THE INSIDER A NO-SHOW? THEN GO TO WEBSITE. If you happen not to receive The Insider (due sometimes to technical glitches), remember it's available late Thursday afternoon on the Downs website at www.ASDowns.com
Top o' the week . . .
• Breakthrough! U.S. track offers Canadians 20-cent & 60-cent bets
• Gate malfunctions: Jockeys jump, horses scatter
• Mmm! Roast turkey 'n' trimmin's joins tonight's prime rib buffet
• Jennifer Reid rides tomorrow at Turf Paradise
• Holiday weekend features grade 1 stakes action
• Ready for Breeders' Cup success? Here are three tips.
• Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe goes Sunday but favourite quarantined
• Severe whipping penalties work at ASD: commish chairman
• Reserve now for Breeders' Cup brunch $19.95. Ph. 204-885-3330
Out with the old, in with the new . . .
.....there's a big surprise waiting for you! What is it? Find out at the track
Keeneland first U.S. track to offer Canadians 20-cent supers
Well, it's finally happening. Tomorrow will be the first time Canadian bettors can make 20-cent wagers (and 60-cent bets, too) at a U.S. track just as they do at Canadian tracks. It's only happening at one track for now, Keeneland, but slowly, gradually, other tracks--especially in the eastern U.S.--are expected to come aboard.
So, during the three-week Keeneland meet, you'll be able to bet 20-cent superfectas and make
60-cent plays on bets that are listed as 50-cent bets: triactors, pick-3s, pick-4s and a pick-5. Although U.S. tracks can offer their players superfectas that cost only a dime, Canadian bets cannot be that low for a mathematical reason. By law, Canadian tracks have a 5-cent "breakage" requirement but, in the U.S., the "breakage" is 10-cents. That means, for example, if a payoff is calculated at $10.07, Canadian tracks must pay $10.05 to winning ticket-holders whereas U.S. tracks need pay only $10.00. Using a 5-cent breakage could require a track to pay a half-cent more for some 10-cent bets which, of course, is impossible so bets under $1 must be in increments of 20-cents.
Keeneland to offer Canadians 20-cent, 60-cent bets
Players owe a big thank-you to Woodbine Entertainment--namely Greg Martin, director of wagering operations--for pursuing reduced bet levels with the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, the federal regulator in these matters, and U.S. tracks. It's been a long, laborious process. It requires more sophisticated calculations by U.S. tracks--in fact, to six decimal places--to make these bets possible. Martin said Churchill may become the next track since it's located in Kentucky, the same state as Keeneland. New York and Florida tracks are the most likely after that. More difficult will be California tracks because they use a tote system quite different from others.
|When the eight horses turned for home in the 1 1/16th mile eighth race at Hoosier Park last Thursday, their jockeys were shocked to see the starting gate still sitting across the track with the gate crew frantically waving them off (arrow). The tractor pulling the gate out of the way had stalled after pulling it only a few metres. Miraculously, only one horse was injured--not seriously--and jockeys suffered some bruising. Watch the video here.|
Where are they now?
Jennifer Reid rides tomorrow, opening day at Turf Paradise
Jennifer Reid, who lost the ASD jockey title by only one race, will ride tomorrow afternoon at Turf Paradise, the Arizona track's opening day. She will ride a horse familiar to ASD fans, Seven Tuff, owned and trained by Wendell Matt. Seven Tuff won two races at the Downs. The race is a $35,000 stakes event, the ninth and final race on the card. First post at Turf Paradise is 2:30 p.m.
She will be riding another ASD horse on Saturday, the Don Schnell-trained Got Milch, in the fifth race. Three former ASD horses will also be racing on Sunday at Turf Paradise: Schnell's Douglass and Lewiston and Wendell Matt's Moved to Perma
ASD trainer Rob Atras will be racing at Turf Paradise for the first time. He has seven horses.
ASD horses at other tracks tomorrow: Murray Duncan's Ask Eddy is racing in a $14,000 claimer at Hawthorne (race 5) and Charlie Smith has two horses in the eighth race at Retama, a $25,000 optional claimer: Ruby's Big Band and Mining Town (formerly trained by Tom Gardipy, Jr.).
Santa Anita Nov. 2 & 3
THREE WAYS TO GET READY FOR SUCCESS:
(1) Follow Santa Anita to get a feel for its bias (speed has been prominent on the main track).
(2) Follow stakes races at other tracks this long weekend. That's because you'll likely be seeing some of the winners and runners-up from those races in Breeders' Cup races. (See list of main stakes races below under Looking forward to . . . )
(3) Follow Mike Welsch's work-out reports at www.DRF.com when they begin in about two weeks.
His insights were invaluable last year for determining contenders and completing triactors and superfectas.
BOOK THE BRUNCH: Back by popular demand will be an all-you-can-eat brunch in the Terrace Dining Room Saturday, Nov. 3 (where your seats are reserved all afternoon and where there are plenty of TVs): $19.95. Phone 204-885-3330. Served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can place your bets right at the table, too!
WIN A BC BANKROLL! Enter the Countdown to the 'Cup contest every Sunday afternoon. Top entrant wins $200 in Breeders' Cup bets. Second: $100, third: $50. Look for contest entries in the Race Book and predict winners in four pre-selected races--two from Woodbine and two from Belmont. There were 18 entrants in the first week of the contest. Four weeks remain. Standings.
Quick bits . . .
Bad year for 3-year-olds
Not that players haven't noticed but the Daily Racing Form puts in perspective just how bad this year has been for 3-year-olds: just seven of 29 winners of a major stakes race or the top four finishers in Triple Crown races continue to be part of the racing scene, although four others have had a recent workout. Is this a trend or an anomaly? Depends who you talk to. We'll know as the years progress. Of course, the tendon injury that forced I'll Have Another to drop out of the Belmont Stakes without having a chance to prove he could end the 33-year Triple Crown drought was the biggest disappointment of the year. He's probably not minding, though. He's in Japan performing stud duty.
"ZERO TOLERANCE" ON WHIPPING WORKS, SAYS COMMISH CHAIR: David Miles, chair of the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission, says the commission's "zero tolerance" policy on whipping infractions worked because only one whipping charge needed to be laid during this year's entire live season, a $500 abusive riding charge against Robert Reeves. (The penalty was thrown out on appeal.) Agree? Email comments to theinsider@ASDowns.com.
STILL WAITING FOR WORD ON STEWARDS' BUNGLED CALL: No word yet on the results of the investigation into the stewards' wrong placing in a Downs race on Aug. 22 when they mixed up the winner and second-place finisher.
SWAMP FEVER QUARANTINE KEEPS FAVOURITE OUT OF ARC: The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the biggest race of the year in France, scheduled for Sunday at Longchamp, will be missing the early favourite--last year's record-breaking Danedream--because the horse must remain quarantined at a German track because a horse there contracted the highly-contagious swamp fever. Swamp fever can cause a mare to abort her fet
us and sudden death. The Downs will not be showing the Arc or other important French races in the Race Book but HPI members can watch and bet on the races on their accounts.
Black Caviar will likely race again
BLACK CAVIAR LIKELY TO RACE AGAIN: The 22-race unbeaten Australian world champion sprinter Black Caviar is likely to return to race says her trainer, Peter Moody: "I'm more than satisfied with what she is showing us on the training track and there is every chance we will see her back at the races early next year."
FIRST "I WON BIG" WORKSHOP ELICITS FAVOURABLE COMMENTS: The first "I won big" workshop of the season last Saturday hit the pick-4 and a pick-3 at Belmont Park but missed the pick-6 so participants got back about one-third of their original outlay--which will be rolled over in more bets this Saturday. There were good reports from the 23 in attendance, though: "Didn't make much but a very entertaining afternoon," wrote Ron. "Went well," added Anne. "Gut feeling is we will end up BIG." Maybe this Saturday? See y'all IN THE FINISH LINE Saturday at 11 a.m. Everyone welcome--and everyone receives a FREE $5
share in the tickets.
Frank Stronach seeks presidency
STRONACH WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT--OF AUSTRIA: Frank Stronach, 80, the billionaire owner of Santa Anita, Gulfstream and other race tracks, now has his sites set on becoming president of Austria, his birthplace. He founded a new political party with the aim of making Austria a European powerhouse on the level of Germany or surpassing it by replacing the Euro, reducing taxes and cutting back on government spending. Would he make Frank's Energy Drink the national beverage? The election is a year away.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Secretariat was euthanized on Oct. 4, 1989 at the age of 19, after suffering for a month with laminitis, a painful, usually incurable fungus infection of the hooves. An autopsy revealed Secretariat's heart was more than 2 1/2 times the size of an average horse's heart. He is buried at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. A reincarnation appears nightly with Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show on CBS...
Added feature tonight
Delicious dining . . . Reserve at 204-885-3330 .
Tonight and every Thursday: Certified Angus prime rib buffet. Includes a special feature each Thursday. Tonight's feature: Thanksgiving turkey and all the trimmin's. All you can eat $22.95 (includes a free VLT spin to win $1,000). Terrace Dining Room.
Special tomorrow night and every Friday: Angus prime rib open-faced sandwich smothered in onions and mushrooms with home-style fries. Only $9.95. Clubhouse, no reservations required. Begins at 4 p.m.
Breeders' Cup brunch: Saturday, Nov. 3. $19.95. Terrace Dining Room.
FESTIVE FARE: Here's the menu for your Christmas and other festive parties at the Downs. Call Abbi at 204-885-3330 ext. 277.
New Year's: Terrace Dining Room menu. Clubhouse buffet menu.
IMPORTANT NOTE: XL Foods, the Alberta beef plant which has its products under a recall, IS NOT a meat supplier to Assiniboia Downs.
Looking forward to . . .
Holiday weekend features grade 1 stakes action
Monday is Thanksiving in Canada and Columbus Day in the U.S. so major tracks are racing that day, meaning there will be four straight days--starting tomorrow--of major stakes action:
--Friday: $400,000 grade 1 Darley Alcibiades for 2-year-olds at Keeneland (with 20-cent supers, 60-cent pick-4s)
--Saturday: $750,000 grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland; $400,000 grade 1 Frizette for 2-year-olds at Belmont; $400,000 grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont for 3-year-olds; $500,000 grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne; $500,000 grade 2 Indiana Derby at Hoosier; $50,000 Duchess of York at Northlands
--Sunday: $500,000 grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland; $200,000 Grey Stakes for 2-year-olds at Woodbine (Enter Countdown to the 'Cup to win a bankroll for Breeders' Cup)
--Holiday Monday: $100,000 Ballerina and $100,000 Premier's Handicap at Hastings plus four special races for 2-year-olds at Woodbine, Northlands (2 races) and Fort Erie.
KEENELAND AND TURF PARADISE OPEN TOMORROW: Keeneland at 12:05 p.m. and Turf Paradise at 2:30 p.m.
"I WON BIG" WORKSHOP MOVES TO FINISH LINE Y'all liked the ambience in the lower-level Finish Line banquet room at last Saturday's "I won big" workshop so that's where they will continue each Saturday at 11 a.m. Everyone's welcome as usual. And yes, John, I'll requisition butter for your muffins. Stop whining!
Happy turkey weekend!
See ya Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Finish Line!
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