The Inside Track | Issue #99 | September 29, 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?
  • Chase the Ace at ASD
  • ASD Handicapping Tournaments
  • Dining at ASD
  • Thankgiving Buffet
  • Good horses. Good trainers. Great results!
  • TravyFootball Week 4
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Snapshot in Time - Plentiful
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Road to the Breeders' Cup
  • 132nd Breeders' Stakes
  • The Best of Bob: Todd Kabel
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

Win $5,000 by selecting the Ace of Diamonds!

Tickets for Chase the Ace Week #20 are on sale now with a $5,000 Guaranteed Accumulator Jackpot if someone picks the Ace of Diamonds!

Manitoba Jockey Club - LGCA-5630-RF-39799

2023 Player's Choice Online Tournaments

  • Saturday, October 14
  • 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
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.

Win CA$H Every Day!

  • Draws to win up to $100 cash on our lucky wheel Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m.

  • Draws for $20 in FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs

Thanksgiving Buffet

We are excited to announce our all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Buffet on Sunday, October 8th. Let us do all the work for you this Thanksgiving and join us for a delicious buffet.

You can indulge in roast turkey with rich gravy, baked ham in cream sauce, locally made perogies, meatballs, mashed potatoes, autumn vegetables, fresh salads plus all the trimmings and more! Finish things off with warm pie with ice cream and ASD's bourbon bacon brownie.

Reservations are available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. To reserve your spot, please call 204-885-3330.

Adults: $34.95, Kids (6 - 12 years old): $29.95, and Kids (5 & under): $16.95.

Reservations are filling up fast so don’t delay and call today!

Club West Dining Room & Lounge Open Daily

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks plus Happy Hour food and beverage specials in our Club West Dining Room & Lounge! Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

  • Club West Dining Room & Lounge menu
  • Daily Happy Hour specials
Chef's Weekend Specials
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.

Add a starter Caesar salad, tossed salad or soup of the day to any of the above specials for $3.95. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson

Good Horses. Good Trainers. Great Results!

A look back at some of the best conditioning jobs of 2023 at ASD

Mano Dura wins the $125,000 Manitoba Derby for leading trainer Jerry Gourneau, leading owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. and leading rider Antonio Whitehall. (Jason Halstead photo)

There were some excellent conditioning jobs orchestrated by some of the best trainers at Assiniboia Downs in 2023, all marked by consistency, quality and a will to win.

Trainer Jerry Gourneau not only won his record fourth consecutive training title and fifth overall, he also won his first Manitoba Derby with Henry S. Witt, Jr.’s Mano Dura. The Manitoba Derby is the toughest race to win at Assiniboia Downs, and you have to have your horse peaking at just the right time to do so.

Claimed on June 17 for $50,000 at Lone Star Park in Texas, Gourneau was only able to get one prep into Mano Dura before the Derby and he came with a long resolute drive to win it on July 24. Two weeks later with leading rider Antonio Whitehall up, Gourneau had Mano Dura primed perfectly and his 3-year-old Keen Ice colt drew away to win by 4 ¼-lengths.

Nicely done!

Jockey Damario Bynoe does the fist pump after winning the $50,000 Gold Cup aboard Magic Tiger for trainer Wendy Anderson and owners Bill Meikle and Wind Dancer Stable. (Jason Halstead photo)

Next up we have Magic Tiger and trainer Wendy Anderson. Claimed for just $6,250 at Golden Gate on April 2 for Bill Meikle and Wind Dancer Stable, Anderson managed her new horse perfectly at Assiniboia Downs and saved his best for last.

Magic Tiger won his first two starts locally in allowance races before finishing a fast closing third beaten a neck in the Free Press Stakes. The 5-year-old Smiling Tiger gelding then won the R. J. Speers and finished an odd fourth in the Manitoba Mile before rebounding to win both the Bocage Overnight Stakes and the Gold Cup. Magic Tiger won five of seven starts at the Downs with Damario Bynoe in the saddle and earned over $100,000 for Anderson and her partners.

A grand return on investment!

Burrow Down smiles into the photo-finish mirror after winning the Sandy Dee Overnight Stakes for trainer Murray Duncan and owner Gerald Babchishin. Stanley Chadee, Jr. up. (Jason Halstead photo)

Murray Duncan winning stakes with a former claimer is par for the course in these parts, and he did more of the same in 2023 with Burrow Down. Claimed for $30,000 on May 8, 2022, for owner Gerald Babchishin, Burrow Down won all three of her starts at the Downs in 2022 before heading west and then south without winning, but she returned to best form once back in Manitoba with Duncan.

The 4-year-old Connect filly won four of her five starts at the Downs in 2023 including the La Verendrye Stakes, the Canada Day Stakes, the Miss Sandy Dee Overnight Stakes and capped off a superb year with a dig-in win in the Manitoba Matron Stakes in the final week of live racing. Ridden by Stanley Chadee, Jr. Burrow Down is now 7-for-8 at Assiniboia Downs with earnings of over $180,000.

Murray Duncan at his best.

Spitten Kitten makes it three stakes wins in a row with her victory in the Jack Hardy Stakes for trainer Marvin Buffalo, his wife Debbie and ownership partner Arnold Souster. Sven Balroop up. (Jason Halstead photo)

We also have to add an honourable mention for trainer Marvin Buffalo and Spitten Kitten. Owned by Marvin, his wife Debbie and Arnold Souster, Spitten Kitten was picked out by Debbie and purchased as a yearling for $2,500. The 3-year-old filly by Air Force Blue broke her maiden at Assiniboia Downs last year and finished fifth in the Osiris Stakes before heading to Phoenix to grow up and develop in the sun. It worked.

Spitten Kitten won an allowance race March 18 at Turf Paradise and then went on a three-race win spree here, winning the One and Only Overnight Stakes, the Chantilly Stakes and the Jack Hardy Stakes in rocket-romping fashion under Sven Balroop before being put away for a rest as yet another bargain who earned over $100,000 at Assiniboia Downs.

Great development job.

Jockey Shavon Belle gets a high five after winning the 94th running of the Winnipeg Futurity aboard undefeated 2-year-old Canyouhearmerunnin for trainer Devon Gittens and ownership partners Pink Cloud Racing and Ron Wiley. (Jason Halstead photo)

Finally we have trainer Devon Gittens and Canyouhearmerunnin, the best 2-year-old on the grounds at ASD in 2023. Gittens continues to excel with young horses and Canyouhearmerunnin fit into his program beautifully, winning all four of his starts under jockey Shavon Belle.

Owned by Pink Cloud Racing and Ron Wiley, the 2-year-old gelding by Reload won the Graduation and Osiris Stakes and capped off a perfect season with a victory in the 94th running of the Winnipeg Futurity on the second last day of the meeting. Purchased for less than $5,000 as a yearling, Canyouhearmerunnin earned over $100,000 at Assiniboia Downs in 2023. Amazing.

Good horses. Good trainers. Great results.

Undefeated 2-year-old Canyouhearmerunnin with groom Rheco Gittens. (George Williams photo)

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 4

Jags over Falcons (Sunday morning from London): The Jags will head overseas for back-to-back games in their home away from home, London, England. First up, the Atlanta Falcons. I’m not sure what's up with the Jags so far this season, but they definitely don’t look like the playoff team from a year ago that almost knocked out the Chiefs. Trevor Lawrence only has three touchdowns to go with two interceptions through three games, and that's WITH the big off-season addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who coincidentally, was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons. The Desmond Ridder led offense of Atlanta was brought back down to earth last week, only managing to score three points against the Detroit Lions.


Bills over Dolphin (Sunday noon): In my 35 years of watching football, never have I seen a team put up 70 points in a regular NFL game. The Miami Dolphins absolutely pummeled the Denver Broncos last week 70-20. It was the most points scored in a game since 1966, and if it wasn’t for the coach letting up and taking out the starters, they probably could have scored 80 or more. Running backs Raheem Mostert and rookie speedster De’Von Achane had four touchdowns EACH and probably won a lot of fantasy football players their week. I will eat a little bit of humble crow as I picked the Commanders to upset the Bills last week, and boy was I wrong. It wasn’t quite 70-20, but 37-3 isn't bad either. The Bills defense dominated and tallied nine sacks, four interceptions, and a pick-6. Now these division rivals will clash in what is sure to be the game of the week.  


Vikings over Panthers (Sunday noon): In one of the “Toilet Bowl” games of the week (the other one being Broncos vs Bears.. yuck), Kirk (I make bad throws at the worst possible time) Cousins will face off against either Andy Dalton, or Bryce Young if he’s healthy enough to play. The Vikings had every opportunity to win their game last week against the Chargers, but due to some very poor clock management at the end, and a very bad interception, they lost yet another one score game. This likely will be Cousins' last season in Minnesota, so he’s essentially auditioning for whichever team is going to sign him in the off-season. Having said that, the trade deadline is coming up on October 31st and if there’s a team out there looking to make a playoff run (the Jets?) they may want to think about acquiring him. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong for the Panthers so far. They haven’t won a game yet, the injuries are starting to pile up, and Bryce Young is showing next to no growth yet as an NFL quarterback. This is a rebuilding year for the Panthers, so maybe you can give them that excuse, but they certainly have a long, long way to go.

Last week: 2-1

Overall: 7-2

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

Groom Olive Johnston gives Commandoslastdance a kiss after winning the Buffalo Stakes on Monday for trainer Mike Nault and owners 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 [email protected]. Prices are excellent! Almost as good as his photos 😊
Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream (Sept. 29) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $132,498
  • Churchill (Sept. 29) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $111,047

Mandatory Payouts: Golden Gate will have a mandatory payout of all carryover pools on Monday, October 2. Jackpot Pick 6 carryover is currently $57,858.

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 meeting every Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on the plaza. This week the group will be playing Woodbine and possibly Santa Anita. $20 per share. Email Larry at [email protected] for more information.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

For this week’s Snapshot in Time we are only going back to September 2021. In previous Gold Cup appearances, trainer Murray Duncan’s Plentiful had two seconds and two fourths. This time around, the trainer from Carberry and his horse Plentiful found the winning formula. After 60 years of trying, Duncan had his first Gold Cup victory, and it came from the same horse who gave him his only Manitoba Derby in 2017. (Jason Halstead photo)

Road to the Breeders’ Cup: Sneak Peeks

Awesome Again, Arc de Triomphe, Vosburgh Stakes and more

Mucho Macho Man wins the 2013 Awesome Again Stakes. (BENOIT photo)

This weekend is jam-packed with important races on the road to the 40th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships, with 12 Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” preps scheduled from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Seven of those races are overseas, highlighted by the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe set for Oct. 1 at Longchamp in France. The remaining five are in the U.S., with three at Belmont at the Big A (Aqueduct) in New York and single preps at Churchill Downs in Kentucky and Santa Anita Park in California. More from America's Best Racing here.

132nd Breeders’ Stakes Looks Like ‘Prince’ vs. ‘Field’

Canadian-bred 3-year-olds run for $400,000 in 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes on turf

Elysian Field, second in the King's Plate, gets another shot at Paramount Prince in the Breeders'. (Michael Burns photo)

Two big weekends of grass racing are coming up at Woodbine beginning with the 132nd Breeders’ Stakes, the third jewel of the OLG Canadian Triple Crown, this Sunday. The following Sunday features the Canadian International (G1), E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1) and Nearctic Stakes (G2), all on the grass. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week we remember a young man who won his first race at a recognized racetrack right here on July 4, 1984. He raced at the Downs for five full seasons and won the leading jockey title three times before moving east in search of fame and fortune. He won the Manitoba Derby, two Queen’s Plates and was twice named Manitoba’s Male Athlete of the Year. Click here to learn more about this week’s history blog honouree. (From May 2021)

Upcoming events at ASD

  • Spin to Win in the Club West Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 in free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • Vintage & Collectibles Sale - Saturday, Sept. 30 - more info
  • Thanksgiving Buffet - Sunday, October 8 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, October 14 - more info
  • MICEC Monster Bingo - Saturday, October 21 - more info
  • Naughty Halloween Social - Friday, October 27 - more info
  • Wpg 19+ Adult Expo - Friday, October 27 & Saturday, October 28 - more info
  • Breeders' Cup - Friday, November 3 & Saturday, November 4
  • Inspirations Market - Saturday, November 11 & Sunday, November 12 - 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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