The Inside Track | Issue #94 | August 25, 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?
  • ASD Player Portal
  • Chase the Ace at ASD
  • Las Vegas Challenge Tournament
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials
  • Upsets, Longshots, Huge Payoffs Rule Week
  • Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale Average Up
  • McKellar Wins Las Vegas Challenge
  • Snapshot in Time - Scarlet Rich
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Mano Dura faces 11 in Canadian Derby
  • Bargain purchase wins King's Plate
  • Star-studded field for 154th Travers Stakes
  • Bob's Blog - Concerts of the '70s and '80s
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
Live Racing this Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $18,326 (last five races)
  • Classic Hi-5 carryover $24,065 (race 7 Monday)
  • $50,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (last four races)
  • New to the races? Be sure to stop by and see Brad and Shannon. They will answer all your questions about racing and wagering.
  • Download the Dark Horse Betting App, open a new account and get $30 in free wagers.
  • Free Family Fun activities every Monday through Sept. 4. Bouncy Castles, face painting, live entertainment. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Free admission and free parking daily.
  • Can't make it to the track? Watch and wager at
  • Please note that we have added an additional night of racing on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
  • See revised ASD schedule here.
ASD Player Portal
Get all the information on Assiniboia Downs racing in one convenient place! The ASD Player Portal features the following FREE information:

  • Link to watch ASD Live Racing on our YouTube channel
  • ASD Live with Kirt & Stretch
  • Free ASD programs
  • ASD expert picks
  • Horse Racing Nation power picks
  • Charting Horse Value charts
  • Trust The Prophets Monday handicapping live stream
  • Brisnet premium pps
  • Jockey bios
  • Photo finish photos

All of the above information is free of charge and available on the ASD Player Portal.
Win $5,000 by selecting the Ace of Diamonds!

Tickets for Chase the Ace Week #15 are on sale now with a $5,000 Guaranteed Accumulator Jackpot if someone picks the Ace of Diamonds!

Manitoba Jockey Club - LGCA-5630-RF-39799
2023 Las Vegas Challenge Handicapping Tournaments

  • Las Vegas Challenge - Monday, September 18

PRIZES: The tournament winner receives a trip for two to Las Vegas and a trophy (the winner will be provided $3,500 to book their trip to Las Vegas). Second place finisher will receive a $500 deposit to their HPI account, the third place finisher will receive a $250 deposit to their HPI account.

Entry fee into the Las Vegas Challenge is $50 but can be reduced by qualifying on Assiniboia Downs’ race cards leading up to the tournament. To qualify you must select the horse that you think will win each race on the Assiniboia Downs race card. Email your selections for that race night to Sheri at [email protected] prior to the start of racing. If you select three winners on the race card, your entry fee is reduced to $25. For every other race card that you select three winners on your entry fee is reduced by another $5. 

  • Monday, June 19 - Ron Zurba
  • Monday, July 10 - Murray Chaban
  • Monday, July 31 - Tanis Atras
  • Monday, August 21 - Brian McKellar
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 in FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
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.

  • Club West Dining Room & Lounge menu
  • Daily Happy Hour specials
Chef's Weekend Specials
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.

Add a starter Caesar salad, tossed salad or soup of the day to any of the above specials for $3.95. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Live Racing Buffets

Our renowned all-you-can-eat Prime Rib Buffet is booking up fast for the remainder of the live racing season. Make your reservation today!

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
Upsets, Longshots, Huge Payoffs Rule Week at ASD
Lone FanDuel (TVG) bettor wins $69,860 on ASD Jackpot Pick 5 with $4.80 Ticket!
Delvecchio (#3) on his way to victory in the $40,000 Phil Kives Stakes on Monday. Damario Bynoe up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Freshly claimed Saskatchewan-bred Delvecchio won the 7th running of the $40,000 Phil Kives Stakes on Monday, Manitoba-bred Melisandre wired her field in the 28th running of the $40,000 Distaff Stakes on Tuesday, and Hey Hey Run Away became the longest-price winner of the meeting in the seventh race on Tuesday, which helped one lucky bettor scoop the whole pool in the ASD Jackpot Pick 5 to the tune of $69,860!

Devecchio ($10.20) got the longshot train rolling on Monday when he wired his field in the Phil Kives Stakes under jockey Damario Bynoe for trainer Mike Nault, owner A2 Thoroughbreds, breeder W. Don Bjarnson, and groom Charlotte Johnston.

Making his first start since being claimed for $10,000, the 7-year-old gelding by Where’s the Ring looked powerful on the front end, opening up on favoured McKague early and turning that one back again into the final turn before drawing out to win by 4 ½-lengths. Delvecchio took home $24,580 for his big win, easily paying for himself in his first start for new trainer Mike Nault.
Melisandre wins the $40,000 Distaff Stakes on Tuesday. Antonio Whitehall up. (Jason Halstead photo)
The upsets continued on Tuesday, albeit of the milder variety, when Manitoba-bred Melisandre ($5.00) took the rail and the lead early in the Distaff Stakes under jockey Antonio Whitehall and never looked back, holding on to defeat resurging favourite Lady Cop by two lengths.

Trained by Lise Pruitt, owned by True North Thoroughbreds and Arnason Farms, bred by Cam Ziprick, Charles Fouillard and Barry Arnason, and groomed by Richie Rickets, Melisandre was winning her second stakes of 2023, having previously won the Cool Excellence Overnight Stakes on June 6. The 5-year-old mare by Going Commando went over the $200,000 mark in earnings with her Distaff win and once again highlighted the fact that it pays to buy Manitoba-breds.

On the same evening, Hey Hey Run Away became the longest-priced winner of the meeting when she held on to take the seventh race. The 8-year-old mare paid $164.40, $68.10, $13.90 across the board for trainer Jared Brown, owner 2 Points Ranch and jockey Arthur Budhu.

Hey Hey Run Away had been beaten over 56 lengths in her previous four starts, finishing ninth beaten 9 ¼-lengths in her most recent start under leading rider Whitehall. And in her three starts previous to that she’d been ridden by top jockey Jorge Carreno. Must have been the rider switch to Budhu!
Hey Hey Run Away (#9) becomes the longest-priced winner of the meeting so far in the seventh race on Tuesday night. The 9-year-old mare paid a whopping $164.40! Arthur Budhu up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Hey Hey Run Away’s big payoff was part of the sequence in the ASD Jackpot Pick 5 score made by a player from FanDuel (TVG) on Tuesday night, who bet a $0.20 Pick 5 that included 5,6 / 2,9 / 2 / 8,9 / 3,8,10 for a total of only $4.80. The Jackpot Pick 5 paid $69,860! For five bucks!
And get this. The last race on Tuesday was won by jockey Antonio Whitehall and Hezadoozie ($22.70), which resulted in a $1 Pick 4 payoff of $8,533.40. Hezadoozie defeated fellow longshot Pickingupstrangers ($44.55) by a neck. The $1 Pick 4 payoff to Pickingupstrangers, as shared by one of our loyal Twitter (X) followers that goes by the name of Marco, would have paid $59,733!
Groom Charlotte Johnston lead Delvecchio into the winner's circle on Monday after his victory in the $40,000 Phil Kives Stakes. (Jason Halstead photo)
The longshot train continued on Wednesday evening in the eighth race when jockey Tim Tarasenco booted home Sparkling Silver ($58.60) for trainer Carl Anderson, topping a 20-cent Superfecta payoff of $4,676.75.

Tarasenco is in the second year of a comeback off a 24-year-layoff and he’s amazingly riding better than he was during his first 14 years at Assiniboia Downs beginning in 1985. He has now compiled an excellent record of 11-8-7 from 65 starts, and Budhu’s not far behind, with a record of 9-4-10 from 62 starts. Both jockeys are beating the odds.

Watch the tote board.
Breeders Larry Falloon and Denis Huberdeau top sale with $25,000 Nonios colt
Hip #9, the sales topper from Sunday's Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale. Consigned by breeders Larry Falloon (right) and Denis Huberdeau, the bay colt by Nonios-Nickel Candy by Silver Deputy was purchased by Arthur Roy for $25,000. (George Williams photo)
Larry Falloon of Foxwarren, Manitoba, and his partner Denis Huberdeau, finally got themselves a sales topper at the annual Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale on Sunday, and they’ve certainly earned it.

Falloon and Huberdeau sold Hip #9, a bay colt by Nonios-Nickel Candy by Silver Deputy, for $25,000 to Arthur Roy, and also sold #Hip #35, a bay colt by Nonios-Dreaming of Sasha by Wheaton, for $22,000, to Anne Champion. Sandwiched between those two youngsters was the second highest-priced yearling of the sale, Hip #23, a dark bay filly by Speculating-Talkn Til Midnight by Broken Vow, consigned by Ziprick Thoroughbreds and purchased by John Ganas for $23,500.

Sixteen (42%) of the 38 yearlings offered for sale sold for an average price of $11,469, compared to 17 of 32 sold (53%) last year for an average price of $10,008. The number of yearlings sold and the average price reflected the fact that Manitoba breeders are buying back their horses if they don’t get their price, and the horses that do sell are bringing in good money for their breeders.

The yearlings by proven Manitoba sire Nonios sold as expected and the first crop of Speculating yearlings also lived up to lofty expectations. The lucrative breeding and stallion awards, and the excellent purse structure and bonuses available at Assiniboia Downs for Manitoba-breds, make it a win-win situation for both breeders and buyers.

Additional horses were sold privately after the sale. Hip #13, a bay filly by Vengeful Wildcat-Plain Brown by Sightseeing, consigned by Dr. Betty Hughes, was sold to A2 Thoroughbreds, and Hip #5, a bay gelding by Nonios-Mairia by Old Forester, also consigned by Hughes, was bought by trainer Devon Gittens and owner Ron Wiley.

Falloon has been involved with racehorses for over 30 years, and purchased Nonios with partners Andrew Clarke and Denis Huberdeau to stand at Maggie Lawson’s Dunroven Farm in Rosser, Manitoba, a few years ago. The Affirmed Handicap-G3 winner has become a solid proven sire of winners and stakes winners in Manitoba, and Falloon and Huberdeau are finally being rewarded for their years of investment in the racing game.

Nice to see!
Breeder Dr. Betty Hughes with her Hip #13, Brown With Bling, a daughter of Vengeful Wildcat who was sold privately after the sale to A2 Thoroughbreds. (George Williams photo)
Brian McKellar Wins Las Vegas Challenge Tourney
2018 Handicapper of the Year and multi-time winner reclaims monthly crown
Brian McKellar with his 2018 Handicapper of the Year Trophy (The Insider photo)
Former Handicapper of the Year and multiple-tournament winner Brian McKellar won the August Las Vegas Challenge Handicapping Tournament on Monday, and his margin of victory was much higher than we’ve seen lately.

McKellar turned his $60 bankroll in a $94.60 to take home $3,500, a trophy and bragging rights, defeating Geoffrey Gard ($88.60) by $6.30, followed by Kevin Arnst ($79.60), Nicole Baker ($71.60) and Geoffrey Metcalf ($62.30).

Four of the top five finishers in the contest including McKellar, Gard, Arnst, and Baker, along with Brent Daurie, also split the $100 prize for selecting the longest-priced winner in the contest, Happy Hour, in the third race, which paid $28.20, $12.40, $8.60 across the board.

McKellar lost his first two contest bets, but then hit with Happy Hour in the third race, and rolled home with six straight cashes including winners Gentrified ($6.50) in the fifth race, Stan’s Starlet ($5.80) in the seventh and Mia’s Majesty ($6.20) in the eighth.

The king has reclaimed his crown.
Carryover Watch
  • Del Mar (August 24) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $143,060
  • Parx (August 28) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $115,219
  • Assiniboia Downs (August 28) - Classic Hi-5 carryover $24,065
  • Assiniboia Downs (August 28) Jackpot Hi-5 carryover $18,326

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

The "I Won Bigg" wagering group will be playing Assiniboia Downs every Wednesday. $20 per share. Email Larry at [email protected] for more information.
Join us this Sunday, August 27 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. for the final Manitoba Night Market & Festival of the year!

  • Kid's activities from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. including bouncy castles, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon artist plus a special visit from Paw Patrol and Ninja Turtles
  • Live musical entertainment starting at 3 p.m.
  • Professional Live Wrestling from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Fire Dancers at 10 p.m.

Tickets are $7 (5 & under free) and are available here or at the door. Event parking is $5.

For more information on the vendors and food trucks that will be in attendance go to our Instagram page @mbnightmarket
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
The above snap features Nick Block and Scarlet Rich mugging for the camera a couple of days prior to the 22nd running of the Gold Cup in 1979. Rich was second best in the Cup as favourite Island Fling was just too much horse for him that day. You don’t always have to be a winner to make the Snapshot in Time remembrances. (Gerry Hart Photo)
Manitoba Derby winner faces 11 rivals in Western Canadian Triple Crown quest
Mano Dura wins the 75th running of the Manitoba Derby for trainer Jerry Gourneau and owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. Antonio Whitehall up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Manitoba Derby victor Mano Dura will look to continue his winning ways going 1 1/4-miles against a deep field in the second leg of the Western Canadian Triple Crown on Saturday in the Grade 3, $200,000 Canadian Derby at Century Mile in Edmonton, Alberta.The series concludes with the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby on Sept. 16 at Hastings. There’s a $100,000 bonus in waiting if Mano Dura sweeps the three prestigious races for 3-year-olds. In addition, the Canadian Derby winner gets a paid entry into the Grade 3 Ontario Derby on Oct. 21 at Woodbine. More from the Daily Racing Form here.
Bought for $21,000 by trainer Jamie Attard for Mike Langlois, Paramount Prince, now co-owned by Gary Barber, trained by Mark Casse, wins Plate
Patrick Husbands guides Paramount Prince to victory in the 164th running of the $1,000,000 King's Plate. (Woodbine/Michael Burns Photo)
To reach the summit, you have to take a chance. The people associated with Paramount Prince, the newest King’s Plate winner, did just that and were rewarded with a front-running, walk-in-the-park display by their chestnut three-year-old, who took the $1 million Canadian classic on August 20 in front of a big crowd at Woodbine racetrack. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont winners face Forte in summer classic
Travers morning-line favourite Forte works at Saratoga. (Adam Coglianese/NYRA)
Three different horses won this year's Triple Crown races, and in the minds of many fans and handicappers the divisional leader is not among them. That makes Saturday’s $1.25 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course even more important than usual – this year’s renewal is shaping up to be the key race in setting the leaderboard for the fall months, with the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November the final determining factor in the competition for champion 3-year-old male honors. Get the rundown on this year's stellar Travers Stakes field from America's Best Racing here.
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
Do you remember when the Downs put on race day concerts? The usual fair trended towards country music, but the offerings were always entertaining. You got a pre- or post-race concert and a full card of racing all for the price of admission. And that's another thing -- remember when you had to pay to get into the races? Click here for the history blog’s tribute to race day concerts of the '70s and '80s.
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Club West Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 in free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • ASD Live Racing Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. - more info
  • Free Family Fun Nights Mondays through Sept. 4 - more info
  • Canadian Derby from Century Mile - Saturday, August 26 - more info
  • Manitoba Night Market & Festival - Sunday, August 27 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to [email protected].
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.