The Inside Track | Issue #76 | April 21, 2023
  • 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?
  • 2023 Handicapping Tournaments
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials Continue
  • Barry Mymko wins Player's Choice Tourney
  • Williams wins 5th Sovereign Award
  • Ukraine Ladies enjoying HBPA Groom School
  • Call for Foal Photos
  • Two New Foals for Hughes and Johnson
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • 39th Annual Awards Banquet
  • Moira Crowned Horse of the Year
  • 25 Years of Woodbine's Opening Day
  • Byron King's Derby Dozen
  • Snapshot in Time - Tommy Adkins
  • Carryover Watch
  • The Best of Bob: The Golden Age
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
Club West Gaming Lounge

140 VLTs available daily in our spacious Club West Gaming Lounge from 10 a.m. through 1 a.m. Please note that our VLTs are sanitized between play. Click here for a full list of games available at ASD.

Win CA$H Every Day!

  • Draws to win up to $100 cash on our lucky wheel Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m.

  • Draws for $20 FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. One lucky person turned their free $20 into $246 last Friday!
2023 Player's Choice Online Handicapping Tournaments

  • Saturday, May 13, 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.
April HPI Cash Back Specials

  • TREMENDOUS TUESDAYS: Earn 3% cash back every Tuesday in April on all tracks on all eligible wagers. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum cash back $25 (each Tuesday). ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) Opt-in at All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs
Club West Dining Room & Lounge Open Daily

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks plus Happy Hour food and beverage specials in our Club West Dining Room & Lounge! Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Friday & Saturday Value Added Specials
Friday Steak & Suds $24.95: 8 oz. Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with fresh vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Plus a complimentary pint of ASD Lucky Lager.

Saturday Prime & Wine $29.95: Certified Angus Prime Rib (8 oz.) cut. Served with fresh vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Mother's Day Brunch

Sunday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Signature Certified Angus Prime Rib
  • Carved ham with grilled pineapple
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Omelette station
  • Eggs benedict
  • French toast
  • Bacon, sausage and hash browns
  • Assortment of salads
  • Cheese and kolbassa tray
  • Pickle tray
  • Smoked salmon pizza
  • Croissants, rolls, flatbread, butter
  • Sliced fruit and berries, chilled juices, coffee and tea
  • Dessert and pastry table featuring cakes, dainties, warm apple crumble
  • This is a ticketed event. Prices are subject to taxes & gratuities.
  • Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95
  • Please note that there is no live racing on this day.

Mother's Day brunch sells out quickly every year so avoid disappointment and get your tickets today!
Live Racing Buffets

Reservations are now open for our all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffets!

Live racing is right around the corner and that means that our renowned all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffet is back. Live racing and a prime rib buffet - it doesn't get much better than that!

Buffet highlights include signature Certified Angus prime rib of beef carvery, seafood table featuring jumbo shrimp and salmon, fresh salads and side dishes prepared with locally grown vegetables.

Rotating entree selections of tender grilled chicken, crispy fried fish, sticky BBQ ribs, roasted meats and artisan sausages. Dessert table features warm fresh baked pies and your choice of ice cream plus cheesecakes, tortes and our famous bourbon bacon brownie.

The table is yours for the entire evening and includes racing programs and tip sheets.

Adults - $49.95, Seniors (65+) - $46.95, Kids 12 & under - $29.95, Kids 5 & under - $16.95

Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330. Click here for our 2023 racing schedule.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Barry Mymko wins Player's Choice. Again.
5-time tourney winner scores again, this time with new strategy.
Player's Choice tourney winner Barry Mymko in full study mode.
Congratulations to Barry Mymko, who won the Player’s Choice Handicapping Tournament last Saturday for the fifth time, and he did it with a strategy we hadn’t heard of before, while vacationing in Mexico.

The 62-year-old retiree and longtime horse player built his bankroll to $98.00 to take home $1,000 and the trophy, which naturally comes with bragging rights. Mymko finished with $6.20 more than runner-up Steve Holborn ($91.80), followed by Herman Yuen ($80.10), Greg Earl ($78.10) and Rob Solmundson ($77.60), and he did it by playing a single track and nailing a few short-priced winners early.

Mymko handicapped the card at Oaklawn Park, noticed that speed had been holding there during the previous week, and liked almost all of the races on the card. He won the first two races with horses that paid only $4.00 and $3.60, but the early winners gave him what he considered to be a psychological edge.

“I usually play about four tracks and look for races that I like,” said Mymko. "But I looked at the Oaklawn Park card and I liked 11 of the 12 races, so I bought the DRF Formulator PPs for that track and just dug deep into it.”

Mymko’s strategy was to hit something early to get on the board. Just so he wouldn’t get frustrated. He hit his first two races, missed a few in between and then hit three in a row nearing the end of the card to claim victory.

“I haven't been using that strategy all the time,” said Mymko, who downloaded the past performances for Oaklawn Park as soon as they were available and began studying and watching replays. “But I've found that if you don't get some money on the board early, you start chasing. I think my last three winners were 8-1, 6-1 and 4-1.”

Mymko has been playing the races for 50 years at Assiniboia Downs, and has learned from a combination of practical experience and handicapping books, 75 of which he recently gave away.

Mymko recently retired from selling promotional products to companies, including Assiniboia Downs. “I’d like to thank Sharon (Gulyas) and Sheri (Glendinning) for all that they do there, and for doing such a great job on the contest.”

Mymko and his wife of 41 years somehow both managed to retire at the same time, and they are now off to the east coast for an extended vacation. His wife also plays the horses during the summer at Assiniboia Downs, and they will be looking for some action on the east coast.

“Wherever we go, if there’s a racetrack, we’ll be going.”
Williams wins 2022 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Writing
Winnipeg Free Press scribe wins prestigious award for 5th time.
Dianne Denby of Horse Media Group presents George Williams with the 2022 Sovereign Award for Outstanding Writing at the 48th annual Sovereign Awards. (Michael Burns photo)
George Williams made Manitoba proud last Thursday at the 48th annual Sovereign Awards on the 50th anniversary of The Jockey Club of Canada.

The 63-year-old Winnipeg Free Press horse racing writer won his fifth Sovereign Award for Outstanding Writing for his story Derby winner has a Manitoba mother, which appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press on May 8, 2022.

Williams told the story of 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike’s local lineage and his connection to Manitoba. The 3-year-old colt was the product of Manitoba-bred mare Gold Strike, who was bred by the late Dick Bonnycastle, a Winnipegger and the former owner of Harlequin Enterprises, the world’s largest publisher of romantic fiction.

“It was a very satisfying surprise,” said Williams in the Winnipeg Free Press here. “I never expected to win. I was up against four other excellent writers and was probably the long shot in the field.”

Williams got his start in horse racing locally as a groom with trainer Don Gray and his wife Lorna. He went on to work for Hall of Fame trainers H. Allen Jerkens, Charlie Whittingham and Woody Stephens in New York and California before returning home to train 2-time Gold Cup winner Buck Domino. He later went on to write for the Daily Racing Form at Assiniboia Downs and Woodbine and analyzed an estimated 50,000 races/replays as a chart caller.

Williams decided to go to the awards ceremony because it gave him a chance to visit his parents in Fort Erie.

“I just knew that whether I won or lost, being able to see my parents would mean more than anything,” said Williams, who is entering his 10th year as a horse racing writer for the Winnipeg Free Press. "Winning the award was special not only for me but also for them. My dad, Bud, introduced me to horse racing and developed my passion.

"In many ways, this award belongs to him, too.”
Jockey Neville Stephenson looking good on Thursday morning at ASD. (George Williams photo)
Ukraine Ladies Enjoying HBPA Groom School
New grooms Tetiana (left) and Ilona with Kickalittlebooty in trainer Devon Gittens' barn. The 20-something ladies from Ukraine arrived in Canada in February, enrolled in the HBPA Groom School, and are very much enjoying their work. "We're feeling safe here," said Tetiana. "We like it in Canada." (George Williams photo)
Call for Foal Photos
The Jockey Club of Canada wants to showcase your foals and so do we!
The new Manitoba foals will soon be here and we want to see yours! (Manitoba CTHS photo)
The foaling season is upon us and the Jockey Club of Canada is looking for foal photos to share with their membership group. If you have a foal you'd like to show off, please email your photo to and include the province foaled, sire, dam, and photographer, as well as any additional information you wish to provide.

Any photos received will be included in the Jockey Club of Canada Newsletter through to the end of foaling season. And don’t forget to cc us on your email at

We’d love to showcase your foal photos here too.
Two New Foals for Hughes and Johnson
New colt by Nonios out of Abitofblarney by Vengeful Wildcat, born this week at Dr. Betty Hughes' farm in Lake Francis, Manitoba. They don't get much cuter than this! Thanks to Betty's husband Frank Johnson for the photo. "Betty is the breeder on both these foals," said Frank. "I'm just the worker." Okay Frank :)
New arrival born at Dr. Betty Hughes' farm on Wednesday evening. This filly is by Vengeful Wildcat out of the mare Two Dorcas by Two Punch, which makes her a half sister to 2022 Frank Arnason Memorial Sire Stakes winner Bettermakethattwo. Thanks to Frank Johnson for the photo!
Excellent Purses, Stakes Schedule and Shipping Incentives in Place for 2023 at ASD

Assiniboia Downs offers some of the best shipping incentives in North America, and an excellent purse and stakes schedule to match. If you're looking for a great place to race this summer, you won't find a more friendly and inviting track anywhere. We've also got one of the kindest racing surfaces in North America, complemented by numerous additional amenities.

The 50-day 2023 live race meeting begins on Monday, May 22, and runs through to Tuesday, September 19. We race Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at ASD, which means you can take the weekends off and enjoy our fabulous Manitoba summer weather with family and friends! Links to the 2023 shipping incentives, racing and graded purse schedules here.
The first ASD Condition Book for 2023 is here! Time to get excited! Click here to download.
39th Annual CTHS/HBPA Awards Banquet

  • Saturday, May 20, 2023
  • Assiniboia Downs
  • Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
  • Price $45 per person

Awards will follow dinner. Table reservations are recommended. Tickets are available from Jill at the CTHS office (204) 832-1702 or Shannon at the HBPA office (204) 832-4949.
Can't make it to the track to wager?
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

Kentucky Derby - Saturday, May 6

  • First race post time 9:30 a.m. (ASD will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 5 & Saturday, May 6)
  • Special ASD Live Kentucky Derby Show featuring Kirt and Stretch on Thursday, May 4. Watch on our YouTube Channel
  • 2% Cash Back on all tracks on Saturday, May 6. Opt-in at All eligible wagers must be placed on your HPIbet account to qualify. Minimum wagered $100. Maximum deposit $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible).
  • Free Kentucky Derby programs and DRF will be available beginning Thursday, May 4 at ASD, Quest Inn, Canad Inns Windsor Park, Green Brier, Rookies, Nor-Villa and Club 3D
  • Draws for Kentucky Derby merchandise at all locations (casinos excluded.)
"I Won Bigg" Wagering Group

Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht as they lead discussions for the "I Won Bigg" betting group every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse.

This week the group will be playing Woodbine and Santa Anita. $20 gets you a share in the ticket. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
In The News
Winner of both the Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks a deserving champion
Jockey Rafael Hernandez guides Moira to victory in the 163rd running of the $1-million Queen’s Plate Stakes. (Michael Burns photo)
2022 Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks winner Moira was crowned Canada's 2022 Horse of the Year at the 48th Annual Sovereign Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ontario. The evening began with a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Jockey Club of Canada and recognition of the founding members from 1973. See all the winners at the Paulick Report here.
Entries are in for opening day this Saturday! 25 years of first race winners.
Woodbine's first race winner in 2022, My Final Trick, gets a well-deserved pat from winning jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson. (John Watkins photo)
Entries for the first card of the 2023 racing season at Woodbine this Saturday are in the box. The first race of a new season always attracts a lot of excited bettors, which makes it a great time to pull out some fun trivia and facts. Jennifer Morrison takes a look back at the winners of the first race of the season at Woodbine over the past quarter century. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Forte, Tapit Trice, and Angel of Empire take top three spots on latest list
Tapit Trice (second from left) edged Verifying (#3) in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 8 at Keeneland. Both colts are scheduled to run in the Kentucky Derby. (Coady Photography)
BloodHorse news editor Byron King has compiled his latest Derby Dozen Presented by Spendthrift, with a look at the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 6. As expected, Forte and Tapit Trice remain at the top of the list, but you might find a few surprises! More from America's Best Racing here.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
Hamilton, Ontario born, Tommy Adkins was another jockey who rode more than 1,000 winners at Assiniboia Downs. Tom scored win number 1,000 on May 15, 1994 and ranks third on the Downs all-time leading jockey board, behind only Tim Gardiner and leader, Ken Hendricks. Tom’s 1,000th win came aboard a horse trained by Glen Ball, the same trainer who gave him his first winner in 1974. (Gerry Hart Photo).
Carryover Watch
  • Keeneland (April 21) - Pick 6 carryover $859,584
  • Turf Paradise (April 22) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $350,564

See all carryovers here.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

It’s widely accepted that the 1970s were the Golden Age of Horse Racing, so this week on the the history blog we set the Time Tunnel dial to 1971. It’s hard to believe that a half century has gone by! Where has the time gone? Click here for your ticket to the year 1971, to see the events that helped to shape the history of the Downs in its 14th season of operation. (From June 2021)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • 3% cash back Tuesdays in April (18 & 25) - more info
  • Great Benjamins Circus - May 4 through May 7 - more info
  • Mother's Day Brunch - Sunday, May 14 - more info
  • MICEC Monster Bingo - Saturday, May 20 - more info
  • Indian Horse Relay Races - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • ASD Live Racing starts - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • MB Food Truck Battles - Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
The Inside Track Archives
Did you know that past issues of The Inside Track are available on our website? Click here to read them now.