The Inside Track | Issue #61 | January 6, 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
  • New Manitoba Stallion Town Bee
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • Canadians Invited to Pegasus World Cup
  • Jerome Stakes Analysis
  • Barbara Livingston's Look Back at 2022
  • Snapshot in Time: Christmas Lights
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 18 Predictions
  • The Best of Bob: Horses with Heart
  • 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:

  • Every Thursday & Friday - 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 15, 2023
  • 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.

  • Monday, January 9, 16, 23 & 30

Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagers Mondays during the month of January. Minimum wager $100. Maximum cash back $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) See complete details at All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs
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 & SUDS - $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. Plus a complimentary pint of ASD Lucky Lager. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

SATURDAY PRIME & WINE - $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. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Reservations are not required.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
New Stallion Town Bee Arrives in Manitoba
Quick, game runner is full-brother to graded winner with a strong female family
New Manitoba stallion Town Bee (Jersey Town-Bees by Rahy) has speed, heart and pedigree.
Dr. Betty Hughes has purchased the new stallion Town Bee for her and husband Frank Johnson’s breeding operation in Lake Francis, Manitoba. He’s quick and game, and he’s got a powerful female family.
Hughes may have found herself another bargain with Town Bee, a son of multiple graded stakes winner Jersey Town ($819,668, Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) etc.), out of the stakes-placed stakes-producing mare Bees.
Town Bee made his racing debut without much fanfare in the United Arab Emirates, but was then shipped to the United States, where he sizzled on the front end through fast fractions to win both his starts at Turfway Park.
You can watch Town Bee speed to victory in his first North American start here, and follow it up with the YouTube video below, in which he duels through fast fractions of 21.59 and 44.46 and draws away to stop the clock in 1:09.56 for six furlongs, in what the track announcer calls “another eye-catching performance from Town Bee.”
Town Bee duels through fast fractions and draws away to win an allowance race at Turfway Park
Town Bee is a full brother to proven new sire Bee Jersey ($976,293, Metropolitan Handicap (G1), 2nd UAE 2,000 Guineas (G3), etc.) and a half-brother to stakes producer Candy Cat Can, dam of Blue Gator ($199,995, New York Breeders Futurity, 2nd Notebook Stakes).
Town Bee’s second dam Run For Lassie is an unraced daughter of Metropolitan Handicap winner Fappiano and a half-sister to Sanford Stakes (G2) winner Bite the Bullet and stakes-placed runners Black Mambo and Love Me True. Run For Lassie is also the dam of Comely Stakes (G3) winner Madison’s Charm.
Third dam Lassie’s Lady is a stakes-placed graded-stakes producing daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner and Triple Crown star Alydar, with one of the best female families in history. Lassie’s Lady is a half-sister to Wolfhound, the highweighted older horse at 4 on the European Free Handicap, and Golden Rod Stakes (G3) winner Weekend Surprise, among other stakes winners.
A dam of nine winners including two stakes winners, Lassie’s Lady is also the dam of Love Me True, the dam of European champion older horse Duke of Marmalade among numerous other high class stakes winners, runners and producers that are well worth exploring for pedigree aficionados. This pedigree goes on and on to the point where it’s clear why Town Bee was a runner who could also turn into a successful stallion.
Hughes purchased Town Bee out of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale last November for just $3,000, which was partially a result of being offered late in the sale. Hughes has had some excellent success with her stallion Vengeful Wildcat, who was a similar $2,200 purchase at the Keeneland Horses of All Ages Sale in January 2012.
Town Bee was bought sight unseen based on his race record and pedigree but was looked at by confirmation and pedigree analyst Judy Wardrope, the same person who found Vengeful Wildcat for Hughes.
Vengeful Wildcat has certainly proven himself a capable stallion in these parts, with stakes winners that include J. W. Sifton Stakes winners Purrsibility and Call the Cops, Astral Moon Overnight Stakes winner Purrsistent, and most recently Osiris Stakes winner Lady Cop and Buffalo Stakes winner Prairie Drifter.
Trainer Devon Gittens has done some excellent work with Manitoba-breds owned by Dr. Betty Hughes and her husband Frank Johnson. Shown here at Dunroven Farm with their new stallion Town Bee.
“We had to get a stallion to breed to the daughters of Vengeful Wildcat,” said Hughes, who owns and still works full time at St. Francois Xavier Animal Hospital while husband Frank Johnson does “all of the work” on the farm.
The two 74-year-olds have enjoyed a good measure of success with their homebreds of late, and they still have over 40 horses on their farm in Lake Francis, including 23 broodmares. Eighteen of the mares will be bred while the remaining five have been pensioned. They’ll also have 12 horses at the track this year with trainers Devon Gittens and Elton Dickey.
“We keep all our mares and let them live out their lives here,” said Hughes. “Even after they can no longer be bred. And our trainers at the track have been excellent.”
Town Bee was bred by top North American owner/breeder Charles Fipke, and he will now be standing at Maggie Lawson’s Dunroven Farm in Rosser, Manitoba. He will be test bred to the couple’s own mares this spring, including the talented Astral Moon Overnight Stakes winner Purrsistent, who was one of the top females at the track during her racing career.

Interestingly, after Hughes purchased Town Bee, he was returned to his original home at Darby Dan Farm, where his full brother Bee Jersey stands, to await shipping to Manitoba.
Twenty years ago, Hughes bred her mare A Wild Kitty to Darby Dan stallion Kyle’s Our Man. The resulting foal was Gus Again, one of the best Manitoba-breds in history.

Gus Again won the Agassiz Stakes three times, as well as the Manitoba Maturity, and compiled an overall record of 17-13-9 in 56 starts for earnings of $220,354 (USD).

Good karma here.
Purrsistent (#4) wins the 2021 Astral Moon Overnight Stakes for trainer Devon Gittens and owner/breeder Dr. Betty Hughes. She now has a date with new Manitoba stallion Town Bee.
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.
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

In The News
Invitations are out for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Pegasus Turf and Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf on Jan. 28
Canadian owned and trained Lady Speightspeare (white and yellow silks) was a super third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). She is being pointed to the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3). (Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup photo)
Canadian Charles Fipke’s Lady Speightspeare, trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, has been invited to the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf. Fipke and Attfield could also be represented in the Pegasus World Cup Turf by Shirl’s Speight, who finished second in the in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Arctic Arrogance is the 2-1 morning-line favourite for this Saturday's Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct. (Chelsea Durand / NYRA photo)
Saturday’s $150,000 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct drew a field of eight 3-year-olds who will run a one-turn mile on the road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby. The top five finishers who are eligible will compete for Derby qualifying points (10-4-3-2-1). A closer look at the contenders from Horse Racing Nation here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
The "I Won Bigg" betting group is on hiatus until Saturday, February 4.
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
The final honouree of our holiday themed "Snapshot In Time" is Christmas Lights. This accomplished mare finished in the top three in 21 of her 31 starts and amassed career earnings of $172,041 from 1998 to 2001 for owner Arnason Farm (Gerry Hart photo).
Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Jan. 8 - Sham Stakes (SA)
  • Jan. 21 - Lecomte (FG)
  • Jan. 28 - Southwest (OP)
  • Feb. 4 - Holy Bull (GP)
  • Feb. 4 - Withers (AQU)
  • Feb. 4 - Robert B. Lewis (SA)
Carryover Watch
  • Santa Anita (January 6) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $250,578

MANDATORY PAYOUT ALERT: Santa Anita will have a mandatory payout of the Jackpot Pick 6 on Saturday, January 7. Current carryover going into today's race card is $250,578.

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 18
Before I get started on my picks, let’s all send our well wishes to Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin after one of the scariest moments in sports that took place Monday night.
Jags over Titans (Saturday night): With the AFC North division title on the line, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Tennessee Titans. The Jags have been clicking on all cylinders as of late, winning their last four games including a 36-22 victory over the very same team they will play this week. First overall pick from 2021, Trevor Lawrence is finally living up to the potential that made the Jags want to draft him in the first place. The biggest difference I’ve noticed in his game is that he is scrambling a lot, more often compared to the first half of the season where he wasn’t running very much. Scrambling was one of his biggest strengths when he was in college at Clemson. He still has to secure the ball a little bit more and not turn it over so frequently. Since the Titans lost their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, and they don’t trust the backup quarterback Malik Willis to actually throw the ball, third stringer Joshua Dobbs will make his second start for the Titans in their most important game of the season.
Packers over Lions (Sunday night): After steamrolling the fraudulent Minnesota Vikings last week, the Packers will once again be at home to face the Detroit Lions with playoff implications on the line. The Packers control their own destiny, all they have to do is win, and they are in. That might be a little easier said than done if Lions running back, Jamaal Williams has anything to say about it. Williams, who leads the league in rushing touchdowns, would like nothing better than to knock his former team out of the playoffs while increasing his own teams chances of getting in. They would still need Seattle to lose for them to make the playoffs though. Packers' cornerback Jaire Alexander, who early last week called Justin Jefferson’s 184-yard three-touchdown performance against them in their first meeting a fluke, definitely backed up his words, holding Jefferson to only one catch for 15 yards in their second match up. 
Steelers over Browns (Sunday noon): At the beginning of the year, I wrote about how the Steelers would be a good team in the future, but they weren’t quite ready yet to compete with the top teams in the AFC. After a slow start, the Steelers are making a late push to try and get into the playoff dance. Winning five of the last six games, they have all the momentum in the world right now. Will it be too little too late? Who knows, but what they really have to do is take care of business at home against the Browns first. Cleveland has already been eliminated from the playoffs and would like to take the Steelers down with them, being division rivals. Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson still doesn’t look right, even though they got the victory last week against the terrible Carson Wentz led Washington Commanders, but I guess a win is a win. I expect Watson to be much better next season after he gets a full training camp in. 
Last week (2-1)
Overall (38-13) 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

In this retrospective blog story, Bob takes a look back at horses that knew how to win at Assiniboia Downs. There are all kinds of benchmarks to consider -- most wins in a single season, most career wins -- and our history guy has them all. He even dug a little deeper and found a 10-year-old mare that was a record-setter at old Polo Park racetrack. Click here to discover the identities of horses who are the most revered in the game, because they knew how to win. (From August 2018)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge - Thursdays & Fridays - more info
  • 3% cash back Mondays in January (9, 16, 23, 30) - more info
  • Annual Super Flea Market - Saturday, Feb. 4 & Sunday, Feb. 5 - more info
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance - Tuesday, Feb. 14 - more info
  • Together Again - FROST: Loud Luxury + special guests - Feb. 24 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
The Inside Track Archives
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