ASSINIBOIA DOWNS
The Inside Track | Issue #14 | Feb. 10, 2022
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Full immunization and government issued I.D. required to attend Assiniboia Downs.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Valentine's Day Specials
  • Charlie and the Royals
  • A Snapshot in Time
  • Sincere Condolences
  • Photo of the Week
  • Canadian-bred romps in Derby Prep
  • Kentucky Derby Vegas Odds
  • Super Bowl with TravyFootball
  • Seabiscuit won here
  • 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 throughout the afternoon and evening.

VALENTINE'S SPIN TO WIN - Celebrate Valentine's Day Monday, February 14 at ASD and enter for your chance to spin the Valentine's Wheel for up to $100 cash!
TUESDAYS ARE TREMENDOUS IN FEBRUARY - 5% cash back on all eligible wagering every Tuesday in February. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Tuesday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
FRIDAY & SATURDAY DINNER SPECIALS

FRIDAYS: 8 oz. top Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. $24.95. Reservations are not required.

SATURDAYS: Smoky charbroiled St. Louis ribs with our signature BBQ sauce. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. $24.95. Reservations are not required.
VALENTINE'S DINNER SPECIALS
Monday, February 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Entree Specials
Certified Angus Prime Rib $34.95 - Our signature favourite served with horseradish, Yorkshire pudding, peppercorn jus, fresh vegetables and your choice of potato.

Maple BBQ Salmon $32.95 - With Dill Cream Sauce. Seared and baked with white wine and rich cream. Served with fresh vegetables and your choice of potato.

A full a la carte menu is also available and features appetizers, pizza, ribs, fish & chips and steak.

Dessert Specials
Red Velvet Cake $6.95 - With cream cheese icing and strawberry sauce
Chocolate Cake $6.95 - Layered with caramel and milk chocolate ganache
Warm Apple Pie $5.95 - Served with ice cream

Reserverations are required. Call 204-885-3330.
PLAYER CHOICE HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENT - $1,750 is up for grabs in the next Player's Choice tournament on Saturday, February 19. The deadline to enter is Friday, February 18 at 4 p.m. Click here for rules and entry form.
PLAYER REWARDS POINTS EXTENDED - You now have until February 28, 2022 to use up your old Player Rewards points. Points can be used for program and DRF purchases from the kiosks, food and beverage purchases or entry into monthly handicapping contests.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Charlie and the Royals
Charlie Fouillard (left) and Cam Ziprick with Manitoba broodmare royalty. L to R: High Pioneer, Jungle Storm and Danger Pay. Dams of 16 winners with 97 wins and over $2 million in earnings. George Williams photo.
St. Lazare tire shop owner and Manitoba-breeder Charlie Fouillard isn’t one to seek the spotlight, and he certainly doesn’t need it. He’s surrounded by thoroughbred broodmare royalty at his farm in God’s country, Manitoba.

Fouillard breeds and raises horses in partnership with Cam Ziprick just south of Russell, near the Saskatchewan border, at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Qu’Appelle Rivers. If there’s a better place to raise horses in Manitoba, we’d like to see it.

The 56-year-old Fouillard and his wife of 30 years, Karen, have raised hundreds of horses and four children in the Assiniboine/Qu’Appelle River Valley – Julien, Steve, Damien and Hannah. The boys work at the nearby potash mine and Hannah will soon be graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing degree.

The boys help on the farm and are just starting to get more involved in the racing and breeding business now with Bearly Regal, who finished second in his only start last year as a 2-year-old, and the stakes-placed Going Commando mare Marianda.

Marianda joins a broodmare band that already includes the top mares in Manitoba -- High Pioneer, Jungle Storm and Danger Pay. High Pioneer is the dam of champions and full sisters Hidden Grace and Melisandre. Jungle Storm is the dam of champion Why So Blue and $222,050 earner Lightnin Fast Girl. And Danger Pay is the dam of the best Manitoba-bred in history, champion and millionaire Escape Clause.

Between them, the aforementioned Manitoba royals have foaled 16 winners that have won 97 races and over $2 million. All three are in foal to Speculating.

Fouillard handles the breeding duties at his farm in the spring with Speculating and also foals the mares. The foaling barn is set up with cameras and sensors to monitor the mares that are ready to foal, and both Ziprick and Fouillard are looking forward to the first crop of Speculating babies this spring.

“The biggest thrill of breeding and owning horses is seeing the new babies,” said Fouillard, who started out with quarter horses decades ago and moved to thoroughbreds about 15 years ago. “It’s fun watching them grow up and go to the track as 2-year-olds. Just to see how they turn out.”
Speculating with co-owners Charlie Fouillard (left) and Cam Ziprick. George Williams photo.
“Every time you start out a new stallion it’s exciting to see what the babies will look like,” said Ziprick, who guided the ultra-successful career of now-pensioned Manitoba sire Going Commando. And there are numerous good reasons to be excited about Speculating's potential as a sire in Manitoba.

The only son of Medaglia d'Oro standing in Canada, Speculating looks strikingly similar to his famous sire, who has fathered 26 Grade 1 winners including Golden Sixty, Songbird and Rachel Alexandra. Highly thought of as a yearling, Speculating sold at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $235,000 and was a $345,000 buyback at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Out of Notebook Stakes winner Well Dressed, Speculating is a half brother to multiple Group/Grade 1 winner Well Armed, Railbird Stakes (G3) winner and stakes-producer Witty, Grade 1 placed Helsinki, stakes-placed winner Only In America, and winner Life Well Lived, the dam of Grade 1 winner American Patriot.
Medaglia d'Oro at Darley Stud. Click image for more information. Darley photo.
Fouillard and Ziprick are hoping that Speculating can follow in Going Commando's footsteps. While they anxiously await his first crop, they'll have three young horses at the track this year with trainer Devon Gittens, and many more yearlings for the annual Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale. Look for Fouillard’s name in the breeding lines, it’s melded into pedigrees now, and any one of these youngsters could be a good one.

The mares and foals transfer back and forth between Ziprick’s Farm in Russell and Fouillard’s place in St. Lazare, but the weanlings and yearlings spend much of their time romping around the huge pastures at Fouillard’s place, and the record shows that growing up in heaven is a good thing.

Fouillard had his hands full as he led Speculating past the foaling stalls and the “room” at the end of the barn. Breeder of the Year and Broodmare of the Year plaques hung on the wall in the room, and once you go in there…

“If you really want a story, we’ll go in there and have a drink,” said Fouillard. “I told him to bring an overnight bag,” said Ziprick. Apparently, there have been a few celebrations in the "room" over the years...

All fit for a king.
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
Top brass from Assiniboia Downs, Jack Hardy, President (on the left) and A. G. Scotty Kennedy (on the right) mug for the camera with the Province’s top boss, Walter Weir (middle) Manitoba’s 15th Premier (1967 to 1969) circa 1968. The Downs was a big player in the Province at the time and that says plenty when you consider the track was shuttered for six months of the year. Gerry Hart photo.
Handicapper's Corner
Sincere Condolences: James Whapham dies at 69
Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of long-time horseplayer James Whapham, who passed away at the age of 69 on Wednesday, February 2.

A loyal and well respected supporter of Assiniboia Downs, James was an excellent handicapper and a regular in the racebook, where he had many friends. James was always willing to partner on a ticket, and win or lose, he'd have a warm smile for you afterwards.

James was employed by Equal Opportunities West, providing support for adults with disabilities. He is survived by his long-time companion Bev and his son Jeff.

May he find many more winners in horseplayer heaven.
Photo of the Week
Manitoba stallion Speculating is ready to rock 'n roll into the breeding season! Shown here just after being led out of the barn by co-owner and stallion manager Charlie Fouillard, he was rearing, bucking and eyeing up his future girlfriends two paddocks over from his own. Lucky they have fences! 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
Messier wins Robert B. Lewis (G3) but earns no Kentucky Derby points.
Canadian-bred Messier runs away from the field in the Robert B. Lewis. Benoit /Santa Anita photo.
For Canadian racing fans, it was exciting to watch the handsome bay colt Messier, named for a Canadian hockey icon, gallop to a 15-length win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita last Sunday, but he earned no Kentucky Derby points. Bred by Canada’s Sam-Son Farm, the son of Empire Maker out of the Canadian/Ontario mare Checkered Past by Smart Strike (also Canadian-bred) is clearly a major Derby contender, but now what? More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
279 horses, 1 big mover in Vegas
There was new doubt expressed about Kentucky Derby winter-book favourite Corniche, and there were three points preps during the weekend, but no one rattled the Kentucky Derby futures market in Nevada last week like the winner of a one-turn, $61,000 allowance race in South Florida. More from Horse Racing Nation here.
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Feb. 11 - 13 - Derby Future Wager
  • Feb. 12 - Sam F. Davis - Tampa Bay
  • Feb. 12 - El Camino Real - Golden Gate
  • Feb. 19 - Risen Star - Fair Grounds
  • Feb. 26 - Rebel - Oaklawn

Full list of Kentucky Derby prep races here.
Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Carryover Watch & Programs
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
The "I Won Big" betting group will be playing Santa Anita and Tampa again this Saturday after missing a very tough Tampa Pick 6 that paid three out of six. Want a share? $20 gets you in! Email Larry at larry@ampereelectric.ca.

Be sure to mark Monday, Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m. on your calendars. Winnipeg Free Press columnist and Sovereign Award winning writer George Williams will be the guest handicapper for this special "I Won Big" holiday Monday edition.

Everyone attending the workshop will be entered to win a copy of the Skeptical Handicapper by Barry Meadow. You must be in attendance to win!
Top NFL Picks with TravyFootball: Super Bowl 56
Rams over Bengals
 
Well, it all comes down to this. Two teams are left standing after another long gruelling season, both taking very different roads on their way to the Super Bowl. The LA Rams were an early preseason favourite to win the big game once they acquired Matt Stafford in the off-season, whereas the Cincinnati Bengals weren’t given a chance by anyone to even make the playoffs let alone the Super Bowl. I think there will be three determining factors that decide the outcome of this year's big game: 
 
  1. Can the Bengals' offensive line protect Joe Burrow and handle the Rams' defensive line?
  2. Which version of Matt Stafford will show up? The one that’s prone to throwing interceptions, or the one that got the Rams to the Super Bowl in the first place?
  3. Can the Bengals' defense find a way to stop, or at the very least, contain Cooper Kupp, something no team all season long was able to do? 
 
The Rams will have the “home” field advantage, seeing how the game is being played in their stadium, but I don’t expect them to have any sort of advantage when it comes to crowd noise or fans as it should be a 50/50 split for those who can actually afford to go (the cheapest ticket is $5,300).

No matter who wins, it will be a Hollywood ending for either Joe Burrow or Matt Stafford. Stafford had to suffer with the Detroit Lions for years before finally getting to the big dance in his first year with the Rams. Burrow almost single-handedly resurrected a franchise that has been looked at as a joke for years.

May the best man win!
Super Bowl / Horse Racing Trivia: Seabiscuit won here
On July 16, 1938, Seabiscuit (shown above) won the inaugural running of the $50,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, on the same site where this year's Super Bowl is being played, at SoFi Stadium. Image courtesy of PBS.org /American Experience. Read their compelling Seabiscuit biography here.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

For this week's blog story, Bob gathered quotes about an influential owner and breeder of thoroughbred racehorses from the late 1960s. Can you guess who these quotes are referring to? “His death is a tragedy, particularly at his age... He was one of God’s few noblemen.” Hint: In 2019, a memorial stake race on the final weekend of “Live” racing celebrated its 50th running. Story here. (From August 2019)
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