The Inside Track | Issue #77 | April 29, 2023
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • 2023 Handicapping Tournaments
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials Continue
  • Full Slate of Jockeys for 2023
  • Call for Foal Photos
  • New Foal for Hughes and Johnson
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • 39th Annual Awards Banquet
  • Irwin Driedger Elected to Hall of Fame
  • Derby Rankings Bonus Special
  • Jimmy Jerkens heading to Saudi Arabia
  • Snapshot in Time - Tim Gardiner
  • Carryover Watch
  • The Best of Bob: The Greatest Race That Never Was
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
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 FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. One lucky person turned their free $20 into $246!
2023 Player's Choice Online Handicapping Tournaments

  • Saturday, May 13, 2023

Entry fee: $25. Bankroll: $60. Place 10 ($2 WPS) wagers on any North American race that takes place on the contest day. You must have a Manitoba HPI account to participate. Deadline to enter is 4 p.m. the Friday before the tournament. For complete list of 2023 handicapping tournaments click here.
May HPI Cash Back Specials

  • MONDAY MADNESS: Earn 4% cash back every Monday in May on all tracks on all eligible wagers. Minimum wagered $100 (each Monday). Maximum cash back $25 (each Monday). ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) Opt-in at All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
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.

Friday & Saturday Value Added Specials
Friday Steak & Suds $24.95: 8 oz. Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with fresh vegetables and 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 choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Mother's Day Brunch - SOLD OUT

Sunday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Signature Certified Angus Prime Rib
  • Carved ham with grilled pineapple
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Omelette station
  • Eggs benedict
  • French toast
  • Bacon, sausage and hash browns
  • Assortment of salads
  • Cheese and kolbassa tray
  • Pickle tray
  • Smoked salmon pizza
  • Croissants, rolls, flatbread, butter
  • Sliced fruit and berries, chilled juices, coffee and tea
  • Dessert and pastry table featuring cakes, dainties, warm apple crumble
  • This is a ticketed event. Prices are subject to taxes & gratuities.
  • Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95
  • Please note that there is no live racing on this day.
Live Racing Buffets

Reservations are now open for our all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffets!

Live racing is right around the corner and that means that our renowned all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffet is back. Live racing and a prime rib buffet - it doesn't get much better than that!

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
Full Slate of Jockeys for 2023
15 riders already vying for mounts, working the backstretch
Jockey Chavion Chow with 2022 Elite Mercedes Stakes winner Itsthattime in trainer Mike Nault's barn. (George Williams photo)
The jockey colony is already in full swing battling for mounts at Assiniboia Downs and the meet hasn’t even started yet. Opening day is Monday, May 22.

In the “old” days many of the jockeys would show up just before the meet, gallop and work a few horses, and off they’d go into the live race meet. Not anymore, the game has changed.

Jockeys now often double as exercise riders during the spring for a few reasons. There are less exercise riders, they want mounts, and they can also make a little extra money before the meet starts.
Jockeys Tim Tarasenco (outside) and Sven Balroop on a pretty pair of chestnuts. (George Williams photo)
Trainers have to get their horses exercised every day and the jockeys that show up to help them are most likely to get first shot on the choice mounts. Most jockeys are getting on 10 or more horses for various trainers right now, and of course they’re also aboard many of these horses for their serious workouts.

We had an excellent jockey colony at Assiniboia Downs in 2022 and most of the jockeys from last season are here already for 2023. The only notable absence is reigning two-time champ Jorge Carreno, who is riding at Sunray Park in New Mexico right now. His agent Tim Gardiner reports that he’ll be here, but late. In the meantime, the rest of the jockey colony are working as hard as they can to secure as many mounts as possible.

Jockeys currently in action every morning at the Downs include former champions Antonio Whitehall, Chavion Chow and Prayven Badrie along with Renaldo Cumberbatch, Nirone Austin, Ronald Ali, Douglas Badaloo, Shavon Belle, Arthur Budhu, Damario Bynoe, Stanley Chadee Jr., Dwight Lewis, Neville Stephenson, Tim Tarasenco and apprentice Sven Balroop. Also expected back for this season is veteran Tyrone Nelson.
Renaldo Cumberbatch (outside) and Prayven Badrie working a set on Wednesday morning at ASD. (George Williams photo)
Whitehall tied for the title in 2018 with Prayven Badrie, won it outright in 2020 and finished fourth in the standings last year with 27 wins. Chow won the title in 2015 and finished third in the standings last year with 39 victories. Cumberbatch finished second in the standings last year with 48 wins and is always a threat to win. Badrie tied Whitehall for leading rider honours in 2018 and finished a solid fifth in the standings last year with 26 wins.

Another jockey to keep an eye on this year is Tim Tarasenco, who returned after a 24-year absence last year to ride a few races, but then went to South Dakota in the fall and won a bunch. Can he complete the comeback this year?

Can anyone stop Carreno from winning his third straight title? We’re not sure, but the mounts are certainly lining up nicely for the jockeys that are here.

Something to think about. 
Jockey Dwight Lewis in action on the main track at ASD. (George Williams photo)
Call for Foal Photos
The Jockey Club of Canada wants to showcase your foals and so do we!
The new Manitoba foals will soon be here and we want to see yours! (Manitoba CTHS photo)
The foaling season is upon us and the Jockey Club of Canada is looking for foal photos to share with their membership group. If you have a foal you'd like to show off, please email your photo to and include the province foaled, sire, dam, and photographer, as well as any additional information you wish to provide.

Any photos received will be included in the Jockey Club of Canada Newsletter through to the end of foaling season. And don’t forget to cc us on your email at

We’d love to showcase your foal photos here too.
New Foal for Hughes and Johnson
Full sister to stakes winners Lady Cop and Call the Cops!
Tuesday night arrival! Filly by Vengeful Wildcat-Agolo Bynoe by Successful Appeal. Full sister to stakes winners Lady Cop and Call the Cops. Born at Betty Hughes' farm. Note "the cheering squad in the background," said Frank Johnson, who sent the photo. Thanks Frank!
Excellent Purses, Stakes Schedule and Shipping Incentives in Place for 2023 at ASD

Assiniboia Downs offers some of the best shipping incentives in North America, and an excellent purse and stakes schedule to match. If you're looking for a great place to race this summer, you won't find a more friendly and inviting track anywhere. We've also got one of the kindest racing surfaces in North America, complemented by numerous additional amenities.

The 50-day 2023 live race meeting begins on Monday, May 22, and runs through to Tuesday, September 19. We race Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings at ASD, which means you can take the weekends off and enjoy our fabulous Manitoba summer weather with family and friends! Links to the 2023 shipping incentives, racing and graded purse schedules here.
The first ASD Condition Book for 2023 is here! Time to get excited! Click here to download.
39th Annual CTHS/HBPA Awards Banquet

  • Saturday, May 20, 2023
  • Assiniboia Downs
  • Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
  • Price $45 per person

Awards will follow dinner. Table reservations are recommended. Tickets are available from Jill at the CTHS office (204) 832-1702 or Shannon at the HBPA office (204) 832-4949.
Can't make it to the track to wager?
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

Kentucky Derby - Saturday, May 6

  • First race post time 9:30 a.m. (ASD will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 5 & Saturday, May 6)
  • Special ASD Live Kentucky Derby Show featuring Kirt and Stretch on Thursday, May 4. Watch on our YouTube Channel
  • 2% Cash Back on all tracks on Saturday, May 6. Opt-in at All eligible wagers must be placed on your HPIbet account to qualify. Minimum wagered $100. Maximum deposit $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible).
  • Free Kentucky Derby programs and DRF will be available beginning Thursday, May 4 at ASD, Quest Inn, Canad Inns Windsor Park, Green Brier, Rookies, Nor-Villa and Club 3D
  • Draws for Kentucky Derby merchandise at all locations (casinos excluded.)
"I Won Bigg" Wagering Group

Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht as they lead discussions for the "I Won Bigg" betting group every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse.

This week the group will be playing Woodbine and Santa Anita. $20 gets you a share in the ticket. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
In The News
Eight inductees include record-setting Russell, Manitoba jockey Irwin Driedger
Record-setting local jockey Irwin Driedger has been inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame! Congratulations Irwin!

Four people and four horses were elected from a ballot of very deserving candidates. Induction ceremonies for the Class of 2023 will be held in August 2023, along with those previously announced in October 2022 as the CHRHF Class of 2022. More including a full biography on Irwin from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
How to Find a Derby Winner… With Your Eyes
"We have inundated you all year with Thoro-Graph, Beyer, and Brisnet speed ratings, trip handicapping, and all kinds of statistics, such as early and late factions, as well as several pedigree analyses. But now with most of the Derby horses on the grounds comes possibly the most important two weeks of the year. That is when you have to depend on what you see. Based on our 25 years watching Derby horses train, here is some sort of guide to what to look for, with a history lesson and the benefit of several personal experiences over the years." ~ Steve Haskin, Read more here.
Multiple Breeders' Cup winning trainer will have 50-60 horses
Jimmy Jerkens has won two Breeders' Cup races as well as many of New York racing's signature events. (Barbara Livingston photo)
Jimmy Jerkens has been a fixture on the New York Racing Association circuit for half a century. In his youth, he worked for his father, Hall of Fame trainer, H. Allen Jerkens, before going out on his own in 1997. Over the past 25 years, the younger Jerkens has carved out a fine career of his own, including two Breeders' Cup wins. Now he's heading to Saudi Arabia to train for Prince Faisal bin Khalid Al Saud. More from the Daily Racing Form here.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
Tim Gardiner, aka the “Worm” hails from Windsor, Ontario and is another jockey who scored more than 1,000 winners at Assiniboia Downs. Tim won his 1,000th race on October 2, 1997. Gardiner sits alone in second place (behind leader Ken Hendricks) on the Downs all-time leading jockey board with a career total of 1,458 wins at the Downs. Tim dominated the local jockey colony in the '90s winning four riding titles (1991, 1993, 1994, 1999). Only Bobby Stewart, with six in total, won more titles. 
And for those keeping track, the seven jockeys with more than 1,000 wins at the Downs are: Ken Hendricks (1,666), Tim Gardiner (1,458), Tom Adkins (1,318), Frank Licata (1,292), Jacques DesAutels (1,247), Rohan Singh (1,196) and Larry Bird (1,191). A group we like to call the ‘Magnificent Seven.’ (Gerry Hart Photo)
Carryover Watch
  • Turf Paradise (April 29) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $425,929
  • Parx (May 1) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $165,260
  • Santa Anita (April 28) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $138,506

See all carryovers here.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Bob must really be missing watching the races from the tarmac these days. This week he looks at NBC’s “Triple Crown Showdown” virtual race and another such race that was “run” in 1968 – 5 years prior to Secretariats domination of the triple crown. Does he dare to dream about a fantasy race at Assiniboia Downs? You know he does! Get the details here. (From June 2020)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • 4% cash back Mondays in May (1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) - more info
  • Great Benjamins Circus - May 4 through May 7 - more info
  • Mother's Day Brunch - Sunday, May 14 - more info
  • MICEC Monster Bingo - Saturday, May 20 - more info
  • Indian Horse Relay Races - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • ASD Live Racing starts - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • MB Food Truck Battles - Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
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.