Dec 202015

If you’re looking for the Christmas spirit from Phil.


Sometimes you gotta get the Christmas spirit in you.

Woodford Reserve Four Wood


Songs From The Wood

Phil’s Vignette of Canadian History:

Christmas in Quebec

Huron Carol

LA Times – Crotta – What does your Christmas tree say about you? (Does it say you’re boring?)

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree


Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – The lawsuit that is so important for anyone who cares about racing’s future

Derby Wars Complaint

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Ehalt -Wake up Racing – Daily Fantasy Sports are a real threat

Legal Sports Report – Grove – Daily Fantasy Sports Grabs Victory From Jaws Of Defeat In NY Court Battle

Legal Sports Report – Grove – Daily Fantasy Sports Face Dim Future In New York After Judge Hands Win To Attorney General

Legal Sports Report – Gouker – California Daily Fantasy Sports Hearing Frames Legislative Debate Moving Forward

TDN – Thornton – Opinions Galore on Contest Play

Phil has a question:

Threat or opportunity.

NY Times – Glanz, Armendariz and Williams – N.F.L.’s Deal Over Data Blurs a Line on Gambling

All gamblers lose regularly, but they rarely discuss it in public. Losing is bad for the image, dude. Nobody buys Hot Tips from Losers. Remember that.
Hunter S. Thompson

Back To Black

Supreme Court of Canada – R. v. Riesberry, 2015 SCC 65

NY Times – Macy – Better to Be Lucky Than Good? Sometimes It’s True

Phil has a question:

How will DraftKings and FanDuel explain the luck element.

Celebrate the Grand Slam Champion!

December 26 – Boxing Day

Opening Day Trackside Package






The Guest Chef Series in the Chandelier Room

The Globe and Mail – Carrick – Prepare for the worst and make 2016 the year of the emergency fund

Phil has a question:

Did Shirley McClellan and /or Rick Lelacheur provide an emergency fund for the horse racing industry in Alberta when the current slot revenue sharing agreement ends March 31, 2016 or only for themselves leaving the horsemen to freeze in the dark.

When will Shirley McClellan and /or Rick Lelacheur start to be candidly honest with the horse racing industry about the future prospects for the horse racing industry in the province of Alberta.

Will Shirley McClellan and Rick LeLacheur leave Horse Racing Alberta with their golden parachutes while the horsemen are left trying to fly Lead Zeppelins.

When will the Alberta NDP government realize that to clean up the years of Tory hog trough patronage they need to swallow and spit out the golden parachute poison pills.

The budget should be balanced; the treasury should be refilled; public debt should be reduced; and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.


Don’t Know What It Means

TwinSpires Blog – Pugh – Is Another American Pharoah Too Much to Ask for Christmas?


Is that rumble we hear the The Fat Lady gearing up.

The southern end of the campus, including Borden Park could be home to festivals, and not just K-Days, as well as other concerts and entertainment events. Horse racing looks like it’s on the way out. “I think the provincial government’s position on it is that they don’t see a big future for continuing subsidy of that activity,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

“Clearly that could have impacts for Northlands but you know that also creates some different opportunities as well for the land to be used and the facilities to be re-purposed so I think we’ll be resilient no matter what.”

CKNW – Johnston – Northlands to reinvigorate entire 160 acre campus after Oilers move downtown

“So egos were put aside and the leadership at EEDC in Brad Ferguson, and at Northlands with Tim Reid, those two folks have really come together. And actually between that and the relationships with the Oilers, things are really starting to come together again.”

The city is also trying to steer the Northlands board into a new model. It’s been paired down after running for years with 50 members. Iveson said city council is trying to add more business and governance expertise to enhance the community development work that’s been in place over the years.

“That’s how we do it at EEDC and it’s how we do it on the Airports Authority and so on and so forth,” Iveson said. “That would be a component of any evolution for Northlands that involves a considerable continued investment from the city is continuing to evolve their governance to reflect best practices out there.”

INews 880 – Johnston – Economic development at Northlands steps up as Oilers leave: Mayor’s year end interview

Phil sent the following e-mail to both Shirley McClellan and Rick LeLacheur

Re: Mayor Iveson

Why haven’t you kept the Alberta horse industry apprised of what Northlands is planning.

Phil received the read receipts back from both Shirley McClellan and Rick LeLacheur but unlike Rick M. Baedeker the CEO of the CHRB who responded to an e-mail from Phil M Stockmen 3 minutes after the read receipt neither Shirley McClellan nor Rick LeLacheur have bothered to respond yet. Could it be that they realize that any response will be as damning as answering the question: When did you stop stealing from your employer.

Phil has a question:

How tough is it to stuff the cat back into the bag.

When will Horse Racing Alberta add more business and governance expertise to their Board and staff.

Did Mayor Iveson’s comments catch Shirley McClellan and  / or Rick LeLacheur by surprise.

If the comments did they should both be immediately replaced as both Phil and the eminently resourceful ex-muckler  Mucka Singh have been commenting on the fact that Northlands Park had publicly announced it was preparing a report on the future use of their entire footprint and both Phil and Mucka have commented that there were rumblings about Northlands Park wanting out of the horse racing game. If Phil and Mucka were aware of this eventuality then why weren’t Shirley McClellan the 1/4 million a year CEO of Horse Racing Alberta and her sidekick Rick LeLacheur aware of this eventuality.

If it didn’t they should both be immediately replaced as they would then not have been dealing the straight goods to the horsemen of all breeds and the entire horse racing industry about the possibility of one of the major partners shutting down horse racing at their facility.

Who’s zooming who.

Who’s to blame for Northlands Park feeling this way about horse racing.

Is Northlands Park posturing during negotiating or is Northlands Park serious about shutting down horse racing of all breeds in Edmonton.

Is Northlands Park trying to get the $2,ooo,ooo that the Jim Prentice Tories trimmed from their financial support back.

Will the Alberta government decouple the requirement of having horse racing for Northlands Park to permit Northlands Park to retain the slots without the necessity of having horse racing.

If the Alberta government decouples the requirement of having horse racing for Northlands Park to retain the slots, how long before Century Casinos asks for the same concession for Century Downs.

Will the Alberta government add in table games and a poker room for the Northlands Park new casino next to the new hotel that Northlands is planning.

If the Alberta government adds in table games and a poker room after decoupling how long before Century Casinos asks for the same concession for Century Downs.

What will it take to keep Northlands Park in the horse racing game.

Will getting rid of Shirley McClellan and Rick LeLacheur and giving Northlands Park a fair shake at the bargaining table be sufficient.

Will having Horse Racing Alberta stop continually poking Northlands Park in the eye with a sharp pointy stick be sufficient.

Who’s Zooming Who

How could this happen? How could one person, or even a malevolent confederacy of self-serving politicos, shut down an entire industry and put thousands of people out of work? How could they force folks to sell their farms and abandon the lives they have spent years building? How could this happen in Texas?

ESPN – West – Messing with Texas racing

Decoupling would end a requirement that racetracks with slot machines or card clubs offer live racing. Before this year it was limited to the Greyhound racing industry.

Bloodhorse – LaMarra – Decoupling Option Part of Tribal Compact

TDN – Finley – Slots Money Gone, But Woodbine Fights Back


Bloodhorse – Churchill Unveils Derby Betting Championship


Bloodhorse – VRC Suspends TwinSpires ADW License


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pick 6    $26,166.00
Fair Grounds
Pick 5 Jackpot    $71,954.00
Gulfstream Park
Pick 6 Jackpot    $13,849.00
Laurel Park
Pick 6 Jackpot    $77,770.00
Pick 5    $11,982.00
Super High Five     $10,375.00
Los Alamitos
Pick 6    $6,384.00
Sunland Park
Super High Five     $813.00
Pick 6 Jackpot    $253.00
Tampa Bay Downs
Super High Five     $7,247.00
Turf Paradise
Pick 6    $4,909.00
Turfway Park
Super High Five     $2,526.00
Pick 5    $18,270.00

Monday, December 21, 2015

Delta Downs
Super High Five     $969.00

Guaranteed Pools

Equibase Carryovers and Guaranteed Pools


Racing Post – Riley – Racing’s appeal rises but National out of top ten

TDN – How American Pharoah Changed Racing: An Insider’s Perspective

TDN – DeBernardis – Down the Shedrow with Christophe Clement

Bloodhorse – McAnally Nearing Seven Decades at Santa Anita

Dec 20
New York Stallion Series (Fifth Ave. Div.) $150,000 2yo Fillies R 6f Dirt
Japan Racing Association
Asahi Hai Futurity Stake GI $1,274,000 2yo 8f Turf
Sunland Park
Johnie L. Jamison stake $85,000 3&up State/Prov 6.5f Dirt
New Mexico State Racing Commission handicap $85,000 3&up Fillies & Mares State/Prov 6f Dirt

Dec 26
Damon Runyon stake $100,000 2yo State/Prov 8.32f Dirt
Gravesend Handicap (Listed) $100,000 3&up 6f Dirt
Fair Grounds
Pago Hop stake $75,000 3yo Fillies abt 8f Turf
Pan Zareta stake $60,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 6f Turf
Woodchopper stake $75,000 3yo abt 8f Turf
Gulfstream Park
La Prevoyante Handicap GIII $100,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 12f Turf
Sugar Swirl Stake GIII $100,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 6f Dirt
W.L. McKnight Handicap GIII $100,000 3&up 12f Turf
Japan Racing Association
Hanshin Cup GII $1,173,000 3&up 7f Turf
Laurel Park
Dave’s Friend stake $100,000 3&up 6f Dirt
Jennings handicap $50,000 3&up State/Prov 8f Dirt
Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship $50,000 2yo Fillies State/Prov 7f Dirt
Maryland Juvenile Futurity $50,000 2yo State/Prov 7f Dirt
Thirty-Eight Go Go stake $100,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 8f Dirt
Santa Anita Park
Daytona Stake GIII $100,000 3&up abt 6.5f Turf
La Brea Stake GI $300,000 3yo Fillies 7f Dirt
Malibu Stake GI $300,000 3yo 7f Dirt
Mathis Brothers Mile GII $200,000 3yo 8f Turf
Sunland Park
La Senora stake $85,000 2yo Fillies State/Prov 6f Dirt
Turf Paradise
Arizona Juvenile Fillies stake $35,000 2yo Fillies 6.5f Dirt
Lost in the Fog Juvenile stake $35,000 2yo 6.5f Dirt

Dec 27
East View stake $100,000 2yo Fillies State/Prov 8.32f Dirt
New York Stallion Series (Great White Way Div.) $150,000 2yo Colts & Geldings R 6f Dirt
Gulfstream Park
Windley Key stake $75,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 5f Turf
Japan Racing Association
Arima Kinen GI $4,530,000 3&up 12.5f Turf
Hopeful Stake GII $1,173,000 2yo 10f Turf
Portland Meadows
Bill Wineberg stake $15,000 2yo Colts & Geldings State/Prov 6f Dirt
Janet Wineberg stake $15,000 2yo Fillies State/Prov 6f Dirt
Lethal Grande Oregon Sprint Championship $12,000 3&up State/Prov 6f Dirt
Oregon Distaff Starter handicap $7,500 3&up Fillies & Mares State/Prov 6f Dirt
Oregon Fall Starter handicap $7,500 3&up State/Prov 6f Dirt
Oregon Hers stake $12,000 3yo Fillies State/Prov 8f Dirt
Oregon His stake $12,000 3yo Colts & Geldings State/Prov 8.5f Dirt
Santa Anita Park
Blue Norther Stake (Listed) $75,000 2yo Fillies 8f Turf
Robert J. Frankel Stake GIII $100,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 9f Turf

Dec 30
Santa Anita Park
Kalookan Queen Stake (Listed) $75,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 6.5f Dirt

Dec 31
Alex M. Robb stake $100,000 3&up State/Prov 8.5f Dirt
Fair Grounds
Louisiana Futurity $100,000 2yo Colts & Geldings State/Prov 6f Dirt
Louisiana Futurity $100,000 2yo Fillies State/Prov 6f Dirt
Santa Anita Park
Eddie Logan Stake (Listed) $75,000 2yo 8f Turf

Jan 1
Lost in the Fog stake $125,000 3yo 6f Dirt

Jan 2
Jerome Stake GIII $200,000 3yo 8.32f Dirt
Fair Grounds
Bonapaw stake $60,000 4&up abt 5.5f Turf
Gulfstream Park
Dania Beach Stake GIII $100,000 3yo 7.5f Turf
Ginger Brew Stake (Listed) $100,000 3yo Fillies 7.5f Turf
Hutcheson Stake GIII $100,000 3yo 6f Dirt
Mucho Macho Man Stake (Listed) $100,000 3yo 8f Dirt
Old Hat Stake GIII $100,000 3yo Fillies 6f Dirt
Laurel Park
Native Dancer stake $75,000 4&up 8.5f Dirt
Nellie Morse stake $75,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 8.5f Dirt
What a Summer stake $75,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 6f Dirt
Santa Anita Park
Midnight Lute Stake GIII $100,000 4&up 6.5f Dirt
San Gabriel Stake GII $200,000 4&up 9f Turf
Santa Ynez Stake GII $200,000 3yo Fillies 6.5f Dirt
Sunland Park
Bold Ego handicap $65,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 5.5f Dirt
Turfway Park
Wintergreen stake $50,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 8f AW

Jan 3
Santa Anita Park
Monrovia Stake GII $200,000 4&up Fillies & Mares abt 6.5f Turf

Jan 5
Portland Meadows
Crater Lake handicap $9,000 4&up 8f Dirt
Crescent Lake handicap $9,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 8f Dirt
East Lake handicap $9,000 3yo 8f Dirt
Mary Goldblatt Starter handicap $9,000 3&up Fillies & Mares 6f Dirt
McFadden Starter handicap $9,000 3&up 8f Dirt

Jan 8
Delta Downs
By the Light $75,000 3yo Fillies 7f Dirt

Jan 9
Interborough Stake (Listed) $100,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 6f Dirt
Delta Downs
Big Drama $75,000 3yo 7f Dirt
Gulfstream Park
Fort Lauderdale Stake GII $200,000 4&up 8.5f Turf
Hal’s Hope Stake GIII $150,000 4&up 8f Dirt
Marshua’s River Stake GIII $150,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 8.5f Turf
Santa Anita Park
San Pasqual Stake GII $200,000 4&up 8.5f Dirt
Sham Stake GIII $100,000 3yo 8f Dirt
Tampa Bay Downs
Turf Dash (Listed) $100,000 4&up 5f Turf

January 10

Ladies Handicap (Listed) $100,000 4&up Fillies & Mares 8.32f Dirt
Sunland Park
Pepsi Cola stake $85,000 3yo State/Prov 6f Dirt

Bloodhorse – Remington Park Plans to Report Horse Weights

Bloodhorse – Mor Spirit Clears Toews On Ice at Los Al

Lady and the Track – Macatangay – Mor Spirit a Standout in Los Alamitos Futurity

TwinSpires Blog – Caldwell – Mor Spirit hands Baffert record eighth win in Los Alamitos Futurity

DRF – Road to the Derby: Los Alamitos Futurity

Bloodhorse – Porter – A Big Weekend for Giant’s Causeway Sons

2016 Road to the Kentucky Derby

The 142nd running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) will be run Saturday, May 7, 2016, and for the fourth consecutive year, a tiered point system in select races will determine who qualifies to America’s greatest race.
Race    Track    Date    Points
Jerome Aqueduct Jan 2, 2016 10-4-2-1
Sham Santa Anita Park Jan 9, 2016 10-4-2-1
Lecomte Fair Grounds Jan 16, 2016 10-4-2-1
Smarty Jones Oaklawn Park Jan 18, 2016 10-4-2-1
Holy Bull Gulfstream Park Jan 30, 2016 10-4-2-1
Withers Aqueduct Jan 30, 2016 10-4-2-1
Robert B. Lewis Santa Anita Park Feb 6, 2016 10-4-2-1
El Camino Real Derby Golden Gate Fields Feb 13, 2016 10-4-2-1
Southwest Oaklawn Park Feb 15, 2016 10-4-2-1
Risen Star Fair Grounds Feb 20, 2016 50-20-10-5
Fountain of Youth Gulfstream Park Feb 27, 2016 50-20-10-5
Gotham Aqueduct Mar 5, 2016 50-20-10-5
Tampa Bay Derby Tampa Bay Downs Mar 12, 2016 50-20-10-5
San Felipe Santa Anita Park Mar 12, 2016 50-20-10-5
Rebel Oaklawn Park Mar 19, 2016 50-20-10-5
Sunland Derby Sunland Park Mar 20, 2016 50-20-10-5
Spiral Turfway Park Mar 26, 2016 50-20-10-5
UAE Derby Meydan Racecourse Mar 26, 2016 100-40-20-10
Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds Mar 26, 2016 100-40-20-10
Florida Derby Gulfstream Park Apr 2, 2016 100-40-20-10
Wood Memorial Aqueduct Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Blue Grass Keeneland Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita Park Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Arkansas Derby Oaklawn Park Apr 16, 2016 100-40-20-10
Lexington Keeneland Apr 16, 2016 10-4-2-1

2016 Belmont Stakes Festival Logo Unveiled

Bloodhorse – 2016 Belmont Stakes Festival Logo Unveiled

While the Baffert Barn were cashing their Los Alamitos Futurity Exactor tickets on Mor Spirit and Toews on Ice Doug O’Neill and Reddam Racing LLC added another arrow to their Kentucky Derby Trail quiver as Eddie Haskell drew clear from the field when asked in Los Alamitos’ last race on Saturday, December 19, 2015.

Hard Sun

TwinSpires Blog – Ishaq just holds in Inaugural while Hidden Treat prevails in Sandpiper

TDN – Blinkers Off Mid-Race, but Harlan’s Holiday Colt Stays Unbeaten at Tampa

Bloodhorse – Amoss Plots Plans for Pair of 2-Year-Olds

2016 Road to the Kentucky Oaks

Race    Track    Date      Points
Santa Ynez Santa Anita Park Jan 2, 2016 10-4-2-1
Silverbulletday Fair Grounds Jan 16, 2016 10-4-2-1
Busanda Aqueduct Jan 23, 2016 10-4-2-1
Forward Gal Gulfstream Park Jan 30, 2016 10-4-2-1
Martha Washington Oaklawn Park Feb 6, 2016 10-4-2-1
Las Virgenes Santa Anita Park Feb 6, 2016 10-4-2-1
Rachel Alexandra Fair Grounds Feb 20, 2016 50-20-10-5
UAE Oaks Meydan Racecourse Feb 25, 2016 50-20-10-5
Busher Aqueduct Feb 27, 2016 50-20-10-5
Davona Dale Gulfstream Park Feb 27, 2016 50-20-10-5
Santa Ysabel Santa Anita Park Mar 5, 2016 50-20-10-5
Honeybee Oaklawn Park Mar 12, 2016 50-20-10-5
Sunland Park Oaks Sunland Park Mar 20, 2016 50-20-10-5
Fair Grounds Oaks Fair Grounds Mar 26, 2016 100-40-20-10
Bourbonette Oaks Turfway Park Apr 2, 2016 50-20-10-5
Gulfstream Park Oaks Gulfstream Park Apr 2, 2016 100-40-20-10
Santa Anita Oaks Santa Anita Park Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Gazelle Aqueduct Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Ashland Keeneland Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Fantasy Oaklawn Park Apr 9, 2016 100-40-20-10
Beaumont Keeneland Apr 17, 2016 10-4-2-1

Bloodhorse – Solemn Tribute Takes Tropical Park Derby

TDN – ‘Rising Star’ Tammy the Torpedo Game in Tropical Park Oaks

Lady and the Track – Hammer – Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Grants $2.48 Million to Accredited Organizations

From the Derby Bar and Grill Newsletter





Hastings News by Greg Douglas

Bloodhorse – Financial Modeling Wires Queens County

TwinSpires Blog – Hanson – Why the Malibu, La Brea should have no effect on Eclipse Award balloting

DRF – Hovdey: Eclipse votes range from obvious to curious

Bloodhorse – LaMarra – ‘Highweight’ Top Three Entered in Gravesend


Bloodhorse -Precious – Finger Lakes Seeks Reduction in Race Dates

Bloodhorse – Hangin With Haskin – Video of the Year: Pharoah Travers Gallop

TwinSpires Blog – Caldwell – California Chrome works three-quarters for San Pasqual

The Guardian – Cook – British Horseracing Authority projects deficit after optimistic forecast

TDN – Thornton – What Friday’s Passage of the Federal Spending Bill Means for the Racing Industry

INDIAN CHARLIE WORLDWIDE - We Never Let the Truth Get In The Way Of A Good Story

DRF – McGee – Battaglia preparing for life after announcer’s booth

DRF – Dunleavy – Espinosa named new announcer at Charles Town

DRF – Andersen – Santa Anita prohibits turf workouts to preserve grass course


January 15 – 17 2016

Sheraton Red Deer

3310 – 50 Avenue
Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 3X9 Canada

Bloodhorse – Angst – X Y Jet Easy Winner of Mr. Prospector Stakes

Giving horseplayers a voice.

ESPN – Finley – More than meets the eye

TwinSpires Blog – Eagle shows signs of possible things to come in Tenacious

Bloodhorse – LaMarra – Talented Colt Eagle Seems to Have Hit Stride

TDN – Riley – Gold Coast Gears Up For ‘Best Ever’

Last chance turkey tonight!
Wolf down turkey, stuffing, certified Angus prime rib and other good stuff tonight, your last Thursday all-you-can-eat buffet with a festive flair.  Call Samantha at 204-885-3330 ext. 0 to reserve. (It’s $26.95.) Book quickly as it was filling up fast. (Prime rib buffets resume Jan. 7)
The new HPIbet website has led to questions about new features and easy ways to access them.  So, to give you the most comfort in using the site, the Downs is offering two seminars–one this Saturday morning and, if you can’t attend that one, there will be another one Tuesday at 7 p.m. Here are the details:
Host Marshall Posner

Seminar topic:  “Tips and Tricks to Using the New HPI Website”

Hosts:  Web analysts and longtime horseplayers Marshall Posner and Glen Sirkis
Where and when:  This Saturday at 10 a.m. in the lower level Finish Line banquet room.
Second seminar:  (If you are unable to attend Saturday or want further help and advice) Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
What to bring:  Your laptop (if you have one) and your questions.  The HPI site will be projected on a large screen
FREE to all attendees:  A free breakfast sandwich (sausage, egg and cheese on a toasted English muffin) and $20 will be deposited free into your HPI account.
SIGN-UP:  So the Downs knows how many will be attending, please email your intention to attend to
Bullet briefs . . .
Weekly cash bonuses continue for your bets.  Up to 5% cash back!
• Texting wrong horse number costs player more than $4,400
• Chantal making another comeback?
• Magazine provokes firestorm by ignoring Pharoah poll results
• Here’s your “best anywhere” Kentucky Derby countdown
• Witt Six takes on tough field at Fair Grounds Saturday
• Gift reminders:  ASD calendar, ASD gift card, horseshoe necklace
Two $100 horses had ’em buzzing
Did you catch either of these?  Would you have?
The Race Book was abuzz Friday and Saturday afternoon when two $100 horses won–one at Aqueduct and the other at Gulfstream.  One player had bet $10 win/place on the Gulfstream horse.  Did you?  Could you have?  See the program pages for those two races here.
• Aqueduct — Friday, race 7 — Taolseach paid $101.50 to win in an optional claiming
race for 2-year-olds.  See program page here.
• Gulfstream — Saturday, race 2 — Giant Cat paid $131.60 in a race for $6,250 claimers.
See program page here.
*       *       *
LOOKING TO CASH BIG SUPERS?  TURFWAY’S THE TRACK:  With horses shipping in from dirt tracks to Turfway’s Polytrack, just about anything can happen — which has been the case, with long shots being the name of the game and with superfectas paying in the many thousands of dollars (Canadians can play them for 20-cents).  Last Friday, $1 superfecta prices included $21,607, $11,755, $8,564 and $4,330. A couple others paid more than $2,000.  And on Saturday, a super paid $6,724 and three paid more than $3,000.  Generally speaking, look for horses that have excelled on synthetic tracks or shown some ability on the turf.



Click for schedule
Have you booked New Year’s Eve Gala yet?

GIFT REMINDERS:  Don’t forget the beautiful 2016-2017 calendar ($15), an ASD gift card with whatever amount you wish and the $45 sterling silver Alyssa Selman horseshoe necklace. All available at the VLT cage which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

Free apple cider

FREE APPLE CIDER AND SNACKS ALL NEXT WEEK!  In celebration of the holiday season, Assiniboia Downs will offer complementary hot apple cider and snacks all day from 10 a.m. to midnight all next week in the Clubhouse starting Sunday, Dec. 20.  (Mmm, love that cider!)  Morning snacks will include mini-muffins, danish and croissants.  Afternoon and evening snacks will include dainties, pretzel mini-twists, bits ‘n’ bites, cookies and popcorn, with a different snack served each hour in the Race Book and Club West Gaming Lounge. Enjoy!

Cabbage rolls

NEW! ON-THE-GO NEW YEAR’S EVE CLUBHOUSE BUFFET:  Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Clubhouse New Year’s Eve, dig into this amazing buffet featuring cabbage rolls, honey mesquite chicken, beef bourgignon, lemon-baked basa, various salads, chef’s cake and dainties and more — all for just $15.75 ($20.15 including taxes and gratuity). Some deal, eh? Load up and seat yourself.  Get your tickets now at the VLT cage and general office.

Official stations of horse racing.
Click to listen

Cry me a river
Player’s texting mistake costs him more than $4,400

How big an oversight by a horseplayer Saturday night was this?  It was so big that other players in the Race Book were oozing real sympathy and were looking for a beach-sized crying towel for a player who had missed out on more than $4,400 simply because he had copied a wrong horse number into a text message.

What happened was this:  In playing the Woodbine harness pick-4 in races 4 to 7, the player was simply playing a 20-cent ticket using four horses in each race selected by one of the program handicappers.  It was a no-brainer:   4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 256 divided by 5 which made it a $51.20 ticket.  Occupied with other things at the time, the player texted those numbers to a friend to play the ticket for him.
The first leg was won by a 68/1 bombs-away long shot, #8, Amble Over Hanover, so the bettor knew he was looking at big money if he could complete the pick 4.  He won the next race and the one after that.  So it was down to the final leg.  Would one of the program handicapper’s horses win?   Yes, indeed!  #9, 15/1 Apprentice Hanover, crossed the wire in front, meaning the bettor was cashing a 20-cent ticket that was paying $4,460.
Except he didn’t.  In texting numbers from the program page, the player got all the numbers correct in the first three legs but, in the last leg, when he should have texted #9 as one of the four numbers, he incorrectly texted #7 instead.  He simply goofed up in his texting.
“Maybe this happened for a reason,” said the shocked player afterward, trying to put the best philosophical face on a sorrowful situation while other players just shook their heads in disbelief.  Now there was a lesson that won’t soon be forgotten.  Except that it was–almost immediately.  In the next pick-4, he got another number wrong.  At least that one could be ascribed to his still shaking from his previous loss.  Or was the fickle finger of fate messing with his mind and his fingers again?  Now THAT was truly unbelievable.

Jock talk
Chantal to make a second comeback?
Chantal Sutherland
Back in the saddle

Four months ago “former” jockey Chantal Sutherland was telling her online followers she was working toward becoming “The Queen of Real Estate” (her words and her caps) with an Orange County, LA real estate company but the Winnipeg native couldn’t resist her first love: horses.  So expect her to return to riding at Santa Anita when its meet begins on Boxing Day.  That’s what she was telling friends at Woodbine last month when the thoroughbred meet was coming to an end.

This will be the second time the popular jockey and model–who posed nude on a horse–will be attempting a comeback.  Riding since 2000, she retired in October, 2012, after being taken off her beloved “soldier,” Game On Dude–a horse she rode to victory in the Santa Anita Handicap–and then was suspended for five days at Woodbine for failing a breathalyzer.  That retirement only lasted until the following summer when she returned to riding at Betfair Hollywood then at Woodbine the following year when she won 13 per cent of her races (227-29-39-20). Then she pretty much disappeared, getting her real estate license in the meantime. Her home is in southern California with her husband, Dan Kruse, a meat wholesaler, whom she married in 2012.
Chantal is sounding a bit like the in-and-out Patrick Valenzuela who recently resumed his riding career at Fair Grounds after being absent since January, 2014.  She likely would be happy getting the kind of early results P Val is getting:  38-6-5-6.
YOU NAMED ME WHAT?  Bob’s Hope.  For everyone who remembers the great comedian, Bob Hope, how cute a name is this for a 5-year-old gelding (9-3-2-1) racing in Australia?  You would think the name of one of the owners would be Bob — hence, Bob’s Hope.  But the horse is owned by five women.
Leonard Anderson (1948-2015)

“He died in my arms”

As Carl and Leonard Anderson, two longtime ASD horse trainers, reached the top of a flight of stairs after returning home from the Downs last Saturday afternoon, Leonard, 67, suddenly collapsed. “He died in my arms (of a massive stroke),” a shaken Carl told The Insider as he described his brother’s colourful half-century of racing that began at the Downs on Aug. 6, 1966 with a $200 horse by the name of By Criminey that Carl still recalls was part of a boxcar double.  (Verified, to no surprise, by track historian Bob Gates, who showed it paid $1,331.)  That was the start of a career, said Carl, that took his brother fo Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Arizona and Hastings Park in B.C. where he schooled his favourite yearling, Final Act, who would go on to win his maiden race in 1994 and then the Stampede Futurity in Calgary.
His last horse was a filly at the Downs four years ago. Leonard had three daughters who will be flying in from various provinces to celebrate Leonard’s life next Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Eternal Grace Funeral Home at 1124 Logan Avenue. Carl, 70, who registered his 1,154th victory this past summer, will honour his brother’s memory in the best way he knows how:  to continue training winners to thrill ASD fans.  (See Leonard holding the reins of his first winning horse in 1964 here with brother Carl at his side.)


Edward Allred
Takes a stand on drugs

HAIR FOLLICLE TESTS REDUCING DRUG USE: LOS AL CEO  Los Alamitos CEO Edward C. Allred says the track’s efforts to “re-establish the integrity of racing” by introducing hair follicle testing to ferret out drug-use before stakes races is starting to pay off despite difficulties this year. He noted a significant drop in entries for two major quarter horse futurity races in 2015 because out-of-state horses racing on clenbuterol (a powerful bronchodilator) wouldn’t be allowed to participate in Los Al stakes. But now, he states in a news release: “Futurity payments have increased from owners east of California for the 2016 and 2017 Los Alamitos 2 Million futurities. This indicates acceptance of our clenbuterol-free racing rules.” Who could not applaud his stand on reducing drug use?

Pharoah wins in polls but
Serena makes cover

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IGNORES POLL; ANNOINTS SERENA:  In on online poll by Sports Illustrated, American Pharoah was the overwhelming choice to be the magazine’s Sportsman of the Year.  Instead it chose tennis star Serena Williams, which has evoked a firestorm of criticism in the Twitter world: “Why have a poll if you’re going to ignore it?”  critics have tweeted. Pharoah was the first horse since 1978 to win a Triple Crown and the first Grand Slam winner ever (winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic, too).  Not sure the magazine’s cover does a huge amount of service to the tennis world, either.  Instead of a picture displaying on-court grit, Serena is shown flashing on-throne leg.

THERE’D BE A RIOT IF HE WEREN’T: At least, American Pharoah won this year’s Vox Populi Award for the people’s favourite horse. The honour was created five years ago by  Secretariat owner Penny Chenery.
LEG-SCANNER WINS KUDOS AT SYMPOSIUM:  Can you imagine every horse, before a race having his legs scanned to see if there are any hidden injuries?  Such a diagnostic tool and a three-track study on its effects would cost $1.7 million, delegates to the annual Global Racing and Gaming Symposium in Tucson, Arizona, were told — and they loved the idea so much, they voted it their favourite. At present, It takes 45 minutes to scan a horse’s leg and he must be given an anaesthetic to keep him still.  The proposed machine would scan two legs in 2 minutes without sedatives.  Sounds like a worthy project for funding!
INNER DIRT DEFEATS “BIG” GROUP:  Two weeks ago, it was rain that washed out tickets played by the “I won big” group.  Last Saturday, it was Aqueduct’s inner dirt.  Horses who had performed well on regular dirt were spinning their wheels on the inner dirt which is a mixture designed to withstand frosty days of winter.  As it turned out, one of the legs in the group’s tickets was won by a horse nobody liked (and 20/1 in the program) but after-race inspection showed it was one-for-one on Aqueduct’s inner dirt.  Now we know.  So this Saturday, armed with this knowledge, we’ll play the last six races at Aqueduct again with a view to earning Christmas money–or will we have to rely on Santa to fill our stockings?  Let’s hope it’s the former?
NOTE:  The “I won big” workshop will begin at 11 a.m., after the special HPI seminar which will be held at 10 a.m. in the Finish Line.  Everyone from the group is invited to attend the 10 a.m. session on “tips and tricks of using HPIbet.”  There will be free breakfast sandwiches and $20 will be added to your HPI account.
Horst Kaiser

PASSIONATE PLAYER PASSES:  Most players in the Race Book didn’t know him but, playing on his HPI account at home, Horst Kaiser was one of the Downs’ most passionate players for decades–and one of the gentlest souls you could ever meet. He died on Nov. 26 at 60. During a career of doing autopsies at St. Boniface Hospital, driving a funeral hearse, fixing old cars, painting (he painted my house with a design that I even asked him to autograph) and, near the end, repairing his deceased mom’s house to put on the market, he yearned to make the big score playing the races. “Horst had a very soft heart which, at times, did not beat to the world’s rhythm,” said an obituary in the Free Press which you can read here.  Gone … way too soon.

ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? THEN YOU’RE WHIPSAWED: “Whipsawed.”  Is there a better word to describe the lot of the sports fan, especially those following the Winnipeg Jets?  They’re winning–finally beating a central division rival–then they go to the penalty box again and again and again. And suddenly they’re losing.  Whipsawed.  It’s our lot in life.

BEST KENTUCKY DERBY TRACKER EVER?   Notice the big countdown to the Kentucky Derby sign in the Race Book?  Players have been saying they love its simplicity and the story it tells.  Starting at the bottom, where horses are seen leaving a starting gate, you can follow each prep race up the road where a new horse silhouette will be placed on the road after each prep race has been won — with the winning horse’s name and best Equibase speed number. And, if that isn’t enough, how do you like this chart?  Note the next prep race is this Saturday, the Los Alamitos Futurity.

Where are they now?
by Rob MacLennan
Manitoba Derby’s Witt Six takes on tough field at Fair Grounds
Horse owner Henry Witt Jr. and trainer Jerry Gourneau are hoping for big things from Witt Six, the 3-year-old Texas-bred who had finished second in the Manitoba Derby.  The gelding drew the outside post seven in the $60,000 Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds this Saturday. It’s a tough field for the sophomore who was recently scratched from the Zia Park Derby. Major contenders include Eagle for W.S. Farish and Neil Howard, the well-traveled 8-year-old gelding Nate’s Mineshaft and the 2014 Preakness Stakes runner-up Ride on Curlin.
Witt Six’s stable mate, 4-year-old filly Witt’s Charm (33-4-3-2), will race Monday in a turf claiming race for older mares. The Gourneau barn also has a couple of runners at Delta Downs this weekend.
Meanwhile at Turf Paradise, the Don Schnell barn continued its winning ways with a maiden victory last Wednesday by 3-year-old Calex ($8.40).  The Ontario-bred defeated a highly-regarded 1/5 California invader, Blue Ratio, who finished second. Schnell has won an impressive 18 per cent of his starts since the meet began in October (38-7-6-10) and has spotted 6-year-old gelding Runaway Cal (56-3-8-13) in a turf race Wednesday. By contrast, Jared Brown has had an uncharacteristically slow start (25-1-5-4) but does have seven starters in the next three cards including Horse Feldhaus, Tom Kha and Master Master on the weekend. Will he hit his best stride heading into January?

HISTORY ON THE HOOF: The best of Bob
Did you know . . .   that the most memorable horse of the early 1990s, who came to be known as “the people’s horse,” was fiercely competitive on the track, providing race fans with some of their most thrilling finishes, but could be so gentle among children that they fed him carrots?   Who was he and what important stakes did he win?  Read about him here.

Bloodhorse – Whitelaw – Noah From Goa Wins Cape Guineas

DRF – Hersh – Ibaka finds home on turf by winning Buddy Diliberto Memorial

A friend is someone who will tell you when you’re bullshitting, when you’ve overstepped a mark, or when you’re being an idiot.


Phil has a comment:

According to Sting’s definition Phil has been and is one of Shirley McClellan’s and Rick LeLacheur’s most honest friends.


What You were waiting for the Police.

DRF – Fortuna – Richies Sweetheart wins Lightning City with substitute jock

DRF – Rampellini – Oh Baby Oh Baby wins third straight in Lookout Stakes

TDN – Well bred Leontes Storms To Hanshin Success

DRF – Hersh – Kitten’s Dumplings rallies to get up by neck in Blushing K.D.

DRF – Welsch – Little Mike will return to training

Bloodhorse – Big Brown to Stand for $10,000 in 2016

I Can’t Forget

DRF – Grening – Frosty Margarita deals Behrnik’s Bank first loss in Fifth Avenue


DRF – Rampellini – Thermal scores in Johnie Jamison Handicap

The Jockey Club of Canada – Melanie O’Sullivan announced as new Executive Director

Edmonton Sun – Dykstra – Wildrose says NDP not doing enough to combat Alberta’s deadly fentanyl crisis

Next To You

The New Democrats are increasingly looking like the Old Conservatives. This week, the Wildrose revealed that the Rachel Notley government has made yet another brazen political appointment in naming Chris O’Halloran, the NDP party president, to a cushy $140G a year government job at “outreach manager” at the provincial government’s main office in Calgary. Earlier this year, Bob Hawksworth, who lost a Calgary byelection for the NDP, was named to the executive director position at the same place.  Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said: “The blatancy of taking the president of the party and giving him a job is something even the PCs didn’t do.” The irony is that if the old PC government had done the same thing, nobody would be screaming louder than the old opposition NDP — led by Rachel Notley. The government, again, is telling the civil service that only people with rock-solid NDP credentials need apply for government jobs.

Meanwhile, farmers are still in a lather over Bill 6. They held another noisy rally at the legislature this week, and were no doubt disappointed to find out that the legislature wasn’t even in session. The Bill 6 question has degenerated into online threats against Notley, inexcusable but inevitable in this age of online cowardice. A bigger problem for Notley is the urban-rural divide. While the whole Bill 6 issue will be forgotten in three years time, the bitterness will linger. Notley has a lot to do to repair relations with rural voters, and while losing the rural vote alone won’t cost you an election, it gets a lot harder to win again.

Maurice Tougas – Stuff Happens, week 49: Killings stun the city; New Democrats look like Old Conservatives

Edmonton Sun – Dykstra – Wildrose blast Alberta NDP for “patronage” appointment

Phil has a question:

Why worry about 3 measly appointments when there’s tonnes of $250k + per annum Tory cronies that the NDP haven’t got around to cleaning out.

Global warming is clearly the culprit; we have only ourselves to blame. You see, every time you and I breathe out, we exhale carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide rises up into our atmosphere and lets in the sun’s heat, but prevents its escape. And more and more people exhale every year. It’s a worldwide addiction that’s killing the real spring.

Southern Living – The Grumpy Gardener – Bender – December Is The New Spring

National Post – Colby Cosh: If only they had stopped with the carbon tax. But no. They had to mess with the farmers.

Minuit Chrétien

FiveThirtyEight – Silver – The Most-Covered Christmas Songs Ever

A Little Less Conversation

NY Times – Fabricant -Exploring Canada’s Fertile Niagara Wine Region

FiveThirtyEight – Goldenberg – How A Dead Millionaire Convinced Dozens Of Women To Have As Many Babies As Possible

I Want To Take You Higher

Bitter Southerner  – The Best Southern Albums of 2015

Broad Gold



Hunter S Stompson

# 26

The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
Hunter S. Thompson

Hawkmoon 269

NY Times – Borden – Auston Matthews, 18, Blazes a New Route to the N.H.L.

Auston Matthews isn’t home alone in Europe. Carson Dimoff, former Northlands Park and Fort Erie race caller Mike Dimoff’s son, and Ryan Savage headed over to Salsburg Austria from the hot bed of American hockey, Phoenix Arizona.

Les joueurs du match CCM : Carson Dimoff (1-1) Red Bull et Justin Paré (0-0) SSF.

Blizzard.Ligue Midget AAA – Le Red Bull Surprend Le Blizzard

The Globe And Mail – Blatchford – Finance ministers meet to confront Canada’s new economic reality

The Ennead may find this hard to believe but Phil was shopping in one of the local <72¢ama stores and Phil saw something he had never seen before. It reminded Phil that we all can and should endeavour to do better. As soon as each cashier passed the “MACHINE” to the customer for the customer to complete payment they moved to another till and started to enter the next customer’s purchases and then completed the first customer as soon as the “MACHINE” was done. May only save 10 seconds a customer but 10 seconds a customer multiplied by 1,000 customers a day for each store multiplied by hundreds of store across Canada adds up to lots of <72¢ over a year.

National Post – Traikos – ‘One of the worst things to happen to the game’: The toll year-round hockey takes on young athletes

National Post – Traikos – Selling the dream: Raising the next great hockey star comes with a heavy price tag

LA Times – Halper – Iowa voters have given up on ethanol; presidential candidates are following suit

The Globe and Mail – Dalton McGuinty – Being clean and green comes with a cost

The Globe and Mail – Morrow – Ontarians paid $37-billion above market for electricity over eight years, Auditor-General’s report says

Phil has a question:

How much of that was covered by transfer payments from Alberta.

Edmonton Sun – Gunther – Balance budgets and eat more bacon

National Post – Blatchford – Christie Blatchford: Astonishing ‘body-shaming’ accusation says it all about Mike Duffy

Phil has a question:

Is Mike Duffy any different that every other politician.

NY Times – Chan – British Court Rejects Donald Trump’s Attempt to Block Wind Farm

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad.

George Bernard Shaw

The Globe And Mail – Simpson – Why Ontario deserves the sting of the auditor’s whip

Good Housekeeping – Bostick – I Really, Really Suck at Christmas

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.
Zsa Zsa Gabor

National Post – Kuitenbrower – Butter shortage forces Canada’s dairy commission to import 8.8-million pounds of butter as cream supply dries up

The safety of the people shall be the highest law.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Enriquez Marquez is transported to Riverside County court

LA Times – Gerber – Criminal complaint illuminates San Bernardino gunman’s ties to Islamic militarism

Phil has a comment:

How twisted are North American priorities when it takes all the fingers and a thumb on one hand to count the security guards outside the Courthouse who along with the other hand and all your toes full security guards inside are there to protect the person charged with aiding the slaughtering of innocent American citizens while we don’t deploy sufficient resources to protect the innocent American citizens.

Wouldn’t all the resources that are used on protective custody be better deployed protecting the general populace.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

Tony Baretta

Losing My Religion

NY Times – Nocera – Baseball Has a New Policy on Netting, but There’s a Catch

NY Times – EIG – In His Little Corner, Larry Holmes Is the Greatest

National Post – Andrew Coyne: Making sense of the analog counter-revolution

Forever Young

The Ennead knows what would have made this video near perfect:

Red Rain

Phil M Stockmen

  One Response to “It All Comes Out The Same”


    MAYOR IVESON’s comments from the Edmonton Northlands director meeting, master agreement discussions Dec 17 show how fragile the future of Northlands organization revenues are with the taxpayers’ stake in hand!

    MAYOR IVESON in Feb 2014 after receiving the Northlands dorm closure letter personally handed to his office staff was quoted the next day in the Edmonton Journal about Northlands viability as the rest of the powers to be turned a blind eye to the future of horse racing and $73 million in operating grants that HRA provided NORTHLANDS in the past decade with a crumbling infrastructure!

    HRA TWITTER FEED as reported in the SC article Dec 18, states that they have not heard about the news of Northlands possibly tearing down the barns. Where’s the ACCOUNTABILITY at Horse Racing Alberta. The thoroughbred owners who spend about $17k per year per horse to race are heading to greener pastures.

    NORTHLANDS INTERIM GM NO LONGER A BACHELOR SCOTT SINCLAIR is tossed into the fire pit with a comment of waiting for HRA/NDP MOU AGREEMENT, If Tenile couldn’t get the defeated Tory government to renew it before the orange crush took over chances are slim and none. Time for a reality check, the rose coloured glasses to come off and the bullshit to stop.

    HBPA PRESIDENT STEVE SMITH’S Dec 18twitter comment on HRA website confirms racing at Northlands Park to continue through 2017 with dates to be confirmed. The thoroughbred industry is left hanging and hoping.

    TENILE PHOTO in HRA TWITTER from Dec 5 commenting about discussing BILL 6 should have read CHAPTER 11 as the increased workers compensation 2.97/100 will lead more trainers to retire!

    BILL 6 PASSING is interesting since OHS regulations will not cover the safety of workers until 2017, guess what in 2006 in test legal case all racing participants are considered 3rd party contractors that have the right to contact OHS if they feel that their work environment is considered unsafe!!!!

    ALBERTA becomes a HAVE NOT PROVINCE as federal funds flow back to ALBERTA!!!!

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