Thursday, December 7, 2017

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 12 No. 46 (Issue #615)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


This is the Way
Woodbine -- Nov. 29, race 8

"From the clouds--wow!"

Carrying no whip, Sunny Singh charges from last to first at odds of 146-1

This is the Way (#2) blasts past rivals at 146-1

If you attend Saturday morning “I won big” workshops, you’d hear again and again: “Anything can happen in bottom level claimers at Woodbine” and last Wednesday’s last race is jaw-dropping proof.

An $8,000 claimer for older fillies and mares was won by the biggest longshot of the year: This is the Way at odds of 146-1. Carrying no whip, Sunny Singh shook the reins at the top of the stretch and the 7-year-old mare responded by charging from last to first in one blinding rush to win by more than two lengths. It was a total reversal of previous races in which she showed strong early pace and tired.

“From the clouds--wow!” exclaimed track announcer Robert Geller. It was certainly not a finish you’d expect from a $294 horse although owner/trainer, Gary Chudobiak is no piker (55-10-8-12 this year) and, after all, the mare had won at Fort Erie in September at odds of 3-1.

Would you have bet her? See program page here (#2)
Watch the exciting race here.

The top 5 finishers were:

  • This is the Way 146-1
  • Miss Forester 4-1
  • Penny Stamp 8-5
  • Canna Red 10-1
  • Two Cuties 2-1

Sunny Singh
Carried no whip

PRICES: No one had the superfecta but there were seven Hi-5 tickets No one had the superfecta so it paid $2,356 for a 20-cent ticket with “all” in the fourth position. But there were SEVEN correct 20-cent Jackpot Hi 5 tickets paying $4,140. Rather curious, don’t you think? It’s probably because some Jackpot players almost routinely bet “all” in the first position and favourites underneath in a bid to have the only winning ticket in order to snap up the Jackpot pool. Hmm. Bet there were a bunch of disappointed Hi-5 players after this race.

  • $2 exactor (2-5) $1,418
  • $2 triactor (2-5-12) $15,571
  • $1 superfecta (2-5-12-ALL) $11,784
  • 20-cent Super Hi 5 (2-5-12-4-6) $4,140

Bullet briefs . . .

  • When should you press the "all" button? (That earned "I won big" group a bacon treat)
  • Woodbine's final thoroughbred card is Sunday; Jackpot Hi-5 must go
  • Buff is hot to trot
  • Whee! Surprise "customer appreciation" perks are making the rounds at OTBs
  • The next Kentucky Derby prep race goes this Saturday at Los Alamitos
SURPRISE! “CUSTOMER APPRECIATION” PERKS AT OTBs: You don’t know when it might happen. Suddenly, “customer appreciation” is declared at an OTB and you get a drink from the bar, a complimentary menu selection, 2,500 Player Rewards points and have a chance to be drawn to win a 60-second betting spree. Whee! The first happened Saturday at Rookies Sports Bar at the Central Hotel in Transcona. Congrats to Winston Moore who called $54 in bets in the betting spree. When and where will the perk fairy strike next?

CONGRATS TO RODNEY ZARETSKY who won double his $10 in bets in the 5-Alive contest when his $2 to show in three races at Remington Saturday night and $2 to place and win came through for him. Enter 5-Alive Friday and Saturday nights when up to $50 in bets will award you $100 besides your winnings on your five wagers.
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 $3,615!

REMEMBER THE HPI WORKSHOP NEXT WEDNESDAY AT 7 PM: Fan education specialists Glen and Marshall will discuss HPI updates including Partial Cash Out and regale you with stats from Gulfstream and Fair Grounds to help you nail winners. Participants will receive 2,500 Player Rewards points and $10 deposited into their HPI accounts after betting $50 within a week. Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve.

SHOW YOU REALLY CARE! GIVE AN ASD GIFT CARD. OR MAYBE AN HPI DEPOSIT! For holiday wishes, how about surprising someone with a deposit in their HPI account or giving an ASD gift card? Make this happen by going to the VLT cage at the track or calling Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0.


When should you press the "all" button?

Handicapping goes out the window in bottom level claimers at the end of a meet

Bottom-level claiming races are tricky to handicap at the best of times. But at the end of a long race meet (i.e. Woodbine), they’re impossible. Witness the $294 price at the top of this column.

Using this logic when the “I won big” group was putting together its pick-5 ticket Saturday morning, it started out with “all” and “all” in the $10,000 and $12,000 claiming races. And, sure enough, one leg was won by a $150 horse and the other leg by a $24 horse.

Because another leg of the pick-5 was won by the longest shot on the board ($129)—which the group ticket didn’t have—nobody anywhere had five for five so the group collected almost $3,900 for having four of five legs three times. That means players will be crunching on a bacon treat this Saturday as they handicap the final 2017 Saturday card at Woodbine before switching to Tampa Bay in ensuing Saturdays.

Headbob by #6 Admiralty Pier gives group almost $3,900

The bacon will taste especially good considering the fact there was a single pick-5 ticket Saturday alive to #4 Archaggelos in the final leg of the pick-5 that would have paid $50,000 but it was the group’s #6 Admiralty Pier who won the race—in a heart-stopping headbob over #2 Pipers Warrior which the group didn’t have. See you Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse plaza for races 2 to 7 for the final time at Woodbine.

The pick-5 horses and their prices Saturday were:
Race 2 – Maiden fillies and mares -- #2 Field Party -- $129.30
Race 3 – $40,000 claimer for 2-year-olds -- #9 Inge -- $6.60
Race 4 – $12,500 claimer for fillies and mares -- #5 Articulate -- $150.50
Race 5 – $10,000 claimer for fillies and mares -- #6 My Pal Katherine -- $23.90
Race 6 – Display Stakes for 2-year-olds -- #6 Admiralty Pier -- $6.20

See program pages here.

Murray Duncan
CJ's Flair always in the money

ASD STAKES WINNER GIVES DUNCAN HIS SECOND HAWTHORNE WIN: CJ’s Flair, the 4 year-old filly who won the Canada Day and Winnipeg Sun Stakes during live racing, won her first race on the road Saturday for Murray Duncan. She went gate to wire in a 1- mile 70-yard $6,250 optional claimer Saturday at Hawthorne in Chicago ($6.60). It was Duncan’s second win in 14 starts at Hawthorne since travelling there after ASD’s live season ended in September. CJ’s has never finished out of the money for Duncan (10-5-3-2). He had claimed the filly for $6,250 at Oaklawn Park in the spring. Her win at Hawthorne was worth $6,600 U.S.

GOLD CUP WINNER MEDIA MELEE STUMBLES AT WOODBINE: It seems ASD Gold Cup Stakes winner, Media Melee, has a decided preference for dirt. In four races at Woodbine following the ASD meet, the 4-year-old gelding finished sixth on the turf and 12th, sixth and eighth on the Tapeta synthetic main track. His last race was last Wednesday, a $20,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles.

Cole Bennett
Claiming binge at Woodbine

YOUNGEST ASD TRAINER STARTS STRONGLY AT WOODBINE, FINISHES STRONGLY: ASD’s 19-year-old trainer last year, Cole Bennett, who headed out to the faster lane in Toronto for his 20th year, started Woodbine’s season in April with a win (Concorso) and, as the meet comes to a close, he has chalked up two recent second-place finishes with the longest shot on the board in a $25,000 maiden claimer (Buzzcut at 30-1) and Crushin It (7-1) in a $12,500 claimer. His record is 44-4-4-10 which includes five thirds and a second at Fort Erie. He’s been on a claiming binge lately for his Irishyouwell/Bill Meikle owners. His dad, Glen, has participated in Saturday morning “I won big” workshops.

DIODORO HAS NICE RUN WITH ALPINE LUCK AFTER CLAIM FROM ASD OWNER: Alpine Luck, who finished second in two ASD stakes races in 2016 and third in another for owner John Ganas after being claimed for $20,000 at Santa Anita, has had a nice run over the past year under trainer Robertino Diodoro who had claimed him from Ganas for $12,500 at Turf Paradise in November, 2016. In 11 starts under Diodoro at Turf Paradise and Prairie Meadows, Alpine Luck chalked up a record of 11-3-4-2 and earned more than $47,000 U.S. The 6-year-old gelding is now under new ownership after trainer Lymon Perren claimed him for $6,250 from Diodoro in October. He subsequently finished second in a $6,250 claimer at Turf Paradise for his new connections.

BUDLITELARRY ENDS YEAR WITH TWO WINS FOR DORCHESTER: Being vanned around the country seems to be no big deal for 5-year-old chestnut gelding Budlitelarry. After a 6-1-2-1 record at ASD during Season 60, trainer Dennis Dorchester shipped him to Lethbridge where he won $2,385 in a minor allowance race and added another $6,000 at Century Downs near Calgary for winning a $12,500 claimer. His tote prices were $4.60 and $10.10 respectively at the two tracks.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT? Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown – all colourful names of race courses in Ireland that YOU CAN BET on your HPI account on select mornings. Hey, isn’t it worth a stab just to say “I bet a few bucks at Fairyhouse this morning?”


Buff (Dustin Byfuglien)
Hunch plays at Meadowlands?
( photo)

BUFF IS HOT TO TROT: Being a “Buff” fan would have won you two races in November— and who isn’t a fan of Buff--Winnipeg Jets’ hockey defenseman Dustin Byfuglien? Except this Buff happens to be a 4-year-old trotting gelding at Meadowlands in New Jersey, not the thoroughbred Buff that was racing at the Downs this past live season. The trotter won back-to-back races, paying $8.40 and $9 and, like the hockey Buff, this Buff is no slouch. His record this year is 38-10-7-5 and he’s earned more than $80,000. His dad is Credit Winner and his mom is Blur, out of Muscles Yankee. No reason for the “Buff” name can be inferred from this breeding.

SUMMER RACING IS AT HAND. WHAT? Two weeks from today marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere after which time the sun heads back north in a countdown to the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream on Saturday, Jan. 27, the $30 million in World Cup racing from Dubai on Saturday, Mar. 31 and the Kentucky Derby from Churchill on Saturday, May 5. Miss summer heat? Well, it’s as close (vicariously) as your PC, TV or mobile device in the form of thoroughbred racing from Australia where the first day of summer is two weeks from today. Ho, ho, ho.

Programs and forms are recyclable but not mutuel tickets

DO RECYCLE PROGRAMS AND FORMS BUT NOT MUTUEL TICKETS: I’m sure you’re depositing your race programs, racing forms and bottles in the recycling bins at the Downs but remember that mutuel tickets should be thrown in the garbage because they are made from coated paper that cannot be mixed with paper in the recycling process. The coating permits the imprinting of numbers and other information on your tickets through a heating process.


Tips ’n’ Tricks

with Marshall Posner

Q. I’ve been trying to set up “My Stable” but it seems to not be working properly – what can I do?

A. Since the “My Stable” rollout about three weeks ago, a couple of minor bugs have been fixed and member-suggested improvements have been made. As a result, the “My Stable” functionality should now be working properly for everyone. Here’s what’s been adjusted:

  • Now when you click on a horse's name in “My Stable”, all of the horse's details will pop up. This will allow you to see all historical racing data on the horse, including race replays, horse notes and much more.
  • Clicking either the horse’s name or trainer’s name under the ADD TO MY STABLE section will automatically check all of the boxes for Entry, Race and Results notifications.
  • An email configuration link issue has been resolved so notifications are being sent properly.

Got a question for Marshall? Email

Made the movie, came to the 'Peg


Did you know . . . that Whittier Park and Polo Park were regular destinations for the Hollywood crowd that included silent film star Anita King, Betty Grable, Harry James, George Raft and the comedy team of Abbott and Costello? Yes, see Abbott and Costello in the Winner’s Circle here.


  • Comforting matzo ball soup is part of the Hanukkah-inspired prime rib buffet a week from today. Still room!

    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-enhanced prime rib buffet $27.95. Reserve a table with Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: Final Player's Choice horseplayer tournament of 2017
  • 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.
  • Monday, Dec. 25: Christmas Day.  Downs is open 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. for VLT play, turkey dinner and contest fun.
  • 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.

Click for sizzle.
Bigg is bad, isn't he?

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