The Inside Track | Issue #91 | August 4, 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?
  • Manitoba Derby Night
  • ASD Player Portal
  • Chase the Ace at ASD
  • Las Vegas Challenge Tournament
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials
  • 75th Manitoba Derby Rolls on Big Monday
  • Tanis Atras takes Las Vegas Challenge
  • 2023 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale
  • Snapshot in Time - Plentiful
  • Reasonably Lovely wins Manitoba Oaks
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Bob's Blog - Special Edition
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
Manitoba Derby Night this Monday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The 75th Running of the Manitoba Derby
Presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries
Monday, August 7
Racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
  • $125,000 Manitoba Derby for 3-year olds presented by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries
  • 1st Leg of the $550,000 Western Canadian Triple Crown
  • $50,000 Harvey Warner Manitoba Mile for 3-year-olds & upward
  • $50,000 Escape Clause Stakes for Fillies & Mares, 3-year-olds & upward
  • $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (last four races)
  • Mandatory payout of the ASD Jackpot Pick 5 (last five races). Carryover $597,143.
  • Derby Sweepstakes. Win a $100 win wager on a Derby horse!
  • Family Fun! Bouncy castles, face painting & kids entertainment from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Special Derby history display by Track Historian Bob Gates
  • Free admission & free parking
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.
Week #12 Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets for Chase the Ace Week #12 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, August 21
  • 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 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
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.
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

Don't wait! Book your Certified Angus all-you-can-eat race night buffet today as they are filling up fast for the remainder of the race season.

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
75th Manitoba Derby Rolls on Big Monday at ASD
10 Derby entrants, Jackpot Pick 5 Pool could reach $2 million, $100K Pick 4 Pool
Horse owner Violetta Adamczyk (left) and Derby Belle Francine Fournier had big smiles on display at the post position draw for the 75th Manitoba Derby on Thursday. (George Williams photo)
The post positions for the historic 75th running of the $125,000 Manitoba Derby were drawn at the annual Derby press conference on Thursday and the excitement is already building for Manitoba’s biggest and most exciting evening of racing on Monday, August 7.

A strong field of 10 talented 3-year-olds have signed up for this year’s Derby, which also kicks off the lucrative new $550,000 Western Canadian Triple Crown series announced earlier this year.

The Western Canadian Triple Crown offers a $100,000 bonus to any horse that can win all three races in the series, which includes the Manitoba Derby on Monday, August 7, the Canadian Derby (G3) at Century Mile on Saturday, August 26, and the B.C. Derby (G3) at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, September 16.
Morning-line favourite Heroic Move drew post one for the 75th Manitoba Derby. (George Williams photo)
Morning-line favourite Heroic Move drew post one for record-setting Manitoba Derby-winning trainer Robertino Diodoro, who will also saddle second choice B Minor in the Derby for the same large ownership group that includes Arnold Bennewith, Rick Wiest, Clayton Wiest, Lana Wiest, Randy Howg, R6 Stables, Gary Kropp and Norman Tremblay.

Four-time Assiniboia Downs leading trainer Jerry Gourneau will also have two entries in the Derby for five-time leading owner Henry S. Witt, Jr., in the form of Mano Dura and Discovery Peak.
Discovery Peak is one of two entries in this year's Manitoba Derby for leading trainer Jerry Gourneau and top owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. (George Williams photo)
Manitoba Derby night will also feature a mandatory payout on the ASD Jackpot Pick 5, with a colossal carryover of $597,143 set for the event. The pool for the night is expected to add over $1,000,000, promising a great Monday night opportunity for horseplayers from all over North America to share in that pool.

Additionally, Assiniboia Downs is offering a guaranteed Pick 4 pool of $100,000, further enhancing the betting opportunities for fans playing the Manitoba Derby card.
B Minor is one of two entrants in this year's Manitoba Derby for elite North American trainer Robertino Diodoro and the ownership team of Arnold Bennewith, Rick Wiest, Clayton Wiest, Lana Wiest, Randy Howg, R6 Stables, Gary Kropp and Norman Tremblay. (George Williams photo)
Darren Dunn, CEO of Assiniboia Downs, commented, "This year's Manitoba Derby race is set to be a highly competitive race featuring a diverse field of 10 horses and it offers a great start to the Western Canada Triple Crown. We now have the highest ASD Jackpot Pick 5 in the track's history to add to the excitement. The atmosphere at the Downs will be electrifying, and we can't wait!"

Fans can join in on the fun by watching the full racing program on the YouTube Live feed in high definition and through your favourite ADW or licensed betting facility throughout North America and across the globe.
Chicago's Gray will attempt to give trainer Murray Duncan his second win in the Manitoba Derby, and first for owners Roll The Dice Stable, Royce Finley and Arnason Farms. (George Williams photo)
The first race for the Manitoba Derby card of racing is set for 7:30 pm CT / 8:30 pm ET. For more information about the Manitoba Derby and other upcoming events at Assiniboia Downs, please visit Click here to view the 2023 Manitoba Derby Press Kit.
See you Monday!
Derby Trial winner Saxon Saga could give trainer Wendy Anderson and ownership partners Bill Meikle and Wind Dancer Stable their first Manitoba Derby win. (George Williams photo)
Tanis Atras wins Las Vegas Challenge
Las Vegas Challenge winner Tanis Atras with son Rob in his barn in New York.
Tanis Atras won Monday’s Las Vegas Challenge Handicapping Tournament by a $1.00.

Her secret?

“Luck,” said Tanis.

The longtime horse racing fan and former owner built her bankroll to $98.00, which was a dollar more than runner-up Bryan Metcalf ($97.00), followed by Janet Gray ($93.70), Glen Gray ($87.80), and Alex Chubinsky ($85.30).

All of the top five finishers had longshot winner Witt’s Roho ($53.50) in the 6th race, who battled back gamely along the rail to best stablemate Asta Lavista Honey and snatch victory from defeat. The 1-2 finishers were both trained by Jerry Gourneau.

“When I first hit that I thought, oh great, this is what I needed,” said Tanis. “Then I started thinking, I'm sure I'm not the only one who picked that horse. And I couldn't figure out why he was 20-1 on the morning line. If I hadn't missed two races, I would have tried to play it safe and picked what everybody else was picking. But because I was so far down, I thought, okay, I'm going to take this horse.”

Atras also had Drizzy ($7.80) to win the second race and finished in the money with three of her other picks, Amma’s Star in the first race, Silver Maker in the fourth and Whiterose Spirit in the seventh.

Tanis took home $3,500 and a trophy for her big win, but she won’t be using the money to go Vegas. She’ll more likely use it to visit her son Rob, a former top trainer at Assiniboia Downs who now plys his trade exceptionally well in New York.

Tanis has owned horses for most of her life, and first started to learn about race horses from one of the top caretakers among trainers in the history of Assiniboia Downs, Jack Robertson, while living in Amaranth.

“Rob was born when we were living there," said Tanis. "And that's how I got to meet the Robertsons. We've been friends ever since. We'd go to the barns and help him. We just liked being there, and he was kind enough to let us."

Tanis still visits son Rob’s first winner Daryamar, who is now 22 and retired to a life of leisure at Robertson’s farm. She also used to help son Rob in the barn when he was training here. Did her experience with horses help her with her handicapping?

“Rob’s a pretty good handicapper,” said Tanis. “I’m not. Sometimes he'll help me, but he's too busy now. I'm really not very good at it, but you get lucky sometimes." Tanis was selling herself short on her handicapping talents, which she’s developed over the course of 30 years.

“We used to come to the barn and hang out with Jack,” she said. “And then we got our own horse and I don't know, I just learned by going to the races with Jack.

“I read the Past Performances. And then if it comes down to one or two or three horses, I check the trainer stats and the trainer and rider percentages. I put a lot of faith in that because I figure if the trainer knows what they're doing, they're going to be putting the horse in the right spot and they're going to win races.”

Advice for contest players?

“Don't give up. Anybody can win.”
CTHS Yearling Sale

  • Sunday, August 20th at 2:30 p.m.
  • Red River Ex grounds
  • Click here for full catalogue
  • For more information contact Jill at the CTHS Office. Call 204-832-1702 or email CTHS
August HPI Cash Back Specials

MANITOBA DERBY WEEK SPECIAL - Wager $40 or more on Assiniboia Downs on Monday, August 7, Tuesday, August 8 and Wednesday, August 9 and receive 3% cash back. Minimum wagered $40. Maximum cash back $100. Available to all Canadian HPI account holders. Must opt-in at All wagers must be made on your HPI account. ($2.10 payouts not eligible)
Carryover Watch
  • Assiniboia Downs (August 7) - ASD Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $597,143. Mandatory payout on Monday, August 7
  • Assiniboia Downs (August 7) - $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (last four races)

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 for more information.

A special "I Won Bigg" session will take place on Manitoba Derby Night as the group will play the mandatory payout of the ASD Jackpot Pick 5. As well, Larry Liebrecht, part owner of Manitoba Derby horse, Green Amazon, has told The Inside Track that if his horse wins the Manitoba Derby everyone who comes to the "I Won Bigg" session is invited to the Winner's Circle!
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
The above shot is from the 2017 Manitoba Derby and talk about a storybook ending. The horse, Plentiful was owned by trainer Murray Duncan and his lifelong friend Garylle B. Stewart and was claimed at Oaklawn Park with thoughts of a possible Derby win. Gary and Murray were friends from way back and had only just gotten back into the racing game in 2010. They had fun with their horses, but Gary's health deteriorated, and he passed on Derby Day 2016. One year later, Murray and the Estate of his friend had their Derby horse and Plentiful ran like the champion everyone knew he could be.
The photo shows Plentiful early in the race just where he likes to be, on the inside, and the rest is history. Plentiful won as he pleased and paid $23.40 to win, perhaps with some help from above? (Jason Halstead Photo)
Reasonably Lovely Wins 50K Manitoba Oaks
Steve Keplin Jr., trainee survives early 8-horse duel to prevail in 36th running
Reasonably Lovely (#4) was part of an eight-horse duel early in the Manitoba Oaks, but put everyone else away when it counted. (Jason Halstead photo)
Reasonably Lovely won the 36th running of the $50,000 Manitoba Oaks on Wednesday evening, and she certainly did it the hard way for trainer Steve Keplin, Jr. and owner James Parisien. Part of a crazy eight-horse duel into the first turn of the one-mile race under jockey Neville Stephenson, the 3-year-old filly by Union Rags forced the pace three-wide on the backstretch and wore down longshot Olive's Candy to win by 1 3/4-lengths. Olive's Candy received an excellent ride from apprentice Fraser Aebly that is well worth watching. Pay attention to his light hands on the lead.
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
For people who enjoy horse racing the Manitoba Derby is like having a second Christmas added to the calendar. This Monday, August 7th, we all get to unwrap this year’s offering in the 75th renewal of the Manitoba Derby. How fitting is it that our born-on-December 25th history guy sorts through the 90-plus years since the first Derby went to post on September 3, 1930. Click here for his special edition history blog dedicated to 75th Manitoba Derby. 
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Club West Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 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 in July, August & Sept. 4 - more info
  • Manitoba Derby Night - Monday, August 7 - more info
  • CTHS Yearling Sale (Red River Ex Grounds) - Sunday, August 20 - 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
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.