Friday, June 5, 2020

Assiniboia Downs The Insider E-Newsletter

Vol. 15  No. 22 (Issue #741)

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


The exciting $1 Stronach 5 wager returns today with a $100K guarantee!

Leg one
-- Laurel Race 7 at 2:51 CT
Leg two
-- Gulfstream Race 9 at 3:13
Leg three
-- Laurel Race 8 at 3:25
Leg four -- Golden Gate Race 3 at 3:54
Leg five -- Santa Anita Race 4 at 4:09



You can now watch live racing while dining!
And you can wager on simulcast races every day in Club West Dining Lounge and at OTBs

Watch live racing from the dining room
With the provincial goverment phase two "loosening plan", wagering on the races and dining opportunities are opening up at the Downs and around the city:

While the grandstand is closed to spectators, there is one place at ASD where you can watch live racing and that is in the Terrace Dining Room. Advance reservations required. No walk-ups. Call 204-885-3330. See menu here.

From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, you can dine and wager on simulcast races in the Club West Dining Lounge. The hours on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. See menu here.

  • Green Brier: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Rookies Sports Bar in the Central Hotel: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. every day
  • Pembina Hotel: 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day
  • Windsor Park Inn: Closed. Target opening Gov't Phase 3 around June 21.
  • Quest Inn: Closed. Target opening Gov't Phase 3 around June 21.
  • Club Regent Casino: Closed. Target opening Gov't Phase 3 around June 21.
  • McPhillips Street Casino: Closed. Target opening Gov't Phase 3 around June 21.
  • HARD COPIES OF ALL PROGRAMS FOR ALL TRACKS: Equibase race programs ($2), DRF race programs ($2) and DRF Pro Picks (50-cents) are available at program kiosks in the lobby and in the Club West Dining Lounge at ASD and at the above OTBs.
  • ASD LIVE PROGRAMS: Can be purchased from the program kiosks and in the Club West dining lounge
  • EMAILED PROGRAMS: ASD program director Sheri will email programs without charge to Manitobans who email their request to her at Specify DRF or Equibase program.
HOW TO OPEN AN HPI ACCOUNT FOR BETTING ONLINE: Go to or phone 204-885-3330 ext. 225 for assistance.

Bullet briefs . . .

  • Unbeaten Hidden Grace faces toughest test on Wednesday; will her win streak end?
  • Head-scratcher Tuesday at the Downs: superfecta pays 50 per cent less than triactor
  • Monster 9/11 double has Gulfstream players shaking their heads
  • Woodbine starts tomorrow, the day of the Santa Anita Derby
  • "If the horse doesn't fit, he may be legit." What? See POCKET PLENTY IN '20
  • Historian Bob comes down with a bug -- a nostalgia bug. What's affecting him?

ENTER COUNTDOWN CONTEST ON SANTA ANITA DERBY SATURDAY: Who will win? See entries here and email your entry to by 2 p.m. Saturday to earn points to win a $200 bankroll to play the Kentucky Derby in Saturday and to get into a draw for two unique Kentucky Derby glasses. (Contest open only to those who have already entered.) See revised contest races here. See leader board here.

See list here. (Picking three winners on ASD cards gets you a discount on the $50 entry fee into the June 22 tourney that will send the winner and a guest to a rich Las Vegas tournament next spring. See rules here.)
Click to enlarge.

Want highlights for the next 10 days? Click calendar.
What tracks are racing in June? Find out  here.
What are today’s $$$ carryovers? See them here.


at Mohawk Saturday in the Jackpot Hi 5. Carryover $236K. First post 6 p.m.

  • Gulfstream -- $1.5 million carryover today in their Rainbow pick-6
  • Santa Anita -- $600K carryover today in their Jackpot pick-6
  • Assiniboia Downs -- 20-cent Jackpot pick-5 $146K carried over to Monday 7:30 p.m.
EYE ON LIVE: Biggest race of the meet so far goes next Wednesday

"Her toughest test so far"
Unbeaten Hidden Grace to face Miss Imperial and Broadway Bonnie in La Verendrye

Hidden Grace with trainer/exercise rider Michael Nault (James Carey Lauder photo)
Uh-oh! Is Hidden Grace’s unbeaten streak about to end?

“This is her toughest test so far,”
says ASD race secretary/oddsmaker Dustin Davis about the La Verendrye Stakes next Wednesday which likely will pit the nine-for-nine Manitoba-bred 4-year-old filly against Murray Duncan’s Miss Imperial and Tim Rycroft’s Broadway Bonnie.

You already know Duncan as the wily claimer of talented horses at Oaklawn Park (one of which was 2017 Manitoba Derby winner Plentiful) and Rycroft was leading trainer at both Century Downs and Century Mile in Alberta last year.

Miss Imperial, claimed at Oaklawn for $25,000 U.S., has a decided conditioning edge over the debuting Hidden Grace, having already won four races this year including the Go Go Lolo Stakes on the opening day of the ASD meet.

But Broadway Bonnie was closing on Miss Imperial in the late stages of the 5-furlong Go Go Lolo and it was her 2020 debut race. She should appreciate the extra furlong of the La Verendrye.

Then again, Hidden Grace worked a sharp :48 in a recent clocking, showing she could be ready to keep her streak intact.

Ten for ten. Has a nice ring. And that’s what her trainer/exercise rider Michael Nault and owners Barry Arnason, Charles Fouillard and Cam Ziprick hope they are saying Wednesday night.

Miss Imperial -- record: 17-7-3-3 -- earnings $287K -- highest Equibase speed 97
Hidden Grace -- 9-9-0-0 -- earnings $133K -- highest E speed 89
Broadway Bonnie
-- 11-5-2-0 -- earnings $147K -- highest E speed 95

SIMULCAST RACING: Longshot play of the week

double pays $1,441
#9 Sunsation $122.20
#11 Atakan $105.60

Joe Bravo: Rides back-to-back 50-1 winners
Does any player recall anything like this? Back-to-back 50-1 horses won the last two races at Gulfstream on Saturday--each turf route races--each won wire-to-wire by seasoned veteran jockey Joe Bravo.

Call it the 9/11 play of the year. And if you had a 9/11 hunch for the double, you collected $1,441.20 for a $2 bet.

The Rainbow pick-6 paid $120K, probably won by a few players who keyed a couple early races (the first leg was won by a 5-2 horse and leg three by a 2-5 horse) and played “all” with “all” in the last two races. However, #9 Sunsation, in the second last race did have a bit of an angle (see Pocket Plenty in ’20 below).

The final leg was a batch of maidens who had shown absolutely nothing. The only slight case that could have been made for the winner, #11 Atakan, is that the colt’s recent turf workout was okay (6/47) and you could put a line through his last race because the colt stumbled badly.

Kirt Contois (left) distancing from analysts Marshall and Stretch is electronically sandwiched between them during the ASD Live show every race night (Jason Halstead photo)
A BIG SHOUT-OUT to ASD track announcer and handicapper Kirt Contois who predicted the winning horse in all six races Wednesday--which you would have seen if you watched “ASD Live” at 6:45 p.m. or between the races. He hit on:
Race 1: #3 True Scout -- $6.70
Race 2: #3 Dune d’Oro -- $4.80
Race 3: #2 Levante -- $4.10
Race 4: #6 Comano Comet -- $5.40
Race 5: #8 Irish Gold -- $8.20
Race 6: #8 More Than Stature -- $2.70

A $1 pick-4 in the last four races paid $75.85.
A 20-cent Jackpot pick-5 paid $24.30.


Hottest jockey:
 Antonio Whitehall
(4 wins)
Hottest trainer:
Jerry Gourneau (4 wins)
Biggest longshot: Northern Sky $23.60 (Race 4 Tues)
Stakes champions: Dune d'Oro (Shanghied)

*       *       *
HEAD-SCRATCHING PAYOFF: When’s the last time you saw anything like this? In the first race Tuesday, the 5-1-2 triactor paid $154. So what would you expect the superfecta to pay? Three times that amount? Four times? How about HALF! The superfecta 5-1-2-3 paid $73. It seems someone had a super hunch and bet $30 or whatever on a straight superfecta ticket.

On Wednesday’s card, total wagering reached $1.85 million, the pick-4 pool was $152,103 and the 20-cent Jackpot pick-5 pool grew to $145,881.
POCKET PLENTY IN '20: Horse doesn't fit? He may be legit.

“If a horse doesn’t fit, he may be legit.” With apologies to the late lawyer, Johnnie “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” Cochrane, that’s a line you can sometimes take to the bank--such as this past Saturday. Why would a Tampa trainer take his horse to Gulfstream for a tougher race right after the horse wins his maiden race at Tampa?

It doesn’t make sense unless you figure the 17 per cent, trainer, Kelsey Danner, figured his colt had a shot at a $46K purse that would be much bigger than a similar condition race at Tampa. And, sure enough, his horse, Sunsation, won race 10 at Gulfstream, a $75K allowance optional claimer, gate to wire and paid $122.20. Worth a shot based on that angle, don’t you think?
Readers write . . .
"Gambling Gods were on my side"

Dear Ivan: The Gambling Gods were smiling on me last night (Monday’s ASD card). On a hunch I played a $4 pick 4 #5,7/2,5/1/7. It paid $409.” -- George Moehring

Great handicapping, George! That’s like betting $4 on a 100-1 horse.
New! HISTORY ON THE HOOF by Bob Gates: Bob catches the nostalgia bug

Bob’s come down with a bug this week.  The good news is it’s not a virus.  He’s developed nostalgic-like symptoms brought on by the Winnipeg Free Press front-page coverage of opening day at the Downs.  How did this affect our history guy?  Where does his trip down memory lane take us? Bob explains here.
  • Today: Stronach 5 returns (see top of column). Mohawk Park harness returns 6 p.m.
  • Tomorrow: Online “I won bigger” play at Santa Anita and Gulfstream. Woodbine begins at noon. Kentucky Derby prep race: Santa Anita Derby. Mandatory payout of the Jackpot Hi-5 at Mohawk.
  • Monday, June 8: Online live racing 7:30 p.m. with spectators permitted only in the Terrace Dining Room. Advance reservations are required. No walk-ups.
  • Tuesday, June 9: Online live racing 7:30 p.m. with spectators permitted only in the Terrace Dining Room. Advance reservations are required. No walk-ups.
  • Wednesday, June 10: Online live racing 7:30 p.m. with spectators permitted only in the Terrace Dining Room. Advance reservations are required. No walk-ups.
  • Saturday, June 13. Online “I won bigger” play

If the horse doesn’t fit, he may be legit!

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3975 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3K 2E9
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