ASSINIBOIA DOWNS
The Inside Track | Issue #15 | Feb. 17, 2022
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Full immunization and government issued I.D. required to attend Assiniboia Downs.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • The Making of a Stallion
  • A Snapshot in Time
  • Money Secrets at the Racetrack
  • Photo of the Week
  • Escape Clause rival has first foal
  • Confusion Reigns in Derby preps
  • Super Bowl recap with TravyFootball
  • 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 throughout the afternoon and evening.

HOLIDAY MONDAY SPIN TO WIN - Spin to Win draws continue on Louis Riel Day Monday, Feb. 21. Enter at the VLT cage and your name may be drawn to Spin the Wheel for up to $100 cash. Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
TUESDAYS ARE TREMENDOUS IN FEBRUARY - 5% cash back on all eligible wagering every Tuesday in February. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Tuesday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).

LOUIS RIEL CASH BACK BONUS - Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagering holiday Monday, Feb. 21. Minimum wagered $100. Maximum deposit $25. Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
FRIDAY & SATURDAY DINNER 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.
PLAYER CHOICE HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENT - $1,750 is up for grabs in Saturday's Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament. The deadline to enter is tomorrow (Friday, February 18) at 4 p.m. Click here for rules and entry form.
PLAYER REWARDS DEADLINE - You have until February 28, 2022 to use up your old Player Rewards points. Points can be used for program and DRF purchases from the kiosks, food and beverage purchases or entry into monthly handicapping contests.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
The Making of a Stallion
4-Time Leading Manitoba Sire Going Commando
Going Commando, the most successful stallion in the history of Manitoba horse racing, is now enjoying his retirement at Cam Ziprick's farm in Russell, Manitoba.
There’s a chance that the most successful sire in the history of Manitoba horse racing might only breed one mare this year. He's 22-years-old now. But what a stud career Going Commando has had!

The son of Florida Derby (G1) winner Unbridled’s Song out of Colleen Stakes winner Regal Miss Copelan always had enough pedigree to make it as a stallion locally. Not only is he a winning half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Rockport Harbor, but his pedigree made the news again last year when a daughter of his dam’s half-sister Patti’s Regal Song, Maracuja, won the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) for former local trainer Rob Atras.

Funny how things connect in the horse world.

The leading sire in Manitoba four times, Going Commando started his stud career in Manitoba in 2005 and has so far sired 50 winners including stakes winners and champions Escape Clause, Hidden Grace, Melisandre, Why So Blue, Nose the Pose, She’s Regal and more.

Escape Clause earned over a million dollars and won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s Champion Older Female in 2018. Hidden Grace has earned over $250,000 and her full-sister Melisandre is a perfect 8-for-8. Why So Blue, Nose the Pose and She’s Regal were all local champions.
Going Commando's daughter Escape Clause (inside) takes North America's richest race mare, Midnight Bisou, to a nose decision in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park. The best race ever run by a Manitoba-bred, and one of the gamest performances you'll ever see. Escape Clause was coming back at the wire. Click image to watch the replay. Coady Photography.
Why was Going Commando so successful? What does it take to create a leading sire in Manitoba?

“I’ve always believed you have to get them started yourself,” said breeder Cam Ziprick, who partnered on Going Commando with Charlie Fouillard. “If you’re buying a stud, you have to buy a bunch of good mares too. And that’s what they tell all the guys when they’re trying to get a stallion started.

“You buy the mares, you foal them out, you get them to the sale looking good and you promote them yourself. Any additional mares you pick up from the outside are just a bonus. If you’re going to be successful you have to do it on your own terms. That way you have some control over what the foals look like and what types of mares you breed.”

The money is in the Manitoba breeding bonuses according to Ziprick, but it takes a lot of investment, both time and money, to earn these bonuses.

“You have to go for quality over quantity and control the whole process all the way up to the Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale,” said Ziprick. “They have to be prepped properly. We’ve been very lucky to have success, but it’s required a substantial investment. Of all the breeding bonuses we’ve received over the years, most have come from our own mares.

“Our horses probably get four gallons each of grain per day, as well as good hay. If you leave the table full every day, you’re going to put weight on. And big paddocks for the young horses are so important. We have huge pastures for the mares and foals both at our place and at Charlie’s place. They have so much room to run, just like they have in Kentucky. That’s why they build such good bone and stay sound.”
Going Commando with breeder Cam Ziprick on their farm in Russell Manitoba. George Williams photo.
Although Going Commando may breed only one mare this year, a daughter of top broodmare sire Hard Spun that Ziprick claimed this past winter, his new runners could have a big year at the track in 2022.

“This year could be another great crop for him,” said Ziprick. “We sold some really high-end Going Commando yearlings at the Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale last year.”

But who can answer our last question? From the Magnificent 7 sires currently standing in Manitoba (See The Inside Track #6 for list), who is the heir apparent to Going Commando?
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
The Canada Day Handicap on July 1, 1981, marked the fourth time that Major Enterprise and Intercontinent would lock horns that season. The betting public made "The Major" the favourite, despite the fact that he had run second to Phil Kives’ Intercontinent in their three previous meetings. The outcome was the same however, with the star of Kives’ stable bettering The Major by three-quarters of a length. This image above shows Intercontinent with Ken “Hank” Hendricks in the irons, as they get ready to enter the winner’s circle. Gerry Hart photo.
Handicapper's Corner
Hint: It's not just about picking winners
According to author Barry Meadow, winning at the races is not just about picking winners, it's about making money by playing horses that pay more than they should and taking advantage of inefficiencies in the wagering pools.

Money Secrets at the Racetrack is an amazing money-management manual that exposes the myths that prevent players from winning, and explains how to make an odds line that you can use to exploit the crowd's errors.

This book will not teach you how to handicap or pick winners, but it will show you how to discover which horses and betting pools provide the best wagering value.

An even-money shot may not be a good bet in the win pool, but it may be an excellent bet in the place, show, Exacta, Daily Double, Pick 3 or Pick 4 pools. Includes exclusive charts you can take to the track with you to discover which pools provide the best value.

The path to profitability beckons.

Reminder: Handicapping Contest this weekend! Enter by 4 p.m. Friday.
Photo of the Week
Furry youngsters! A happy, healthy quartet of yearlings at Cam Ziprick's farm in Russell Manitoba. L to R: colt by Kentucky Bear-Frisky Janelle, filly by Going Commando-Sweet Tizzy Lizzy, colt by Kentucky Bear-She's Regal and colt by Kentucky Bear-Pillow Book. Coming soon to a racetrack near you! George Williams photo.
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to theinsidetrack@ASDowns.com.
In The News
Foal has strong resemblance to her dam, who defeated Escape Clause
Midnight Bisou nuzzles her recently born colt by Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin. Photo courtesy of Hill 'n' Dale Farms.
Champion Midnight Bisou, the fabulous race mare that defeated Manitoba-bred superstar Escape Clause by a nose in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), recently delivered her first foal, a colt by Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner and champion sire Curlin. The colt has a striking resemblance to his mother. Could he grow up to face one of Escape Clause's foals and turn the tables? Just imagine... More from the Blood Horse here.
Derby Trail starting to heat up, Risen Star Stakes Saturday
Until we get past Saturday’s tantalizing Risen Star Stakes, confusion will reign over the Derby Trail. It says a lot about the state of this year’s Derby Trail when the most informative race took place last year. Sit tight for another week. That’s when the fireworks begin. Steve Haskin always has an excellent in-depth analysis of the contenders on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Read his Derby Dozen at Secretariat.com.
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Feb. 19 - Risen Star - Fair Grounds
  • Feb. 26 - Rebel - Oaklawn
  • Mar. 5 - John Battaglia - Turfway
  • Mar. 5 - Fountain of Youth - Gulfstream
  • Mar. 5 - Gotham - Aqueduct
  • Mar. 5 - San Felipe - Santa Anita

Full list of Kentucky Derby prep races here.
Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Carryover Watch & Programs
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
SATURDAY GROUP PLAY: The group will be playing Santa Anita again this week after a close miss last Saturday. Group discussions take play at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.

HOLIDAY MONDAY GROUP PLAY: Winnipeg Free Press columnist and multiple Sovereign Award winning writer George Williams will be the guest handicapper at Monday's 10:30 a.m. session. Everyone attending the Monday workshop will be entered to win a copy of the Skeptical Handicapper by Barry Meadow. You must be in attendance to win!
Top NFL Picks with TravyFootball: Super Bowl 56 Recap
Rams defeat Bengals 23-20: This Super Bowl may be remembered more for the amazing halftime show than the actual game itself, but nonetheless, 101 million people tuned in and the Los Angeles Rams were crowned champions.

I mentioned my three key factors that would determine the outcome of the game last week, and I think every one of them had an impact. Once again, Joe Burrow found himself running for his life after being sacked 7 times and pressured on 42% of his dropbacks. His average time to throw was 2.41 seconds, which basically means he was either getting rid of the ball very quick or the Rams defense was getting into the backfield constantly. MVP Cooper Kupp had another two-touchdown performance, and Matt Stafford, despite throwing a couple of bad interceptions, came through when it mattered the most. I would say congratulations to the Rams on winning, but I am still upset that they beat the 49ers.
 
It was an interesting 2021/2022 NFL season. For the first time in a while, there really wasn’t a “ Superior Team” like in years past. It felt like anyone could beat anyone on any given Sunday. Maybe it was just one of those seasons where parity played a factor. September can’t come fast enough when a new NFL year will kickoff, but in the meantime, for those of us wanting to get our football fix. Here are a few key dates:
 
  1. Saturday, April 16, 2022 - The USFL will begin play. An eight team spring league very loosely based off the league that ran in the '80s. The New Jersey Generals will take on the Birmingham Stallions. 
  2. Thursday, June 9, 2022 - The CFL returns at full capacity (I’m assuming) with the Montreal Alouettes taking on the Calgary Stampeders.

I will keep myself busy during the off season watching everything the NFL Network has to offer (Path to the Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Draft etc.). Plus on the weekends I'm still actively playing in my touch football league (https://www.pitfootball.com). It's all the glory of playing football and none of the pain of being hit or tackled.

Sometimes when I mentioned to people what time my games are played (start times can be as late as 12:45 AM), they ask why I would do such a thing, considering most people are in bed by then. The simple answer is, I just love football. 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Bob's blog this week? Let’s try a game of “Who Am I?” The late Bert Blake described this man as "one of the greatest horsemen to ever walk the prairies." Hint: He discovered and developed Sandy Hawley into a world class jockey. Learn his identity here. (From June 2017)
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