The Inside Track | Issue #113 | January 5, 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?
  • New Food & Drink Specials
  • Handicapping Tournaments
  • Dining Specials
  • New MB/SK Registered Foal Program!
  • Good Times Bad Weather by Tim Cox
  • Sincere Condolences: Jim Heighton
  • TravyFootball Week 18
  • 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: Precambrian
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Juvenile Runner-Up Returns in San Vicente
  • 2024 Kentucky Derby Trail
  • Canadian Racing Photos
  • The Best of Bob - Carl Anderson
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!

Upcoming Tournaments

Player's Choice Tournaments

  • 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 6 & Sunday, January 7. 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
  • 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

New Manitoba/Saskatchewan Registered Foal Program!

In-foal mares that have not foaled in MB/SK in 2022/2023 eligible for up to $4,000

Manitoba-bred Escape Clause (inside) finishes a game second beaten a nose in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park. And she was coming back at the wire! (Coady photography)

The thoroughbred breeding industry in Manitoba has improved dramatically over the past decade, and it’s only going to get better.

Manitoba-bred horses have demonstrated their abilities on the racetrack with an exclamation point, highlighted by Sovereign Award-winning champion and millionaire Escape Clause’s scintillating performance in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park, when she took the best mare in the world, Midnight Bisou, to a nose decision.

With that in mind, the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS Manitoba Division) and the Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) are pleased to announce a new program for Manitoba broodmares that will make breeders eligible for up to $4,000 in support rebates, on top of the already enhanced purse structure, breeder and stallion awards. Details follow below.

MJC and Manitoba CTHS – Manitoba/Saskatchewan Registered Foal Program

This program will be offered in 2024 and 2025. MB/SK breeders with in-foal mares that have not foaled in MB/SK in 2022 and 2023 will be eligible for up to $4,000.

The breeder of the resulting foal will be paid $3,000 upon registration of the MB/SK foal with The Jockey Club and CTHS National office. Should that same mare produce a MB/SK bred foal by a stallion registered in the MB/SK program in 2025, the breeder will be eligible for a further $1,000 when the resulting foal is also registered.

An extension to the bred back program can be requested by applying to the MB CTHS office by July 1st. All foals from this program will have their registration certificates assigned to the MB CTHS until the yearlings are either sold through a MB/SK sale or raced at ASD.

Horses not entered or sold in a MB/SK sale will have their registration certificates held by the ASD race office until the end of the horses two-year-old’s race meet at ASD. Two-year-olds may ship to other tracks prior to completion of the ASD meet for a stakes race with approval from the race office and ASD.

Registration papers must be returned to ASD after the stakes race if the ASD meet is ongoing. Repayment of program funds will release the registration certificates at any time. Mares must be registered, and the application approved by the MB CTHS office prior to foaling.

The deadline for approval to this program for 2024 is June 1st. Each mare is only eligible once for this program. A maximum of 30 mares will be accepted into the program. Members may submit more than 1 mare application to the program, but each individual CTHS member will have priority over any member's second mare application.

Application priority will be based on the date received by the MB CTHS office. If the program is oversubscribed the CTHS and MJC will allow the extra applications to be first in line, the following year waiving the no foal in MB/SK in 2022-2023 stipulation if they qualify at time of application.

All applicants must be CTHS full members in good standing to be approved into the program. This program cannot be combined with any other CTHS program. The CTHS reserves the right to deny any application it deems not in the best interest of the CTHS.

Application Form here.

Escape Clause and Midnight Bisou battle to the wire in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap

Manitoba-bred champion and Sovereign Award winner Escape Clause and Eclipse Award-winner Midnight Bisou battle to the wire in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1).

On the Trail Home

Original painting by Tim Cox

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~ Earl Nightingale. See more original paintings from Tim Cox here.

Sincere Condolences - Jim Heighton

September 22, 1944 - December 9, 2023

Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame member and Winnipeg Blue Bomber CFL All-Star Jim Heighton during his playing days.

We are sad to announce the passing of longtime Manitoba owner-breeder Jim Heighton. Jim passed away peacefully with his children Tania and Bobby at his side in the British Columbia Care Centre on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at the age of 79.


The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive end, CFL All-Star and Manitoba Sports Hall of Famer owned and bred many horses over the years that raced at Assiniboia Downs, but the special horse that most would recognize was Limbo Mission, who was bred by Jim and owned in partnership with trainer Ardell Sayler. Limbo Mission won the CTHS Sales stakes and went on to compile an amazing eight-year career record of 23-20-15 from 100 starts.


Jim loved his horses and maintained a small farm just west of Winnipeg up until 2022. He had many friends at Assiniboia Downs and also in the sports world in general, where he was an exceptional athlete.


In 1969 as a walk-on, Jim joined the BC Lions football club in Vancouver. One year later the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed him. As a Canadian, Jim played an “American position” as a defensive end, and went on to become a CFL West All-Star 4 times. He was nominated by the Bombers as a Schenley nominee on three occasions, as well as being most valuable lineman of the year for the Blue Bombers twice. After 10 years with the Bombers Jim joined the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1979, finishing his career with the Montreal Alouettes in 1980, 1981. 


A two-time inductee into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, Jim’s most memorable moment on the diamond came when he hit a two-run home run in the final inning to break up a no-hitter and send his Grosse Isle Blue Jays senior team to the 1988 Canadian western championship. In track and field, Heighton won eight gold medals at Canadian masters meets. Jim also competed in the Manitoba Golden Masters Soccer Club into his 70s. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.


Jim had a large group of friends, enjoyed telling stories about his football buddies, his customers from his days as the consummate car salesman, and of course his Assiniboia Downs group of likeminded horse people.


Jim’s farm in StFrancois Xavier was his lifeblood. He spent over 50 years tending to his acreage and horses, including his favourite horse GymHytan. Not only will his friends and family miss him, his horses will too.


Our sincerest condolences.


A celebration of life is scheduled in Winnipeg, May 27, 2024. We will post more details here when we have them.   

Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 18

The regular season finally comes to a close with a few teams still fighting for playoff spots, while Baltimore and San Fran have locked up first place in their conferences. 

Texans over Colts (Saturday night ): The Texans need to lay it all on the line if they want to squeak into the playoffs. A loss here and they’re done, but a win would see them leapfrog the Colts for the 7th and final playoff spot. Houston was bolstered by the return of CJ Stroud at quarterback last week after missing a couple games with a concussion. They proceeded to made short work of the Titans, running away with the game 26-3. I personally would like to see the Texans in the playoffs over the Colts (sorry Derek). Not just because the Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans used to be the 49ers defensive coordinator, okay, yes that's part of it, but for Houston to go from one of the absolute worst teams last year, to getting into the playoffs, would be pretty remarkable.

Lions over Vikings (Sunday noon): Detroit will look to blow off some steam after a questionable call by the refs last week cost them the game against the Cowboys. Lions coach Dan Campbell did everything in his power to remain semi-cool during the post-game conference, but you could also see the veins in his head getting ready to burst after being asked multiple times about who and who didn't report as eligible receivers. Enter the Vikings, whose very slim playoffs hopes aren’t quite dead yet, but would need to win plus have three other teams lose. So it’s pretty safe to say they won’t be seeing the post season. I don’t think the Vikings have even decided who’s going to play quarterback for them. Jaren Hall only lasted the first half before he got yanked in favour of Nick Mullens. Mullens came in and didn’t fare any better than Hall did, so they might as well just go back to Josh Dobbs and hope for the best.  

Giants over Eagles (Sunday afternoon): If it wasn’t for the shaky leg of 39-year-old Mason Crosby, the Giants would have pulled the upset over the Rams last week. Unfortunately, the 54-yard field goal attempt was missed badly and that was the end of that. As bad as the Giants are, they do play good at home, and with an Eagles team coming in that has completely lost their identity, there’s no reason why New York can’t win this game. They just played two weeks ago with the Eagles only winning by 8 points, but the Giants did have a chance at the end to tie it. I personally would like to thank Philly for dropping that game last week to the Cardinals which in turn gave San Fran the number one seed and home field advantage in the playoffs. The Eagles can still lock up second in the NFC if they win and the Cowboys lose to the Commanders, otherwise they will end up as the 5th seed.  

Last week: 2-1

Overall: 33-18

Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Jerome (Aqu) - Saturday, Jan. 6 (10 points)
  • Sham (SA) - Sunday, Jan. 7 (10 points)
  • Lecomte (FG) - Saturday, Jan. 20 (20 points)
  • Southwest (OP) - Saturday, Jan. 27 (20 points)

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

Five-horse pace battle. Is your winner in there? (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 5) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $76,135

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 will be on a break for the month of January.

A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates

Happy New Year one and all! With a flip of the calendar page comes a fresh assortment of milestones. Sixty years ago, on July 22, 1964 Precambrian scored yet another victory for owner/trainer Murray Duncan. One month later Precambrian ran fifth and the Winnipeg Free Press reported that it was the first time that the Duncan horse had failed to finish in the top three at the Downs covering the period 1961 to 1964. (Assiniboia Downs Archive)

BC Juvenile Runner-Up Muth Returns in San Vicente

Second Baffert runner Pilot Commander won his only start Nov. 11 at Del Mar

Muth wins the American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita (Benoit photo)

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won 12 runnings of the San Vicente Stakes (G2) and has two leading 3-year-olds in pursuit of a record-extending 13th when Muth and Pilot Commander face four rivals in the $200,000, seven-furlong sprint at Santa Anita Park this Saturday. More from the BloodHorse here.

2024 Kentucky Derby Trail

Three Heating Up, Three Cooling Down

Horses race through the stretch early in the Jan. 1 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park. (Coady Photography)

A capsule look at three horses who are heating up on the Triple Crown trail and three horses whose chances for the 2024 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve are not quite as strong as they were a few weeks ago. The focus is on the last three weeks of action as the final Derby prep races of 2023 and the first 3-year-old races of 2024 are now in the books. More from America's Best Racing here.

Photos from the Year in Canadian Racing

A selection of images from our friends with the lenses at Canadian tracks

Morning glory (Susie Ahlborn)

A selection of images from our friends with the lenses at Canadian tracks and backstretches and more, including a photo from our own Jason Halstead. Say cheese! More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.

Best of Bob

by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Carl Norman Anderson has been around Assiniboia Downs since it opened in 1958. He got his first trainer’s license in 1964 at the age of 19. By all accounts the man they call CA has had an incredible career. You think you know him? We’re confident this history blog will reveal facts that will surprise you. Click here and prepare yourself to be amazed (from August 4, 2021). 

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
  • Wresting For A Cause - Saturday, January 27 - 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].
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.
LinkedIn Share This Email
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Youtube  
Visit our website