The Inside Track | Issue #114 | January 12, 2024

140 VLTS

ASD Hours

  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLT machines are sanitized between use

In this edition . . .

  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • There's always a Deal at ASD!
  • New MB/SK Registered Foal Program!
  • Jeff Goy Concludes MJC Board Role
  • Snow Day by Tim Cox
  • Unbelievable Ride at Aqueduct
  • TravyFootball Wild Card Round
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Carryover Watch
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • "I Won Bigg" Wagering Group
  • A Snapshot In Time: Scott Tyler
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Kentucky Derby Purse Increased to $5 Million
  • Woodbine Entertainment Wins Eclipse
  • Legends: Trainer H. Allen Jerkens
  • The Best of Bob - Manitoba Centennial Derby
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

Upcoming Tournaments

Player's Choice Tournaments

  • Saturday, January 20
  • Saturday, February 17
  • Saturday, March 16
  • Saturday, April 13
  • Saturday, May 11

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.

  • Draws to win 20 break-open tickets! Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

  • Draws for $20 in FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

HPI Cash Back Promotion

  • Saturday, January 20 & Sunday, January 21. Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagers on all tracks. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible). Minimum wagered $50. Maximum cash back $50. All wagers must be placed on your HPI account. Opt-in at

There's Always a Deal at ASD!

$11.95 Daily Lunch Specials

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks from our Club West Dining Room menu or try our ever changing $11.95 lunch special.

  • Club West Dining Room & Lounge menu
  • Daily Happy Hour specials

Daily Drink Features All Day Long

  • Monday - Margarita $6 (lime, peach or strawberry)
  • Tuesday - Corona $5
  • Wednesday - Wine $4.50 (6 oz. glass of house white or house red)
  • Thursday - Beer $4.75 (house pint of beer)
  • Friday - Trifecta Tea $6 (Absolut peach vodka, lemonade, sweet tea)
  • Saturday - RazDerby Lemonade $6 (Absolut raspberry vodka, lemonade)
  • Sunday - Caesar $6

Daily Evening Chef's Specials

Monday - BBQ Ribs $19.95: Smoky char-broiled ribs with our signature BBQ sauce. Served with french fries and coleslaw.

Tuesday - Tacos $9.95: Two flour tortillas stuffed with taco beef, chicken or fish, lettuce, green onions, cheese and diced tomato. Served with a drizzle of avocado cilantro lime sauce and taco chips.

Wednesday - Two Topping Pizza $14.95: Thin crust pizza with mozzarella and tomato sauce. Choose from pepperoni, bacon, ham, spicy beef, chicken, tomato, mushroom, peppers, black olives or onions.

Thursday - Chipotle Mozza Burger $14.95: Our signature sirloin patty and crispy bacon smothered in melted mozzarella. Topped with fresh sliced tomato, fried onion rings, chipolte mayo and sweet bold barbeque sauce.

Friday - Steak & Suds $24.95: 8 oz. Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with fresh vegetables and a 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 a choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish, and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Sunday - Fish & Chips $14.95: Two pieces of beer battered cod with tartar sauce and lemon. Served with french fries and coleslaw.

Reservations are not required. The above specials are available from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Everyone who purchases one of the above specials will receive a coupon to play our free "Pick to Win" game in the VLT lounge for a chance to spin our lucky cash wheel where you can win up to $100 cash!

At The Post with G.S. Thompson

Handicapper's Corner

HTR Handicapping Software founder Ken Massa says workouts show promise

The Skeptical Handicapper uses data compiled by Ken Massa at HTR Handicapping Software.

Ken Massa, the founder of HTR Handicapping Software who provided the data for Barry Meadow’s detailed ROI studies in the book The Skeptical Handicapper, says workouts may be one of the final frontiers with regards to getting an edge in handicapping.

We had the great pleasure of speaking to Massa on the phone this week to quiz him about his HTR2 software, which is billed as “High Quality Power Tools for Windows PC Handicappers.”

Considered to one of the most elite set of software programs for serious handicappers, the HTR2 programs produce ROI and win percentage numbers for every possible angle that can be calculated from the data contained in the Past Performances.

Top handicappers not only use the HTR products, but also subscribe to numerous other similar services, in an effort to predict probabilities, odds and hopefully winners.

Among the angles currently showing the most promise in Massa’s software is workouts, which Barry Meadows indicated in The Skeptical Handicapper. The QWSR (Quality Workout Since Last Raced) factor produced an ROI of 1.02 in a sample of 1,200 races in Meadow’s book.

The QWSR factor was based on workouts that took place since a horse’s last start. The workout must have taken place within the past 21 days. Four-furlong works were required to be in the top 10% if at least eight horses worked at the distance. Five-furlong works were required to be in the top 20% if at least eight horses worked at the distance. The number of furlongs worked also proved to be significant.

Massa further tweaked his software to analyze workouts in more detail, and has created a new factor called Wk_plus, which considers numerous workout-related data points. From a 22,000-race sample Wk_plus produced 18% winners at an average win price of $9.70 and an ROI of 0.85, which beats the takeout, but when combined with other positive factors the ROI results improved considerably.

When WK_plus was combined with Massa’s KAT factor (a combination of 10 positive factors) the ROI improved in a range from 0.95 to an amazing 1.24 for horse with the top KAT 10 designation. Wk_plus also showed excellent results when combined with FTS (First Time Starters), getting 19% winners at an average payoff of $10.00 and numerous longshots. The normal ROI for any FTS according to Massa’s software is just 0.75, but it rises to 1.02 when combined with Wk_plus.

When combined with running style Wk_plus produced its best results with need the lead types (F) and horses that could race near the lead (E) and take it at anytime. This was expected, but also noted was the fact that prices on lone front runners were depressed, as many handicappers pound these horses into unprofitability. Also notable was the fact that deep closers gained no advantage when the Wk_plus factor was included and were typically terrible bets.

Horses with 15+ positive factors as identified by Massa’s software, when combined with the Wk_plus factor, won at a 40 percent clip with an average payoff of $4.70 and their ROI improved from 0.89 to 0.95. There was a huge sample size of 6,528 horses with 8+ positive factors combined with Wk_plus and these horses won at a 27 percent clip with an average win payoff of $6.90 and an ROI of 0.92. And when the horse was the lone 8+ in the field, they won at a 31 percent clip with an average win payoff of $6.20 and an ROI of 0.95.

Other angles with improved ROI when combined with Wk_plus were blinkers off, first-time gelding and layoffs of over 180 days. Interestingly, the blinkers on angle showed little improvement.

You don’t have to subscribe to Massa’s software to put these insights into action, you can combine your own set of positive factors with workouts to produce a version of the results Massa has proven through data analysis.

The fact that he wasn’t even trying to market his product during our conversation spoke volumes for the HTR2 suite of handicapping software, which requires a subscription fee of $119 a month.

And the best handicappers willingly pay it.

Jeff Goy Concludes MJC Board Role

Veterinarian Dr. Norm Elder New Chair

Dr. Norm Elder has been elected to the role of MJC Board Chair

After 10 years on the Manitoba Jockey Club Board, including 1 ½-years as the interim Chair following the passing of Harvey Warner, Jeff Goy has concluded his role as a Director.

“I appreciated the opportunity over the last decade to contribute to the MJC Board and to work with the exceptional senior executive management team," said Goy. "The future remains very bright for the sport in Manitoba and my passion for horse racing and participation in the industry at this time will continue through my growing racing and breeding operations."

Prior to joining the MJC Board, Goy served as a Director of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (H.B.P.A.) for 10 years, including six years as the President.

MJC Board Director, Dr. Norm Elder, previously the Vice Chair, was elected to the role of Board Chair. Director Darrell Stephansson, who owns and operates a private wealth and insurance management company, was elected to the role of Vice Chair.

Snow Day

Original painting by Tim Cox

“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.” ~ Vesta M. Kel. See more original paintings from Tim Cox here.

Unbelievable Ride by Kendrick Carmouche

Crimson Light props at start, comes from more than 30 lengths back to win at Aqueduct

Unbelievable ride by Kendrick Carmouche on Crimson Light at Aqueduct

Are you kidding me? One of the most amazing recoveries you'll ever see in the sport of horse racing! Wait for it... wait... a little longer... Bam! Video courtesy of NYRA on YouTube.

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Wild Card Round

Chiefs over Dolphins (Saturday night): The temperature at kick-off is supposed to be around 0 degrees Fahrenheit for this one, which translates to -17 Celsius. Outside of the two Canadians on the Dolphins roster, I don't think too many of their players know what -17 feels like. Miami is pretty banged up on both sides of the ball so I’m not even sure who’s suiting up for them. Kansas City might be catching them at the right time due to all their injuries. Mahomes and most of the starters didn’t even play last week in the season finale so they should all be well rested and ready. Outside of Rashee Rice, the Chiefs receivers haven’t exactly been stellar and will definitely need them to step up their game if they want to make it out of the first round. 

Cowboys over Packers (Sunday afternoon): The Packers, thanks to a great second half of the season by QB Jordan Love, found themselves squeaking into the playoffs as the 7th seed in the NFC. Unfortunately, they have to travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys, who are as hot as any team in the league right now. Winners of 16 consecutive home games, I don’t see how the Packers are going to slow down the Cowboys offense. The Cowboys are also really good at getting after the QB, so Jordan Love might be in for a long day. The Packers are the youngest team to ever make the playoffs, and the second youngest team in the history of the NFL, period. So, to say they will be lacking experience is a gross understatement. A loss to Dallas won’t be surprising, but one thing I do believe when it comes to Green Bay, is that they have found their QB of the future. 

Lions over Rams (Sunday afternoon): When the season started, I certainly didn’t have the Rams as a playoff team, but the emergence of two rookie phenoms in Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams has Los Angeles making a trip to Detroit, where they will see a very familiar friend. You can’t talk about this game without mentioning the obvious QB vs QB matchup. Jared Goff spent the first five seasons of his career with the Rams, even getting to the Super Bowl in 2018/2019. The story goes that coach Sean McVay figured that Goff wasn’t the guy to get them over the hump, so he shipped him to Detroit in exchange for Matt Stafford. Turns out McVay was right as he won the Super Bowl in Stafford’s very first season with the Rams. Jared Goff took a while to get going, but he has turned into a really solid starter for the Lions the past two years. I’m sure this is the matchup he wanted and he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. Don’t expect a lot of defense to be played as the scoreboard might catch on fire after this one is over. 

Last week: 3-0

Overall: 36-18

Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Lecomte (FG) - Saturday, Jan. 20 (20 points)
  • Southwest (OP) - Saturday, Jan. 27 (20 points)
  • Holy Bull (GP) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)
  • Robert B. Lewis (SA) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)
  • Withers (Aqu) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)

Valentine's Dinner & Dance

Love is in the air, and we invite you to join us for our Valentine's Dinner & Dance featuring our renowned Certified Angus Prime Rib Buffet. Savour the exquisite taste of our prime rib buffet, specially prepared for this special occasion. 

After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and sway to the romantic tunes. This is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one and create beautiful memories together.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with us in style. Tickets are $54.95 per person and available by calling Samantha at 204-885-3330. We look forward to seeing you!

Special Offer to our Valued Customers

Purchase your tickets by January 31 and receive a complimentary 6 oz. glass of wine.

Call Samantha at 204-885-3330.

Use promo code VAL2024.

Looking for a Special Photo of Your Big Horse or...?

Track Photographer Jason Halstead may have just what you're looking for

Five-horse pace battle. Is your winner in there? (Jason Halstead / Assiniboia photo)

Looking for that extra-special photo of your big horse, one you might not find in your win pictures? Track photographer Jason Halstead takes numerous photos during the races, and not all of them can make it into the win photos. If you’re looking for something frameable from your big race, or of your special horse, email Jason at Prices are excellent! Almost as good as his photos 😊

Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream Park (January 12) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $177,544

See all carryovers here.

Can't make it to the track to wager?

Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

"I Won Bigg" Wagering Group

Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (2nd floor plaza)

The "I Won Bigg" wagering group is on a break for the month of January.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

Fifty years ago, on June 9, 1974, 2-year-old Scott Tyler broke his maiden for owner Hillside Farm, trainer Clayton Gray with Ken ‘Hank” Hendricks in the irons. A month later the Manitoba-bred would win the Buffalo Stakes. In case you didn’t know, Scott Tyler was named for Manitoba Jockey Club Director Barry Anderson’s son Scott Tyler Anderson, who is currently a Vice-President for the Manitoba HBPA. (Gerry Hart photo)

Churchill Increases Kentucky Derby Purse to $5 Million

Derby now second richest race in North America after Breeders' Cup Classic

Horses head into the first turn in the 149th Kentucky Derby. (Heather C. Jackson)

The 150th Kentucky Derby (G1) on Saturday, May 4, will be the richest in the classic's history, with its purse raised from $3 million to $5 million. The increase was announced Jan. 10 by Churchill Downs. "They put it up there where it belongs, huh?" commented four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas. More from the BloodHorse here

Woodbine Entertainment Wins Eclipse, Sophia Vives a Finalist

7-minute film on Secretariat at Woodbine takes the feature programming Eclipse

Eclipse Award Trophy. Awarded to the best of the best in North American thoroughbred racing every year.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) have announced the finalists for the 2023 Eclipse Awards. Woodbine’s leading apprentice, Sophia Vives, has made the final three for the Eclipse Award Apprentice Rider, and Woodbine Entertainment has already been honoured with the Eclipse Award for Feature Television Programming for the short feature, SECRETARIAT The Last Race." More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.

Legends: Trainer H. Allen Jerkens

"Giant Killer" considered one of the best horsemen in the sport of horse racing

Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens, left, with three-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer James "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons at Aqueduct, 1962 (National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame)

Trainer Allen Jerkens vanquished more than a few foes that appeared invincible. In 1962-63 he sent out Beau Purple to defeat the redoubtable Kelso three different times. In 1963, Pocosaba took the measure of three-time champion Cicada. And in 1967, the Jerkens-trained Handsome Boy upset Buckpasser in the Brooklyn Handicap. All of the above was a mere warm up for 1973, when Jerkens conquered the mighty Secretariat not once but twice. Read more about the trainer who is considered to be one of the best horsemen in the history of the sport of horse racing from America's Best Racing here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week Bob reflects on the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba Centennial Derby and the 40th anniversary of the final issue of the Winnipeg Tribune. Click here. (From July 31, 2020)

Upcoming events at ASD

  • Break Open Bonanza - Draws for Break-Open tickets - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 in free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, January 20 - more info
  • Wrestling For A Cause - Saturday, January 27 - more info
  • Manitoba Tattoo Expo - Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 11 - more info
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance - Wednesday, February 14 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, February 17 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
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