Experience the fun of "almost-live" racing every Friday and Saturday at from the Downs' sister track, RemingtonPark in Oklahoma.
Let's get ready to rumblllllllle! Never a dull moment in this wonderful world of horse-racing, is there?What's the sequel to live racing?"Almost live" racing, of course--featuring cranked-up volume and fun starting tomorrow from the Downs' sister track in Oklahoma City, RemingtonPark.It'll sound "live." You just won't see animals running around the local track--except maybe rabbits--so just don't look out the Clubhouse windows and concentrate, instead, on picking your "show parlay" at Remington where you could win $25 in wagering vouchers Friday and Saturday nights. Plus as a bonus on Friday 10 players will play winner take-all Texas Hold'em for a top prize of $100 in wagering vouchers. Post time for "almost live" racing is every Friday and Saturday.
And you and I have a date Saturday morning--right?--down in the Finish Line banquet hall at 11 a.m. to share opinions on prime plays, talk about forming a club and prepare for the biggest day in racing, the Breeders' Cup.Email me now to confirm our "date:"email@example.com I'll have freshly-brewed coffee waiting for you.And if you're getting bored with racing up here in the northern hemisphere which is heading toward (brrr!) winter, you can escape Down Under where spring has just sprung and where--thank you very much--a 20-cent superfecta from Australia padded my wallet big-time last Saturday night.Get the lowdown on playing Down Under here.
Okay, settle down, I'll let you know in a moment today's winning $50 bonus number in the Breeders' Cup Bonanza giveaway. (I assume most of you picked up your Bonanza numbers at the track last weekend.) But first, let's salute all the impressive winners from the past weekend, on track and off, right after you wrack your brain for an answer to this sneaky bit of trivia.
TRIVIA QUESTION:What is the record for the most consecutive losses by a race horse?(a) 28 losses(b)47 losses(c)65 losses(d)125 losses(See answer at end of column.)
WINNERS GALORE: Whether they wanted to or not
Glen Sirkis shows winning intensity
The real drama of the past weekend wasn't on the race track but in the poker finale in the Finish Line Sunday where 74 of you competed for a trip to Las Vegas and entry into the World Series of Poker.Interestingly, Glen Sirkis who writes Bettor's Blog and who got into the poker match for the same reason most people climb mountains--because it's there--couldn't lose if he had wanted to.Very short-stacked at the final table, he lucked into an ace on a river card just to keep him alive heading into the final half-hour of play where he frustrated his rival, Bill Sloan, by getting good cards almost every hand and doubling his puny stack again and again to overwhelm his competitor.Sirkis has always acknowledged that he's a horseplayer, not a poker player, but he took his horseplaying intensity into less-familiar poker country and it served him well. Free poker will continue Friday nights after "almost-live" racing from Remington--with $100 in betting vouchers up for grabs. Ten seats available. To get in, enter "show parlay challenge" at Remington.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:Cuth explodes past 100
Cuthbertson unsaddling after 100th win as top trainer Drexler looks on.
Was there any doubt?When jockey Alan Cuthbertson came into the final weekend of live racingwith 98 wins, it wasn't "if" he'd get 100, it was "when."Friday, he got to 99.So close, tantalizingly close.But Saturday, he exploded, getting his 100th win in the very first race--the first since Chris Martin did it 1995--then, for good measure, added another three on the day and three more on Sunday including the Winnipeg Futurity. "Bonnie and I set a goal and we achieved it," he said , referring to his agent, Bonnie Eshelman and the mark they set for themselves before the season began.Last year, he had 81 wins as leading rider so the 100-win mark was an ambitious objective.No wonder he has been riding like a man on a mission! On the trainer side, it was no contest either: Martin Drexler, 37,swept every category--wins (43), win percentage (33) and money earned ($542,000). Now he's off to try Polytrack for the second year at Woodbine for the balance of the year.Speaking of whom:You missed a great piece of racing writing if you didn't read Paul Wiecek's article Saturday in the Free Press about Drexler escaping Czechoslovakia as a kid with his doctor Dad.Compelling reading.It's great to see Wiecek back writing about racing after a sabbatical.
WEEKEND LIVE RACE WRAP-UP:Gray's got it good
You'll enjoy reading Allan Gray's Weekend Recap.He hits the high points of the big races on last weekend's closing cards and zeroes in on the leading racing personalities in a brief, breezy fashion.A good read.
SECOND-PLACE FINISHER WINS VEGAS TRIP
An unfortunate disqualification has resulted in the second-place finisher in last Saturday's Viva Las Vegas horseplayer tournament being placed first.Brittany Jonatanson had finished first with a closing bankroll of $79.20 but was disqualified when it was learned she is 20-years-old and the rules state players must be 21. "It's very unfortunate," said general manager Sharon Gulyas, "but rules are rules."Kathleen Buckoski, with a bankroll of $76.90 was elevated to first and will be heading to Las Vegas with a guest in January to compete in the Coast Casinos $1 million Horseplayer World Series.Mike Dodds finished third with a closing bankroll of$69.90. Players were required to make mythical $2 win/place bets with a starting bankroll of $36 on the nine races on the Downs' card.There were 72 entrants.Kathleen will join the other four monthly winners heading to Vegas in January.
THE SEASON BY THE NUMBERS:Handle was up!
The closing numbers of the live-race season appear to indicate you like what you've been getting: competitive racing and interesting contests.You helped push $7.8 million through the windows compared to $7.2 million last year.On-track, the handle was $5.58 compared to $5.47 million in 2006. And simulcast partners contributed $2.23 million, up from $1.77 million.But, as with most tracks, racing could not sustain itself without VLT revenues and, as Jockey Club President Harvey Warner has repeatedly told the media, the Downs is ultimately hoping to be granted permission to turn itself into a "racino" with more gaming opportunities for patrons. The politicians will have the final say on that.One thing's sure: with 50th anniversary celebrations looming, the best is yet to come!
POLYUNFORTUNATE:Top 2-year-old breaks down at Santa
It was not a good omen for the opening of Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet yesterday.Top 2-year-old colt, Drill Down, expected to be the favourite in a Grade 1 stakes this Sunday, broke an ankle while training Monday on the drying-out surface of the newly-installed synthetic Cushion Track and had to be euthanized.The $350,000 colt, which won his maiden race impressively, was reportedly not insured. Santa Anita, along with other California major tracks, had been forced to install a synthetic surface--wax-coated fibres, rubber and silicone--by the California Horse Racing Board by the end of this year, citing safety concerns with dirt, and Santa Anita's management had done so with reluctance.
The horse's shaken trainer, Mike Machowsky, didn't blame the new surface for the breakdown but other trainers said the surface was unpredictable after the rain and chose to work their horses over the dirt training track instead. This breakdown came a day after a promising 3-year-old training at HollywoodPark--Latin Rhythms, winner of the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar--had to be euthanized after suffering a leg injury during a workout over that Cushion Track.
HORSEPLAY TIP OF THE WEEK:This is the time of year that classy 3-year-olds have a better chance of beating older classy horses.
BREEDERS' CUPCA$H BONANZA:Is this your number?
Today's $50 bonus winning number is 1273.To claim your prize click here.Breeders' Cup Bonanza cash giveaway numbers were distributed on the final three days of live racing.A new winning number is published every day on the Downs' home page www.assiniboiadowns.com and a new $50 bonus number will be published here each Thursday until Thursday, Oct. 25, two days before Breeders' Cup Day.On that day, draws will be made at the track for cash prizes of $500, $250 and $100.Also, 20 betting vouchers of $10 will be drawn for.
CHICKEN SIMMERED IN BEER, peanut-crusted cod and jambalaya are three of the entrees you can sink your teeth into this evening at New Orleans night in the Terrace Dining Room featuring all-you-can-eat soup, salads, entrees and a spectacular dessert table from 5 to 8 p.m. $14.95.Full menu.Next Taste the World theme:Thanksgiving feast.Reservations: 885-3330.
UPCOMING EVENTS:Let's get serious about serious money!A reminder again about our date this Saturday at down in the Finish Line. Let's get serious--or at least semi-serious--about forming a horseplayer club to pursue those big U.S. pools. Do yourself a favour and at least come see what it's about and learn about a few prime plays on the day that can put money into your pocket.Let's do it!
Street Sense races Saturday:Watch Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and his rival Hard Spun in their final prep race this Saturday at Turfway before their expected entry into the Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 27.
NEXT INSIDER:Cleaning up loose ends from the live season.Who won the contest to predict trainer Rebecca Welch's final win tally?Who is "show" king? New $50 bonus number.
Answer to trivia question:You won't believe this.The answer is: (d) 125 losses.Dona Chepa, a 9-year-old brown mare, finished last in a six-horse field at Camarero Racetrack in eastern Puerto Rico last week, her 125th consecutive loss since she beginning her racing career on Valentine's Day, 2001.She finished second--once--in 2003. Previous record of 0 for 124 was set by Australian horse Ouroene who raced from 1976-83.Hey, time to bet on Dona Chepa.She's overdue!(Thanks to Darren Dunn for alerting The Insider to this.)