The Inside Track | Issue #115 | January 19, 2024

140 VLTS

ASD Hours

  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLT machines are sanitized between use

In this edition . . .

  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • There's always a Deal at ASD!
  • 2024 Live Racing Dates/Stakes Schedule
  • Sincere Condolences: Jean McEwen
  • Lonely Night Ahead by Tim Cox
  • Broodmare/Stallion Shipping Incentive
  • TravyFootball Divisional Playoffs
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance
  • Looking For a Special Photo?
  • Carryover Watch
  • Off-Track Betting Locations
  • "I Won Bigg" Wagering Group
  • A Snapshot In Time: Bobby Q.
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Track Phantom Faces Seven in Lecomte Stakes
  • Secrets to Winning on Tapeta
  • California Distaffers Battle in Escape Clause's Race
  • The Best of Bob - Beginnings, Endings and Thank You
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

Upcoming Tournaments

Player's Choice Tournaments

  • This Saturday, January 20
  • Saturday, February 17
  • Saturday, March 16
  • Saturday, April 13
  • Saturday, May 11

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.

  • Draws to win 20 break-open tickets! Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

  • Draws for $20 in FREE VLT Spins Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. 

HPI Cash Back Promotion

  • Saturday, January 20 & Sunday, January 21. Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagers on all tracks. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible). Minimum wagered $50. Maximum cash back $50. All wagers must be placed on your HPI account. Opt-in at

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, chipolte 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

ASD 2024 Race Dates / Stakes Schedule Announced

Live racing begins Monday, May 20th. $125,000 Manitoba Derby Monday, August 5.

Jockey Damario Bynoe celebrates after winning the 2023 Gold Cup aboard Magic Tiger for trainer Wendy Anderson, Bill Meikle and Wind Dancer Stable. The Gold Cup will take place on the final day of the 50-day meeting at ASD in 2024 on Tuesday, September 17. (Jason Halstead photo)

The live racing dates and stakes schedule for 2024 at Assiniboia Downs have been confirmed and we're already looking forward to the live action!

The 50-day meeting begins on Monday, May 20 and runs through to Tuesday, September 17. Live racing will take place on Monday and Tuesday evenings in May and the Mon-Tues-Wed schedule resumes for June, July and August and part of September. The final four days for racing in September will be on Monday and Tuesday from Sept. 9 through Sept. 17. Post time will be 7:30 p.m.

There will be six overnight stakes and 28 stakes offered in 2024 highlighted by the $125,000 Manitoba Derby for 3-year-olds on Monday August 5. Other traditional championship races include the $50,000 Gold Cup on Tuesday, Sept. 17, the $50,000 Manitoba Matron on Monday Sept. 16, and the $50,000 Winnipeg Futurity on Tuesday Sept. 17. There will be six stakes for 2-year-olds beginning with the $50,000 Debutante on Tuesday, July 23.

The overnight stakes for 2024 have been named after some of the best horses ever to race in Manitoba including champions Slinkylady, Bobby Q, Taboga, Coral Prospect, Rangatira and Nephrite. How'd you like to own that stable of horses!

There will be eight restricted stakes including: $40,000 CTHS Sales Stakes, $40,000 Buffalo Stakes, $40,000 Hazel Wright Sire Stakes, $40,000 R. C. Anderson, $40,000 Frank Arnason Sire Stakes, $40,000 J. W. Sifton, $40,000 Distaff and the $40,000 Phil Kives.

Shipping incentives are again in place for 2024 and range from $250 to $1,000 depending on where the horse is arriving from. Combined with the shipping incentives for mares and stallions, the lucrative bonuses available to Manitoba-breds, seven Manitoba/Saskatchewan based sires, and increased investment in broodmares, the future of the sport of horse racing in Manitoba is looking better than ever.

Are you ready!

Sincere Condolences - Jean McEwen

February 27, 1942 – January 16, 2024

Jean McEwen shares a quiet moment with her Canadian Derby winner Real Grace in 2020. (George Williams / Winnipeg Free Press photo)

We are sad to announce that longtime owner/breeder Jean McEwen passed away at her home in Rosser, Manitoba on January 16, 2024.

Jean loved her farm, and all her animals and pets, of which she had many. She especially enjoyed watching her baby foals grow up, and her horses win races at Assiniboia Downs.

Jean owned racehorses for five decades, going all the way back to the Jake Sawatzky/Jack’s Charger days of the 70s. She won her first stakes race in 2020, when Real Grace was victorious in the Derby Trial at Assiniboia Downs, and she shared it with her three partners, daughter Bette Holtman, USA-based trainer Bernell Rhone, and trainer Shelley Brown, who picked the horse out for Jean at the 2020 Winter Mixed Sale in Ocala.

Real Grace went on to win the $100,000 Canadian Derby at Century Mile in 2020, and later added victories in the Far Flung Overnight Stakes and the Free Press Stakes at Assiniboia Downs to his resume, compiling a lifetime record of 6-4-4 from 22 starts for earnings of over $125,000.

Having a genuine Derby horse seemed only fitting for Jean, who grew up with horses and provided a home for 24 of them – that didn’t run anymore -- on her farm in Rosser.

“I don’t get rid of them,” said McEwen in a Winnipeg Free Press article in 2020, “I’ve got a bunch of old horses that are just pets now. One paint, two warmbloods and 21 thoroughbreds. They’ve got pasture, they’ve got hay, they’ve got shelter, they’ve got water and they have all the freedom they want.”

Real Grace provided some degree of comfort for Jean, who lost her husband of 59 years in 2014. Her “big horse” lifted her spirits while she was with us, just as Jean did for her family and friends, her many pets, and especially her horses.

Our sincerest condolences.

A Memorial Service will be held for Jean at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25 at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main Street, Winnipeg. For more information please see Jean's obituary here.

Lonely Night Ahead

Original painting by Tim Cox

“It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf. See more original paintings from Tim Cox here.

CTHS Manitoba Broodmare/Stallion Shipping Incentive

Up to $2,000 available for qualifying mares and stallions

Broodmare Triple Crown. Left: Danger Pay, dam of Champion Escape Clause, Danger Rules. Top right: Jungle Storm, dam of Why So Blue and Jungle Story. Bottom right: High Pioneer, dame of Hidden Grace, Jet Again. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)

Not only do we have shipping incentives from the Manitoba Jockey Club for runners, we also have a similar program for mares and stallions courtesy of the CTHS Manitoba Division!

CTHS Manitoba is renewing their Shipping Incentive Program effective immediately until further notice with a few revisions. The objective of the program is to increase the foal and stallion population.

CTHS Manitoba will pay a maximum of $2,000 to ship a mare in foal and/or a stallion to Manitoba. The following conditions have to be met:

  • Mare in foal and/or stallion must be purchased through a bonafide sale and/or private sale as long as there is a bill of sale issued
  • Leased stallions are also eligible if there is a completed Stallion Lease Agreement
  • The mare must be purchased for breeding purposes only -- not racing and will require the applicant’s signature on a CTHS MB document stating same
  • Includes open mares for breeding purposes
  • Confirmation from the stallion owner that the mare has been bred
  • Applicant must be a member of the CTHS MB Division
  • Shipping fees must be supported by a Bill of Sale and transfer of ownership
  • Provide a shipping fee invoice
  • Payment will be in Canadian funds
  • Purchaser is responsible for paying the shipper and then presenting the paid invoice to the CTHS MB office for reimbursement

This incentive program will be capped at $24,000. The CTHS Board will review this incentive program monthly and adjustments may be made accordingly. Read more in the latest CTHS Manitoba Newsletter here.

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Divisional Round

Niners over Packers (Saturday night): The biggest shocker of last week was how easily the Packers went into Dallas and beat the brakes off of them. Even though Green Bay hasn’t lost in Jerry-world before, I didn’t expect them to move the ball up and down the field at will against the Cowboys supposedly stout defense. Unfortunately for them, with that win they now have a date against a familiar playoff foe in San Francisco. I have a lot of Green Bay fans in my life so banter back and forth has already started. The Packers have had a nice little run, but that’s coming to an end on Saturday night. It’s one thing to go up against Dallas, which is no easy task, but it’s a whole different story when facing the Niners. The ONLY way I see San Fran losing this, is if Brock Purdy has a bad game coming off a 21-day layoff, otherwise I don’t expect this game to even be close. This will be the healthiest the Niners have been since week one, and I don’t see how the Packers defense, who were already one of the worst in the league, will handle everything that is about to thrown at them by Kyle Shanahan. 

Detroit over Tampa Bay (Sunday afternoon): Last week I spoke about Jared Goff playing with a chip on his shoulder, and boy did he ever. He started out the game going 9 of 9 on pass attempts and looked as good as he ever has. I can only imagine how great it felt to beat the team that deemed him “not good enough." It's been a long time since Detroit hosted a playoff game, and now they get two in the same year. Tampa Bay is coming to town after dismantling the reigning NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. Bucs QB Baker Mayfield has found a second life in Tampa after bouncing around a few teams last season. He was battling a sprained ankle and sore ribs, but you couldn’t tell from watching him pick apart the Eagles' defense. Detroit’s defense will be little more tasking for him, especially upfront with Aiden Hutchinson, leading the charge.

Chiefs over Bills (Sunday evening): Well, here we go again. After surviving the -33 temperatures last week, Kansas City will head to Buffalo, who had to deal with an insane amount of snow themselves last weekend. It’s another meeting between Mahomes and Allen, with Mahomes getting the better of him the last two times. I don’t know what the weather is supposed to be like come kickoff, so it may or may not factor in. But considering the conditions they played in last week I don’t see that being that much of an issue. It’s going to take another team effort from Buffalo if they are going to win this one. The Chiefs may not be the juggernaut of years past, but they're still sneaky good if the receivers decide to catch the ball. I’m sure this will be another classic that will come down to who has the ball last, but I’m going to go with the Chiefs here because their defense is slightly better, and healthier. 

Last week: 2-1

Overall: 36-18

Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Lecomte (FG) - Saturday, Jan. 20 (20 points)
  • Southwest (OP) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)
  • Holy Bull (GP) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)
  • Robert B. Lewis (SA) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)
  • Withers (Aqu) - Saturday, Feb. 3 (20 points)

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool #3 - Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21. Click here for list of horses.

Valentine's Dinner & Dance

Love is in the air, and we invite you to join us for our Valentine's Dinner & Dance featuring our renowned Certified Angus Prime Rib Buffet. Savour the exquisite taste of our prime rib buffet, specially prepared for this special occasion. 

After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and sway to the romantic tunes. This is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one and create beautiful memories together.

Celebrate Valentine's Day with us in style. Tickets are $54.95 per person and available by calling Samantha at 204-885-3330. We look forward to seeing you!

Special Offer to our Valued Customers

Purchase your tickets by January 31 and receive a complimentary 6 oz. glass of wine.

Call Samantha at 204-885-3330.

Use promo code VAL2024.

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

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

L to R: Owner/Breeders Frank Johnson and Dr. Betty Hughes, jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch and trainer Devon Gittens after winning the 2023 $40,000 CTHS Sales Stakes with Justlemmeatem (Vengeful Wildcat-Siphon Vice by Siphon). Nicely done! (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 😊

Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream Park (January 19) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $418,822
  • Santa Anita (January 19) - Pick 6 carryover $100,634

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 10:30 a.m. (2nd floor plaza)

The "I Won Bigg" wagering group is on a break for the month of January.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

Forty years ago, on August 19, 1984, multiple stakes winner Bobby Q ran what might have been the best race of his life to defeat K5’s star-runner Rockcliffe in the 7th running of the Whittier Park Stakes. Rockcliffe was the favourite and precious few gave the rest of the field any chance of victory. The K5 son of Norcliffe got his nose in front of the pace setting Bobby Q for only a brief moment, but Bobby would not be beaten that day. He pinned his ears and won the hard fought race, paying a tidy $15.00 for the win! (Gerry Hart photo)

Track Phantom Faces Seven Rivals In Saturday's Lecomte

42 Kentucky Derby points will be awarded to the top five finishers (20-10-6-4-2)

Quality Road colt Track Phantom, guided by Cristian Torres, captures the Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course. (Hodges Photography/Kylie Wellington)

After stepping up from his maiden victory to score in December’s Gun Runner at Fair Grounds Race Course, Track Phantom is looking to hold his form in Saturday’s $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) at the same track and reassert his dominance over Godolphin runner Nash. More from the Paulick Report here.

Secrets to Winning on Gulfstream Tapeta

Free download from Horse Racing Nation unravels the mystery

Secrets to Winning on Tapeta at Gulfstream Park can help make you a winner.

Following up on the success of their analysis of the Tapeta surface at Turfway Park last year, which included interviews with experts and offered 20 tips for confounded bettors, Horse Racing Nation has done a similar analysis of the Tapeta surface at Gulfstream Park. Both are worth a read for serious handicappers. Download the free ebook here.

Midnight Memories, Desert Dawn Rematch in La Canada

California distaffers battle in race that made Escape Clause a graded stakes winner

Midnight Memories defeats Desert Dawn in the 2023 Bayakoa Stakes. (Benoit photo)

The $100,000 La Canada Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park this Saturday will serve as a 1 1/16-mile battleground for a rematch between top California distaffers Midnight Memories and Desert Dawn. Local fans will remember that the La Canada was the race that made Manitoba-bred Canadian champion mare Escape Clause a graded stakes winner. More from the BloodHorse here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week Bob has gone rogue and hijacked the history blog. Instead of his usual time tunnel horse racing adventure, he has something special in mind for this his 200th blog story. Click here to see what made him depart from his usual yesteryear storytelling theme (From July 21, 2022). 

Upcoming events at ASD

  • Break Open Bonanza - Draws for Break-Open tickets - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 in free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, January 20 - more info
  • Wrestling For A Cause - Saturday, January 27 - more info
  • Prairie Stride's Annual Flea Market - Saturday, February 3 & Sunday, February 4 - more info
  • Manitoba Tattoo Expo - Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 11 - more info
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance - Wednesday, February 14 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, February 17 - more info
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to [email protected].
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