The Inside Track | Issue #24 | April 21, 2022
  • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • VLTs, Race Carrels and Tables are sanitized between customer use.
  • Our fully immunized staff will continue to wear masks for the safety of all customers.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Danelson, Cumberbatch Arrive
  • Final Furlong Award Winners
  • Snapshot in Time
  • Miss Imperial in Apple Blossom
  • Partner Locations
  • Sovereign Award Winners
  • Catching Up With Escape Clause
  • Horse Models Needed
  • The Best of Bob
Do the Downs!
SPIN TO WIN THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS IN THE CLUBWEST GAMING LOUNGE - Enter at the VLT cage every Thursday and Friday for a chance to spin the wheel for up to $100 cash! Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
TUESDAYS ARE TREMENDOUS IN APRIL - 5% cash back on all eligible wagering Tuesdays in April. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Tuesday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).

OAKLAWN CASH BACK SPECIAL THIS SATURDAY - 4% cash back on all eligible wagering on Oaklawn Saturday, April 23. Minimum wagered $100. Maximum deposit $25. Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included).
MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH: Treat Mom to brunch on her special day! Sunday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for full menu. Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95. For tickets call 204-885-3330. This event sells out quickly so get your tickets today!

Please note that there is no live racing on Mother's Day as racing begins Victoria Day, Monday, May 23.

ASD's signature Prime Rib buffet is returning for live race nights starting Monday, May 23. Call 204-885-3330. Adults, $47.95, Seniors (65+), $44.95, 12 & under, $27.95, 5 & under, $14.95. See the buffet highlights at Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330. Click here for full race schedule.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Trainer Fred Rawson leads Call Me Captain and jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch to the track on Tuesday morning. (George Williams photo)
Cumberbatch, Danelson, back in the fold at ASD
Underrated jockey and all-time leading trainer happy to be back
Jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch has arrived!

Perhaps the most underrated jockey in the history of Assiniboia Downs, the 43-year-old rider from Barbados was unable to return to the Downs for the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions. The last time we saw him was in 2019, when he finished fourth in the standings with 36 wins.

More smooth than flashy, and a top-5 rider at ASD almost every season since he arrived in Canada in 2005, Cumberbatch has compiled a win-place-show record of 412-423-449 from 3,524 starts for purse earnings of $3,573,998, and those earnings come courtesy of some awful good mounts including Escape Clause, Hidden Grace, Sixthirtyjoe, Can’t Use Nellie, Budlitelarry, Aware, Hot Rodin and more. Recognize any of those names? We certainly do!

The soften-spoke saddlesmith often goes off at overlay odds, no matter who he is riding, and if a fellow rider makes a mistake on the favourite, he’ll beat them every time. Oh what the heck, he might just beat them regardless. Trainers like that. Fans like it more.

Glad to have you back Renaldo!
Trainer Gary Danelson and longtime partner Bonnie McCrory happy to be back at ASD!
Gary Danelson, the all-time leading trainer at Assiniboia Downs with 1,234 wins, is back in action at the Downs after a two-year absence, and happy to be here! The 84-year-old veteran trainer was seen in the track kitchen on Tuesday morning with longtime partner Bonnie McCrory, and both had big smiles.

Danelson, who has probably won every stakes race at the Downs since it opened in 1958, will have three horses in training at ASD this year, two that were conditioned for him by trainer Jared Brown last year and another that he claimed at Turf Paradise.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Danelson, who survived a 34-day bout with Covid-19. “It almost got me, but training horses is something I've done all my life. I have to do it."

Motivation is a powerful remedy, especially when it comes in the form of horses.
Final Furlong's Jumper Horse of the Year Lacrosse loves showing off and getting all dressed up! We look forward to seeing more of this flashy young man this season. Congratulations!
Final Furlong would like to congratulate our 2021 Horse of the Year Honourees! They are all so deserving of this award and highlight the diversity and flexibility of the thoroughbred. All of our honourees have been placed in the new Hall of Fame section of our updated website. We are so excited to show it off!

Final Furlong Horse of the Year Honourees

  • Pancho's Tribute (Jake) - Riding Academy Horse of the Year
  • Banjoland - Barrel Racing Horse of the Year
  • Papa Al - Ambassador Horse of the Year
  • Itsminetimetoshine - Polo Horse of the Year
  • Lacrosse - Jumper Horse of the Year
  • Ashley Buss (Grand Oak Meadows) - Employer of the Year
  • Card or Cash - Hunter Horse of the Year
  • Mistakiss (Penny) - Honorable Mention Schooling Horse & Most Versatile
  • Mojumbo (Noteable) - Adult Amateur Horse of the Year

If you are showing a thoroughbred during the 2022 season and want to be eligible for next year's awards please go to the Final Furlong website ( to register. Only those registered will be eligible.

The awards are open to thoroughbreds in all disciplines competing in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario. Horses do not need to be Final Furlong or Assiniboia Downs alumni, however, there will be additional awards for those who are. Once registered, please keep Final Furlong updated on your show results. Additional awards throughout the 2022 show season will be handed out. Register early! 

The Final Furlong Year-End Awards are designed to recognize thoroughbreds who have continued to showcase their competitive spirit in the show ring. Multiple sport horse disciplines are being awarded, highlighting the versatility of the thoroughbred away from the race track. Final Furlong would like to thank our loyal sponsors, Assiniboia Downs and Greenhawk, they allow us the ability to present these awards. 

See photos and bios of all the winners here.
A Snapshot in Time
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
Ardell Sayler celebrated his 1,300th career win on June 23, 2018. Sadly, he passed on May 26, 2019. How good was Ardell? How about these stats: Of his 1,321 career wins, 1,190 came right here at the Downs. No one has won more Assiniboia Downs Leading Trainer titles than the big man who was born in Ellendale, North Dakota, who won an amazing 12 titles! 

At the time of his untimely passing Ardell was chasing Gary Danelson for the title of Downs All-Time Leading Trainer, but he would get no closer than 27 wins. His 1,190 wins have him solidly in second place. Ardell enjoyed life to the fullest and passed doing what he loved. We miss you Ardell. (Jason Halstead photo)
Handicapper's Corner
Miss Imperial meets Rob Atras trainee in Grade 1 Apple Blossom
Former ASD champ will be big odds facing Maracuja and three more classy rivals
Miss Imperial wins the 2021 Escape Clause Stakes at Assiniboia Downs with Stanley Chadee Jr. up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Former ASD champion Miss Imperial will meet four very classy rivals including Maracuja, trained by former Assiniboia Downs trainer Rob Atras, in the $1 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) on Saturday (5th race) at Oaklawn Park. (Don't forget, has a 4% Cash Back Bonus that day too!)

Miss Imperial was a powerhouse at Assiniboia Downs for trainer Murray Duncan in 2020 and 2021, winning eight stakes, but she was claimed away from Duncan for $50,000 on December 12, 2021, at Oaklawn Park, by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Since then, Miss Imperial has recorded two seconds and a third from four starts in optional claimers.

Miss Imperial gets a six to nine pound break in the weights from her rivals in the Apple Blossom, but she faces a massive class raise. Besides Maracuja, who gave Atras his first Grade 1 win in the Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga last year, Miss Imperial will be facing the very game 2021 Apple Blossom winner Letruska, 2020 Apple Blossom winner Ce Ce, as well as Cotillion Stakes (G1) winner Clairiere.

Will the weight break be enough to propel Miss Imperial to a performance similar to that of Manitoba star Escape Clause, who missed by a coming-back-at-the-wire nose to Eclipse Award winner Midnight Bisou in this race in 2019?

There’s a reason they run horse races.
Watch and wager at one of our partner locations:

  • Canad Inns Windsor Park - 1034 Elizabeth Road
  • Green Brier Inn - 1611 Main Street
  • Rookies at Central Hotel - 201 Melrose Avenue East
  • Quest Inn - 367 Ellice Avenue
  • McPhillips Station Casino - 484 McPhillips Street
  • Club Regent Casino - 1425 Regent Ave W
  • Wager 24/7 at

  • Club 3D - 3317 Portage Avenue
  • Nor-Villa Motor Hotel - 1763 Henderson Hwy
Photo of the Week
Jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch watching the facial expressions on a happy Call Me Captain, trained by Fred Rawson. (George Williams photo)
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email your photos to
In The News
The 47th Sovereign Awards ceremony was held in person for the first time since 2019 and there was no shortage of smiling faces.

Mighty Heart, shown winning the Grade 3 Dominion Day handicap on July 1 2021, won his second consecutive Canadian Horse of the Year trophy for owner and breeder Larry Cordes at the 47th Sovereign awards, April 14. (Woodbine/ Michael Burns Photo)
Larry Cordes’ homebred Mighty Heart was named Canada’s Horse of the Year for the second straight year at the 47th annual Sovereign Awards on April 14 at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ontario. It was the first time since 2019 that the Sovereign Awards, hosted by the Jockey Club of Canada, was held in person, and some 240 people attended in a beautiful setting. Jason Portuondo was Master of Ceremonies. Jennifer Morrison has all the winners at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Why do Manitoba race fans have one eye on Japan? Because “The Assiniboia Assassin” is now producing beautiful babies there.

Escape Clause with her first foal at Northern Farm in Japan. (Noriko Takahashi photo)
As race fans in Manitoba count the days until the opening of the 65th season of live racing at Assiniboia Downs on Monday, May 23, many also have an eye on Japan. Why?

Because the greatest Manitoba-bred horse ever, Escape Clause, is now producing babies at one of the biggest horse breeding operations in the world ‒ Northern Farm on Hokkaido Island ‒ and she’s already given birth to two foals, a colt last year and a filly recently, both sired by the stallion Duramente, who won the Japanese Derby in record time. More from Ivan Bigg at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Road to the Kentucky Derby 2022
  • May 7 - Kentucky Derby (CD)
  • Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
Carryover Watch & Programs
  • Parx (Apr. 25) - Jackpot Pick 5 - $327,773
  • Fonner (Apr. 22) - Jackpot Pick 5 - $166,242
  • Charles Town (Apr. 21) - Jackpot Pick 6 - $50,310
  • Keeneland (Apr. 21) - Pick 6 - $41,273
  • Gulfstream (Apr. 21) - Jackpot Pick 6 - $34,473
  • See all carryovers here.

MANDATORY PAYOUT ALERT: The Aqueduct Spring meet will come to a close on Sunday, April 24. As a result, all pools with be forced out on that day. The Belmont Spring/Summer meet will kick off Thursday, April 28 at 12:20 p.m.
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse
With Santa Anita on a break between their winter and spring race meets, the group will be turning their attention to Woodbine, Tampa Bay and Oaklawn this Saturday. Everyone welcome. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
THE CALENDAR IS BACK! The 2023 Final Furlong Calendar is now in the planning stage and they are looking for 2023 Calendar Models. If you have a horse that was listed on Final Furlong, please email two photos of your FF Alumnus depicting their best life away from the track along with their racing name, year listed (if known) and what they are up to. Send the email to All photos must be 300 dpi resolution.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Did you know . . . a 37-cent horse won the Winnipeg Futurity way back when? What? How did a horse come to be bought for a few coins? I have the details in "Psst, hey mister, wanna buy a horse?" here. (From Sept. 2013)
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to
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