Thursday, November 30, 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 45 (Issue #614)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Did you bet the horse in front?
It won and paid $135.40

Betting $20 on the lead horse above in the Daily Racing Form graphic on Breeders’ Cup Saturday would have won you $1,354. Yes, it was that simple for casual players who simply looked at that picture, saw that Bar of Gold in the Filly and Mare Sprint race had the highest lifetime Beyer speed figure and bet it.

Kind of a shocker, isn’t it? Sometimes a bet is that simple—but not for veteran handicappers who spent much more time examining all sorts of other things and weren’t going to let an all-too-simple graphic influence their play. That’s why Bar of Gold was the second-biggest longshot in Breeders’ Cup history.

There are a few other interesting tidbits emanating from those races which you can find below in a final look at the biggest day in racing.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Escape Clause couldn't escape a dead rail in $300,000 stakes
  • Churchill bans Daily Racing Form
  • Would you bet $200 on a 9-1 horse that finished 8th and 12th in his last two races?
  • Eight cheers for Pink Lloyd, the winningest horse in Canada!
  • Ultra tasty brisket headlines the Hannukah-enhanced prime rib buffet. Book today!
5-ALIVE AWAITS THE NEXT BIG WINNER. WILL IT BE YOU? Get twice what you bet this Friday and Saturday night by betting show, show, show, place, win on horses in five races in a row at the track(s) of your choice.
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 December? Find out here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.
Want to follow sports in the Race Book? Jets

FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS : Free VLT tournaments starting 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. Registration 8 p.m. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. Royal Flush progressive jackpot is at $3,360!

"Horrible trip"

Trapped on a dead rail, Escape Clause misses 2nd in stakes by 3 lengths

Escape Clause (#1) is trapped on a dead rail

After watching her bad trip in the $300,000 Zia Park Oaks in New Mexico last week, three top jockeys at Turf Paradise want to ride Escape Clause the next time the Manitoba-bred filly is entered in a race.

That’s what the filly’s trainer, Don Schnell, told The Insider in a telephone interview from Turf Paradise where he trains 14 horses.

“She had a horrible, horrible trip (from post position #1),”
he said. He noted she was trapped on the dead rail where she was “stopped three times” and her preference is to be in the clear outside other horses. “She couldn’t get out of trouble,” he said.

He said Escape Clause’s jockey Roimes Chirinos, the leading jockey at Zia Park, told him: “She can really run. The one hole beat us.”

The 3-year-old who has won eight races this year ended up finishing last in the seven-horse field at odds of 7-1 but she was only three lengths from being second where Schnell had predicted she had a chance of finishing. She lost sixth—where she would have won a $6,000 share of the purse—by a neck. The race was won handily by Doug O’Neill’s Sandy’s Surprise ($7).

What now for Manitoba’s likely Horse of the Year? Schnell said he’s itching to end the season on a winning note somewhere so he’ll be looking at a possible final race at Los Alamitos before giving her a winter break in Arizona.

Watch the Zia Park Oaks here. (Click on Nov. 22, race 10.)


Play of the week

Tourney winner and $200 bettor both nail 9-1 horse at Tampa for the same reason

TOURNEY TOP FIVE: Tourney director Dawn Forbes with (from left) Len Charney (2nd), Brian McKellar (4th), Roger Bamburak (3rd), Brad Kinnear (1st) and Ken Stewin (5th)

Who knew? A person sitting close to my carrel Saturday showed me his $200 win bet on #8 Cuban Cowboy in race 7 at Tampa at odds of 9-1. Nine to one! Great play! But the reason for the big wager is even more impressive. Despite the horse’s last two poor performances, he noted the rider, Ademar Santos, was the same rider who had won on him twice in a row at Tampa earlier this year.

But he wasn’t the only player who took note of that fact. Hardwood salesman Brad Kinnear, playing in the November Player’s Choice horseplayer tournament, also made Cuban Cowboy a contest play and that gave him what he needed to win the contest. Had you noticed that angle? See Cuban Cowboy here.

Here are the top five finishers, their bankroll and their prize:
1. Brad Kinnear--Bankroll $86.40 ($1,000 prize money)
2. Len Charney $78.40 ($400)
3. Roger Bamburak $66.50 ($200)
4. Brian McKellar $63.90 ($100)
5. Ken Stewin $52.40 ($50)

See full results here. See Handicapper of the Year leaderboard here.

Alan Hampton
HOTY leader

WHO WILL BE CROWNED HANDICAPPER OF THE YEAR? Accountant Alan Hampton is the current leader for Handicapper of the Year but note that farmer Harold Wiens is in second place, not by being among the top finishers in any monthly contest, but by being consistently close in points, which is another way to win the title. A player’s top seven scores in 12 months of play count toward the honour. The top 10 will share in $3,500 in prize money. The final 2017 Players’ Choice tournament is two weeks from this Saturday. Good luck to all!

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Have you signed up for the next M/G workshop?

Marshall and Glen will discuss HPI upgrades, Partial Cash Out and winter racing tips

When: Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. Sign up at 204-885-3330 ext. 0

Marshall and Glen will hold an interactive workshop in 13 days that will include:

  • Latest upgrades to HPI bet
  • A discussion about the new Partial Cash Out feature. When should you “bite?”
  • How to set up your very own HPIbet Stable to receive notifications for horses on your watch list
  • How to customize your HPIbet account to receive email alerts about pool carryovers 

Note: Bring your laptops and/or tablets—and any questions you have about HPIbet.

BETTING TIPS: Concentrating on Gulfstream’s championship meet and Fair Grounds, Glen and Marshall will also discuss must-see race days, betting subtleties and top trainers and jockeys 

FREE TO PARTICIPANTS: 2500 Player Rewards points and a $10 deposit into players’ accounts once they bet $50 within a week after the workshop.

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What were your better bettor tracks in October?

Belterra, Turf Paradise and Fraser Downs topped your most profitable tracks

ASD players were better bettors at 24 tracks in October with Belterra, Turf Paradise and Fraser Downs leading the way. Congrats if you were among those who enriched yourselves betting those tracks.

Major tracks were also among your better bettor ones, too—which was nice to see: Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Monmouth at Meadowlands made the list as did Woodbine harness. Other tracks included Parx, Charles Town, Remington, Presque Isle, Fresno, Mahoning Valley and Northfield harness.

And among your most challenging? Portland, Zia Park, Mountaineer, Los Alamitos quarter horses and Gulfstream.

Interestingly, month after month you are better bettors at almost two dozen tracks. Playing to your strengths makes you a better citizen because you cause other tracks to have to send money to the Downs to cover your winnings—which boosts the economy.


Who had the best chance
of beating the big favourite?

Bolt d’Oro (in front above in the Daily Racing Form graphic) was almost everyone’s key to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. But players looking to go deeper in their pick-4, pick-3 and pick-6 wagers merely had to look at the DRF graphic above and added the horses that are shown second and third behind the favourite. The third horse, Good Magic (arrow), won ($25). I’m kicking myself for not suggesting the addition of those two horses in the “I won big” group’s pick-6 ticket—something that will haunt me until the next Breeders’ Cup.


  • Combining picks by Jay Privman (left) and Byron King gave you the pick-6

    If you were looking deeper than highly favoured Highland Reel to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf, you would have noticed that Talismanic, the ultimate winner, was shown in the DRF Timeform graphic as having the second-best speed.
  • If you had looked at DRF analysts’ Breeders’ Cup picks and wheeled the picks by Jay Privman and Byron King you would have won $388,423 on the pick-6. Privman predicted Gun Runner, World Approval, Wuheida and Talismanic and King had the two that Privman didn’t pick: Roy H and Good Magic.
  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to two of the sharpest handicappers in the Race Book Saturday-- Brad Kinnear who won the handicapping tournament and to the $200 bettor—both of whom zeroed in on a jockey angle to win race 7 at Tampa Bay on a 9-1 horse, #8 Cuban Cowboy, a 4-year-old gelding. Would you have the courage to jump all over a horse that had finished eighth and 12th in his last two races? They did and it was mainly because Ademar Santos, who had won with him twice in a row before, was back aboard for the horse’s first race since August. Gutsy, gutsy call—and bet.

  • Pink Lloyd wins eight in a row (Burns Photo)

    A BIG SHOUT-OUT to the win machine--Pink Lloyd. Pink Lloyd? The 5-year-old gelding is just the winningest stakes horse at Woodbine. He started winning on April 15 and, eight starts later, he won again—the $175,000 Kennedy Road Stakes on Saturday. Tons of credit go out to trainer Robert Tiller for keeping him sound and ready to roll through a gruelling seven-month campaign and to Eurico Da Silva for riding him to perfection each time. He paid $3.20 to win.

  • A BIG SHOUT-OUT to DRF analysts Jay Privman and Byron King who, together, picked the six horses that won the $388,423 pick-6 on Breeders’ Cup Saturday. The other 13 analysts listed in the DRF that day picked fewer than three winning horses out of the nine BC races that day. I hope Privman and King capitalized on their astuteness.


CHURCHILL BANS DAILY RACING FORM; PRODUCES ITS OWN GUIDE: You may notice that Churchill Downs races are no longer included in the main edition of the Daily Racing Form. That’s because Churchill Downs has balked at increased costs of having its races published in the DRF and has banned the sale of the DRF at its track and is publishing its own racing guide instead that it sells for half the price of the DRF. As of last weekend at ASD, Churchill races were still included in the Player’s Edition of the Daily Racing Form. And, of course, Equibase programs for Churchill can be downloaded at program kiosks.

The Assiniboia Racing Club (ARC), coming off two enjoyable years, has grown to 51 members who have purchased 55 shares at $500 each for ASD horse ownership next year, says coordinator and HBPA director John Field. Their first meeting is this Sunday where, says John, the group will discuss selecting a trainer, holding a Club BBQ, getting Club golf shirts and, of course, buying horses. This past racing season, the Club’s 6-year-old gelding, This Cat’s Awesome, won two races and had a second and third.

George's Gal in 2013 with the late Grace Gulewich and, from left, Crystal Gulewich, Kaile Gulewich and Brianna Hamelton

GRACE WOULD BE PROUD: Long-time ASD trainer Grace Gulewich who died three years ago would be proud to hear that a mare she owned and trained, George’s Gal, has gone on to produce a colt, Talent Scout, that last month at Santa Anita won $30,000 U.S. in his very first lifetime race as a 2-year-old for trainer Bob Baffert. George’s Gal was a mere $3,500 claimer at the Downs when Grace owned her (13-2-1-3) but her value soared in 2013 when her brother, Bashart, won a $200,000 race at Saratoga. Buyers came calling and Grace and her granddaughter, Crystal, sold George’s Gal for $16,000 who later fetched $45,000 at a broodmare sale at Keeneland. The mare is now owned by prominent owners/breeders Gary and Mary West who bred her to New Year’s Day to produce Talent Scout.

With only two Saturdays remaining in Woodbine’s 2017 meet, “I won big” participants got a small return on their investment last Saturday when they won the pick-5 for $905 and pick-4 for $122. What to expect in the closing days? Last year, favourites ruled in three of the last six days (producing pick-5s that paid $119 to $247) but three days had nice payoffs ($1,360 to $2,727). So it’s 50-50 on what happens this Saturday. (A special thanks to Marshall for hosting group play in my two-week absence when the group came tantalizingly close to collecting big money including a $10,000 pick-5). So, see you this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (races 2 to 7 at Woodbine) with a view to earning a bacon treat on Woodbine’s closing weekend.

Put down the racing form and go for a walk. When you get back, you’ll pick more winners. Yes, if it were only that easy. But study after study says that brisk walking for 40 minutes three times a week will make your mind sharper but will also cause an area of your brain (where dementia starts) to grow instead of shrink as it does in later years. Another benefit: The cells in your body will repair themselves better than if you don’t walk.


Did you know . . . that Hugh Jackson was a class act and breeding genius whose stakes race resume includes two wins in each of: the Buffalo Stakes, J.W. Sifton, Winnipeg Futurity, Harry Jeffrey and the Manitoba Stakes, as well as victories in the Distaff, Matchmaker, Golden Boy, Anniversary Stakes, Manitoba Sale Stake, Osiris Plate, Gold Cup, Canada Day Stakes, Fleur de Lis and, of course, the Manitoba Derby? Read more here.


  • Ultra tasty brisket will be served with lemon glazed chicken, potato latkes, matzo ball soup and mushroom kugel at the Hanukkah-enhanced prime rib buffet Dec. 14

    Saturday, Dec. 9: Kentucky Derby prep race: Los Alamitos Futurity at Los Alamitos
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13: Glen/Marshall workshop that includes updates to HPI bet and betting tips on Gulfstream and Fair Grounds. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to sign up.
  • Thursday, Dec. 14: Hanukkah Festival of Lights buffet $27.95. Reserve a table with Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: Kentucky Derby prep race: Springboard Mile at Remington
  • Sunday, Dec. 17: The richest race in quarter horse racing—the $2 Million Futurity—at Los Alamitos
  • Thursday, Dec. 21: Festive buffet $27.95. Call Samantha above.
  • Sunday, Dec. 24: Christmas Eve. Downs is open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for VLT play, turkey dinner and contest fun. Simulcast racing from Gulfstream & Sunland.
  • Monday, Dec. 25: Christmas Day.  Downs is open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for VLT play, turkey dinner and contest fun. Simulcast racing from Australia (through HPIbet only).
  • Sunday, Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Gala. Main Floor Ballroom. Hosted by 94.3 The Drive's Tom and Kerri. Tickets $49.95 (plus taxes & gratuities). Call Samantha at 204-885-3330.

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3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
Ph (204) 885.3330 • Fax (204) 831.5348

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