The Inside Track | Issue #59 | December 23, 2022
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
ASD Holiday Hours

  • Saturday, Dec. 24 - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 25 - Closed
  • Monday, Dec. 26 - 10 a.m. - 1 a.m.
ASD Gift Cards
Need a last minute Christmas gift?

ASD Gift Cards are available in any demonination and can be used for food and beverage purchases or merchandise from our Gift Shop. Available from the VLT cashier's cage any day from 10 a.m. through 1 a.m.

Get yours today!
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • 2023 Handicapping Tournaments
  • Dining at ASD
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance hosted by CJOB's Kathy Kennedy
  • 7 Memorable Races
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • Condolences to the Monroe Family
  • Trainer Diodoro Closes in on 3,000 Wins
  • Santa Anita Opening Day Tips and Trends
  • ASD Star Miss Imperial For Sale at Keeneland
  • "I Won Bigg" Betting Group
  • Snapshot in Time: Royal Chocolate
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 16 Predictions
  • The Best of Bob - A Racetracker's Night Before Christmas.
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
NEW VLT MACHINES ARE HERE! Check out our new VLT machines in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge. Open daily from 10 a.m. through 1 a.m.

Special promotions in our Clubwest Gaming Lounge:

  • Saturday, Dec. 24 & Monday, Dec. 26 - Enter to Pick an Ornament from the Christmas Tree for a chance to win up to $100. Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon. Complimentary snacks will be served at various times throughout the day.
  • Thursday, Dec. 29, Friday, Dec. 30, Saturday, Dec. 31 & Sunday, Jan. 1 - Enter for your chance to spin the wheel for up to $100. Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.

  • Saturday, January 21, 2023
  • Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • Saturday, April 16, 2023
  • Saturday, May 14, 2023

Entry fee: $25. Bankroll: $60. Place 10 ($2 WPS) wagers on any North American race that takes place on the contest day. You must have a Manitoba HPI account to participate. Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. the Friday before the tournament. For complete list of 2023 handicapping tournaments click here.

  • Monday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Dec. 23

Earn 1% cash back on all eligible wagers during our 12 Days of Christmas Cash Back Special. Wager a minimum of $1,000 during the above time period and receive a maximum of $100 cash back. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) You must opt-in at to be eligible for the promotion and all wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs

Friday, Dec. 23: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 24: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 25: Closed
Monday, Dec. 26: 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

  • Roast Turkey
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Apple, Onion & Tarragon Stuffing
  • Rutabaga, Carrots & Asparagus
  • Gravy & Cranberry Sauce
  • $24.95 per person
  • Add Pumpkin Pie & Whipped Cream or Apple Pie and Ice Cream for $4.95

Reservations required. Call 204-885-3330.
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

Limited tickets are still available. Get yours today!
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
7 Memorable Races
Need something to get you pumped up for opening day at Santa Anita on Boxing Day? The memorable races below should do the trick. And there's nothing better than watching a horse you can live vicariously through. Not only do the horses in the videos below all display the courage and talent we'd all love to own, but they have that extraordinary charisma that attracts you to the game and keeps you coming back. These horses took the sport to another level, and we could watch these races over and over. How about you?

If you've got a favourite race, a favourite horse, please let us know, and why! Enjoy!
Secretariat Wins 1973 Belmont Stakes by 31 Lengths
Secretariat's 31-length victory in the 1973 Belmont Stakes made him the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and is regarded as the greatest single performance in the history of horse racing. He ran every quarter in the race faster than the previous one and set a track record of 2:24, which still stands as the fastest 1 1/2-miles ever run in North America. Video courtesy of NYRA here.
Seattle Slew Runs the Best Race of His Career in Defeat
Two Triple Crown winners met for the first time in history in the 1978 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The race lived up to all expectations, and is widely regarded as the best race Seattle Slew ever ran. 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew got the best of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed after a sizzling duel through six furlongs in 1:09 2/5, but was passed by Exceller in the stretch. Watch the horse that absolutely hated to lose come back at the wire here.
John Henry Beats Star-Studded Field in Jockey Club Gold Cup
In one of the best race calls you'll ever hear, John Henry took on a stellar field of Grade 1 winners that included a Belmont Stakes winner, a track record holder, a champion mare and a former claimer named Peat Moss, among others. Originally purchased for $1,100 and once a $20,000 claimer, John Henry just holds on to defeat the longest shot on the board on his way to being named Champion Older Male, Champion Turf Horse and Horse of the Year. Watch it here.
The "incomparable, the invincible, the unbeatable Cigar!"
Cigar was in the middle of a win streak that would tie the record for the longest winning sequence by a major American stakes horse since Citation (who won 16 in a row in 1948 and 1950) when he won the 1995 Jockey Club Gold Cup to complete a perfect 10-for-10 season. He won a record eight Grade I events that year, a single-season record equalled only by Lady's Secret in 1986, and set a single-season earnings record of $4,819,800. But it was the way he cocked his head to the right in the stretch at crunch time in all his races, that always got us. It was if he was saying, "Ok boys, let's go!" See it action here.
Arrogate Stirs Memories of Secretariat in Dubai World Cup
Arrogate was already being compared to Secretariat before he ran in the 2017 Dubai World Cup. He came into the race with six straight victories including the Travers Stakes, the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Pegasus World Cup Invitational. Then he got slammed at the break and dropped back to last. One of the best performances we've ever seen by a thoroughbred, it took the Secretariat comparisons to the next level. See why here.
Zenyatta Becomes First Female to Win Breeders' Cup Classic
Not only did Zenyatta become the first female to win the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2009, she was also undefeated at the time with 13 straight wins. One of the greatest mares in the history of the horse racing, the throwback amazon would extend her winning streak to 19 before losing her 20th start in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic by a diminishing nose. Watch the 2009 win here, and follow it up with her heartbreaking loss in 2010 here, which might have been the best race of her career.
"The Move." Secretariat in the 1973 Preakness Stakes.
Secretariat gets two spots on our list, not only because he was the most talented race horse in history that set track records almost every time he ran, but because of this early move in the 1973 Preakness Stakes. While the move Arazi made in the 1991 Breeders' Cup Juvenile is often compared to Secretariat's famous move, it came late in that race. Secretariat's dramatic and stunning rush to the lead came early in the Preakness and he kept going to set one of his many track records. A must watch for any racing fan, as you may never, ever, see a move like this again in a high class race. Watch it here.
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:


Milo Monroe (pictured here with Track Historian Bob Gates) passed away on December 17 at the age of 79 with his loving wife Lois by his side. Milo spent 14 years training horses at Assiniboia Downs. He obtained his trainer's license in 1961 (age 17) and was the youngest trainer in Manitoba history thanks to Captain Stanley Harrison. Milo along with his father George would have horses at ASD from 1959-1983 and from 1990-1996. The Monroe family had winners in five decades at the Downs, including stable star Munnie Award, who won three stakes races. (Fleur De Lis Stakes 1972, Buffalo Stakes 1972, J.W. Sifton Memorial Stakes 1973)

Quote from son Trevor (who is a member of the Assiniboia Racing Club/ARC): “My Dad is in a better place now. I’m sure he’s busy shoeing or galloping Yankee Captain or Munnie Award and talking with old friends Don Gray, Elery Scherbenske, or jock Bobby Stewart, who he used to compete against in the old county fair circuit. Parkinson’s took 14 years away from him. But knowing my father, he’s making up for every minute of it!” See full obituary here.
In The News
Record-setting Manitoba Derby winning trainer Robertino Diodoro is 13 victories away from win milestone at officially recognized racetracks
Robertino Diodoro with Oaklawn broadcaster Nancy Holthus last weekend after sending out Bal Harbour to win the Tinsel Stakes. (Oaklawn Park photo)
Four-time Manitoba Derby winning trainer Robertino Diodoro’s drive toward 3,000 career victories continued Saturday, December 17 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The theme was more of the same – claimed older horses climbing the class ladder in two-turn events. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Betting Preview: Tips, Trends to Follow at ‘The Great Race Place’
Horses break from the gate at the "Great Race Place" Santa Anita Park. (Santa Anita photo)
Horse racing fans get the holiday gift they really want – albeit a day late – when the SoCal winter racing season celebrates its traditional post-Christmas opening day on Dec. 26 at Santa Anita Park. That date marks the start of a new season in racing at the Arcadia, Calif., track and kicks off one of the country’s premier annual winter/spring race meets. Noel Michaels of America's Best Racing provides an excellent overview of jockeys, trainers and trends to watch here.
Former claimer won eight stakes at ASD in 2020-2021 for trainer Murray Duncan
Miss Imperial wins the 2021 Escape Clause Stakes at Assiniboia Downs. Stanley Chadee Jr. in the saddle. (Jason Halstead photo)
Multiple ASD stakes-winning mare Miss Imperial will be offered for sale at the 2023 
Keeneland January Sale. The 7-year-old daughter of Maclean's Music-Miss Cappy by Skip Trial won eight stakes at Assiniboia Downs for trainer Murray Duncan in 2020 and 2021 after being claimed at Oaklawn Park for $25,000.

The former local star was claimed away from Duncan by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer for $50,000 in December 2021 and made six starts for her new trainer without winning. One of the best mares ever to race at the Downs, Miss Imperial finished her stellar career with a record of 14-5-6 from 34 starts for earnings of $459,759. See her catalog page (Hip #101) here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht for a special "I Won Bigg" session Monday, Dec. 26 at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza to discuss group betting tickets and handicapping angles. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it out? Email Larry at

Please note the following:
  • No group play this Saturday, Dec. 24
  • Special "I Won Bigg" session on Monday, Dec. 26 at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza
  • The group will be on hiatus for the month of January starting up again on Feb. 4
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
Royal Chocolate appeared on the Christmas cards sent out by Florence and Jack Stafford of Stafford Farms. The graded stakes-placed colt won the Queen’s Plate, but could only manage a second-place finish in the Manitoba Derby in 1973 when he lost to Zaca Spirit. (Card courtesy of Assiniboia Downs archive)
Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Dec. 26 - Gun Runner (FG)
  • Jan. 1 - Smarty Jones (OP)
  • Jan. 1 - Jerome (AQU)
  • Jan. 8 - Sham Stakes (SA)
  • Jan. 21 - Lecomte (FG)
  • Jan. 28 - Southwest (OP)
Carryover Watch
  • Woodbine Mohawk (December 23) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $336,533. Mandatory payout tonight - December 23.
  • Parx (December 26) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $247,404. Mandatory payout on Wednesday, December 28.

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 16
49ers over Commanders (Saturday afternoon): After locking up the NFC West title last week, my 49ers will look to extend their winning streak to eight games when Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders travel to Levi’s Stadium. I don’t tend to complain about officiating very often, but there were definitely some questionable calls (or non calls) that went against Washington at the end of their game versus the Giants last week that probably cost them. Even though he was a little banged up with an oblique injury, Niners rookie sensation Brock Purdy extended his win streak to three after dismantling the Seahawks on Thursday night. I know a lot of people are waiting for Purdy to get knocked back down to earth because he was a literally the last player selected in the draft, and players like that aren't supposed to be good, but over the last few years I’ve come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter when and where a player gets drafted, you can either play, or you can't. Sometimes, you just need an opportunity. 
Bengals over Patriots (Saturday noon): The Patriots…..oh boy, did they really do themselves in last week. I'm sure everyone has seen the clip by now, maybe even multiple times, but just in case you haven’t … you can watch it here. When you’re in the hunt for a playoff spot, you can’t be making boneheaded plays like that. Now they have the red hot Bengals coming into Foxboro trying to clinch a playoff spot of their own. Despite being down 17-3 headed into the third quarter against the Bucs, Cincinnati rattled off 31 points in a row for a great comeback victory. As usual, Joe Burrow was as cool as a cucumber leading his team, and he is turning into one of the bright young stars in the league. 
Vikings over Giants (Saturday afternoon): When I was nine years old (yes I have been watching for that long), I viewed the greatest comeback game in football. Back in 1993, the Buffalo Bills were down 35-3 to the Houston Oilers at halftime of an AFC Wildcard playoff game, only to come roaring back to win 41-38 in overtime. I remember running up the stairs multiple times to my mother's room to inform her “Buffalo scored again” every time the Bills chipped away at the deficit, which infuriated her since she was an Oilers fan. Fast forward 29 years and the Vikings decided “Hey, you guys wanna break the all time comeback record??” 33-0 seemed like an insurmountable hole to be put into, but Kirk Cousins and the rest of the offense dug themselves out and before you knew it, the score was tied. The Vikes then won in overtime on a field goal courtesy of Greg Joseph. I can now say I have seen the TWO largest come from behind victories in the history of the NFL. 
Last week (3-0)
Overall (33-12) 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

It's time for our annual holiday treat, from your "born-on-Christmas-Day" track historian, i.e. my take on Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from Saint Nicholas." The result is a Christmas classic with a local horse racing flavour that we can enjoy every holiday season. Click here for my version of A Racetracker's Night Before Christmas - and Merry Christmas! (From December 2020)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • 12 Days of Christmas Draws - Dec. 13 - Dec. 26 in the Club West Gaming Lounge
  • Christmas Dinner Plated Special - December 23 - more info
  • Christmas Dinner Plated Special - December 24 - more info
  • Christmas Eve Hours - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Christmas Day - Closed
  • Christmas Dinner Plated Special - December 26 - more info
  • 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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