The Inside Track | Issue #22 | April 7, 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.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Groom School Attracts 11
  • Maracuja wins for Atras
  • Kenton Scramstad gone at 61
  • Snapshot in Time
  • Last Chance Kentucky Derby Odds
  • Photo of the Week: Tadaa baby!
  • Un Ojo finds Trouble
  • Weyburn wins Shackleton
  • 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).

  • Sunday, April 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 70+ talented local artisans and vendors will be showcasing their products at our second spring market.
  • Free admission and free parking

Our amazing brunches are back! From Certified Angus beef to all of your brunch favourites - we have you covered! Tickets are now on sale for Easter Brunch and Mother's Day Brunch.

EASTER BRUNCH: Sunday, April 17 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.

MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH: 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.

Both of these brunches are selling quickly so get your tickets today! Please note that there is no live racing on either of the above dates as live racing begins Victoria Day, Monday, May 23.

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 Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330. Click here for full race schedule.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Groom Wes Jaman shares a carrot with Manitoba-bred Spats in trainer Elton Dickey's barn. Spats is a 3-year-old daughter of Vengeful Wildcat and a full sister to 2021 J. W. Sifton Stakes winner Call The Cops. Could be a good one!
Groom School Attracts 11
Love of horses main requirement for success
The Groom School at Assiniboia Downs is off to a great start in 2022 with 11 new students on their way to a career with horses!

Manitoba HBPA Office Manager Shannon Dawley and veteran groom Leona Stahl report that nine females and two males enrolled in this year’s program, which was developed after consulting with trainers and previous Groom School graduates. This year’s participants are already working in the barns of trainers Wendy Anderson, Devon Gittens, Mike Nault and Tiffany Husbands.

“We go through all the basics with the students first,” said Dawley. “We get them off to a good start and then they go into the barn area for three weeks of hands-on training. At the end of that, they’re offered the opportunity to take an Equine First Aid Certification Program that goes through more horse health basics."

The program, which is run by the Manitoba HBPA and sponsored by the Province of Manitoba First Jobs Fund, offers paid on-the-job training for students between the ages of 16 and 29. The main requirement for success in the program? A love of horses.

Groom School graduate Wes Jaman verified that. Shown above with Spats, Jaman has now been grooming horses for 36-years. He spent the first 33 years working for trainer Lorna Gray, and the past three working for trainer Elton Dickey. He'll also be taking his trainer's test this year.

“Do what you love and love what you do,” said Jaman.

For more information on the Groom School program please contact Shannon Dawley at (204) 226-8486 or email [email protected].
Former ASD star Miss Imperial finishes third
Maracuja wins her 2022 debut for former ASD trainer Rob Atras at Oaklawn Park. (Blood Horse / Coady Photography)
Maracuja, the filly that gave former local trainer Rob Atras his first Grade 1 stakes victory in the 2021 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga, made her 2022 debut a successful one with a victory in a $100,000 optional claimer at Oaklawn Park on April 1. More on that victory from the Blood Horse here.

Interestingly, the horse that finished third in the race was former ASD star Miss Imperial, who was claimed from trainer Murray Duncan on December 12, 2021 for $50,000 by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Miss Imperial has yet to win for Hollendorfer in four starts, but she has run some strong races.

Duncan recently spent a bit of the money Miss Imperial was claimed for, haltering 4-year-old Uncle Mo's Cat for $20,000 on March 18, 2022 for himself and the Estate of Garylle B. Stewart. Over the past decade, Duncan has turned a steady procession of Oaklawn Park claims into champions locally. Will Uncle's Mo's Cat be another?
Selkirk born and raised trainer had an unbridled enthusiasm for horse racing
Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of former ASD trainer Kenton Scramstad, who passed away at the age of 61 on March 30, 2022. Read obituary here.

The son of longtime ASD trainer Harold Scramstad and brother to trainer Les, Kent was a big lovable bear with a heart of gold. Born and raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, Kent had held a trainer's licence at the Downs since 2000. His most notable horse was Cash Converter, who he claimed on September 30, 2000 for $3,500. Cash Converter won six races for Kent from from 2000 to 2006 and also finished second and third nine times.

According to Official Equibase Stats, Kent compiled a record of 20-24-30 from 256 starts for purse earnings of $143,391, but it was never really about the money for him. When he was preparing his horse for a race, there was always a sparkle in his eye and a jump to his step, an unbridled enthusiasm.

For the love of the game.
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
We have a rare photo of June Too for you this week. June who? You'll see!

June Too would never be remembered for her record on the track. She had only one win from 14 starts, and it came right here at the Downs. But this young lady broke her maiden with ease and had a world of potential. She made her second lifetime start in the Osiris Plate, but the track was a sloppy and "June" was slipping and sliding throughout.

The result? She finished up the track and never regained her form. She tried racing down east without success, so it was off to a career as a broodmare. Her first born was a daughter whose name you’ll probably all remember... Liz’s Pride. 

In 1978 Liz’s Pride won all eight of her starts at the Downs and was named the top 2-year-old filly in Canada. In doing so she became the first Sovereign Award winner that was bred in Manitoba. Nice work Mom! (Gerry Hart photo)
Handicapper's Corner
Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5 Offers Good Value
UAE Derby winner Crown Pride, owned by the same Japanese family that bought Manitoba-bred millionaire Escape Clause, is 50-1 in Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 5. (Dubai Racing Club photo.)
Betting on Pool 5 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) begins Thursday at 11 a.m. and ends Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Nine of the betting interests in KDFW Pool 5 are expected to run Saturday, so now’s your chance to lock in a price better than you’ll get on Kentucky Derby Day.
The final three major Kentucky Derby (G1) preps take place this Saturday, April 9, and include the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct and the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
Pool 5 of the KDFW features 24 betting interests and the 5-1 early morning line favourite is Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Epicenter, who started out at 52-1 in Pool 1 of the KDFW, dropped to 24-1 in Pools 2 and 3, and moved to 13-1 in Pool 4.
With so many speed horses and pressers headed for the 2022 Kentucky Derby, a few longshot closers in the pool are enticing, including Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up Barber Road (30-1) and Rebel Stakes (G2) runner-up Ethereal Road (50-1).
Others worth a second look at better-than-they-should-be odds include UAE Derby winner Crown Pride (50-1) and Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (12-1). Crown Pride is owned by the same Japanese family that bought Manitoba-bred millionaire mare Escape Clause, and the success of the Japanese-based horses in last year’s Breeders’ Cup make this horse worthy of further analysis. Cyberknife looked good winning the Arkansas Derby and might be the wise guy horse on Derby Day.
KDFW interests expected to run in the Derby preps this Saturday include Early Voting (Wood Memorial), Ethereal Road (Blue Grass), Forbidden Kingdom (Santa Anita Derby), In Due Time (Blue Grass or Wood Memorial), Messier (Santa Anita Derby), Mo Donegal (Wood Memorial), Morello (Wood Memorial), Smile Happy (Blue Grass) and Zandon (Blue Grass).
A win by any of the above would probably make them worth a play in KDFW Pool 5. You have to place your wager before those races run, but that's why you get such great odds! The field (all other 3-year-olds) has been listed at 15-1. See the full list of KDFW Pool 5 horses with odds and free Brisnet past performances here.
Good luck!
Photo of the Week
Thanks to Sherisse Ziprick of Ziprick Thoroughbreds for this snap of a young foal by Speculating out of multiple stakes winner Tadaa. Owned by Barry Arnason. Gorgeous!
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to [email protected].
In The News
One-eyed gelding has scrapes, stiffness after hitting rail in Arkansas Derby
Un Ojo, shown here winning the Rebel Stakes on February 26, got slammed into the rail on the final turn during last Saturday's Arkansas Derby and lost all chance. Make sure to watch the head-on replay on He could be your Kentucky Derby longshot. (Coady Photography)
One-eyed New York State-bred gelding Un Ojo  came out of a tumultuous eighth-place finish in the Arkansas Derby with some shoulder scrapes and stiffness but remains on course for a start in the May 7 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). Details on the rough trip from the Blood Horse here.
Chiefswood Stables' Ontario-bred colt posts 102 Beyer Speed Figure at Gulfstream
In his first race as a 4-year-old, Ontario-bred Weyburn took the Sir Shackleton Stakes at seven furlongs at Gulfstream on April 2. (Gulfstream Park Photo)
At about this time a year ago, Canadian-bred Weyburn was fresh off a win at 46-to-1 in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. A year later, he came off a six-month layoff to win the $100,000 Sir Shackleton Stakes at Gulfstream Park with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Apr. 7 thru Apr. 9 - Derby Future Wager
  • Apr. 9 - Wood Memorial (Aqu)
  • Apr. 9 - Blue Grass (Kee)
  • Apr. 9 - Santa Anita Derby
  • Apr. 16 - Lexington (Kee)
  • May 7 - Kentucky Derby (CD)

Full list of Kentucky Derby prep races here.
Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Carryover Watch & Programs
  • Santa Anita (Apr. 8) - Jackpot Pick 6 - $221,198
  • Parx (Apr. 11) - Jackpot Pick 5 - $203,005
  • Fonner (Apr. 8) - Jackpot Pick 5 - $117,546
  • Turf Paradise (Apr. 7) - Jackpot Pick 6 - $83,263
  • See all carryovers here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse
After a promising start to the pick 6 at Santa Anita, the group lost out on the last race. A small return came on the early pick 5 from Santa Anita, however, their Tampa Bay tickets were cancelled due to a lightning stoppage.

Tampa and Santa Anita will be the tracks of choice again this Saturday. Everyone welcome. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

June 6, 1976 was a date that will never be forgotten by those who were at the ASD on the fateful day when a prairie storm wreaked havoc on the Downs. I was there. Read about it here. (From April 2022)
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to [email protected].
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