The Inside Track | Issue #65 | February 3, 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
  • New Value Added Chef's Specials
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance
  • Gourneau, Gardipy inducted into Hall of Fame
  • Condolences: ASD Track Superintendent Bob Timlick
  • Call for Foal Photos
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • $1 Million Louisiana Premier Night
  • Nominations Open: Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
  • A Step Forward for North American Horse Racing
  • Snapshot in Time: 1967 Gold Cup Winner
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Conference Review
  • The Best of Bob: A Hoofprint on My Heart
  • 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 in February!

  • 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.
2023 Player's Choice Online Handicapping Tournaments

  • Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • Saturday, April 15, 2023
  • 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.
February HPI Cash Back Specials

  • TREMENDOUS TUESDAYS: Earn 4% cash back on all eligible wagers Tuesdays during the month of February (7, 14, 21 & 28). Minimum wagered $100. Maximum cash back $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
  • HOLIDAY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20 BONUS: Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagers on Monday, February 20. Minimum wagered $100. Maximum cash back $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) 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.

New! Value Added Chef's Specials
Friday's feature "Steak and Suds" which includes an 8 oz. top Sirloin steak plus a complimentary pint of ASD Lucky Lager and Saturday's feature "Prime and Wine" which includes an 8 oz. cut of Certified Angus Prime Rib plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Valentine's Dinner & Dance
Tuesday, February 14

Enjoy our renowned Certified Angus Prime Rib buffet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. then dance until midnight at our Valentine's Dinner & Dance!

  • See full menu here
  • $49.95 per person (plus taxes & gratuities). Call 204-885-3330
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Trainers Jerry Gourneau, Tom Gardipy, Jr. Honoured
Top ASD trainers inducted into North American Indigenous Athletics Hall of Fame
Assiniboia Downs trainers Jerry Gourneau (left) and Tom Gardipy, Jr. have been inducted into the The North American Indigenous Athletics Hall of Fame (NAIAHF).
Assiniboia Downs trainers Jerry Gourneau and Tom Gardipy, Jr. have become the first horse trainers to be inducted into the The North American Indigenous Athletics Hall of Fame (NAIAHF). Congratulations!

The NAIAHF honours and recognizes the Indigenous sport cultures of North America by recognizing outstanding leadership and achievement in individual and team athletics. By honouring and celebrating the empowered journey of the annually inducted individuals and teams, the hope is that their stories may inspire future generations to follow their dreams in athletics and life.

Gourneau and Gardipy, Jr. join an incredible list of athletes, coaches, teams, builders, media and officials in the NAIAHF, which includes such luminaries as four-time Stanley Cup winner George Armstrong, Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Century Jim Thorpe, and two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning hockey player Victoria Bach among numerous other superstars.

"What an incredible accomplishment and honour for these two very deserving individuals," said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn.

"We have long said that Assiniboia Downs reflects an Indigenous sport of excellence and Jerry and Tom have led the way. Respectfully, no other major sport in Winnipeg can claim such leading achievements and results. Jerry Gourneau and Tom Gardipy, Jr. are true mentors for the future generations of Indigenous horse people who will participate in racing at Assiniboia Downs and North America."

"It kind of surprised me," said Gourneau. "Dr. Dan Ninham (NAIAHF) called me out of the blue and said there were two renowned trainers at Assiniboia Downs, myself and Tom."
Ninham said they wanted to start a new category because no other Indigenous people had accomplished what Gourneau and Gardipy had in the world of race horse training.

"It's always an honour to receive recognition from someone for all the hard work that you do," said Gourneau. "It makes you feel good. With all the things that are happening in your life, when you get an award like this, a Hall of Fame induction, it's quite an honour."

Young people will find inspiration from NAIAHF members in numerous different categories agreed Gourneau. "People will see them and they might reach out to them. It might be a good avenue to get some young people involved and interested in our sport."
A very game Witt Six (outside) duels down the stretch under jockey Chavion Chow in the 2015 Manitoba Derby for trainer Jerry Gourneau and owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. (George Williams photo)
Both Gourneau and Gardipy have made a career out of getting more out of their horses than most.

Gourneau has won the leading trainer title at Assiniboia Downs three years in a row and four out of the past five years. The 61-year-old from the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota, started his racing career as a 16-year-old with his father and brothers, patching up $500 horses to become multiple winners.

Gourneau went on to win numerous stakes with horses including Deep Explorer, Big Blue Caboose, St. Louie Guy and Star of Texas winner Witt Six, the 2015 Manitoba Derby runner-up who Gourneau regards as the best horse he's ever trained for five-time leading ASD owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. Gourneau has now compiled a career record of 670-654-646 from 4,691 starts for purse earnings of $5,254,722, and he was quick to credit his help, his wife Lyn Blackburde, and his owners for his success, as was Gardipy.

"I'd like to say thanks to my wife Cheryl, my family, my help, and my clients over the years," said the 62-year-old fourth-generation horse trainer Cree from Beardy’s and Okemasis’ Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. "Nobody does this on their own. This is more for them than it is for me.

“I think it’s quite nice. The family is really excited about it. It's not just mine. It's for everybody that helped me, worked for me and rode for me, and all my clients, who have always supported me. I really appreciate all the people who have given me horses over the years. I don't think it's so much an individual award, there's a lot of people that help you get there."
Tom Gardipy, Jr. tends to Brody's Streak while groom Beth Penton gives the 2022 Lord Balcony Stakes winner a kiss. Ronald Ali up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Gardipy has won six training titles at Assiniboia Downs, and before that he won three titles at Marquis Downs in Saskatchewan. Like Gourneau, he has compiled impressive career stats of 872-847-721 from 4,851 starts for purse earnings of $4,925,535.

Gardipy conditioned the best 3-year-old of his career in 2022, Brody's Streak, who won both the Lord Balcony Overnight Stakes and the Golden Boy Stakes, but said, "I'm prepared to start winding down now, with less horses and more enjoyment."

These two Hall of Famers have certainly earned that.
Condolences: ASD Track Superintendent Bob Timlick
Assiniboia Downs must unfortunately announce that longtime Track Superintendent Bob Timlick has passed away at the age of 58 after a courageous battle with cancer.

"It is so very saddening to hear this news," said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn. "We lost a loyal and valued team member, friend, and a vitally important part of the Manitoba racing industry since he joined the Assiniboia Downs family in 1983.

"Bob was soft spoken and had a big heart. He was immensely skilled as a Track Superintendent and took great pride in providing the horse people with a fair and safe racing surface – something he was exceptionally successful at. We will never forget him. Our hearts go out to his family and children."

Bob is survived by his daughters Katelyn and Abigail. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7 at the Kirkfield Park United Church Voyage Funeral Home located at 472 Kirkfield Street.

Our sincere condolences to Bob's family and many friends.
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 will soon be 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!
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.
Can't make it to the track to wager?
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

Super Flea Market at ASD
Saturday, Feb. 4 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Prairie Strides' Annual Super Flea Market takes place this Saturday and Sunday at Assiniboia Downs. Collectibles, crafts, silent auction, 50/50 draw and more! Help support Prairie Strides and local businesses.

Admission is only $5 for adults, children under 12 are free! All proceeds go to Prairie Strides (formerly Manitoba Riding for the Disabled); helping children living with disabilities experience freedom, growth, and connection through horses.
Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Feb. 4 - Holy Bull (GP)
  • Feb. 4 - Robert B. Lewis (SA)
  • Feb. 11 - Withers (AQU)
  • Feb. 11 - Sam F. Davis (TAM)
  • Feb. 11 - El Camino Real (GG)
  • Feb. 18 - Risen Star (FG)
  • Feb. 25 - Rebel (OP)
  • Feb. 25 - John Battaglia Memorial (TP)

See Kentucky Derby prep winners here.

Kentucky Derby Future Wager Dates
  • Pool #3 - Jan. 20 to Jan. 22 - final odds
  • Pool #4 - Feb. 10 to Feb. 12
  • Pool #5 - Mar. 10 to Mar. 12
  • Pool #6 - Mar. 30 to Apr. 1
"I Won Bigg" Group Returns

The "I Won Bigg" wagering group returns this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on the Clubhouse Plaza. Veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht lead the group discussions.

This week the group will be focusing on Santa Anita and Tampa Bay. $20 gets you a share in the ticket. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
In The News
Louisiana's most talented horses vie for nearly $1 million in purses in 10 rich stakes
Touchuponastar, with Timothy Thornton aboard, wins the 31st running of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic. (Hodges Photography / Jamie Newell)
Delta Downs is getting set for the richest race day of the season on Saturday when Louisiana's most talented horses will vie for nearly $1 million in total purse money on Louisiana Premier Night. The annual event features 10 stakes on a 12-race program that kicks off at 4:50 p.m. This will be the 20th renewal of Louisiana Premier Night. More from the Paulick Report here.
Public invited to nominate of people or horses who made a significant contribution to horse racing in Canada
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (CHRHF) invites the public to participate in the nomination of people and horses who have made a significant contribution to Canadian Standardbred or Thoroughbred horse racing, for induction to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as part of the CHRHF Class of 2023. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Reviewing Four Months Of Category One Interference Rules In Oklahoma
In September 2022, the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission became the first North American jurisdiction to implement the Category 1 interference philosophy, used by all major racing jurisdictions worldwide. The change has been noticeable. Find out why this will be good for North American racing from the Paulick Report here.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
This is the final photo in our 4-part remembrance of Bert Blake. Above we have the winner of the 1967 Gold Cup, (the bashful) Pool to Market. Once again, the team of John Sifton and Bert Blake proved tough-to-beat. With Bobby Stewart in the irons, Pool to Market set a new track record for the 1 1/8-mile distance. The strong Sifton runner’s wire-to-wire performance saw record-breaking fractional times. “Pooly” as he was known to John’s daughter, Patti, bettered the track record at the 4-furlong and one-mile markers, while equaling the record at the 6-furlong pole. (Bob Barnes photo)
Carryover Watch
  • Santa Anita (February 3) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $287,716. Mandatory payout Sunday, February 5.

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Conference Review
Eagles defeat 49ers 31-7 
Oh, what could have been. This game was basically over before it even started. The Philadelphia Eagles were gifted a touchdown on their first drive thanks to a missed call by the refs on a fourth down play that was ruled a completion, but was not actually caught by the receiver. Things really fell apart for San Fran after that when rookie sensation Brock Purdy tore his UCL on his second play of the game. I knew at that point that San Fran had zero chance of winning this game when Josh Johnson came in at quarterback. Just to add a little more salt to the wound, Josh Johnson also ended up getting removed from the game after suffering a concussion. With no healthy quarterbacks left, coach Kyle Shanahan put Brock Purdy back in the game, but it was pretty evident that he could not physically throw a football, so all he did was hand the ball off. Such a sad ending to my 49ers team because we don’t know who really would have won this game had Purdy not been injured. 
Chiefs defeat Bengals 23-20
For the third time in his short career, Patrick Mahomes is going back to the Super Bowl after defeating Joe Burrow for the first time. For a guy that had a high ankle sprain a week ago, you really couldn’t tell that it was bugging him, because he played pretty well. Even though the Chiefs lost two of their top receivers in the game to injury, it didn’t seem to matter, Mahomes was still able to use the guys that were available to him even though they were third and fourth stringers, plus, as I mentioned last week, Travis Kelce always seems to be open. 

It wasn’t a big deal against Buffalo two weeks ago, but the Bengals offensive line was a major issue this time around. Still missing three starters, they really had a hard time blocking for Burrow, and he was constantly pressured and was taking a lot of big hits. The Bengals still had a chance to win the game at the end, having the ball with under two minutes left, but they stalled once again, leading to a fourth down punt back to the Chiefs. An all-time boneheaded penalty by Joseph Ossai put the Chiefs into field-goal range, and Harrison Butker sealed the deal with a chip shot. 
Last week (1-1)
Overall (44-18) 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Who is the Winnipeg born Hall of Famer whose address was once the CPR’s luxurious Royal Alexandra Hotel. This sports writer turned author was accustomed to riding in his father’s private railway car, but was most at home on racing’s backstretch. Bob has the details here. (From June 2018)
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
  • Annual Super Flea Market - Saturday, Feb. 4 & Sunday, Feb. 5 - more info
  • 4% cash back on Tuesdays in February (7, 14, 21 & 28) - more info
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance - Tuesday, Feb. 14 - more info
  • Together Again - FROST: Loud Luxury + special guests - Feb. 24 - 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.