The Inside Track | Issue #90 | July 28, 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?
  • Live Racing Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
  • ASD Player Portal
  • Chase the Ace at ASD
  • Las Vegas Challenge Tournament
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials
  • Manitoba-breds Power Home in Stakes
  • 20 Nominations for 75th Manitoba Derby
  • RCMP Musical Ride
  • Snapshot in Time - A Fleets Dancer
  • Forte Meets Four in Jim Dandy
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Bob's Blog - 1942 Canadian Derby
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
Live Racing this Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $519,186 (last five races). Mandatory payout on Monday, August 7 (if not won prior to).
  • $50,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 (last four races)
  • New to the races? Be sure to stop by and see Brad and Shannon. They will answer all your questions about racing and wagering.
  • Download the Dark Horse Betting App, open a new account and get $30 in free wagers.
  • Free Family Fun activities every Monday through Sept. 4. Bouncy Castles, face painting, live entertainment. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Free admission and free parking daily.
  • Can't make it to the track? Watch and wager at
  • See full ASD schedule here.
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 #11 Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets for Chase the Ace Week #11 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 - This Monday, July 31
  • 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
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

Race night buffets are filling up fast for the remainder of the race season so book your table for our Certified Angus Prime Rib Buffet today! It's available every race night in the Terrace Dining Room.

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
Manitoba-Breds Power Home in Stakes
Russian Pearl, Commandoslastdance romp, Private Frank wins 4th straight
Manitoba-bred Russian Pearl (#1) on her way to victory in the R. C. Anderson Memorial Stakes on Monday for trainer Devon Gittens and owners Larry Falloon and Ron Wiley. Damario Bynoe up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Fans were treated to a great show of Manitoba thoroughbred power this week in two stakes and a potential Manitoba Derby prep.

On Monday Russian Pearl turned the tables on her arch rival Mechanic Susie as the 3-year-old fillies stretched out to a mile for the first time in the 48th running of the $40,000 R.C. Anderson Memorial Stakes. The dark bay filly by Nonios-Russian Jewel by Wildcat Heir had lost her previous start to Mechanic Susie in the $40,000 Hazel Wright Sire Stakes by a desperate head after an all-out duel through the stretch, but that race was at six furlongs.
Groom Marcia Timms-Fletcher with R. C. Anderson Stakes winner Russian Pearl in trainer Devon Gittens barn. (George Williams photo)
In the Hazel Wright, Russian Pearl had come from off the pace to challenge Mechanic Susie, but she was having none of that in the longer R. C. Anderson, as jockey Damario Bynoe sent her right to the front to set the pace under pressure from Mechanic Susie. The latter tried to get to Russian Pearl on the final turn, but was turned back into the stretch, after which Russian Pearl exploded like she was shot out of a cannon, drawing off to win by six lengths.

Trained by Devon Gittens for owners Larry Falloon and Ron Wiley, Russian Pearl was bred by Falloon and Denis Huberdeau and is groomed by Marcia Timms-Fletcher. The $1,000 yearling was expertly prepared by Gittens to stretch out to a mile for her first stakes win, having previously finished second in the CTHS Sales Stakes, the Debutante and the Hazel Wright, and third in the Buffalo Stakes.

Russian Pearl earned $24,480 for her win in the R. C. Anderson, vaulting her over the $75,000 mark in earnings from a record of 2-5-1 from 10 starts. How’s that for a thousand- dollar purchase!
Manitoba-bred Commandoslastdance wins the 34th Debutante Stakes on Tuesday for trainer Mike Nault and owners True North Thoroughbreds. Chavion Chow up. (Jason Halstead photo)
On Tuesday night, six 2-year-old fillies got together for the 34th running of the $40,000 Debutante Stakes, and once again, a Manitoba-bred was the star of the show for trainer Mike Nault.

Commandoslastdance, the last filly by star Manitoba sire Going Commando, took her time to get rolling under jockey Chavion Chow, but once she did it was clear who was going to win. Sent off at 5-1 after finishing a closing fourth in her debut, the bay daughter of Going Commando-Sweet Tizzy Lizzy by Tiznow broke a step slow, stalked a duel four-wide, challenged in mid turn, dueled into the stretch and drew out to win by 3 ¼-lengths.

Owned by True North Thoroughbreds, groomed by Olive Johnston, and bred by Keaton and Aiden Ziprick, Commandoslastdance was purchased for $17,000 at the 2022 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale. She got all of that back and more in the Debutante, with the winner’s prize of $30,600, and appears to have a very bright future ahead of her.
Groom Olive Johnston with Debutante Stakes winner Commandoslastdance in trainer Mike Nault's barn (George Williams photo)
On Wednesday night another Manitoba-bred monster reared its head again in the form of Private Frank. The Frank Arnason Sire Stakes winner trained by Tom Gardipy, Jr. for owners Jerry Lambert and Lynn Mathews tested older horses while also stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time and whomped his seven rivals in style.

Rated by jockey Ronald Ali as soon as he left the gate in the 7 ½-furlong allowance, the rangy 3-year-old gelding by Going Commando-Inspeightofsuccess by Speightstown stalked the pacesetters while clearly under a hold until Ali could wait no longer. He pulled the trigger into the turn, dueled to the stretch with something in reserve, and drew out to win by 2 ¾-lengths.
Manitoba-bred Private Frank has now won four in a row for trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. and owners Jerry Lambert and Lynn Mathews, earning himself a nomination to the 65th running of the Manitoba Derby. Ronald Ali up. (Jason Halstead photo)
It was an impressive win for a yearling who was only bid up to $1,000 in the 2021 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale before being bought back by his owner-breeders Jerry Lambert and Lynn Mathews. Private Frank has now won four in a row while showcasing speed, the ability to rate, and most importantly heart. He’s now earned over $60,000, and his latest win garnered him a nomination for the $125,000 Manitoba Derby on Monday August 7.

Regardless of whether his connections decide to run “Big Red”, as his groom Douglas Badaloo calls him, in the Derby, or not, this is a serious racehorse and getting better.

Well done, Manitoba!
Private Frank with groom/exercise rider Douglas Badaloo in trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr.'s barn. (George Williams photo)
20 Nominations for 75th Manitoba Derby
Trainer Robertino Diodoro nominates pair in drive for five
An amazing 20 horses nominated for the 75th running of the $125,000 Manitoba Derby presented by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries on Monday August 7, and by the quality of the nominations it looks like we’re in for a doozy of a race, maybe the best ever.

It must have something to do with the fact that the Manitoba Derby is the first race in the Western Canadian Triple Crown series, which offers a bonus of $100,000 to any horses that can sweep the Manitoba Derby, the $200,000 Canadian Derby at Century Mile on Saturday August 26 and the $125,000 BC Derby at Hastings Racecourse on Saturday, September 16.

Elite North American trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has won the Manitoba Derby a record four times (2016, 2018, 2019, 2022), has two horses nominated for this year’s Derby, including Heroic Move, who was most recently a troubled third in the $250,000 Iowa Derby, and B Minor, who broke his maiden going a mile in a $120,000 Maiden Special Weight race at Churchill Downs.

Other notable out of town nominations include Century Mile Count Latham Handicap runner up Kauai Dan, trained by Craig Smith, who also nominated Tshiebwe, a recent $100,000 Maiden Claiming winner at Ellis Park. And Hastings Racecourse Ascot Graduation Stakes winner Sunbird, who is undefeated in three starts for trainer Terry Jordan.

Local favourites nominated for our biggest race of the year include Golden Boy Stakes winner Chicago’s Gray for trainer Murray Duncan, Derby Trial winner Saxon Saga for trainer Wendy Anderson, and Mano Dura, a classy local allowance winner from Texas for trainer Jerry Gourneau and Assiniboia Downs annual leading owner, Henry S. Witt, Jr., who has four horses nominated in total. And of course, Private Frank, who we mentioned above.

The 2023 Manitoba Derby could have one of our largest Derby fields ever, and a crowd to match! See all the Past Performances for the nominees here. And get tied on early!
Manitoba-bred Private Frank has now won four in a row and is becoming a serious horse. Damario Bynoe up. (Jason Halstead photo)
RCMP Musical Ride
Friday, July 28 & Saturday, July 29
The 150th Anniversary Tour

The spectacular RCMP Musical Ride will arrive in Winnipeg July 28th and July 29th to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Two performances will take place at Assiniboia Downs. The first one on Friday, July 28th and the second one on Saturday July 29th.

The RCMP Musical Ride is a symbol of tradition, honour, and pride. The Musical Ride is a Canadian icon recognized at home and abroad. The troop of up to 32 riders, who are all police officers, and their horses perform intricate formations and drills set to music, lasting about 40 minutes. These movements demand the utmost control, timing, and coordination.

Friday, July 28
  • Musical Ride showtime is 7:00 p.m.
  • Meet and Greet to follow show
  • Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
  • All seating is rush seating. Click here for additional seating information.
  • Food and beverage service is available
  • $5 Super Specials: $5 Hot Dogs, $5 Popcorn & $5 Domestic Beer (available at main floor and 3rd floor concession stands.)
  • Tickets $15 (including taxes & fees). Kids 5 & under free.
  • Tickets available at the door.

Saturday, July 29
  • Musical Ride showtime is 1:30 p.m.
  • Meet and Greet to follow show
  • Doors open at 12:00 noon
  • All seating is rush seating. Click here for additional seating information.
  • Food and beverage service is available.
  • $5 Super Specials: $5 Hot Dogs, $5 Popcorn, $5 Pop and $5 Domestic Beer (available at main floor and 3rd floor concession stands.)
  • Tickets $15 (including taxes & fees). Kids 5 & under free.
  • Tickets available at the door.
July HPI Cash Back Specials

  • COUNTDOWN TO THE MANITOBA DERBY: Earn one entry for every $50 you wager on Assiniboia Downs during the month of July. Five draws will be made for a $500 wager on the Manitoba Derby, an invitation to the Manitoba Derby Media Conference and a buffet for two in the Terrace Dining Room on Manitoba Derby Night. Opt-in at All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
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 (if not won prior to)
  • 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
Carryover Watch
  • Assiniboia Downs (July 31) - ASD Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $519,186. Mandatory payout on Monday, August 7 (if not won prior to).
  • Del Mar (July 28) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $299,152
  • Gulfstream (July 28) - Jackpot Pick 6 carrovery $181,580

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 Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
How many of you out there remember that 25 years ago the 50th Running of our Derby classic was won by A Fleets Dancer? If you consider the career earnings of the horses that won the Manitoba Derby over the past 25 years, you'd only find one millionaire in the group. Who? Why none other than A Fleets Dancer. If you go back to 1930 there's only one other Derby champion who reached millionaire status. Steady Power, the 1987 winner, had career earnings that bettered the Dancer's total by about $100,000. The Dancer owned a nice pedigree, having Mr. Prospector as his grandsire, with Vice Regent-Northern Dancer blood on his dam's side. In 2001 he also won a Sovereign Award as Champion Older Horse and was a Breeders’ Cup Classic participant. (Gerry Hart Photo)
In The News
Trainer Brad Cox sends out three starters in important prep for the Travers Stakes
Forte training at Saratoga Racecourse. (Skip Dickstein / Blood Horse photo)
The Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) may not crown the 3-year-old champion but it is surely a means to an end. As rewarding as a victory in Saturday's $500,000 stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course may be, the majority of the connections of the five starters will tell you that the true prize awaits four weeks from now when the division's top stars will meet in a mile-and-a-quarter showdown in the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (G1), which will play a huge role in deciding the champion 3-year-old male. More from the Blood Horse here.
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
Since the beginning of racing there has always been that horse who is a ‘sure thing’ the proverbial ‘cinch.’ One thing we’ve come to learn about horse racing is that even that "can’t lose" horse – can lose. We’ve all seen it happen. This week's history blog tells the story of one such horse. We have a pretty good idea about how this tale will end - don’t we? Click here for the 80-year-old story of the 1942 Canadian Derby that was held at Polo Park Racetrack. Find out here.
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
  • Countdown to the Manitoba Derby HPI promo - more info
  • Free Family Fun Nights Mondays in July, August & Sept. 4 - more info
  • RCMP Musical Ride - Friday, July 28 - more info
  • RCMP Musical Ride - Saturday, July 29 - more info
  • Manitoba Derby Night - Monday, August 7 - 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.