The Inside Track | Issue #48 | October 7, 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
  • Grooms Recognized for Passion and Dedication
  • Antiques, Vintage and Collectables Sale
  • Partner Locations
  • Photo of the Week: Aniar Retires
  • Rough Rich Strike ride nets suspension
  • Queen's Plate/Oaks winner in E.P. Taylor
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 5 Predictions
  • Snapshot in Time - Dick Armstrong
  • The Best of Bob
  • 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.
5% CASH BACK ON KEENELAND - Wager $100 or more on Keeneland each of the following days: Friday, October 7, Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 and get 5% cash back. Maximum cash back is $25 for the promotion period. $2.10 wagers not included. Wagers must be placed on your HPI account. Opt in at

  • Saturday, October 15
  • Saturday, November 12
  • Saturday, December 10

Entry fee: $25. Bankroll: $60. Place 10 ($2 WPS) wagers on any North American harness or thoroughbred race that takes place on the contest day. You must have a Manitoba HPI account to participate. Deadline to enter is the Friday prior to each of the tournament dates by 4 p.m. Click here for entry form. Read full rules here.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs
The Club West Dining Room is open daily at 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. 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.
Sunday, October 9 from 11:30 a.m to 8 p.m.
  • Roast Turkey Breast and Leg
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Apple and Sage Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Carrots, Rutabaga, Peppers and Asparagus in butter
  • $19.95 per person plus taxes
  • Add Pumpkin Pie for $3.95 or Apple Pie for $4.95
  • Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Grooms Recognized for Passion and Dedication
HBPA Groom School produces numerous top grooms for trainers
2022 Groom of the Year Richie Ricketts with Manitoba-bred multiple champion and stakes winner Hidden Grace. (Jason Halstead photo)
The HBPA presented a number of awards at the end of the 2022 season, including those for First Year Groom of the Year and Groom of the Year.
Grooms are the most important part of a horse’s life at the track. They spend more time with the horses than any other person, and the horses depend on them not only for their physical care, but also for their mental well being.
As with any athletic endeavour, horse racing is tough, and having a loving groom as a loyal companion and caregiver can not only make the difference between winning and losing, but also in making sure the horse has an enjoyable life at the track.
Horses know when they win, and they know when they lose. They need comforting after a loss, especially after they have run their hearts out for their human connections. And like anything else in life, winning is much more enjoyable when celebrated with friends.
A good groom is a horse’s best friend.
HBPA Office Manager Shannon Dawley (right) presents the First Year Groom of the Year Award to Skyla Blanchard. (Jason Halstead photo)
First Year Groom of the Year Award
All three of the nominees for the First Year Groom of the Year Award were graduates of the HBPA Groom School, which was sponsored by the provincial government. All nominees were deserving of an award for their continued growth. The nominees and the trainers they worked for in brackets were:
  • Skyla Blanchard (Devon Gittens)
  • Megan Gale (Jennifer Jordan)
  • Meadow McLean (Wendy Anderson)
Winner: Skyla Blanchard
Congratulations Skyla!
HBPA Office Manager Shannon Dawley (right) presents the Open Groom / Swing Groom of the Year Award to Cameron Delaronde (represented by his father Lee Delaronde). (Jason Halstead photo)
Groom of the Year Award
The nominations for the Groom of the Year Award were all veterans of the backstretch and would be much sought-after additions to any stable. Two winners were chosen this season, and another category was added. 
Selecting a winner was extremely difficult. All nominees deserve recognition for their continued hard work, dedication to the sport and their willingness to help out fellow grooms by sharing their knowledge and experience.
Groom of the Year Nominees

  • Sue Crane (Jared Brown)
  • Cameron Delaronde (Lee Delaronde, Clint Willson)
  • Garry Gamble (Tom Gardipy)
  • Charlotte Johnson (Mike Nault)
  • Jaydean Lamothe (Wendy Anderson)
  • Effiean "Richie" Ricketts (Lise Pruitt)
  • KC Ursel (Carl Anderson)
Congratulations to all the nominees!
Groom of the Year Winner: Effeian “Richie” Ricketts
Richie has been grooming horses since he was 14 years old. Now 41, he began his career in Jamaica and got his start locally with former trainer Emile Corbel. He has worked the past two seasons for trainer Lise Pruitt, grooming champions including Hidden Grace and Melisandre, and is a valuable member of Lise's racing team. Richie also helps out others on race nights when he is able. 
Open Groom / Swing Groom of the Year Winner: Cameron Delaronde
Cameron Delaronde has been officially grooming for the past three years. Working for his father Lee Delaronde in a smaller stable has allowed him time to help numerous trainers both in the mornings and on race nights. Cameron has now returned to Saskatchewan to continue his University studies in power engineering.
Congratulations Richie and Cameron! 
Watch and wager at one of our partner 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
Photo of the Week
Aniar walks into retirement with groom Beth Penton after finishing fourth in the final race of his career, and the final race of the 2022 season at ASD. The classy 11-year-old gelding had his picture taken one last time in the winner's circle with race winner and stablemate Bitethebulletbro after the race. Aniar won the Manitoba Mile Stakes in 2017 for trainer Tom Gardipy Jr. and compiled a record of 18-18-13 from 80 starts for earnings of $178,610. We wish him the very best in his retirement! (Jason Halstead photo)
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email us at
In The News
Migliore Doesn’t Believe Sonny Leon’s Saddle Slipped in Lukas Classic
Jockey Sonny Leon aboard Rich Strike (left) elbows Tyler Gaffalione and Hot Rod Charlie in the stretch run of the Grade II Lukas Classic. (Equi-Sport Photos)
Jockey Sonny Leon has been suspended for 15 days after the ride he gave Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike in Saturday's Lukas Classic (G2) at Churchill Downs, though Leon told media after the race that his left-leaning position was due to the saddle slipping. Rich Strike was beaten to the wire by Hot Rod Charlie and jockey Tyler Gaffalione. More from the Paulick Report here.
Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks winner will try turf and older horses in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine on Oct. 8
Rafael Hernandez guides Moira to victory in the Woodbine Oaks. (Woodbine/ Michael Burns Photo)
Nine fillies and mares, including Queen’s Plate/Woodbine Oaks winner Moira, will go after the top prize in the $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes (G1) as part of a stellar stakes-filled card of racing this Saturday at Woodbine. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse for group ticket discussions on Woodbine. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it out? Email Larry at
Carryover Watch
  • Belmont at the Big A (October 7) - Pick 6 carryover $207,748
  • Woodbine (October 7) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $190,997
  • Santa Anita (October 7) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $98,692

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 5
Bills over Steelers (Sunday noon): I’m not sure what the Steelers thought they were getting when they signed Mitch Trubisky in the off season to be their starting QB. All they had to do was watch how he played in Chicago a few years ago and that should have been enough for them to steer clear of him. After three subpar starts, Coach Mike Tomlin finally pulled the trigger and put in rookie QB Kenny Pickett to try and jump start the offense. It was a mixed bag of results for the young signal caller (two rushing touchdowns, three interceptions) but he clearly gave the fans something to get excited about. He’s going to have another tough task against one of the top ranked defenses in the Buffalo Bills this week. After being down 20-3 at halftime, Josh Allen showed why he is the MVP frontrunner, putting up 20 unanswered points and getting the 23-20 come from behind victory against the Ravens. 
Bucs over Falcons (Sunday noon):  Even though Tom Brady got most of his offensive weapons back last week (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones), they didn’t quite have the firepower to match the Kansas City Chiefs, losing 41-31. More surprisingly, the Bucs defense didn’t really show up. They gave up 41 points and didn't have any answers that could slow down Patrick Mahomes. I don’t think they have to worry about that this week facing a Falcons team that only managed to complete seven passes in their game against the Cleveland Browns. The Falcons will also be without their do-it-all running back Cordarrelle Patterson for the next four weeks. Look for the Bucs to bounce back in a big way and get back on track here. I’m predicting a double-digit victory. 
Eagles over Cardinals (Sunday afternoon): The only undefeated team left standing, the Eagles showed that even being down 14-0 right off the bat, they have the firepower to erase a two-touchdown deficit in a matter of moments. QB Jalen Hurts is trying to stake his claim as to why he should be involved in the MVP chatter along with Josh Allen. This might be what some consider to be a trap game, as the Eagles have a huge divisional matchup with the suddenly hot Dallas Cowboys next week. So looking past the Cardinals could be a mistake. Speaking of the Cardinals, they are one of the worst 2-2 teams in the league. Both their wins came against opponents with a combined record of 2-6 and it seems like they only play decent when they are coming from behind. This is just a very bad matchup for the Cardinals. Expect the Eagles to stay undefeated.  
Last week (3-0)
Overall (7-5) 
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
This week's Snapshot in Time features Dick Armstrong. “Dickie” as he was so often called, won 48 races in 1962 to capture the title. He would win three more titles in the next five seasons – 1964 (59 wins), 1965 (37 wins) and 1967 (71 wins). His 71 wins came in a season in which the Downs raced 56 days. Always a fan favourite, Dick moved east following the conclusion of the 1969 season, but not before he became the Downs all-time leading jock. (Gerry Hart photo).
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

How about a game of Who Am I? This history blog celebrates the life of a man who played eight seasons in the NHL and all of them for one team. He won the Stanley Cup, an AVCO Cup, the Little Brown Jug and he's in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Oops, almost forgot, he was a member of the exalted 1972 Team Canada and he still found time to leave his footprints at Assiniboia Downs. Who's your best guess? Click here for the reveal.
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Antique Show - Saturday, Oct. 8 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - more info
  • Thanksgiving Plated Dinner Special - Sunday, Oct. 9 - more info - SOLD OUT
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Oct. 15 - more info
  • Manitoba Art Expo - Friday, October 21 thru Sunday, Oct. 23 - more info
  • Wpg 19+ Adult Expo & Market - Friday, Oct. 28 & Saturday, Oct. 29 - more info
  • Breeders' Cup from Keeneland - Friday, Nov. 4 & Saturday, Nov. 5 - more info
  • Inspiration Craft Market - Friday Nov. 4 & Saturday, Nov. 5 - more info
  • Inspiration Craft Market - Friday, Nov. 11 & Saturday, Nov. 12 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Nov.12 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Dec. 10 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
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