ASSINIBOIA DOWNS
The Inside Track | Issue #23 | April 14, 2022
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
  • Our fully immunized staff will continue to wear masks for the safety of all customers.
EASTER WEEKEND HOURS: Please note that we are open regular hours (10 a.m. to 1 a.m.) for VLTs, racing and dining on Good Friday, April 15, Saturday, April 16 and Easter Sunday, April 17.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Champion Jockey Whitehall arrives
  • A Filly for Escape Clause!
  • Snapshot in Time
  • Steve Haskin's Derby Rankings
  • Partner Locations
  • A Kiss for Honour Road
  • Sovereign Awards tonight
  • New Star on Derby Trail
  • The Best of Bob
Do the Downs!
SPIN TO WIN FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS IN THE CLUBWEST GAMING LOUNGE - Enter at the VLT cage every Friday & Saturday for a chance to spin the wheel for up to $100 cash! Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
TUESDAYS ARE TREMENDOUS IN APRIL - 5% cash back on all eligible wagering Tuesdays in April. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Tuesday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
EASTER BRUNCH THIS SUNDAY!

Easter is the perfect day to enjoy some great food with your friends and family. Join us for Easter Brunch this Sunday with a variety of delicious options!

  • Signature Certified Angus beef striploin carvery
  • Seafood table featuring jumbo shrimp and salmon
  • Salads and side dishes prepared with fresh vegetables
  • Scrambled eggs, omelettes & eggs benedict 
  • Ham, bacon, sausage and hash browns
  • Waffles 
  • Sliced fruit and berries 
  • Coffee, tea and chilled juices 
  • Dessert and pastry table featuring fresh baked muffins, danish, croissants, cheesecakes, tortes & dainties 
  • Call 204-885-3330 for tickets. Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95


MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH: Treat Mom to brunch on her special day! Sunday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for full menu. Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95. For tickets call 204-885-3330. This event sells out quickly so get your tickets today!

Please note that there is no live racing on Easter Sunday or Mother's Day as racing begins Victoria Day, Monday, May 23.
RESERVATIONS OPEN FOR LIVE RACE NIGHT BUFFETS

ASD's signature Prime Rib buffet is returning for live race nights starting Monday, May 23. Call 204-885-3330. Adults, $47.95, Seniors (65+), $44.95, 12 & under, $27.95, 5 & under, $14.95. See the buffet highlights at ASDowns.com. Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330. Click here for full race schedule.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Two-time riding champ Antonio Whitehall at the rail at ASD on Tuesday morning. (George Williams photo)
Top Jock Antonio Whitehall Back in Town
Two-time ASD riding champ looking for third title
Two-time leading Assiniboia Downs rider Antonio Whitehall is back in town looking for his third local riding title, and it didn’t take him long to get back into the swing of things. He got on 10 horses Tuesday morning, his first day back in the saddle.

Whitehall won the title here in 2020 with 74 wins and tied for top spot with Prayven Badrie in 2018 with 41 wins. Whitehall also finished third among all jockeys in Canada in 2020 with 117 victories, behind only Rafael Hernandez (129 wins) and Justin Stein (127), both of whom had substantially more days of riding at Woodbine.

The likeable 28-year-old from Barbados split his time riding last year between Alberta and Manitoba and ended up 6th in the local standings with 24 wins and 4th in the Century Mile standings with 30 wins.

“My main focus will be Winnipeg this year,” said Whitehall. “I have good clients and good business here.”

Whitehall, who has applied for permanent resident status in Canada, spent two years here during the pandemic before being able to fly home to Barbados this past winter, where he rode a few horses just to stay in shape. He’s already been on horses locally for trainers Steve Gaskin, Shaun Morin, Monique Goulet and Jared Brown, the latter of whom arrived just before the storm with a number of new claims.
Antonio Whitehall wins the 2021 Manitoba Oaks with Xtrema for trainer Jared Brown. (George Williams photo)
Whitehall won the Manitoba Oaks for Brown last year aboard Xtrema, and he’ll likely be competing for mounts in that barn, and for the riding title, with last year’s leading rider Jorge Carreno. The latter won the title here last year with 80 wins, 31 more than runner-up Stanley Chadee Jr. (49 wins) and third-place finisher Sheldon Chickeness (48).

Carreno currently sits ninth in the standings at Sunland Park with 12 wins, one of which was a huge last-to-first upset victory on March 27 in the $300,000 Sunland Park Oaks aboard Cleopatra’s Charge (#2) at 80-1. You can watch the replay of that race here, and you will want to.

“Carreno will bring out the best in me,” said Whitehall. “Top competition always does.”
A Filly for Escape Clause!
Manitoba millionaire produces second foal by Japanese Derby winner Duramente
Escape Clause winning the 2017 Distaff Stakes at Assiniboia Downs. Adolfo Morales up.
The best Manitoba-bred in history, Escape Clause, foaled a filly by record-setting Japanese Derby winner Duramente on February 22, 2022 at Northern Farm in Japan. This is the second foal for Escape Clause. Her first foal, a colt by Duramente that was purchased for almost $1 million by Tetsuhide Kunimoto, is now getting his early racing education with Northern Farm’s Training Division before moving to a Japan Racing Association (JRA) Training Center.

The colt is “doing good, seems obedient and easy to handle” according to an email from Northern Farm’s Noriko Takahashi to Ivan Bigg.
 
A graded-stakes winning daughter of Going Commando-Danger Pay by Circulating, Escape Clause was bred in Manitoba by Cam Ziprick and Arnason Farms and went on to win over $1 million, compiling a record of 20-5-4 from 35 starts including numerous stakes, but perhaps her best performance ever was a second-place finish beaten less than an inch in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) to Eclipse Award winner Midnight Bisou. And she was coming back at the wire! Always worth watching again
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
A man and his horse. Larry Carter, shown here with his champion Monsoon Rain, following Monsoon’s retirement from racing in 2011. The bay gelding was a $550,000 yearling purchase and 10 of his 11 lifetime wins came at Assiniboia Downs. Monsoon Rain lit up the tote board in 2008 at the Downs, winning five consecutive races including the Wheat City, R.J. Speers and Gold Cup. This great grandson of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew was owned by Larry Carter and trained by Emile Corbel, but his heart belonged to Larry’s wife Sue.

Monsoon Rain was all racehorse, with a brilliant mind and the attitude of a perfect gentleman, who was “done too soon.” Larry and Sue lost Monsoon in 2014 and offered this: “Our family will never be the same, we'll never forget him and we're better for having had him in our life.” (Carter/Hebenton photo)
Handicapper's Corner
Zandon moves to top of list with hard-earned win in Blue Grass Stakes
Zandon found just enough trouble to make winning the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) last Saturday tough for himself, but he might have received just the education he needed for the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday, May 7.

"I was expecting him to be just off the pace in the Blue Grass, as he was in his maiden win and in the Remsen Stakes," wrote Steve Haskin on his weekly Derby Rankings. "But he again dropped back to last. Each time he tried to move up he got shuffled back again. But he was always in striking range. Finally, he took off, weaved his way through the field, overcame some bumping in the upper stretch, and blew right on by Smile Happy, who looked like he had the race won. This was the horse I was waiting to see..." See full report from Haskin at Secretariat.com here.
CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE TRACK TO WAGER?
Watch and wager at one of our partner locations:

  • Canad Inns Windsor Park - 1034 Elizabeth Road
  • Green Brier Inn - 1611 Main Street
  • Rookies at Central Hotel - 201 Melrose Avenue East
  • Quest Inn - 367 Ellice Avenue
  • McPhillips Station Casino - 484 McPhillips Street
  • Club Regent Casino - 1425 Regent Ave W
  • Wager 24/7 at HPIbet.com
Photo of the Week
A kiss for Honour Road. It's quite obvious trainer Tiffany Husbands has a special bond with her horses, especially her own Honour Road. "He's my sweetheart," said the 30-year-old fourth-year trainer, who now has 14 wins to her credit. Well done Tiffany! (George Williams photo)
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to theinsidetrack@ASDowns.com.
In The News
The best of 2021 will be celebrated with a long-awaited in-person ceremony. Woodbine opens April 16.
The Sovereign Award Trophy that will be presented to the winners at the 47th Sovereign Awards tonight.
The 47th Sovereign Awards presented by the Jockey Club of Canada will take place tonight. The in-person ceremony will also be live streamed. And the live thoroughbred racing season in Canada kicks off this Saturday with the 71st Woodbine Thoroughbred meeting! More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Zedan Racing's Taiba runs down Messier in Santa Anita Derby
Taiba soars home under Mike Smith to win the Santa Anita Derby (G1). (Benoit / Blood Horse photo)
Taiba, a $1.7 million sale purchase, went from maiden winner to a major Kentucky Derby (G1) contender with an unexpected victory over proven stars Messier and Forbidden Kingdom on Saturday, in just his second lifetime start, while stretching out from six furlongs to 1 1/8-miles. How good is he? More from the Blood Horse here
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Apr. 16 - Lexington (Kee)
  • May 7 - Kentucky Derby (CD)

Full list of Kentucky Derby prep races here.
Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Carryover Watch & Programs

MANDATORY PAYOUT ALERT: Mahoning Valley Race closes out their live meet this weekend with a 9-race card on Saturday, April 16. The final card of the meet will feature mandatory payouts of all carryover pools including the Jackpot Pick 6. Current Jackpot Pick 6 carryover is $81,356.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse
The "I Won Bigg" group had a disappointing loss in the Pick-6 at Santa Anita when their key was beaten by a 70-1 longshot. A small amount was recouped with a win in the Pick 4. Woodbine and Santa Anita will be the focus this Saturday. Everyone welcome. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
Top groom Chris Gaskin leads jockey Shavon Belle off the training track on Belbedevil for trainer Donna Johnston. Belle had a breakout year in 2019 with 19 wins and is back after a 2-year absence to better that performance. Good luck Shavon!
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

I must have really missed watching the races from the tarmac in 2020. This week I look at NBC’s “Triple Crown Showdown” virtual race and another such race that was run in 1968 – 5 years prior to Secretariat's domination of the Triple Crown. Do we dare dream about a fantasy race at Assiniboia Downs? You know I do! Look for the details here. (From June 2020)
Feedback
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