Friday, December 28, 2018

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 13 No. 51 (Issue #669)

By Ivan Bigg


Weekly Horseplayer Report and Fun Stuff

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


Escape Clause will emerge from post 2 in tomorrow's $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Handicap

1. Escape Clause to face horses she already beat

Rated top-two chance to win tomorrow's Robert J. Frankel handicap at Santa Anita

Escape Clause with trainer Don Schnell and jockey Ruben Fuentes after winning the Kathryn Crosby at Del Mar on Nov. 9 (Benoit photo)
Who knew that a filly bred in Russell, Man. and purchased for just $3,200 as a yearling has been given a top-two chance to win tomorrow’s Grade 3 $150,000 Robert J. Frankel Handicap at storied Santa Anita Park 3,000 kilometres southwest of her birthplace?

Escape Clause
will be facing seven other fillies and mares, 4-years-old and up, at 1 1/8-miles in that turf feature. She has already beaten five of them in either the $75,000 Kathryn Crosby or the $100,000 Red Carpet at Del Mar where she came to be known as the “darling of Del Mar.”

Not since Fancy As raced in three graded stakes at Santa Anita in 2002 has a Manitoba-bred horse risen to such heights. Fancy As, a gelding bred by Ed Pawluk, had finished third in two Grade 2 stakes--the Strub and the San Fernando Breeders’ Cup—and seventh in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap.

The Robert J. Frankel is the fourth race on a 10-race card that begins at 2:00 p.m. CST. Here’s the cast in post position order for that race, formerly known as the San Gorgonio Handicap, first run in 1968:
  1. Lucy De Finished behind Escape Clause in the Red Carpet Stakes at Del Mar (6th)
  2. Escape Clause – Won Kathryn Crosby, 3rd in Red Carpet at Del Mar
  3. Quebec Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby at Del Mar (5th)
  4. Fahan Mura – Finished 12th in the Grade 1 Matriarch; 2nd in Grade 2 Goldikova
  5. Sweet Charity Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby (3rd)
  6. Gliding By Finished behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby (7th)
  7. Amboseli – Finished 2nd in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill
  8. Excellent Sunset Placed second behind Escape Clause in the Kathryn Crosby after being disqualified for shutting off Escape Clause in late stretch; subsequently ran 5th in the Grade 1 Matriarch.


NOTE: If Escape Clause wins, there will be five bonus draws in the “3 for the money” contest in the Race Book. (See below.)

*       *       *

2. New Year's Eve farewell to richest standardbred

Still winning, but 14-year-old Foiled Again can't race past midnight Dec. 31

Foiled Again wins farewell race at Woodbine Saturday--his 109th win
The clock runs out on New Year’s Eve for the world’s richest standardbred, Foiled Again, as the 14-year-old $7.6-million pacer makes his final—and likely winning—appearance at The Meadows race track in Pennsylvania which is likely to be packed with well-wishers. The card gets underway at 4:30 p.m. CST.

Standardbreds can’t race past 14-years-old and he turns 15 on Jan. 1 which is the birthday for every race horse in the Northern Hemisphere. (Thoroughbreds can’t race past 12-years-old.)

His farewell tour included Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday and, as predicted, he won the race named in his honour: the Foiled Again Farewell Pace—his 109th lifetime victory--and paid $3.70.

If you’re playing Santa Anita’s New Year’s Eve card that gets underway at 2:30 p.m., flip over to The Meadows at 4:30 p.m. to watch history being made. A ceremony in the Winner’s Circle will follow his final race dubbed “Foiled Again’s Last Call.”
Robert J. Frankel
Did you know . . . that tomorrow’s Robert J. Frankel Handicap at Santa Anita, in which Escape Clause is entered, honours—in the words of ESPN—"one of the most successful and respected trainers in the history of thoroughbred racing."

The race, formerly known as the San Gorgonio Handicap, was won by Robert Frankel eight times and changed to its current name after Frankel’s death in 2009 from leukemia at 68. It was fitting that a British colt named for the late trainer, Frankel, received the highest rating ever by the Timeform publication in England after winning all 14 starts including 10 Group 1 stakes.
Enter "3 for the money" contest tomorrow . . .
. . . to get into five $10 draws that will DOUBLE if Escape Clause wins

Tomorrow’s “3 for the money” contest in the Race Book to win $75 in wagering vouchers will start with race 4 at Santa Anita which features Escape Clause. In addition to five $10 draws for wagering vouchers that will take place about a half-hour before race 4, THERE WILL BE FIVE BONUS DRAWS after race 4 if Escape Clause wins.
QX104 � Today's Country

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

94.3 The Drive
NOTE NEW BREAKFAST HOURS: The hours for Chef Gerardo’s great breakfast menu in the Clubhouse have been extended to 2 p.m. So the hours now are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

NOTE: NO POKER TONIGHT OR TOMORROW: Will resume next Friday and Saturday.
NEW YEAR’S EVE REMINDER: Pick up tickets for $20.18 (including taxes) at the VLT cage to enjoy the casual seat-yourself buffet New Year’s Eve next Monday in the Clubhouse from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. featuring pork souvlaki, fried chicken, roast beef au jus, mashed potatoes, assorted salads and dessert cakes.

Note that the New Year's Eve gala on the main level is sold out.
REGULAR INSIDER: Next Thursday. It will include details on the year’s first “Be a better bettor” workshop hosted by Glen and Marshall.

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