The Inside Track | Issue #54 | November 18, 2022
  • 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?
  • Friday & Saturday Dining Specials
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance hosted by CJOB's Kathy Kennedy
  • Earl Grantham wins Handicapping Tourney
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • First Full-Time Female Track Announcer
  • Martin Drexler - Best Year Ever
  • "I Won Bigg" Betting Group
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 12Predictions
  • Snapshot in Time -1972 Manitoba Derby Winner
  • The Best of Bob - R.J. Speers Stakes History
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
SPIN TO WIN THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS IN THE CLUB WEST GAMING LOUNGE - Enter at the VLT cage every Thursday and Friday for a chance to spin the wheel to win up to $100 cash! Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Toronto Argonauts - Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5:00 p.m. Can Big Blue do it again? They sure can!

Watch the 109th Grey Cup at Assiniboia Downs and enjoy Happy Hour drink and food specials (see below) as well as chicken wings for just $10!

Dining at Assiniboia Downs
HAPPY HOUR - Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close
  • 6 oz. House Wine - $4.50
  • House Spirits - $4.50
  • Domestic Beer - $4.50
  • Fireball - $4.50
  • Downs Caesar - $5.50
  • Pint Longshot Lager - $5.50
  • Poutine - $8.00
  • Onion Rings - $8.00
  • Chicken Fingers - $9.00
  • Cheese Nachos - $9.00
  • All Day NFL Sunday Special - Regular Wings $10 (all day Sunday only)

All of the above specials are dine-in only.
The Club West Dining Room and Lounge is open daily at 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages. Our menu includes favourites such as chicken wings, pizza, chipotle mozza burger (pictured), steak sandwich or bacon and eggs plus much more! See the full menu here.
FRIDAY STEAK SPECIAL - $24.95 - 8 oz. top Sirloin charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

PRIME RIB SATURDAY SPECIAL - $29.95 - Our signature Certified Angus Prime Rib (8 oz.) served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Reservations are not required.
New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance
Saturday, December 31 - Main Floor Ballroom
  • A fabulous buffet from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. featuring our renowned Certified Angus Prime Rib. See menu here.
  • Complimentary champagne toast at midnight
  • Late lunch served
  • Dancing until 2:00 a.m.
  • Door prizes
  • Photo wall
  • Party favours 
  • DJ music & lights
  • Free coat check
  • Free parking
  • Hosted by CJOB's Kathy Kennedy
  • Tickets $79.95 plus taxes & gratuities. Call 204-885-3330

This event sells out every year so get your tickets today!
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Earl Grantham wins Handicapping Tourney
69-year-old financial planner cites divine intervention, luck and work
Earl Grantham won the recent Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament at ASD with $101.60
Earl Grantham won last Saturday's Player's Choice handicapping tournament by turning his bankroll into $101.60 with a combination of “divine intervention” and hard work, to win $1,000, bragging rights, and a trophy.

Geoffrey Metcalf finished second with a total of $85.30 followed by Ralph Gelardi ($82.30), James Werry ($73.10) and Eve Tilston-Jones ($68.80), and while $16.30 may not seem like much to win by, it's actually a huge amount based on past tournament scores, where the top players were often within $5 of each other.

The 69-year-old certified financial planner said his win was a combination of luck and "divine intervention" but also mentioned that he spent many hours pouring over the past performances, all of which he printed out two days before the contest.

"It's too hard to do it all on the computer," said Grantham. "You can't put any marks on the past performances that way."

The common thread, which makes the local handicapping contest so tough, is that Grantham did extensive amounts of homework, as many other players do. Grantham has won the tourney three times now and had a number of seconds and thirds along the way.

What’s his secret?

“Divine intervention,” repeated Grantham. “Because nothing works all the time. No matter what angle you use, whether it's dropping speed or jockey/trainer combos or whatever. Anything can happen. You might handicap all night and get the right horse and then he stumbles at the break. I think luck plays a big part in it and it was just my turn to be lucky, or like I said, by the grace of God.”

Grantham has been handicapping the races for less than 10 years and has only been going to the track for about 15, so three wins in the handicapping tournament would have to be considered overachieving, right?

“I was pretty green when I started,” said Grantham, who does hope to rise higher in the Handicapper of the Year standings at some point.

“Really what it boiled down to this time is that I bet on the horses that my neighbour's dog told me to bet on,” laughed Grantham, who learned how to handicap by listening to other players and participating in the I Won Bigg group on Saturday mornings. He also learned from some handicapping books, but admits he never read any of them from start to finish.

His favourite angles?

“I look for like 9/2 shots or better with good jockeys on them,” said Grantham. “The horse has to have a good jockey, but like I said, nothing works all the time. I also look at jockey/trainer combos, and every now and then I just get a feeling for a longshot and it seems to work out. I also look for horses that have had trouble in their last race."

“I just go off the comments,” continued Grantham. "I don't watch replays. And I like horses that have run a good race three or four starts back."

The latter is one of the most underutilized angles in handicapping, as most bettors don’t look past a horse’s last race, or at the most two races. There’s gold hidden here, "especially when a horse is returning to a distance that he has won at three or four races back,” said Grantham.

“I think there's some really good handicappers here,” said Grantham. "So it’s always tough to win. And they’re very consistent. You have to do your homework. And a lot of it. It probably doesn’t pay very well by the hour for the amount of time you spend. But it’s fun and it keeps your brain sharp.”

Grantham recounts his best scores ever as being a Pick 6 and Pick 4 at Santa Anita that paid $900 and $2,000 respectively. His tickets for each bet were less than $20.

That’s handicapping.

Congratulations Earl!
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting 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
  • Nor-Villa Motor Hotel - 1763 Henderson Hwy
  • Club 3D - 3317 Portage Avenue
  • Wager 24/7 at
In The News
Former top ASD trainer wins 6 races in past week on way to best season ever
Sahin Civaci guides II Malocchio to victory for trainer Marty Drexler in the $150,000 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine. (Woodbine/Michael Burns Photo)
With the temperature dropping and snowflakes in the air, the Martin Drexler barn has been heating up. Not only did he win the recent Maple Leaf Stakes (G3) with longshot Il Malocchio, his team also sent out six winners last week including three on Sunday, November 13. Drexler’s 69 wins in North America this year are the most he has ever had in a single year and he also has set a personal record for purse earnings at $2.3 million. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
First full-time female track announcer in the United States
Jessica Paquette preparing for her first day as track announcer at Parx Racing on Nov. 15, 2022. Paquette is the first full-time female announcer in the United States. (Nikki Sherman/EQUI-PHOTO)
Jessica Paquette has become the first full-time female track announcer in the United States. As she succeeds Chris Griffin on the microphone at Parx Racing, this self-styled "weird horse girl" is living another one of her dreams and inspiring the next generation to pursue theirs as well. Congratulations Jessica! More from America's Best Racing here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht lead the "I Won Bigg" betting group every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza. This week the group will be looking at Woodbine and Del Mar. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it out? Email Larry at
Carryover Watch
  • Parx (November 21) - Pick 5 Jackpot carryover $337,266
  • Aqueduct (November 18) - Pick 5 carryover $172,117
  • Del Mar (November 18) - Pick 6 Jackpot carryover $114,663
  • Woodbine (November 18) - Pick 6 Jackpot carryover $89,860

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 11
Saints over Rams (Sunday noon): This game will be terrible, but I figured I would write about it anyway. The Saints are a mess, and the Rams are an even bigger mess, so I’m just going to call this the “Underachieving Messy Bowl” Game of the Week. Rams superstar receiver, Cooper Kupp, the ONE guy on the team that actually does anything, was injured and will miss a minimum of a month, but depending on where the Rams are at that point, he may just be shut down for the rest of the season. They say he suffered an ankle injury, but I personally believe that his lower back finally gave out, after having to carry the whole team on it all season. The Rams already couldn’t run the ball very effectively and now they’re going to struggle to throw the ball in Kupps absence. Saints coach Dennis Allen for whatever reason refuses to make a quarterback change despite the fact that Andy Dalton is playing some of the worst football I have ever seen. When he gets fired at the end of the year, I don’t think one person will be surprised based on his decision making. 
Vikings over Cowboys (Sunday afternoon): Two words… Justin Jefferson, that is all. 
49ers over Cardinals (Monday night from Mexico!): The final game in the NFL’s international series, the 49ers and Cardinals will head to Mexico City, Mexico for a divisional matchup. The game is being held in Estadio Azteca, one of the most famous soccer stadiums in the entire world, and it’s also 7,200 feet above sea level. To prepare for the high altitude, the 49ers have been practicing in Denver Colorado at the Air Force Academy, which has an elevation of 6,600 feet. Cardinals backup quarterback Colt McCoy filled in nicely for the injured Kyler Murray against the Rams last week and it’s yet to be determined if Murray will be ready to play in this game while nursing a hamstring injury. At the slight chance that Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury reads the ASD Inside Track on his days off, I’m going to give him a few words of advice, do not put Kyler out there unless he is 100% healthy, because if he isn’t, that means he won’t be able to run like he normally does, and the 49ers defense will turn him into Carne Asada and feast on him for dinner. 
Grey Cup Bonus Pick (Sunday evening): Bombers over Argos. Congratulations to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for making their 3rd straight Grey Cup appearance after defeating Nathan Rourke (who will be working out for NFL teams next week) and the BC Lions. They will be seeing a familiar face on the other side of the field (Andrew Harris) which might give them just a little more incentive to really stick it to the Argos. 
Last week (2-1)
Overall (20-10) 
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
Jockey Bobby Stewart aboard Nice Dancer following his July 15, 1972 win in the Manitoba Derby. Hard to believe that 50 years have passed since Bobby got his first and only Derby win. Nice Dancer was a multiple stakes-winning son of Northern Dancer and was owned in partnership by Tom Morton and Winnipeg’s Dick Bonnycastle, the former owner and publisher of Harlequin Enterprises, the world’s largest publisher of the Harlequin Romance fiction franchise.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Saturday, June 29, 2019 marked the 60th running of the R. J. Speers Stakes. Did you know there were another 31 years of ‘The Speers’ that took place before the Downs opened its doors in 1958? Our favourite track historian, Bob has all the details of this 31-year period here. (From June 2019)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Dec. 10 - more info
  • 12 Days of Christmas Draws - Dec. 13 - Dec. 26 in the Club West Gaming Lounge
  • New Year's Eve Gala - Saturday, December 31 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
The Inside Track Archives
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