The Inside Track | Issue #125 | March 29, 2024

140 VLTS

ASD Hours

  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLT machines are sanitized between use
  • Please note that ASD is open regular hours (10 a.m. to 1 a.m.) on Good Friday, March 29 and Easter Sunday, March 31

2024 Live Race Dates

  • Monday, May 20 to Tuesday, September 17 - click here for schedule

In this edition . . .

  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • There's always a Deal at ASD!
  • Whitehall Back in Town
  • 2024 Condition Book #1
  • 2024 Shipping Incentive Program
  • Straight From the Well by Tim Cox
  • Road to Kentucky Derby 150
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Carryover Watch
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • "I Won Bigg" Wagering Group
  • A Snapshot In Time: Poker Derby
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Florida Derby Cheat Sheet
  • Muth, Timberlake head Arkansas Derby
  • Study Guide: 2024 UAE Derby
  • $12 Million Dubai World Cup Saturday
  • Steve Haskin's Derby Rankings Week 10
  • The Best of Bob - Already Dia
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

Upcoming Handicapping Tournaments

Player's Choice Tournaments:

  • Saturday, April 13
  • Saturday, May 11

Tournament Winners:

  • Player's Choice - Saturday, January 20 - Winner: Ron Phelps
  • Player's Choice - Saturday, February 17 - Winner: Trevor Phelps
  • Player's Choice - Saturday, March 16 - Winner: Don Allard

Club West Gaming Lounge

140 VLTs are available daily in our spacious Club West Gaming Lounge from 10 a.m. through 1 a.m. Enjoy complimentary coffee or tea. We also have fantastic deals on daily drink specials, happy hour specials, daily lunch and nightly food features. Please note that our VLTs are sanitized between play.

Free daily draws take place for your chance to win cash!

Pick an Easter Egg for CA$H!

  • Friday, March 29 through Monday, April 1 you can enter for a chance to pick an Easter Egg for up to $100 cash. Draws will take place throughout the day and evening starting at noon each day!
  • Please note that the Club West Gaming Lounge featuring 140 VLTs is open regular hours (10 a.m. to 1 a.m.) on Good Friday, March 29, Saturday, March 30 & Easter Sunday, March 31.

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, chipotle 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

Three-time ASD Leading Rider Antonio Whitehall Back in Town

Jockey colony looking strong for 2024

Three-time ASD leading rider Antonio Whitehall in trainer Jared Brown's barn with Manitoba Matron Stakes winner Spun Line. (George Williams)

Three-time ASD leading rider Antonio Whitehall was spotted on the track Thursday morning, and he was happy to be there. He’s not the only one.

The 30-year-old rider from Barbados is one of numerous jockeys back at the track right now exercising horses every day to secure live mounts for the upcoming season. Who here remembers that just 20 years ago you’d be lucky to even find a jockey at the track for spring training, let alone a leading rider.

Not anymore. These guys are hungry, and they’ll do whatever work it takes to stake their claim on the best runners of 2024. Exercising horses not only gives them a chance to feel out potential mounts and select the best of the best, but it also helps them get fit in the process.

Whitehall knows that if he’s not out in the mornings someone else might be eating his breakfast when the live race meeting begins on Monday, May 20, so he returned from a well-deserved break at home in Barbados on March 14.

Whitehall won the riding title here last year with confidence, winning at a 20-percent clip and compiling a record of 56-43-54 from 284 mounts for purse earnings of $687,757.

That was 15 wins ahead of runner-up Damario Bynoe, who is also here exercising horses in the morning along with fellow returnees Chavion Chow, Renaldo Cumberbatch, Prayven Badrie, Sven Balroop, Stanley Chadee Jr., Shavon Belle and comeback kid Tim Tarasenco.

2023 leading rider Antonio Whitehall has been getting on up to 15 horses a day. Shown here exercising a Wendy Anderson runner Thursday morning. (George Williams)

There are 170 horses on the grounds right now and that number is expected to go over 200 by the end of the month, which would be ahead of last year’s pace, but trainers must be loving the fact that they have so many choices for exercise riders. There was a time when it was difficult to find top exercise riders in the spring, but all of these jockeys are capable and enthusiastic! What a blessing!

Whitehall’s previous titles came in 2018, when he tied with Prayven Badrie, and outright in 2020, when he had his best year ever here with 74 wins. Whitehall had a shot at the national title in 2020, but he ran out of racing days in Western Canada and the Woodbine riders passed him.

“I just went back home and kicked back this winter, spent time with the family,” said Whitehall, who is a bit of a celebrity back home based on his riding successes in Canada. “It’s good to be back.”

So, what’s it like to go from 80 degrees above to minus 25?

"Of course it’s cold,” said Whitehall. “But my motto is just to keep going. When you stop you kind of like, freeze. You just have to keep galloping to get through it.”

Jockeys in action on the ASD training track. They're competing for mounts already! (George Williams)

Whitehall has been getting on horses for his usual top trainers including Wendy Anderson, Jared Brown, Shelley Brown and Tom Gardipy, Jr., among others. He’s married to Ria and the couple have a 3-year-old son. They’ve been together for nine years now.

“She's my support, you know,” said Whitehall. “My number one fan. She gives me a reason to go hard. My family, you know.” Whitehall is looking forward to this year and hoping to make a good run at his fourth title. He also relishes additional competition.

“Work hard, play hard,” he said. “Bring it on. It makes me better.” So much so that he influenced another young apprentice to make the journey here from Barbados. Rashad Knight has 26 wins in Barbados, and he’s been getting on horses for Wendy Anderson, Shelley Brown, Steven Gaskin and more.

“He’s in all the right barns,” said Whitehall.

And he would know.

Groom Christine Reaves in trainer Jared Brown's with "Jane" the racehorse. They both love what they do. (George Williams)

Download a copy of Condition Book #1 here or click on the image above.

Straight From the Well

Original painting by Tim Cox

"As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart." ~ Proverbs 27:19. May your day and week ahead be blessed. "Straight From The Well" painted By Tim Cox. See more original paintings from Tim Cox here.

Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • UAE Derby (Mey) - Mar. 30 - 100 points
  • Florida Derby (GP) - Mar. 30 - 100 points
  • Arkansas Derby (OP) - Mar. 30 - 100 points
  • Wood Memorial (Bel) - Apr. 6 - 100 points
  • Blue Grass (Kee) - Apr. 6 - 100 points
  • Santa Anita Derby - Apr. 6 - 100 points
  • Lexington (Kee) - Apr. 13 - 20 points

2024 Kentucky Derby points standings - here

Easter Brunch - Sunday, March 31 - SOLD OUT

We are excited to announce our Easter Brunch on Sunday, March 31 in the Terrace Dining Room from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us for a delicious brunch with your family and friends.

Our menu includes a variety of dishes such as:

  • Sliced Certified Angus Prime Rib in Mushroom Sauce
  • Carved Ham with Grilled Pineapple
  • Scrambled Eggs with Green Onion
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Omelette Station
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Hashbrowns
  • French Toast
  • Caesar Salad
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Golden Beet Salad
  • Wild Rice Salad
  • Cheddar Cheese, Kolbassa & Pickles
  • Smoked Sockeye Salmon Pizza
  • Rolls, Flatbreads and Butter
  • Croissants
  • Sliced Fruits and Berries
  • Cakes & Pastries

Tickets are priced at $39.95 (adults), $22.95 (12 & under), and $9.95 (5 & under). To purchase tickets, please call Samantha at 204-885-3330. 

This event sells out every year so order your tickets today!

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

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

Lady Nyla (#1 inside) wins a 4-horse photo in the 4th race on July 18, 2023 for trainer Don Senebald. Shavon Belle up. And she paid $23.50 to win! (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 [email protected]. Prices are excellent! Almost as good as his photos 😊

Wager on Top Tracks

Watch and wager on world class racing from the comfort of your private carrel in our race book located on the 2nd level of the grandstand. The race book is open daily at 10 a.m. Can't make it to the track? Visit one of our partner locations listed below or wager at Click here for a list of tracks to wager on during the month of March.

2% Cash Back on Gulfstream Park

Earn 2% cash back on Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 30 when you wager a minimum of $100. Maximum cash back $50. ($2.10 payouts not included). All wagers must be made on your HPI account. Opt-in at

Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream Park - March 29 - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $647,036. Mandatory payout on Sunday, March 31.

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 10:00 a.m. (2nd level plaza)

Join the "I Won Bigg" wagering group this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. The wagering group is open to everyone. This week they will be playing Dubai and Tampa. $20 per share. If you would like more information please email Larry. Please note the earlier start time of 10 a.m. for this Saturday.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

Our final heart-horse for the month of March is the Dowler Brothers’ Poker Derby. You can tell from the above photo that this dark brown boy presents well, so loud and proud! 


His trainer Phil Hayek tells the story of how a CBC cameraman (who was at the track to photograph Derby’s stablemate Northern Spike) made a disparaging remark directed at Poker Derby. Derby took umbrage at the comment that he looked ‘like a cheap claimer’ and before anyone knew what was going on, Derby lunged out and grabbed the cameraman by his CBC jacket. Now that he had everyone’s attention, Derby tore the jacket in half and chewed on it, all while staring the CBC man down. (Gerry Hart photo)


My thanks to Phil Hayek and Ivan Bigg’s The Insider for the Poker Derby story.

Florida Derby Cheat Sheet

Million dollar race attracts champion Fierceness, could be best Derby prep to date

Shug McGaughey trainee Conquest Warrior has been listed at 3-1 for Saturday's Florida Derby (G1) (Ryan Thompson / Gulfstream Park)

The 73rd edition of the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms at Xalapa drew last year’s champion 2-year-old male Fierceness among a talented cast for one of the most influential prep races on the road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. America's Best Racing has the scoop on all 11 entrants here.

Muth, Timberlake head Arkansas Derby

Grade 1 winners favoured in field of 10 on Saturday at Oaklawn Park

American Pharaoh (G1) and San Vicente (G2) winner Muth has been installed as the 8/5 morning-line favourite in Saturday's Arkansas Derby (G1). (Debra A. Roma)

Grade 1 winners Muth and Timberlake are among 10 horses entered in the $1.5 million Arkansas Derby (G1), which will be run for the 88th time on Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Muth won last year’s American Pharoah (G1) at Santa Anita and, in most recently won the San Vicente (G2). Timberlake won last year’s Champagne (G1) at the Belmont meet at Aqueduct and is coming off a win in the Rebel Stakes (G2) Oaklawn Park. Should be a great race between these two! More from the Daily Racing Form here.

Study Guide: 2024 UAE Derby

Talented field of 13 looking for Kentucky Derby points on Saturday

Gander Stakes winner Pandagate is the only USA hopeful in the UAE Derby (G2) on Saturday. (Chelsea Durand / Coglianese Photos)

A talented 13-horse field will contest Saturday's $2.5 million UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan in Dubai. Held over 1,900 meters (about 1 3/16-miles) on dirt, the UAE Derby awards Road to the Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top five finishers on a 100-50-25-15-10 basis. The UAE Derby has yet to produce a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, but that could change in 2024, given the caliber of horses in this year's UAE Derby field. Meet the entrants here.

$12 Million Dubai World Cup

Saudi Cup winner Senor Buscador meets the world in Dubai World Cup Saturday

Senor Buscador, winner of the Saudi Cup, seeks more riches in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 30. (Dubai World Cup)

Defending champion Ushba Tesoro has drawn post 5 in Saturday’s Group 1, $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1). The Noboru Takagi-trained Japanese star faces a captivating rematch at Meydan with American challenger Senor Buscador, with a head having separated the pair in last month’s Saudi Cup. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.

Kentucky Derby Rankings by Steve Haskin

The Road to the Derby, March 25, 2024 – Week 10

"We have finally crossed the long-awaited threshold into the 100-point races and even with the Jeff Ruby Steaks having little or no impact on the Kentucky Derby with the winner heading elsewhere, we were treated by several excellent performances in the Louisiana Derby, and on a fast track. So let’s hope for races this formful and exciting in the next two weeks." ~ Steve Haskin. Read more at here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

When is a track record not a record? Bob’s blog this week tells of a Downs’ track record for a mile that stood for eight years despite being bettered by several horses. What was the “catch?” Bob has the details here (From May 21, 2017). 

Upcoming events at ASD

  • Pick an Easter Egg for a chance to win $100 - Friday, March 29 to Monday, April 1
  • Good Friday, Friday, March 29 - VLTs open regular hours 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Easter Sunday, Sunday, March 31 - VLTs open regular hours 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Easter Brunch - Sunday, March 31 - SOLD OUT
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, April 13 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to [email protected].
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