• Friday, Dec. 31 - 10 a.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 1 - 10 a.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Sunday, Jan. 2 - 10 a.m. - 1 a.m.
  • Wagering available 24/7 at
The Inside Track | Issue #8 | Dec. 30, 2021
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Full immunization and government issued I.D. required to attend Assiniboia Downs.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Manitoba-breds the Stars of 2021
  • A Snapshot in Time
  • Photo of The Week
  • Flightline the new Superhorse
  • Atras has breakout year in NY
  • NFL Week 17 with TravyFootball
  • Carl Anderson's incredible career
Do the Downs!
Ring in the New Year at ASD and enter for a chance to spin the wheel where you can win up to $100 cash! Draws will be made throughout the day and evening on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Enter at the VLT cage. 140 VLTs are open regular hours on both days from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
NEW YEAR'S EVE PLATED DINNER SPECIAL - Join us New Year's Eve in the Terrace Dining Room for the following served plated specials (Clubhouse menu is also available).
  • Steak Dinner - Certified Angus top sirloin steak with peppercorn au jus. Served with vegetables and choice of fries or mashed potato - $24.95
  • Salmon Dinner - Maple Salmon fillet with dill cream sauce. Served with vegetables and choice of fries or mashed potato - $24.95
  • Clubhouse menu
  • Reservations are required and available from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call 204-885-3330.

  • FRIDAYS: 8 oz. top Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. $24.95. Reservations are not required.

  • NEW! SATURDAYS: Smoky charbroiled St. Louis ribs with our signature BBQ sauce. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Every Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. $24.95. Reservations are not required.
MONDAY MADNESS IN JANUARY - 5% cash back on all eligible wagering on Parx, Turf Paradise and Mohawk every Monday in January. Minimum wagered $100 (each Monday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Monday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
PLAYER REWARDS POINTS EXTENDED - You now have until February 28, 2022 to use up your old Player Rewards points. Points can be used for program and DRF purchases from the kiosks, food and beverage purchases or entry into monthly handicapping contests.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Manitoba-breds the Stars of 2021 at ASD
Fans, horsemen, partners and staff all contribute to stellar year
Manitoba-bred Lucky Chuckee wins 2021 Buffalo Stakes. Jason Halstead photo.
Considering all the hoops and hurdles that horsemen, management and fans had to jump through and over in 2021, it really was a fabulous year at ASD. Manitoba-bred horses continued to take racing to a higher level and fans enthusiastically returned to the fray when restrictions were lifted in late July.

Loyal ASD fans wagered $36,609,401 over the course of the 51-day meeting, the second highest handle in Assiniboia Downs history behind only 2020. Trainer Jerry Gourneau won his second straight training title and third in the past four years with 59 wins and helped his main owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. to his fifth straight purse earnings title, and newcomer Jorge Carreno dominated all jockeys with 80 wins in his first season here.

Honourable mention on the trainer side goes out to Jared Brown, who had one of his best years ever to finish second in the standings with 40 wins, and on the jockey side to both Stanley Chadee Jr. and Sheldon Chickeness, both of whom had breakout years.

Chadee won 49 races to finish second in the standings, earned $625,972 in purses, and won a ton of stakes riding horses that included Melisandre, Miss Imperial, Diamond Digger, Impressive Sense and Plentiful, the latter giving trainer Murray Duncan his first win in the Gold Cup after six decades.

Chickeness had the best year of his career, winning 48 races and $437,193 in purses to finish third in the standings, bringing fans to their feet on numerous occasions, perhaps most notably with three exciting wins aboard West Princess for trainer Marvin Buffalo and his wife Deb, all at excellent odds.
Leading trainer Jerry Gourneau and breakout jockey Sheldon Chickeness. Jason Halstead photo.
2021 was also the best year ever for Manitoba-bred horses and their connections. Local owners and breeders had been quietly upgrading their breeding stock to take advantage of the Manitoba-bred bonuses and the solid purse structure at the Downs and it really showed on the track this year.

3-year-old filly Melisandre (Going Commando-High Pioneer by Pioneering) was the star of the homebred show for trainer Lise Pruitt, owners True North Thoroughbreds and Arnason Farms and breeders Cam Ziprick, Charles Fouillard and Barry Arnason, winning all four of her starts in stakes to remain a perfect 8-for-8. A $25,000 purchase at the Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale in 2019, Melisandre has now earned $111,850 USD according to official Equibase stats.

Melisandre’s full sister Hidden Grace also had another big year for owner/breeders Cam Ziprick, Charles Fouillard and Barry Arnason, winning the RedTail Landing Handicap at Century Mile in her first start of the year and coming home to take the Distaff Stakes for trainer Lise Pruitt. Purchased for $15,000 at the local yearling sale in 2017, Hidden Grace has now earned a whopping $250,009 USD from a record 15-3-3 in 22 starts.
Manitoba-bred Hidden Grace (#2) on her way to victory in the 2021 Distaff Stakes. Jason Halstead photo.
Manitoba-breds Lucky Chuckee and Bankin On Betty both stood out in the 2-year-old division.

Lucky Chuckee (Bird Song-Blazing Sasha by Langfuhr) was undefeated in two starts with victories in both the CTHS Sales Stakes and the Buffalo Stakes for breeder Larry Falloon and ownership partners Anne Champion and trainer Shelley Brown. The 2-year-old gelding was a $5,000 buy-back at the 2020 yearling sale but won his two starts by a combined margin of an amazing 28 ½-lengths, earning $33,396 USD for his romping wins.

Bankin On Betty (Vengeful Wildcat-Mairia by Old Forester) was rumoured to be a good one for trainer Mike Nault and the 2-year-old filly lived up to expectations, winning her debut and following up with a victory in the open Debutante Stakes to complete a perfect 2-for-2 season.

Bred by Dr. Betty Hughes, Bankin on Betty was a $3,000 buy-back at the 2020 yearling and was later purchased privately by True North Thoroughbreds. Her new owners were handsomely rewarded with earnings of $26,095 USD in 2021, and this filly looks like she has a bright future ahead of her.
Manitoba-bred Bankin On Betty wins 2021 Debutante Stakes. Jason Halstead photo.
Manitoba-bred 3-year-old geldings Impressive Sense (True Sense-She Is Impressive by Regal Classic) and Call the Cops (Vengeful Wildcat-Agolo Bynoe by Successful Appeal) split the two restricted stakes in their division.

Bred by Cam Ziprick and Charles Fouillard and trained by Lise Pruitt, Impressive Sense won the Frank Arnason Sire Stakes for owners True North Thoroughbreds and Arnason Farms. Purchased for $2,500 at the 2019 yearling sale, Impressive Sense has returned over 20 times his sale price now with earnings of $45,645 USD from a record of 3-1-2 in 10 starts.

Call the Cops has done even better. Owned and bred by Dr. Betty Hughes and trained by Elton Dickey, the $1,000 buy-back at the 2019 yearling sale won the J. W. Sifton Stakes in 2021 and improved his career record to 2-5-2 from 11 starts for earnings of $50,717 USD.
Definitely a bargain!

And we saved our favourite for last. Manitoba-bred warrior Langara (Langfuhr-Midnight Shadow by Trajectory) made the final start of his career a winning one for trainer Lise Pruitt and owners True North Thoroughbreds and Arnason Farms. The 8-year-old gelding won the Phil Kives Stakes on August 17 with one of his trademark game front-end performances to finish his career with a record of 18-4-7 and earnings of $209,004 USD.
Langara returns after winning the Phil Kives Stakes. Pure class. George Williams photo.
A multiple stakes winner, Langara was bred by Cam Ziprick and Charles Fouillard and purchased for just $6,000 at the local yearling sale in 2014. He is now enjoying life as a riding horse with Judy Wilson and Mark Anderson of Deerfield Farm in Headingley, Manitoba.

“There were some fantastic performances in 2021,” said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn. “We’d like to thank all of our horsepeople, fans, wagering partners, staff, and of course, the horses, for helping us to another exceptional year. We couldn’t have done it without you, it was definitely a team effort.

“We wish all of you the very best for a safe, happy and prosperous 2022!”  
Trainer Murray Duncan with 2021 Gold Cup winner Plentiful. George Williams photo.
A Snapshot in Time
On Saturday, July 20, 1968 the Downs greeted its two-millionth race fan, W. B. Linton. General Manager Scotty Kennedy was on hand to congratulate Mr. Linton, who was accompanied by his wife. The winning horse was owned by jockey Bobby Stewart’s father and trained by a youthful Murray Duncan, who continues to train horses today at the Downs. Photo courtesy of ASD Historian Bob Gates.
Photo of the Week
Owner/Breeder Barry Arnason gives champion Manitoba-bred Melisandre a pat as Escape Clause's full-sister Reasonable Cause looks on.
Manitoba owner/breeder Barry Arnason has always been a hands-on owner who enjoys spending time with his horses. He and his brother Brett trained horses together in their 20s and and have been involved with thoroughbreds in Manitoba ever since. The 69-year-old owner of Arnason Industries campaigned Manitoba-bred stakes-winners Melisandre, Hidden Grace, Impressive Sense and Langara with his partners in 2021.

Arnason now has seven broodmares including Reasonable Cause, a full sister to Escape Clause who is slated to be bred this spring. He also purchased the sales topper (Hip #10) at the 2021 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale, a full-sister to multiple stakes winners Melisandre and Hidden Grace, for $52,000. "I'm on the Freedom 95 plan now," he said.

Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to
In The News
Flightline crushes competition in Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita. Blood Horse / Benoit Photo.
Undefeated Flightline was expected to get some competition in the Runhappy Malibu Stakes (G1) on opening day at Santa Anita last Sunday. Among his rivals were Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) runner-up Dr. Schivel and undefeated Triple Tap, a half brother to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. It wasn't close. And he was never asked to run.

Flightline has now won all three of his starts with Beyer Speed Figures of 105, 114 and 118 in the Malibu, the latter being the highest Beyer Speed Figure given to any horse this year. Could he be the next superhorse? More from the Blood Horse here.
Rob Atras with wife Brittney, There Goes Jose and barn security goat Gilbert. Keith McCalmont Photo
Former Assiniboia Downs trainer and Winnipegger Rob Atras had a breakout year in 2021, winning three graded stakes including the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga with Maracuja. Atras has steadily improved his stock over the course of three seasons, and as of December 28 he had compiled a 2021 record of 70-51-51 from 336 starts and $3,942,669 USD in purse earnings. He now has over 50 horses in his barn! Well done Rob and best of luck in 2022! More from the Paulick Report here
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • Jan. 1 - Smarty Jones - Oaklawn
  • Jan. 1 - Jerome - Aqueduct
  • Jan. 1 - Sham - Santa Anita
  • Jan. 22 - Lecomte - Fair Grounds
  • Jan. 29 - Southwest - Oaklawn

Full list of Kentucky Derby prep races here
Carryover Watch & Programs
Mandatory Payouts at Aqueduct & Laurel
All pools will be mandatory payouts at Aqueduct and Laurel on Friday, Dec. 31.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
The "I Won Bigg" is back at it this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse. The group will be playing Santa Anita and Tampa Bay. Want a share? $20 gets you in! Email Larry at
NFL Week 17 with TravyFootball
Eagles over Washington (Sunday noon): I’m not sure why Washington even bothered to show up last week against the Cowboys. I guess you could maybe argue that they didn’t show up after getting absolutely destroyed 56-14. This team is in need of a real makeover in the off season. Taylor Heinicke is definitely not their quarterback of the future and they are severely lacking skill-position players. With their win over the Giants last week, the Eagles have moved themselves into the final playoff spot in the NFC, and a win over Washington would more than likely give them that playoff spot for good.
Cowboys over Cardinals (Sunday 3:25 p.m.): For the third year in a row, the Cardinals are suffering a collapse during the second half of the season. Through the first eight weeks the Cards were 7-1 and were the best team in football, but from week nine until week 16 they are only 3-5 and have fallen to fourth in the conference. It doesn’t get any easier now having to face Dallas who just put up 56 points against Washington. 
Bills over Falcons (Sunday noon): The Bills avenged their week 13 loss to the Patriots last week, and beat them pretty convincingly. With that win the Bills have reclaimed first place in the AFC East and control their own destiny when it comes to hosting a playoff game. The Falcons are currently on the outside looking in, and one game back of a playoff spot in the NFC. A win here would certainly increase their chances, but the hot weather Atlanta team having to travel to Buffalo in December? I don’t like the sound of that one bit. 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Carl Norman Anderson has been around Assiniboia Downs since it opened in 1958. He got his trainer’s licence in 1964 at the age of 19. By all accounts the man they call CA has had an incredible career. As well as you think you know Carl, we're confident Bob's story will reveal facts that will surprise you. Click here and prepare to be amazed. (From August 2021)
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