The Inside Track | Issue #57 | December 9, 2022
  • 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?
  • Friday & Saturday Dining Specials
  • New Year's Eve Dinner & Dance hosted by CJOB's Kathy Kennedy
  • A Race Watching Notation System That Works
  • ASD Backstretch Memories
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • Meet North America's Winningest Horse
  • Canterbury Preparing Shorter Racing Season
  • Former Century Downs GM moves to WPCA
  • "I Won Bigg" Betting Group
  • Snapshot in Time: Lord Fairmond
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 14 Predictions
  • The Best of Bob - Ross and Brenda McKague
  • 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:

  • Friday, Dec. 9 - Enter to Spin the Cash Wheel for a chance to win up to $100. Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13 through Monday, Dec. 26 - Enter to Pick an Ornament from the Christmas Tree for a chance to win $100. Daily draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13 through Monday, Dec. 26 - Complimentary snacks will be served at various times throughout the day.
  • This Saturday, December 10

Entry fee: $25. Bankroll: $60. Place 10 ($2 WPS) wagers on any North American harness or thoroughbred race that takes place on the contest day. You must have a Manitoba HPI account to participate. Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. today (Friday, December 9). Entry formRules. Current Handicapper of the Year standings.

  • 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

This events sells out every year so get your tickets today!
At The Post with G.S. Thompson

A Race Watching Notation System that Works
System detailed in The Winning Horseplayer still one of the best
Red Knobs wins the 2022 Manitoba Derby at ASD for trainer Robertino Diodoro and owner Rob Nokes. Jorge Carreno up. (George Williams photo)
With the Handicapper of the Year Title on the line in the final Player’s Choice Handicapping Tournament this Saturday, entrants will be looking for any edge they can get, but where?

There really is only one place left to look.

The information available in the Daily Racing Form and Equibase programs is valuable and required, but everyone has it. While everyone digs into that data for hidden pieces of information in different ways, their final answers are normally similar, and the public correctly predicts the favourite over 30 percent of the time.

Horses with higher numbers generally run better than horses with lower numbers. Horses with higher pace figures generally get the lead. Classier horses usually run better than their working-class counterparts. No edges there. And trouble in the comments is often taken for gospel and overplayed.

Did the horse really get left in the gate? How many lengths did it cost him? Was he a speed horse that needed the lead, or a come-from-behind type? You need to know. Does the “blocked” comment really mean anything? What did the horse do after being blocked? And was he really blocked? What did it cost him?

There’s only one way to find out, and really only one serious edge left in the racing game – watching replays. Computers can’t do that.

If you’re a casual weekend player, you likely only have enough time to go back and watch a few replays for your contenders, or those flagged in the trouble lines, but if you really want to gain an edge on the crowd, you're going to have to use a system like the one Andy Beyer described in his book, The Winning Horseplayer.

Beyer used a notation system that included stages of the race, the pace, types of trouble, positions on the track and track biases. After every race he’d mark his program with the appropriate comments on each horse, and when he handicapped the races for a card maybe 2-3 weeks later, he’d pull out all his programs and look back at his notes on every horse that was entered.

Nowadays you can enter your notes into online platforms such as and Formulator, but you still need a good notation system.

Not only does Beyer's system give you a knowledge edge with regards to the horses and the track biases, it also allows you to spot discrepancies between your notes and the information in the official charts and past performances.

Did a horse make a rush between calls? That might not show up in the past performance lines. Was the horse in a vise on the turn and unable to get out, while not in any noticeable trouble? That likely won’t be in the chart or the past performance lines either.
Manitoba-bred Lady Cop (inside) wins the 2022 Debutante Stakes at ASD for trainer Mike Nault and owners A2 Thoroughbreds and True North Thoroughbreds. Renaldo Cumberbatch up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Andy Beyer's Short Form Notation System

Stages of the Race
G - Gate
FT - First Turn
B - Backstretch
T - Turn
E - Entering the Stretch
S - Stretch

Duel - A horse fighting for the lead
Stalk - A horse stalking the early pacesetters
Move - A horse accelerates strongly
MIHP - Move into a hot pace (not good)
Inherit - A horse takes the lead from tiring rivals

Types of Trouble
Slo - Slow break from the gate
Rush - Horse rushes into contention
Steady - Mild trouble caused by lack of running room
Check - Serious trouble that stops a horse’s momentum
Alter - Horse is forced to alter course sharply
NP - No Push. The jockey is not asking the horse to run at some stage of the race
Stiff - The jockey has not asked his horses to run at any stage of the race
V - Vise. A horse in heavy traffic without being in noticeable trouble
GP – A horse in good position with no rivals inside or out

Positions On The Track
Rail - Innermost position
2,3,4,5,6-P - Horse widths from the rail

Track Biases
GR Good Rail
GR+ Very strong good rail
BR Bad Rail
BR+ Very strong bad rail
S Speed favouring Track
S+ Very strong speed favouring track
C Track that favours closers

So... if you find a horse with the following in your notes:
G2 Slow, Rush, 7PFT, Vice T, Faded SGR+

It means you should go to the bank.... kidding! Maybe.

It means the horse broke two lengths slow, rushed up in the 7-path into the first turn, was in a vise on the final turn and faded on a track with very strong speed-rail bias.

Do you think this horse might run better next time? And what are the chances of finding a horse with a trip like this or similar? They’re out there. Every day. And the above information isn’t always in the past performance lines or the charts. But it might be…

In your programs.
Assiniboia Downs Backstretch Memories on Facebook
"Barney Penny, my brother Dan and me around 1966. Barney was part of the gate crew at Assiniboia Downs and a wonderful man." ~ Patti Ragen Schwisow. Thanks for posting and sharing Patti! See more on Facebook at Assiniboia Downs Backstretch Memories.
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

In The News
Kentucky-bred 'iron horse' was co-bred by Vancouver horse owner George Gilbert
Beverly Park has won 13 races in 2022 and is a son of Hastings Racecourse champ Madeira Park. (Coady Photography)
Beverly Park has won more races than any horse in North America this year and more races than any horse has in a year since 2011. The 5-year-old is a true iron horse, with 13 victories from a staggering 28 starts this year, at almost a dozen different tracks, while earning $271,868 ($512,970 lifetime). And he has Canadian connections! More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Agreement with Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community nears end
Canterbury Park is preparing for a shorter horse racing season this year. (Coady Photography)
Canterbury Park is preparing for a shorter horse racing season this year as a deal between the park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is reaching its end, also forcing the track to plan for smaller purses in the 2023 racing season. More from here.
Paul Ryneveld new GM at World Professional Chuckwagon Association
Paul Ryneveld took over the reins as the new WPCA General Manager effective November 21, 2022.
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) is pleased to announce the hiring of new General Manager, Mr. Paul Ryneveld. Paul's extensive experience includes a distinguished career spanning 35 years within the horse racing industry, most recently as the General Manager at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Rockyview, Alberta. Read more from the WPCA here.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the plaza to discuss group betting tickets and handicapping angles. This week the group will be looking at Woodbine and Tampa Bay. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it out? Email Larry at
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
Over the next few weeks our "Snapshot in Time" feature will have a festive look to it. To kick things off we start with the front of an R.J. Speers Christmas card. Lord Fairmond won the Queen’s Plate Trial and Prince of Wales Stakes and finished second in the Queen’s Plate and the Canadian Derby in 1948. In 1950, this handsome boy won the 25th Running of the Western Canada Handicap. The Western Canada Handicap and Canadian Derby were run at Polo Park Racetrack. (Card courtesy of the Speers family)
Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream (December 9) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover - $178,581

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 14
Niners over Bucs (Sunday afternoon): Last week the Niners showed that no matter how powerful your offense is, a superior defense will always get the job done. Even though the 49ers were down 7-0 after the first play of the game, the defense clamped down and suffocated the Dolphins the rest of the way. Nick Bosa led the charge with three sacks, while the rest of the front four was constantly applying pressure to Tua Tagovailoa, forcing him into errant passes and bad reads.

Of course, I can’t celebrate this win with all my heart because of handsome Jimmy G going down to another injury (sad face). Nobody has had a more tumultuous 2022 season than this guy right here. He wasn’t even supposed to be on the team this year, but thanks to an act from the football gods, he ended up sticking around and saving the 49ers season after Trey Lance went down. I feel extremely bad for Jimmy having to deal with another injury and hope he recovers 100%. Enter, Brock Purdy. “Mr. Irrelevant” (the name given to the very last pick in the draft) was unexpectedly thrown into game action and played fairly well. Is he good enough to lead the Niners the rest of the way though? Well, I certainly hope so! 
Bengals over Browns (Sunday noon): Deshaun Watson’s return to the NFL after two years didn’t exactly go well. Sure, they got the win, but it was against the worst team in the league and they didn’t even score an offensive touchdown. I guess that’s to be expected, and it will take some time to work the rust off. Meanwhile, Joe Burrow improved his record to 3-0 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Some people are calling Burrow vs Mahomes the new great rivalry, but is it really a rivalry when one guy has won every matchup so far? The Bengals are currently tied with the Ravens atop the AFC North and with Baltimore potentially losing Lamar Jackson for a few weeks, Cincinnati has a chance to take over the division lead and stamp their ticket to the post season.  
Bills over Jets (Sunday noon): Buffalo will look to avenge their Week 9 loss as the Jets will travel to Highmark Stadium for their second meeting of the season. With the Dolphins losing to my 49ers last week, the Bills have first place in the AFC East all to themselves. If the Jets wants to keep their playoff chances alive, they really can’t afford to lose any more games. Mike White is going to have to play better than he did last week against the Vikings and they can’t stall once they get into the red zone. Buffalo wants to lock down that first round playoff bye and have home field advantage, but it has to start with winning these division games. 
Last week (2-1)
Overall (27-12) 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week’s ASD history blog looks at the lives of Ross Allen and Brenda Lee, a couple who have been in racing for almost 50 years. Yes, Brenda Lee!?!? Not to mention that the happy couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Click here to learn more about Ross and Brenda’s horse racing life. (From May 2021)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Dec. 10 - more info
  • 1% Christmas Cash Back Special - Dec. 12 - Dec. 23 - more info
  • 12 Days of Christmas Draws - Dec. 13 - Dec. 26 in the Club West Gaming Lounge
  • Together Again: FROST, Loud Luxury, Arty & more - December 22 - more info
  • 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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