BEST BETTING DEAL EVER! $50 gets you $55 tonight. Veteran players will jump all over this one. Every $50 you bet to win or place on a horse on live races tonight and other Wednesdays in August will be bumped up to $55; $100 will be bumped up to $110, $150 will be bumped up to $165, etc., all part of "win-even-more Wednesdays."
Sidelined until Aug. 18
DEL MAR CARRYOVER IS $179,000: The pick-6 pool at Del Mar this afternoon is expected to reach $1 million. First post: 4 p.m.
WHY DOES LEADING JOCKEY LARREN DELORME have to sit out tonight's races? See QUICK BITS below.
THE RE-MATCH IS ON! A Canstar horseplayer contest re-match will be held on Labour Day which will be similar to the horseplayer contest on July 1 which was won by the Metro newspaper team. Same teams. And if you're from the area of the winning team, you will receive a free bet and other perks. Watch for more details in next week's Insider.
THE $300 FIST PUMP
Celebrating his stakes victory aboard Anna Bella before his horse crossed the finish line two Sundays ago has cost jockey Rocco "the jocko" Bowen a $300 fine. That's called "grandstanding" and it's against the rules, said the stewards. But, hey, what a magnificent photo and what a priceless moment of glory Rocco will have to show his grandkids some day! (Gerry Hart photo)
She had it coming to her. I mean in a good way. I'm talking about trainer Tanya Lindsay who suffered probably the worst beat of any trainer last year. Not only were two of her horses disqualified from first and third in a $17,000 quarter horse stakes race last year (after sandwiching another horse) but the disqualified winner, Sin
City Queen, broke down just after crossing the wire and had to be euthanized. So instead of first and third, Lindsay's horses were placed fourth and fifth and the best quarter horse in her barn was gone. It doesn't get much worse than that.
Well, she scored a tiny bit of payback on Saturday.
Have you ever heard of stewards anywhere disqualifying a horse based on a trainer's claim of foul? I've been watching races from everywhere for a billion years and have never seen it. Announcer Darren Dunn has never seen it. Race track veterans Randy and Donnie have never seen it. But it happened on Saturday night's race card. It really did--when Lindsay, whose horse Annas Little Licker finished third in a $16,000 quarter horse stakes race, claimed foul against the second-place finisher Eye Fly Till Dawn. After reviewing the films for what seemed like an eternity--while players lined up to cash their exactor tickets because trainers never win their claims--the stewards DID disqualify the second-place horse for coming over on Lindsay's horse and elevated her horse to second. So she not only had the winner of the race, Perks Southerncorona, but the DQ gave her second-place as well and an additional 20 per cent of the purse compared to 10 per cent if she hadn't cried foul. Not a huge difference, but if anyone needed a small break after last year's disastrous day, it was Lindsay.
And this also goes into the record books for longtime race fans who thought they had seen it all. Trainers CAN enter a foul claim that has a chance of succeeding. Who knew?
Glancing at tonight's race card, there's something for everyone: If you like your races quick and babyish, the 5f dash for 2-year-olds is the second race; if you like 'em long, the 1 1/4-mile marathon eighth race is right for you and if you want class, Key Largo is making his first start in race 6 since finishing fourth in the Manitoba Lotteries Derby. Lots of other goodies to cover. Let's go . . .
| Goes for the gusto|
John Bitchok who was a punt-return specialist for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1968 proved to be a punter extraordinaire in Saturday's $50 Challenge, too. When his correct entry was drawn, he confidently slapped down his free $50 bet on #2 Vigilante Law in the eighth race, picking up a generous $125 when it won. You can do the same thing tonight by entering The $50 Challenge. BONUS: make the play at the windows, too, to give yourself a chance to collect the $150-and-growing jackpot. (Since it's Wednesday, your bet will automatically be bumped up to $55, too.)
GET A HEAD START FOR TONIGHT: Download races
Want to get a headstart on picking the horse you feel is worth a $50 win or place bet so you can enter that horse on your $50 Challenge entry form when you get to the track? Download the three contest races here. Entering the contest will give you a chance at winning a free $50 win, place or show bet on races 7 or 8 like John Bitchok above. Then, to ramp up the fun even more--and give yourself a chance to win the $150 cash jackpot--go to the windows and bet $50 on your contest choice. (It will be bumped up to $55 because, as I've already mentioned, it's "win-even-more Wednesday.") Good luck!
Your $50 bet
will make you eligible for $150 jackpot
AFTER THE RACES: $50 every 30 minutes
After every race night in August, the fifties will be flying in the Club West VLT lounge with $50 being given away every 30 minutes until closing. Order a happy hour drink and indulge in one of the tasty Fab Five Foods for $5!
|Janine Stianson: Hottest jock of the week (as if you couldn't tell just by looking at this great shot by Winnipeg Free Press photographer Ken Gigliotti)|
HOTTIES OF THE PAST WEEK: Friday & Saturday
Thrill of the week: The quarter horse races. Talk about "feeling the rush!" They make their breathless return in nine days.
Hottest jock: Janine Stianson (not only her six wins but also her picture in Friday's Free Press)
Hottest trainers: Carl Anderson, Chad Torevell and Ardell Sayler (two wins each)
Biggest win payoff: $29.10 Flying Helmsman (Friday's first)
Biggest 20-cent superfecta: $913 (Friday, race 6, #3-8-2-4)
COUNTDOWN TO MILESTONES: Zenyatta needs one more win to equal the North American record of 19 consecutive wins held by another mare, Peppers Pride.
QUICK BITS: Delorme must sit out four more days
Leading jockey Larren Delorme has to sit out four more days of live racing after the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission concluded he was "involved directly or has knowledge of how" 28 stall mats went missing from the barn of trainer Jared Brown. He has already served two days of the six-day suspension. He had also been ordered to pay Brown $1,008 for the mats. Delorme was implicated in the disappearance of the mats after 16 of them showed up in the stable of his trainer wife, Jennifer. The suspension brings to a head months of rumor and speculation about the missing mats. Delorme was last year's leading jockey and was leading this year as well although he will likely be passed during his suspension.
Mats went missing from his stable
ANOTHER JANINE: You'll notice another Janine in tonight's races--apprentice rider Janine E. Smith from Saskatchewan who has a 10-pound weight advantage because she's a beginner. Watch her in Race 5 where she appears to have a live mount, Unbridled Gale, that won big for Larren Delorme two races ago.
|TALE OF TWO DECISIONS: At left, ASD stewards DQ Rime Ice (in white) from Derby Day stakes win for bumping tiring horse to his right. At Saratoga (Aug. 6, race 5) at right, steward's don't change result despite a major slamming of horse on far right. "Didn't affect result," stewards ruled.
DERBY DAY APPEAL SET FOR AUG. 24: The most controversial disqualification since the four-horse DQ four years ago will be heard by the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission on Aug. 24. It involves the taking down of Rime Ice, the winner of the Assiniboia Oaks on Derby Day, after the horse barged between two tiring horses in the stretch, pushing one of them sideways. The issue will be: Is a rider allowed to do that? The vast majority of you--and there were many of you--said it was good aggressive riding and pointed to far worse bumping incidents where the horse was not taken down, such as a "grand slam" at Saratoga (Aug. 6 Race 5. Watch it free by signing up for replays on Saratoga site.) What do you think? Watch that race here. (Aug. 2, Race 7)
TWO OTHERS BIT THE DUST: Terry Jordan wasn't the only disappointed Woodbine trainer on Derby weekend. (Jordan's highly-favoured Chief Counsel finished a lacklustre third in the Manitoba Lotteries Derby as the horse tried to make the transition from Polytrack to Downs dirt.) The day before that, prominent Woodbine trainer Mark Casse's two stakes-class horses had suffered a similar fate on Saratoga's dirt. His So Elite, bet down to 3-1, finished fifth of seven in the Curlin Stakes and Tasty Temptation, at 9-2, finished last of five in the Ruffian. "Sometimes it's hard to go from Polytrack to a racetrack like Saratoga where it's so deep," he was quoted as saying. Which raises the question: Will Woodbine trainers have serious second-thoughts about shipping horses to the B.C. Derby or Canadian Derby at Northlands, both held on dirt surfaces and on tracks with tight turns? The favourite in last year's Canadian Derby, Stylish Citizen, coming off two wins at Woodbine, finished a distant fourth. The winner was a dirt-experienced horse from Hastings.
It helps to have luck on your side
Some days nothing seems to go right. So you have to bask in those days when Lady Luck is looking out for you as the winners of Friday and Saturday night Molson Coors freepoker felt she was. Property manager Art Breland was hitting on all cylinders in Friday's game as was Ontario Canadian Forces technician Bill Tripp in Saturday's game. They each won $50 and $5,000 in extra chips for the All-In Manitoba Poker League finale for a trip to Vegas that will be held in December. Current standings.
DOUBLE POINTS SUNDAY: In Sunday's 7 p.m. game, retired chemist Bob March added two deuces on the table to the one in his hand to send three players packing and accumulated a stack that no one could dent. In the 10 p.m. game, semi-retired realtor Alice Bowman went head-to-head with her poker guru and emerged victorious when her queens trumped her guru's jack-eight. There were 50 players in the early game, 61 in the late.
$50 CHALLENGE: Two contest days and already two players are getting the hang of making successful $50 bets. Way to go! You already read about John Bitchok's win on Saturday. Well, on Friday, accountant Tony Redekopp had his correct entry drawn to receive a free $50 bet and he bet it on a horse to show--#4 in Race 7. It actually won the race but it still paid $2.90 to show and he collected $72.50. That's how it's done, guys! I can feel your confidence level rising!
DRAW TONIGHT! LEFT-OVER BUSINESS: There will be a draw tonight from entrants to my "Bet a hun, hon!" contest on July 21. If you're on this list, you're eligible for a $50 play on a horse tonight (doubled to $100 if you played your contest horse on July 21 at the windows): Myke Briggs, Ernie Dutson, Gisele Gagne, Ken Porter, Jim Roberts, Chuck Whalen and Jeff Wong. The winner will be drawn and announced after the first race. Since there is now a daily $50 Challenge, I'm ending my weekly "Bet a hun, hon!" contest. But the honour roll continues . . .
HONOUR ROLL: There will now be a $50 challenge honour roll. To earn a posting on the honour roll, simply make three $50 win or place bets on live races. As soon as you've made three successful $50 bets--whether you make them all in one night or even if it takes you three weeks--save your cashed tickets and present them to Guest Services. That will earn you a posting on the Insider's "We have met the $50 challenge" honour roll. Three profitable hits and you're in. If you prefer to use a "handle" rather than your real name, that's fine.
OVERHEARD IN THE RACE BOOK: "Kitty Litter was scratched." (Referring to a horse scratched from the fourth race at Calder last Thursday)
UPCOMING EVENTS: Girls fly Friday
Friday night's live card features Manitoba-bred 3-year-old fillies in the $20,000 Gold Strike Mile. And Saturday North Dakota-bred babies vie for $10,000 in the North Dakota Futurity.
ENTERTAINING SIMULCAST ACTION: Three-year-old fillies compete for $200,000 in the Monmouth Oaks Saturday at Monmouth. Woodbine counters with a $150,000 dash for 2-year-old fillies, the Debutante Stakes.
PSST! Longshot play for tonight. Watch out for 10-1 Long Live Cowboys in the fifth. It's cutting back to 6f from a mile; always a good angle to consider.
Will you have the courage?