Hi friends! Only two weeks to Christmas!Christmas for
horseplayers, that is--Breeders' Cup Day--when the best horses in the world compete for $23-million in purse money.Saturday, Oct. 27.And Christmas Eve, the day before the really big races are held, is even more special this year because three preliminary Breeders' Cup races will be run that day.You can even bet doubles that start on Christmas Eve and are completed on Christmas Day!
How can you be as ready a possible for the Big Day, perhaps to nab a $50,000 superfecta for spending just $20 like the player at the Quest Inn did last year?By having money to play with and having the best information possible.That's where The Insider comes in. Today, in Countdown to Success, I set the scene and tell you what to attend and watch for as the days quickly wind down.
And tomorrow the guillotine comes down!Get ready for electrocutions and decapitations in an atmosphere of Halloween frivolity at the dueling-horse corn maze!Electrocutions and decapitations?Read on, fine folk, both Christmas and Halloween arrive early in this scary but seductive package.
TRIVIA TEASER:Where did Monmouth, the funny-sounding name of the race track that is hosting the Breeders' Cup, originate?(a)the mouth of a river?(b)the mouth of an ocean fish?(c)from a boastful horseplayer that liked to bet big money?(d)it has nothing to do with "mouth."(See answer at end of column.)
BREEDERS' CUP RACES:Countdown to success
What do you need for Breeders' Cup day?Money, a winning attitude and info.
• MONEY:Players are already telling me they are saving up for the big day.But why can't you also pad your bankroll by playing the races more intelligently?Come to this Saturday's free horseplayer clinic in the Finish Line banquet hall which I will be hosting at The topic is:How to spot almost-guaranteed winners.This could be an eye-opener for you.Discussion will also centre on prime bets for the afternoon. At the last meeting, the group started out with EVERYONE winning their first bet when a 7-1 horse won an early race at Belmont.Coffee and sweet rolls will be served.That's this Saturday in the Finish Line at sharp.
• A WINNINGATTITUDE: Here's where you can get real one-upmanship on other players.Attitude is more important than money.Huge amounts of money will be bet on Breeders' Cup day.Most of it is "dead money."What is dead money and how can you outfox other players to pocket dead money?I'll tell you in next Thursday's Insider.
• INFO:You're going to be flooded with information.What should you care about and what should you ignore?That will be discussed as well in the next Insider.I'll also give you the best sources for the right kinds of info. Then, in two weeks, the day before the preliminary Breeders' Cup races, I'll tell you about a remarkable study I did that will help you pick longshots.
How's that for a schedule for success?And, on the actual day itself, I'll be hosting a Breeders' Cup preview at that will feature knowledgeable guests who will look at the results of the previous day's preliminary races to forecast possible results of the bigger races that day.That will be in the Finish line.The first race from Monmouth goes at , a race the group can play together.The first Breeders' Cup race goes at Clear your calendar!Make the biggest day in racing your biggest day, too!See you this Saturday to start the ball rolling!
A TRUE CHAMPION PASSES:John Henry laid to rest
The Last Call--John Henry. A canvas by Fred Stone. Available for $350. To order click here.
You didn't even have to know horses to have heard of the horse John Henry. An irascible gelding who, even in old age, required trickery to catch him to medicate him was gently put down at age 32 Monday night leaving an incredible legacy from the 1980s: 39 wins from 83 career starts including a staggering 16 grade 1 stakes victories that included the Arlington Million twice, Santa Anita Handicap twice, Hollywood Invitational three times and Oak Tree Invitational three times.He was voted Champion Grass Horse four times and Horse of the Year twice and inducted into the Horse Hall of Fame in 1990 with $6.6-million in earnings--a record at that time.
Bought as a Kentucky-bred yearling for $1,100 in 1976, he was retired in 1985 to the KentuckyHorsePark in Lexington where thousands have visited him even as he eschewed attention. "The most people could hope for," said his groom Robin Bush,"was that he didn't dislike them."A public memorial service will be held at his grave in the park Friday, Oct. 19 at
SCARRRY STUFF!Guillotine falls tomorrow at maze
Uh, I don't think so
If you thought getting lost in the corn maze of dueling horses was scary, you ain't seen nuthin' yet!Starting tomorrow night, at Murray's Corn Maze near Stonewall, you'll see an actual guillotine doing what guillotines are devised to do (shudder) and, in the Tower of Terror, you'll see an electric chair doing, well, anyone under 10 years old won't be admitted because it's just too scary.It's the beginning of Halloween pranks times at the maze which continue every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Sunday, Oct. 28, the last day the maze is opened.Everyone is invited to wear a Halloween costume, said maze operator Murray Boonstra, and to bring a flashlight for maze prowling--and you'd better take out extra life insurance.
During daylight hours, when young kids are still allowed, they can expect to be attacked by the headless horseman during a hayride. And this is tame stuff?The 10-acre maze, the biggest in Canada featuring two dueling horses under the Assiniboia Downs logo, has already seen thousands of people, Boonstra said."It's been wild."The Downs, as part of its hottest game in town promise and as an early kick-off to 50th anniversary fun, wanted to make history by creating the biggest image of horses ever shown on Earth.Have you taken the three-minute aerial tour?Click here.To visit the Boonstra Farms website, click here. Boo!
POLYUNFORTUNATE:Two breakdowns at Keeneland
Polytrack, the surface that's supposed to minimize horse injuries, saw two breakdowns during key stakes races at Keeneland on the weekend:Gold Train suffered a fatal breakdown in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity during a pace duel with the eventual winner, Wicked Style who now is heading to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile race; Teuflesburg broke down with a fractured ankle in the prestigious six-furlong Phoenix Stakes and was to undergo an operation to try to save him. That race had another tragic consequence: In the paddock prior to the race, Dream of Angels flipped, landed with all his force on his head and had to be put down due to hemorrhaging.
WINNERS' CORNER:From last Friday's and Saturday's almost-live racing card from Remington.Poker:George Newbury outplayed nine other players Friday and won $100 in betting vouchers.Show parlay challenge:Brad Williams increased his imaginary $10 to $31.50 and received $25 in betting vouchers.
HORSEPLAY TIP OF THE WEEK:The Bay's the place
If you aren't playing Bay Meadows, you are missing one of the best-valued easiest-to-play tracks on the continent.Pick-3s and pick-4s often pay much more than you think they should.Five of six in the pick-6 is relatively easy to attain.Locals there put extraordinary faith on every horse Russell Baze rides.If he finishes out of the money, you cash big.Show prices on Sunday paid $19, $78 and $24 respectively when his horse finished fourth.
Braised beef, served with Yorkshire pudding
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK, Yorkshire pudding with braised beef and British whiskey chicken are just three of the tantalizing entree items featured in tonight's all-you-can-eat British theme night dinner in the Terrace Dining Room from 5 to 8 p.m. that also includes a wide array of salads, soup and a to-die-for dessert table with apple cobbler, carmelized pear tart, Suffolk trifle and so much more.$14.95.Next Thursday:Ukrainian.Coming soon:"Soul" food.Reserve now for Christmas and New Year's feasts.
BREEDERS' CUPCA$H BONANZA:Is this your number?
Today's $50 bonus winning number is 0116.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.
UPCOMING EVENTS:Tomorrow:Almost-live racing continues tomorrow and Saturday at from the Downs sister track, RemingtonPark in Kentucky.Play poker tomorrow for $100 in betting vouchers; play "show parlay challenge" for $25 both days. Saturday:Everyone welcome to attend my horseplayer clinic and group play session in the Finish Line at as everyone counts down to the Breeders' Cup.Topic: "How to spot almost-guaranteed winners." October racing schedule:For a complete October race schedule, click here.
NEXT INSIDER:How to take advantage of "dead money" on Breeders' Cup day.
Answer to Trivia Teaser:(a) Monmouth orginates from the mouth of the Monnow River located way across the ocean in Wales.Pronounced "mon-muth." A town called Monmouth is located in Wales.The area is better known in North America as the location for Rockfield Studios where rock band Queen recorded "Bohemian Rhapsody."Wealthy landowners from Wales bought land in New York and their kid named a county in New Jersey, MonmouthCounty, after his overseas birthplace.So, logically, MonmouthCounty gave birth to the racetrack which opened in 1870, closed in 1893 when New Jersey banned betting, but reopened in 1946 with the legalization of parimutuel wagering.Neat fact:You can take a ferry to MonmouthPark from the end of Wall Street in Manhattan. The excursion is called--what else?--the Seahorse Express--and costs $30 round-trip.Are ferry passengers who lose giant show bets then called "boat-jumpers?"