The Inside Track | Issue #110 | December 15, 2023

140 VLTS
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.

In this edition . . .

  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • New Food & Drink Specials
  • Handicapping Tournaments
  • 12 Days of Christmas
  • Christmas Buffet
  • Dining Specials
  • Handicapper's Corner: Pick 6 Strategy
  • More Than Just a Horse by Tim Cox
  • TravyFootball Week 15
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Carryover Watch
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • "I Won Bigg" Wagering Group
  • A Snapshot In Time: Michigan Avenue
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Remington Springboard Mile Analysis
  • Baffert Saddles Trio for Los Alamitos Futurity
  • Smart Book for Horse Racing Newbies
  • The Best of Bob - 1998 Manitoba Derby
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

2023 Player's Choice Online Tournaments

  • This Saturday, December 16

PRIZES: 1st place: $1,000 (plus a trophy), 2nd place: $400, 3rd place: $200, 4th place: $100, 5th place: $50

Entry fee is $25. $2 WPS on one horse in any 10 races (harness, thoroughbred or quarter horse) from any North American track on the contest day. Click here for full rules.


Player's Choice Tournaments

  • Saturday, January 21 - Randy Premachuk
  • Saturday, February 18 - Steve Holborn
  • Saturday, March 18 - Nicole Baker
  • Saturday, April 15 - Barry Mymko
  • Saturday, May 13 - Brad Ostrove

Las Vegas Challenge Tournaments

  • Monday, June 19 - Ron Zurba
  • Monday, July 10 - Murray Chaban
  • Monday, July 31 - Tanis Atras
  • Monday, August 21 - Brian McKellar
  • Monday, September 18 - David Blake

Player's Choice Tournaments

  • Saturday, October 14 - George Williams
  • Saturday, November 11 - Cecelia Liebrecht
  • Earn 1% Cash Back on all eligible wagers made from December 12 through December 23. Play any track! Minimum wagered $1,000. Maximum cash back $100. All wagers must be made on your HPI account.
  • Don't have an HPI account? You can open a free wagering account at All new accounts are eligible for the bet $100 get $100 promotion. Click here for details.
  • Enter at the VLT cage starting Thursday, December 14 through Tuesday, December 26 to pick an ornament from our Christmas tree. Win up to $100. Draws will take place throughout the day and evening.
  • Enjoy complimentary snacks which will be served at various times during our 12 Days of Christmas!

There's Always a Deal at ASD!

Christmas Buffet

Join us for a fabulous Christmas Buffet on Saturday, December 23.

  • Roast Turkey
  • Ham with Dijon Cream Sauce
  • Sweet & Sour Meatballs
  • Apple, Onion & Tarragon Stuffing
  • Turkey Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • Caesar Salad
  • Greek Vegetable Salad
  • Broccoli Bacon Salad
  • Kolbassa & Cheddar
  • Pickles, Sweet Mix and Beets
  • Breads, Dinner Rolls with Butter
  • Pumpkin Pie, Dainties, Cakes & Cookies
  • $34.95 per person, Kids 12 & under $29.95, Kids 5 & under $16.95
  • Reservations are required. Available from 4 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.

Reservations for the Christmas Buffet are filling up fast so call today!


$11.95 Daily Lunch Specials

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks from our Club West Dining Room menu or try our ever changing $11.95 lunch special.

  • Club West Dining Room & Lounge menu
  • Daily Happy Hour specials

Daily Drink Features All Day Long

  • Monday - Margarita $6 (lime, peach or strawberry)
  • Tuesday - Corona $5
  • Wednesday - Wine $4.50 (6 oz. glass of house white or house red)
  • Thursday - Beer $4.75 (house pint of beer)
  • Friday - Trifecta Tea $6 (Absolut peach vodka, lemonade, sweet tea)
  • Saturday - RazDerby Lemonade $6 (Absolut raspberry vodka, lemonade)
  • Sunday - Caesar $6

Daily Evening Chef's Specials

Monday - BBQ Ribs $19.95: Smoky char-broiled ribs with our signature BBQ sauce. Served with french fries and coleslaw.

Tuesday - Tacos $9.95: Two flour tortillas stuffed with taco beef, chicken or fish, lettuce, green onions, cheese and diced tomato. Served with a drizzle of avocado cilantro lime sauce and taco chips.

Wednesday - Two Topping Pizza $14.95: Thin crust pizza with mozzarella and tomato sauce. Choose from pepperoni, bacon, ham, spicy beef, chicken, tomato, mushroom, peppers, black olives or onions.

Thursday - Chipotle Mozza Burger $14.95: Our signature sirloin patty and crispy bacon smothered in melted mozzarella. Topped with fresh sliced tomato, fried onion rings, chipolte mayo and sweet bold barbeque sauce.

Friday - Steak & Suds $24.95: 8 oz. Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with fresh vegetables and a choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Plus a complimentary pint of ASD Lucky Lager.

Saturday - Prime & Wine $29.95: Certified Angus Prime Rib (8 oz. cut.) Served with fresh vegetables and a choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish, and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Sunday - Fish & Chips $14.95: Two pieces of beer battered cod with tartar sauce and lemon. Served with french fries and coleslaw.

Reservations are not required. The above specials are available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Everyone who purchases one of the above specials will receive a coupon to play our free "Pick to Win" game in the VLT lounge for a chance to spin our lucky cash wheel where you can win up to $100 cash!

At The Post with G.S. Thompson

Handicapper’s Corner

A Pick 6 Strategy that won't break the bank, but might fill your wheelbarrow

The Pick 6 can pay huge, even if a few heavy favourites win. Good to know.

The Handicapper of the Year title is on the line this Saturday in the final Player’s Choice Handicapping tournament of the year. Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. Friday. First prize is $1,000. Are you in?

There are at least 10 handicappers that have a shot at the Handicapper of the Year title and the $3,500 cash prize and trophy that goes with it, but the top five in the standings going into the final round are Glen Gray, Nicole Baker, Randy Premachuk, Steve Holborn and Keith MacLennan.

Every handicapper in the standings knows what they’re doing, meaning that if you see them in the clubhouse and you don’t feel like handicapping, they can give you a horse and an angle to go with it. If the horse doesn’t win, it will rarely be for lack of trying.

Horses that try, with jockeys that give them their best chance to win, from handicappers who know the difference, are among the best bets in racing, which brings us to our next subject, The Pick 6 in a Bottle, an article that originally appeared in the revised edition of The Best of Thoroughbred Handicapping, by James Quinn.

The article describes a method of playing the Pick 6 used by Gibson Carouthers to make multiple big scores. Carouthers’ strategy combines two types of horses -- singles and covers.

There are two types of singles - separators and standouts – each of which must be recognized in order to have success with horse racing’s toughest but most lucrative bet. Even with a few standouts at low odds, the Pick 6 can still pay huge says Carouthers, so why play against them. It’s not worth the effort to try to beat them if they’re authentic standouts. It’s the separators that are the key to riches.

“I fought standouts for far too long,” said Carouthers in the article. “It’s a reflection of my hatred for chalk. All it takes are a couple of big scores with a couple of even-money standouts, and you’ll change your mind. I sure did.”

Standouts are easier to find than separators, but the latter are the horses that eliminate the majority of players from the pool. The odds are higher on separators, but they figure to have a better chance to win than their odds indicate, as based on solid handicapping and favourite angles. It’s important to understand that separators are not longshots with a low probability of winning, but rather horses that have a solid chance to win at a good price.

Carouthers finds his separators by doing serious research on the Result Charts, which most bettors will not do. Watching replays is similar, and can also identify separators, but every handicapper will use their own favourite method or angle for finding these lucrative singles.

Once separators and standouts have been identified, Carouthers will use every horse with a handicapper’s chance to win in the other legs of his Pick 6 tickets. He also adds never to leave out just one horse in a race, and says that if you have identified just two horses to use as “covers” in a race, you probably need to do more work. 

“That’s an admission that you don’t know who’s going to win, yet you’re probably not going to go deep enough to cover.”

Carouther’s system only works if you are a solid, comprehensive handicapper and you do the extra work to find horses others will miss, but…

“One good thing about this style of play is that you rarely feel bad when you lose,” said Carouthers. “If your separator loses you went down with your main play. If a standout loses, he still wasn’t worth trying to beat.”

And if you lose a race where you have numerous “cover” horses based on solid handicapping, a good handicapper knows they could never have used the winner regardless.

Carouther’s method won’t break the bank, and if you can find your separators, you might just win...


More Than Just a Horse

Original painting by Tim Cox

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”~ Winston S. Churchill. See more original paintings from Tim Cox here.

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 15

Bengals over Vikings (Saturday noon): We’re almost midway through December so you know what that means, time for NFL football Saturdays! At some point in the future, we’re just going to have NFL games every day of the week, which I wouldn’t be opposed to.

Up first on the schedule, the Bengals and the Vikings. The Josh Dobbs experiment is officially over as Coach O’Connell has decided to turns things over to Nick Mullens to try and jumpstart the offense. I guess when you only manage 63 yards on 23 passing attempts, that’s cause to lose your starting gig. I can’t really fault Dobbs, he is what he is, nothing more, nothing less. 

On the other side of field will be another backup quarterback, Jake Browning, who will be making his 4th career start for the Bengals. Oddly enough, Browning signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2019. It didn’t quite work out for him there and he was released in 2021, but I'm pretty sure he carries a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove to the Vikings they made a mistake in releasing him.

Bills over Cowboys (Sunday afternoon): Dallas has a tough three game stretch coming up. I guess technically it’s a four game stretch if you include the Eagles game from last week, but now they have to travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. Thanks to an offside penalty that caused Patrick Mahomes to throw quite the temper tantrum on the sidelines after the game was over, Buffalo got a much needed victory that keeps their playoff chances alive.

I’m not sure what the weather forecast will be, but I can’t imagine a team like the Cowboys, who play in a Texas dome stadium, will want to be outdoors in the middle of December in Buffalo. Josh Allen wasn’t exactly spectacular against the Chiefs last week, but he did just enough with his arm, and his legs, to get the job done. 


Lions over Broncos (Saturday night): Detroit chose a really bad time to start playing poorly, and if they keep it up their stay in the playoffs won’t be a long one. The good thing for them is they still have a comfortable lead on the next closest team in the NFC North (the Vikings). But, if they want to KEEP that lead, they need to play better, more specifically, the defense can’t continue to give up 25+ points a game.

Ever since the week before Halloween, the defense can’t seem to stop anyone from scoring, and what is compounding that problem is that the offense is starting to turn the ball over too much. Quarterback Jared Goff has reverted back to the 2020 version of himself, the version that got him traded from the Rams to the Lions in the first place. A very hot Broncos team is coming to town, but I think Detroit will bounce back from their loss last week to the Bears.  


Last week: 3-0

Overall: 26-16

Looking for a Special Photo of Your Big Horse or...?

Track Photographer Jason Halstead may have just what you're looking for

That winning feeling. Trainer Mike Nault's grooms celebrate in the winner's circle after winning Race 5 on Sept. 4, 2023 with Doublebarreldelite for A2 Thoroughbreds and True North Thoroughbreds. (Jason Halstead photo)

Looking for that extra-special photo of your big horse, one you might not find in your win pictures? Track photographer Jason Halstead takes numerous photos during the races, and not all of them can make it into the win photos. If you’re looking for something frameable from your big race, or of your special horse, email Jason at Prices are excellent! Almost as good as his photos 😊

Carryover Watch

  • Gulfstream (December 15) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $147,098
  • Woodbine (December 15) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $113,053


  • Charles Town closes out their 2023 meet on Saturday, December 16th. There will be mandatory payouts of the Jackpot Pick 6 and Pick 5 pools. 
  • Woodbine closes out their 2023 meet on Sunday, December 17th. There will be mandatory payouts of all their carryover pools.

See all carryovers here.

Can't make it to the track to wager?
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

"I Won Bigg" Wagering Group

The "I Won Bigg" wagering group will meet Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the second floor plaza. This week they will be playing Tampa, Los Alamitos RC & Woodbine. $20 a share. Email Larry at for more information.

There will be group play on the following days and then they will be taking a break for the month of January:

  • Saturday, December 16
  • Saturday, December 23
  • Tuesday, December 26
  • Saturday, December 30
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

This week we remember another classy runner from the past. Stakes-placed Michigan Avenue is seen above after one of his 23 victories at the Downs. A record? Not quite, but good enough for 4th place on the Downs all-time win board, behind Job’s Alibi (29 wins), Last Lea (28) and Key Canadian (26). Valet Bill Chabot described ‘Michigan’ as one of his favourites. Bill (seen in the above photo) looked after Shorty Gray’s son of Affiliate for 18 of his 23 lifetime wins at the Downs. Michigan Avenue was one of those special ones and it’s hard to believe that was 40 years ago! (Gerry Hart photo)

New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance

Sunday, December 31

  • Prime Rib buffet served from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
  • Late lunch served
  • Dancing until 1:00 a.m.
  • Door prizes
  • Free coat check
  • Huge dance floor
  • Party favours 
  • Free VLT Game for a chance to win a share of $2,024!
  • DJ Music & Lights
  • Hosted by Kathy Kennedy
  • $79.95 plus taxes & gratuities

This event sells out every year so order your tickets today! Call 204-885-3330.

Evaluating an Interesting Betting Race

Remington Springboard Mile this Friday

Gettysburg Address has been listed at 6-1 for this Friday's Springboard Mile Stakes. (Coady Photography)

The $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile Stakes on Friday is one of the most interesting prep races on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve calendar. While the race has only produced six Kentucky Derby starters in its history, several competitors have gone on to enjoy significant success. More from America's Best Racing here.

Baffert Takes Three Shots at 14th Los Alamitos Futurity

Phil D'Amato takes on the Baffert trio with graded stakes-placed Stronghold

Wine Me Up training for the Los Alamitos Futurity at Santa Anita. (Chad B. Harmon photo)

Graded stakes-placed Wine Me Up  and Stronghold will take on each other as well as four others making their stakes debuts in the 1 1/16-mile, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) this Saturday. Wine Me Up, a son of Vino Rosso, is one of three from the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the race a record 13 times. More from the Blood Horse here.

A ‘Smart’ Book For Horse Racing Newbies

The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine

The classic Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies book has been updated!

It's been nearly 20 years since Richard Eng was contacted by a representative of Wiley & Sons publishing to write a book designed to educate newcomers to horse racing on how to handicap and bet on what can be a very complicated and intimidating game. Now there's a new version of Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies and it's virtually a total rewrite of the entire book. More from the Paulick Report here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Who won the milestone 50th edition of the Manitoba Derby in 1998? Click here to reveal all you need to know about the 50th Manitoba Derby but were afraid to ask (From July 29, 2021). 

Upcoming events at ASD

  • 12 Days of Christmas HPI Cash Back - Tuesday, December 12 through Saturday, December 23
  • 12 Days of Christmas VLT Draws & Snacks - Thursday, December 14 through Tuesday, December 26
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, December 16 - more info
  • Christmas Buffet - Saturday, December 23 - more info
  • Christmas Eve - Sunday, December 24 - ASD open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Christmas Day - Monday, December 25 - ASD CLOSED
  • Boxing Day - Tuesday, December 26 - ASD open regular hours 10 a.m to 1 a.m.
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance - Sunday, December 31 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
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