The Inside Track | Issue #105 | November 10, 2023

140 VLTS
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Please note that the Club West Restaurant & Lounge and Race Book will be open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 11. The VLTs open at 1 p.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.

In this edition . . .

  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • ASD Handicapping Tournaments
  • New Food & Drink Specials
  • Mott Conjures Up Breeders' Cup Memories
  • Christmas Buffet
  • TravyFootball Week 10
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Snapshot in Time - Last Lea
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Breeders' Cup Wrap
  • Cody Dorman Dies
  • Derby Winner Rich Strike Retired
  • The Best of Bob - War Horse
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

2023 Player's Choice Online Tournaments

  • This Saturday, November 11
  • 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

$500 Exclusive Breeders' Cup Contest


Congratulations to Geoffrey Metcalf and Sue Mymko who split the $500 prize money by selecting nine winners each on the Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup races. Well done!

Club West Gaming Lounge

140 VLTs available daily in our spacious Club West Gaming Lounge from 10 a.m. through 1 a.m. Please note that our VLTs are sanitized between play. Click here for a full list of games available at ASD.

  • Draws to win 20 break-open tickets! Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

  • Draws for $20 in FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. One lucky draw winner turned their $20 into $1,604!
Dining at Assiniboia Downs

New! $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

New! 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

New! 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

Mott Conjures Up Breeders’ Cup Memories

Hall of Fame Trainer wins three Breeders’ Cup races 28 years after Cigar’s Classic

Just F Y I holds off longshot Jody's Pride to win the Netjets Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last Friday at Santa Anita for trainer Bill Mott and owner George Krikorian. Junior Alvarado up. (Benoit photo)

In 1989 I was visiting Allen Jerkens at Saratoga and sitting on a bench talking to an old groom. He said there were only two trainers everybody wanted to work for – Jerkens and Bill Mott.

Jerkens was widely regarded as one of the best trainers in the history of thoroughbred racing before he passed away in 2015, and still is. He was also the youngest trainer ever inducted into the Hall of Fame at the age of 45 in 1975, and I was lucky enough to work for him in 1983. Mott joined Jerkens in the Hall of Fame in 1998, also at the age of 45.

Jerkens orchestrated more upsets of champions (he beat Secretariat twice) than any other trainer in the history of the sport. Mott trained the mighty Cigar to tie the modern-day record of 16 victories in a row (held by Citation), including the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Belmont Park.

The quality of horsemanship evidenced in these barns is elite, and has stood the test of time. Stricter medication rules have all but pushed the 40-percent trainers out of the game, something that has been welcomed by horse people across the nation. The medication rules for the Breeders’ Cup are even stricter, and have acted to keep the fakers at bay.

Trainers that win Breeders’ Cup races now are the real thing.

So it was no surprise to see Mott win three Breeders’ Cup races last weekend, or European trainer Aidan O’Brien win a pair. Both trainers have consistently defeated the best of their generation, and rank in the top five among all Breeders’ Cup trainers with 15 wins each.

Mott, who hails from South Dakota and who also spent some time at Assiniboia Downs during his formative years, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on Friday with Just F Y I, and followed up on Saturday with wins in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile with Cody’s Wish, and the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Elite Power. O’Brien won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf with Unquestionable on Friday and the Breeders’ Cup Turf with Auguste Rodin on Saturday.

If you’re a handicapper, that’s five winners in 14 Breeders’ Cup races. Both trainers were must-includes in any race they had a horse in, without handicapping.

I was lucky enough to spend time with Mott covering Cigar for the Thoroughbred Times at the 1995 Breeders’ Cup in New York. Standing in the pouring rain outside his barn the morning before the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the backstretch was flooded and I was the only reporter who showed up. Mott said he wasn’t supposed to allow anyone in the barn, but he couldn’t stand to see me standing outside in the rain and invited me in to meet and pat Cigar. As a horse lover with a soft spot for class and heart, it was a moment I’ll cherish forever.

On the morning of the Classic, Cigar, Mott on his pony, and myself, went to the track together shrouded in a lonely gray mist. The track was sloppy, and Cigar had never run in the mud. All of us wanted to know what he would think of it. When Cigar got to the track and Mott turned him loose from the pony, we got our answer. Cigar reared up and exploded like he was the second-coming of Pegasus.

Later that afternoon, Cigar won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, capping off a perfect 10-for-10 season. His owner Allen Paulson and I were the first to step on the track after Cigar passed the wire. We stood beside each other marvelling at what we had just witnessed, and Paulson turned to me and said, “He’s something else, isn’t he.”

He was.

After the race, I went back to the Mott barn hoping to get a print of Cigar signed. The barn was empty and Mott was nowhere in sight, but a little exploring led me behind the barn, where I found Mott with his whole crew, along with owners Allen Paulson and his wife Madeleine, casually celebrating on bales of hay having a beer. They invited me to join them and treated me as part of the team. Everyone signed my print, including the owner, trainer, assistant trainers, groom, exercise rider, and jockey Jerry Bailey, making it the only print of its kind in the world.

They say horses often mirror their trainers, and respond in kind. Nothing could have been closer to the truth in the case of Cigar and Bill Mott. Twenty-eight years later, his horses continue to perform to his personality.


Elite Power wins the Qatar Racing Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) for trainer Bill Mott and owner Juddmonte. Irad Ortiz, Jr. up. (Nellie Carlson / Paulick Report photo)

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 available from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 204-885-3330 today!

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 10

Lions over Chargers (Sunday afternoon): The Chargers laid quite the beat down on the Jets last Monday night and dominated in every phase of the game. A much tougher task is ahead this week when the Detroit Lions come to town fresh off their bye. On paper it says it’s a home game for the Chargers, but everybody knows that people living in the Los Angeles area couldn’t care less about the two teams they have. I can almost guarantee that there will be more Lions fans at this game then there will be Chargers fans. Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs had 152 yards rushing and a touchdown in his last game and I expect him to find similar success against the Chargers. All of a sudden, the Lions have the Vikings hot on their trail for first in the NFC North, so they can’t afford any losses right now. 


Niners over Jags (Sunday noon): Coming off a much needed bye week, San Francisco will look to get back into the win column after dropping three straight. The 49ers did make a move during their bye week, acquiring former second overall pick Chase Young from the Washington Commanders. The Niners already had a fearsome front four, but adding Chase Young will only make them better. The offense will get a boost when Deebo Samuel returns from the injury that kept him out the last couple of games, and Brock Purdy will be happy to have his full arsenal of weapons to work with again. Even though the Jags have the third best rushing defense in the league, they have yet to face a running back the calibre of Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey has scored a touchdown in 17 consecutive games, and I have a feeling he’s going to break the NFL record and make it 18. 


Ravens over Browns (Sunday noon): Both of these teams had light work last week, winning very convincingly over the Cardinals and Seahawks, so now they will renew their division rivalry against each other. Who the “best” team in the league is seems to change on a week to week basis, but I don’t think anyone is playing better than the Ravens right now. They’ve scored over 31 points in 3 consecutive games and have also won four games in a row. Putting up another 31 points might prove difficult as Cleveland currently owns the top defense in the league. Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett is having an MVP-like season and is tied for second in the league with 9.5 sacks.  He will have his hands full trying to chase down Lamar Jackson but I’m sure he’s up to the task. 


Last week: 2-1

Overall: 15-12

Looking for a Special Photo of Your Big Horse?
Track Photographer Jason Halstead may have just what you're looking for

Trainer Mike Taphorn and jockey Ronald Ali aboard My Noah pose in the winner's circle at ASD on June 21, 2023, under a spectacular prairie sunset. (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 [email protected]. Prices are excellent! Almost as good as his photos 😊

Carryover Watch
  • Woodbine (November 11 - Race 11) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $409,656. Mandatory payout on Saturday, November 11. The wager will not be offered on November 9 or 10.
  • Mohawk (November 10 - Race 11) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $250,217. Mandatory payout on Saturday, November 18. The wager will not be offered on November 13, 16 or 17.
  • Gulfstream (November 10) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $77,622

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 every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the second floor plaza. This week they will be concentrating on the mandatory payout of the Jackpot Hi-5 at Woodbine. Email Larry at [email protected] for more information.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

In 1981 the Downs conducted the longest meet in its history – the 135-day meet came to a close on November 2nd. Sadly, the latest race photo in our history archive comes from Sunday, November 1st. On the final race of the card, Gary Danelson’s 10-year-old Last Lea easily bested a 12-horse field of $2,000 claimers. Gary is seen here with his father, Henry while Irwin Driedger sits atop Last Lea. You have to love these older win pix with only a couple of people in the charmed circle. Great shot by track photographer Gerry Hart.

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.

Breeders’ Cup: White Abarrio Rolls, Moira 3rd in F/M Turf

Woodbine winners Master of the Seas and Nobals win big on thrilling day of racing

Canadian Horse of the Year Moira (right) finishes a smart third to Inspiral (6), ridden by Lanfranco Dettori, in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Breeders' Cup Championship Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 4, 2023. (Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)

The vastly improved White Abarrio, son of a $5,000 stallion who now stands in Korea, rolled to a big win in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Canadian Horse of the Year Moira finished third in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and Woodbine winners Master of the Seas and Nobals won the Breeders' Cup Mile and Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint respectively at the Breeders' Cup World Championship last weekend. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.

Cody Dorman Dies At 17

Feel good story of the year ends on sad note hours after Breeders' Cup triumph

Cody Dorman adorned with the winner’s garland after Cody’s Wish captured the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) (Nellie Carlson / Paulick Report photo)

“We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Cody suffered a medical event on our trip home to Kentucky yesterday and he has passed away. On Saturday, Cody watched his best friend, Cody's Wish, display his usual perseverance and toughness in winning a second Breeders' Cup. Those are the same characteristics Cody has shown time and again for the 17 years we were blessed to have him." ~ Dorman Family Statement. More from the Paulick Report here.

2022 Kentucky Derby Winner Rich Strike Retired

Derby winner out of Manitoba-bred mare will be sold as a stallion prospect

Rich Strike defeates Epicenter in the 2022 Kentucky Derby. (Anne M. Eberhardt photo)

Rich Strike, the 80-1 upset winner of the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) out of the Manitoba-bred mare Gold Strike, has been retired, owner Rick Dawson announced Nov. 9. Rich Strike had been given some time off due to minor physical issues and was expected to join Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott this year, before the announcement by Dawson. More from the Blood Horse here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week we once again present the special "War Horse" blog story that Bob penned in November 2018. In this piece he explores the role of the horse in the Great War and shares with us his special “War Horse” Remembrance Day tribute that he wrote to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War l, “the war to end all wars." Click here for the Horses of the Great War. Lest We Forget. (From November 2018)

Upcoming events at ASD

  • Break Open Bonanza - Draws for Break-Open tickets - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 in free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, November 11 - more info
  • Inspirations Market - Saturday, November 11 & Sunday, November 12 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, December 16 - more info
  • Christmas Buffet - Saturday, December 23 - more info
  • 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 [email protected].
The Inside Track Archives
Did you know that past issues of The Inside Track are available on our website? Click here to read them now.
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