ASSINIBOIA DOWNS
The Inside Track | Issue #17 | March 3, 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?
  • New Groom Training Program
  • A Snapshot in Time
  • Longshots rule stakes
  • Photo of the Week
  • Drexler does good
  • Derby Bubble Watch
  • 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.
MONDAY MARCH MADNESS - 4% cash back on all eligible wagering Mondays in March. Minimum wagered $100 (each Monday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Monday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
ASD SUNDAY MARKETS ARE BACK

  • Sunday, March 20 & Sunday, April 10
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • 60+ talented local aritsans and vendors will be showcasing their products
  • Free admission and free parking
MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH

  • Sunday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Brunch highlights include Certified Angus Prime Rib, seafood table, omelettes, eggs benedict, and all your brunch favourites. And, lets not forget about the full dessert table! Click here for full menu.
  • Adults, $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under, $9.95.
  • For tickets call 204-885-3330. Pleae note that there is no live racing this day.
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.
STEAK & RIB 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.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
New Groom Training Program
Love animals? Need a job? Horses might be a perfect fit!
Former Assiniboia Downs Groom of the Year Jaydean Lamothe.
Looking for a “stable” job? Do you love animals, but need some experience with horses? The Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Manitoba (HBPA) might have just the program you’re looking for.
 
The HBPA has a four-week program with a tentative start date of March 14, that is designed to teach, train and support candidates interested in working with racehorses. The program is available free of charge and no experience is necessary, although an interest or love of horses is a definite asset.
 
Of course, working with horses requires physical work, which has the added benefit of keeping you in good shape, but it’s so much more than that. Grooms are the most important part of a horse’s life at the track.
 
Not only does a groom perform all physical tasks related to caring for a horse at the track, which include but are not limited to bathing, grooming, saddling, feeding, walking and stall cleaning – they are also the horse’s constant companion – and their best friend.
 
Racehorses receive some of the best care in the world, and grooms that can lovingly attend to their physical and psychological needs receive the same treatment in-kind from their horses. If you love a horse, they will definitely love you back. If you’re an animal person, you already knew that.

There are few things more satisfying than watching a horse you care for run their heart out for you. Leading them into the winner's circle is an added bonus. It just feels special.

Happy horses run faster.
 
For more information please email Shannon at hbpamanitoba@mts.net.
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
How many of you recognize this record-setting jockey? He only rode at ASD for one full season, due in part to injuries and personal circumstances, but what an impact young Jim Sorenson made on the Downs in 1976. Jim hailed from Minnesota and won the leading rider title at ASD that year with 85 trips to the winner's circle. 

In the process of capturing the title, Jim lit up the tote board on June 23, 1976, winning seven of the nine races on the card. In doing so he bettered the previous single-card win record of six wins on an 8-race card, set by Bobby Stewart on June 16, 1971.

Only one of Jim’s winners was sent postward as the betting favourite on June 23, and his seventh winner, Deacon Road, paid $30.30 when he won the final race of the evening. Not a bad night’s work! And quite possibly, a record that may never be broken. Gerry Hart photo.
Handicapper's Corner
Were Huge Longshots Bettable?
Saudi Cup and Rebel Stakes winners both had solid angles
Emblem Road in the winner's circle after winning the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1). He paid $229.20 to win. Saudi Cup photo.
Two huge longshots won major graded stakes last Saturday, but the angles were there for all to see. Sure it’s easy to figure out why a horse won after a race, but in both cases these horses had to be rated as legitimate longshot contenders.

Emblem Road was 99-1 on the tote board in the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) last Saturday and paid $229.20 to win. The improving 4-year-old by multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Quality Road was moving up in class and stretching out to a distance he’d never run before, but he was also coming into the race off two straight wins over the K. Abdulaziz track, where the Saudi Cup was run.

Emblem Road's overall record on the K. Abdulaziz track was 5-1-1 from seven starts and he’d won the King Faisal Cup Stakes over the surface in his most recent start. In other words, he was a horse-for-course at his home track in sharp form, and he was worth considering for at least a small play at huge odds.

Un Ojo was 75-1 in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, and he paid $152.80 to win. The improving 3-year-old by Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) winner Laoban was coming into the Rebel off a second-place finish in the Withers Stakes (G3) in which the lone-speed winner gave the field the slip on the final turn and coasted home to win by 4 ½-lengths.

The runaway winner made Un Ojo’s determined last-to-second rally in the Withers look less impressive on paper than it actually was. He was going to need some pace to run at in the Rebel, but it appeared he would get it. At 12-1 on the morning line and 75-1 at post time, he was a huge overlay also worth taking a small chance on.

The horse-for-course angle always makes a horse worth an extra look, and 3-year-olds can improve sharply as they make their way towards the Kentucky Derby. Spotting slight signs of impending improvement in 3-year-olds on the Road to the Derby can result in big payoffs, especially when everyone is overbetting the hot horse.

The second and third place finishers in the Rebel Stakes, Ethereal Road (15-1) and Barber Road (6-1), also had reasons to improve. Barber Road was wide in his previous race, the Southwest Stakes (G3), and finished well. Ethereal Road had stumbled at the break and made a nice move into the turn in his previous race to break his maiden. Additionally, Ethereal Road is a half brother to Turned Aside, who won the Quick Call Stakes (G3) sprinting on the turf at Saratoga. Class and speed.

Any time you can map a good move or a sign of improvement back to something in the pedigree, you’ve got even more reasons to play at big odds.

Watch closely.
Photo of the Week
Meet Benroy! The 4-year-old gelding by Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Bodemeister earned over $13,000 last year for the Assiniboia Racing Club (ARC) with a win, two seconds and three thirds. He'll be hoping to improve on that record this year and is all set to move into trainer Devon Gittens barn at the track for spring training. Watch for him on the track and say hi!

The ARC now has 52 ownership partners, but there is room for a few more. For more information please contact ARC manager John Field at ttjfield99@hotmail.com or call (204) 293-0623. Photo by Maddy Derksen.
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to theinsidetrack@ASDowns.com.
In The News
Former top ASD trainer off to strong start at Gulfstream Park
Former ASD leading trainer Marty Drexler (far right) shown here last summer after winning with Manitoba-owned Artie at Woodbine. Will Wong photo.
Trainer Marty Drexler, who led the trainer standings at ASD in 2007 before going on to success at Woodbine, is now continuing to live his dream in Florida.The 51-year-old native of Slovakia is running horses at Gulfstream Park for the first time – and doing pretty good at it, too – while fulfilling an ambition that began in his teens. More from the Daily Racing Form here.
How Much Did The Rebel Shake Up The Rankings?
Longshot Un Ojo wins the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park last Saturday at odds of 75-1! Paulick Report / Coady Photography.
We're less than three months away from the first Saturday in May, which means it's time for a more detailed look at the horses that could fill the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Update from Andrew Champagne of Catena Media and The Saratogian's Pink Sheet. More from the Paulick Report here.
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Mar. 5 - John Battaglia - Turfway
  • Mar. 5 - Fountain of Youth - Gulfstream
  • Mar. 5 - Gotham - Aqueduct
  • Mar. 5 - San Felipe - Santa Anita
  • Mar. 12 - Tampa Bay Derby

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

Please note that the Friday card from Santa Anita has been moved to Monday due to rain in the forecast.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
The group will be meeting Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza. Discussions will centre around how the group bets are being constructed going forward. Tampa Bay, Gulfstream and Santa Anita will be played this week. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week I share a personal memory of Downs’ patriarch, A. E. "Bert" Blake. A few years ago, Blake gave me a photo of a horse that had been on the wall of his tack room for five decades. The horse was Pagan Star, who was the all-time western Canadian money winner in the early 1950s. Pagan who? Read the story of Blake’s gift and Pagan Star here. (From July 2020)
Feedback
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