Kachur down to inform him of his good fortune after Swiss Skydiver won the Gulfstream Oaks in late March.

Since then, Kachur, who's a financial advisor when he's not involved with horses, said his life has been a whirlwind. To make his mare even more valuable in the sales ring, he forked out $40,000 U.S. to breed her to Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. TVG even did a story on his claimer’s rags to riches ascent.

“It’s been a real ride,”
Kachur said. But added: “I’m not sure my heart is made for this.”

*       *       *

IS IT GOLD’S YOUNGER SISTER SELLS FOR $500,000: While Kachur was happy with $230,0000 U.S. for Is It Gold, he wondered why her sister, Miss Hot Legs brought $500,000 later in the auction even though she wasn’t in foal. Was it because she’s just four (and Is It Gold is six) and she had shown stakes talent at Santa Anita and Del Mar?

While awaiting Monday’s sale, Kachur’s Mister Henry Lee raced Friday and won an $8,000 claiming race at Century Mile in Edmonton. The horse’s previous win at 17-1 was a big money-maker for Kachur and friends who had discounted the horse’s previous race in which he trailed the field after a stumbling start.

Should have concentrated on superfectas

Don’t you wish there was a do-over in the Breeders’ Cup races? I sure wish there were. It became abundantly clear that betting superfectas was the way to go instead of skimping on supers and betting the most money on pick-4s and the pick-6.

Circus Maximus finishes second, setting up a $152,000 superfecta. “Bigger” group had wheeled him first and second.
Despite a $2,500 bankroll, the “I won bigger” betting group spent a mere $104 on superfectas on the Breeders’ Cup Mile--while doubling that amount could have resulted in a pay day of $30,000. The group’s ticket wheeled #1 Circus Maximus first and second in 20-cent supers (because the horse fit The Insider “high purse value” rule) with #4 Siskin for third and fourth (because the horse was six-for-seven in-the-money and had finished behind Circus Maximus in European races.)

These were the tickets:

The actual result was 15-1-3-11.

Spending a bit more money, the next logical bottom key was the favourite #11 Ivar who, like #4, has finished in the money six out of seven races. Groan. The superfecta paid . . .

Or $30,000 for 20-cents

Note the superfecta in Friday’s Juvenile race: the second choice, #5 Essential Quality won the race and the favourite, #7 Jackie’s Warrior, finished fourth. A 20-cent ticket that wheeled the first and second choice with "all” in various positions paid more than $8,000. That’s the nature of superfectas--which happen to be my bread-and-butter wager and which I will now promote in a bigger way for “I won bigger” group play. Supers are often easier--and bigger-- than pick-5s.

Did you play Kirt, Marshall & Stretch picks?
Then you're sporting a big smile!

Plays suggested by Kirt, Marshall and Stretch produced a profit over $3,100. Kirt's pick-3 above paid $2,758
Take a bow, Kirt, Marshall and Stretch! Not only did your thorough Breeders’ Cup analysis on the ASD Live videos on YouTube provide handicapping food for thought, your picks produced a profit of more than $3,100. What more could viewers ask?

Did you watch their shows (as linked in the last Insider)? If you blindly played what they liked, you would have spent $1,855 and collected $4,997.70. Friday’s picks produced negative results ($112.75 from $614 in bets) but Saturday more than made up for the losses when $1,241 in bets returned $4,884.95. These were their best plays; note the depth of their research:
  • Predicting “a big Euro push” because of favourable turf conditions in Kentucky (compared to Santa Anita’s harder surface last year), Marshall chose #6 Glass Slippers at 10-1 to win the race 5 Turf Sprint--which helped produce a payoff of $623 for a $48 pick-3 ticket. A helpful stat included the fact that Glass Slippers had finished first or second 7 of 8 races in sprint races in Europe.
  • A very quick workout (:46.4) by 18-1 Whitmore in the race 8 Sprint prompted Kirt to put him atop a $28 pick-3 that paid a whopping $2,758 when a bombs-away Order of Australia won the middle “all” leg. "I like bullet moves from horses who usually don’t put them out there,” he told viewers on why he chose Whitmore. Did you listen?
  • Playing against favourite #2 Magical in race 11, the 1 ½-mile Turf, Stretch bet $30 on his “favourite Euro on the card,” #3 Tarnawa at 4-1. Why? “It’s the ‘now’ horse,” he told viewers. “I like how the trainer has spaced out the races coming into this race.” His shrewd observation returned $162.
I’m already looking forward to their plays in the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar next year! What about you?

Jockey John Velazquez
"Safety concerns"
WHIPPING BAN PROMPTS JOCKEY LEGAL ACTION: The decision by the New Jersey Racing Commission to ban whip use except for safety purposes has prompted legal action by the Jockeys’ Guild. Under the new regulation, jockeys cannot use their whips to try to make a horse go faster. “We strongly believe the rule will have serious consequences and could result in even greater risks and dangers for both the horses and jockeys,” Guild co-chair John Velazquez is quoted as saying.

Five favourites won the 14 Breeders’ Cup races: Golden Pal (Juvenile Turf Sprint), Aunt Pearl (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Gamine (Filly & Mare Sprint), Knicks Go (Dirt Mile) and Monomoy Girl (Distaff). And the biggest chaos horse, of course, was Order of Australia winning the Mile ($148.40).

ASD’s leading jockey, Antonio Whitehall, finished third in the jockey standings at Century Mile when the meet ended there Friday. The top three jocks were Rico Walcott with 68 wins, Rigo Sarmiento with 46 wins and Whitehall with 43. Tim Rycroft was leading trainer. And how is injured jockey Shannon Beauregard faring after shattering her hip in an accident in September. See her GoFundMe page here.

ASD leading trainer Jerry Gourneau is now training at Remington Park in Oklahoma. His first start there on Friday, Oct. 30 was a win with Mr. Unusual ($9.20).
TOP 3 NFL PICKS by TravyFootball: Week 10

Saints over 49ers (Sunday afternoon): Sigh! Play by the 49ers tears at my heart. I’ve never seen a team be so decimated by injuries in such a short period of time. The Saints are rolling now and I expect them to roll right over the Niners this week (sad face).

Eagles over Giants
(Sunday noon): I really enjoy the fact the Giants are 2-7 but still are only one game back of the Eagles for first place in the division. Even though all the NFC East teams stink, I find it the most enjoyable division to watch. Kinda like a car crash, you want to turn your head away, but you can’t help but look. The Eagles are coming off the bye so they should be well rested for this game.

Dolphins over Chargers
(Sunday afternoon): Two rising stars at quarterback will take the field in this one. Justin Herbert of the Chargers has been playing like a 10-year veteran instead of a first year rookie, and the Dolphins’ Tua Tangovailoa has shown glimpses of something special in his two starts. Fun fact: Tua Tangovailoa is the only left-handed quarterback in the entire league and the first lefty to start a game since 2015.

Buffalo chose to abandon the run game against the Seahawks, which Seattle did not expect. Considering how bad their defense has been playing against the pass since week one, I’m surprised Seattle didn’t see that coming....Tom Brady for the first time looked liked a 43-year-old on the field against the Saints. This game was over after the first quarter. Drew Brees is now 2-0 versus Tom this season....A last-second field goal gave the Patriots a victory over the 0-9 Jets. Not much else to say about that game. Two bad teams.
THE BEST OF BOB by Bob Gates: Lest we forget

November 11, 2018 marked the centenary of "The Great War." This week we are proud to rerun the special blog Bob wrote that pays homage to the role of the horse in the Great War. Click here to read about the "War Horses." (First published November 2018)
  • This Saturday: “I won bigger” online group play on Woodbine races.
  • Monday, Nov. 16: Receive a 5% bonus on all eligible wagers you make Mondays in November.
  • Saturday, Nov. 21: “I won bigger” group play
  • Monday, Nov. 23: Receive a 5% bonus on all eligible wagers you make Mondays in November.
  • Saturday, Nov. 28: Online Player’s Choice handicapping tournament

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

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