The Inside Track | Issue #79 | May 12, 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
  • Chef's Specials
  • Mage Derby Win one for the Little Guy
  • New! $550,000 Western Canadian Triple Crown!
  • Call for Foal Photos
  • Quantum Mechanics Colt for Nonios
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • Longshot Mage wins Kentucky Derby
  • Life as a Jockey: New Video Series
  • The Movie or the Horse - Rich Strike
  • Snapshot in Time - Emile Corbel
  • Carryover Watch
  • The Best of Bob: "Doc" Elder reflects
  • 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!

  • 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

  • This 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.
May HPI Cash Back Specials

  • MONDAY MADNESS: Earn 4% cash back every Monday in May on all tracks on all eligible wagers. Minimum wagered $100 (each Monday). Maximum cash back $25 (each Monday). ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) Opt-in at 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.

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.

NEW! 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.
Mother's Day Brunch - SOLD OUT

Sunday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Signature Certified Angus Prime Rib
  • Carved ham with grilled pineapple
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Omelette station
  • Eggs benedict
  • French toast
  • Bacon, sausage and hash browns
  • Assortment of salads
  • Cheese and kolbassa tray
  • Pickle tray
  • Smoked salmon pizza
  • Croissants, rolls, flatbread, butter
  • Sliced fruit and berries, chilled juices, coffee and tea
  • Dessert and pastry table featuring cakes, dainties, warm apple crumble
  • This is a ticketed event. Prices are subject to taxes & gratuities.
  • Adults $44.95, 12 & under $21.95, 5 & under $9.95
  • Please note that there is no live racing on this day.
Live Racing Buffets

Reservations are now open for our all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffets!

Live racing is right around the corner and that means that our renowned all-you-can-eat Certified Angus Prime Rib buffet is back. Live racing and a prime rib buffet - it doesn't get much better than that!

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
Mage's Kentucky Derby Win One For The Little Guy
Could the feisty son of a Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner take the Triple Crown?
Kirt (left) had a big smile after picking Mage (14-1) to win the Kentucky Derby on the ASD Live Show before the race. He must have had The Inside Track! Both Kirt and Stretch had some excellent handicapping insights for Derby Day. A perfect tune-up for their live season show!
When Mage won the 149th Kentucky Derby last Saturday at 14-1 it was a win for the little guy, and a few friends of friends of friends.

It seemed that everyone who knew someone who had handicapped the race had at least a couple of bucks on the feisty son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Good Magic. Heck, my mom even had two across on him, and why not?

Kirt picked Mage on the ASD Live Kentucky Derby Preview Show, which was a great tune up for their summer ASD handicapping show, and both Kirt and Stretch had numerous winners and cashable tickets in their picks on Derby Day. They missed the Pick-6, but it only paid $978,372 for 20 cents. Maybe next time.

Mage was tagged by numerous trip handicappers after his second-place finish in the Florida Derby to scratched Kentucky Derby favourite Forte, but somehow managed to go off as an overlay. He came charging home to defeat Two Phil’s (9-1), who had the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the field at 101. Post time favourite Angel of Empire (7/2) rallied for third, with Disarm (26-1) battling it out to take fourth money. Of the top four finishers, only Disarm would have been tough to have in your superfecta, but some bettors liked him.

The bargain play turned out to be the Mage-Two Phil’s exacta, which returned $319.80 for $2. The 60-cent trifecta also paid decent at $536.52, but the $1 superfecta returned a whopping $14,239.70 for those who were lucky enough to have Disarm on their ticket.

The connections of Mage weren’t sure if they were going to run back in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, May 20, but their horse was looking lively on the track just a few days after his monstrous win. Many were thinking it would be a real battle between Forte and Mage in the Preakness, but because Forte scratched out of the Derby due to a foot bruise, safety rules say he can’t run back that quick.

Forte might not have been able to beat Mage in the Preakness regardless, as Mage looks like he is only now starting to peak. Could he win the Triple Crown?

He just might!
Two-time ASD riding champ Antonio Whitehall gives a thumbs up on Thursday morning. (George Williams photo)
Horses are working fast and furious at ASD for opening day on Monday, May 22. (George Williams photo)
$100,000 Bonus if a horse wins all three legs!
$125,000 Manitoba Derby - Assiniboia Downs, Monday, Aug. 7
$200,000 Canadian Derby G3 - Century Mile, Saturday, Aug. 26
$125,000 BC Derby G3 - Hastings Racecourse, Saturday, Sept. 16

The new Western Canadian Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing not only has a nice ring to it, there is also an awareness of companionship attached that transmits goodwill within the sport.

That is precisely the feeling shared among Assiniboia Downs, Century Mile, and Hastings Racecourse as the three western racetracks band together to present a combined Derby extravaganza during the 2023 live racing season.

The Western Canadian Triple Crown connects the $125,000 Manitoba Derby (August 7), the $200,000 G3 Canadian Derby in Alberta (August 26) and $125,000 G3 British Columbia Derby (September 16).

In addition to $450,000 in purse money, there will be an additional $100,000 bonus should a horse win all three of the prestigious Derby events.

“To link a meaningful financial bonus to the already robust purse offerings should only elevate the participation and competitiveness of the races,” said Darren Dunn, Assiniboia Downs Chief Executive Officer. “It also results in a rewarding outcome for both the racing fans and related horse connections. We are excited to work collaboratively with our western provincial partners who are so energized to put an even brighter spotlight on these historic Derby events.”

Allen Goodsell, Racing Manager at Century Casinos, saluted officials at both Assiniboia Downs and Hastings Racecourse for their participation. “This initiative will bring additional fanfare and excitement to Western Canada’s premier races for three-year-olds,” Goodsell said. “We look forward to additional collaboration in the future which only strengthens our collective industries.”

Nichelle Milner, BC Director of Racing, is pleased Manitoba and Alberta asked Hastings Racecourse to be involved in the concept. “A Western Canadian Triple Crown has such great potential. I can see eventually awarding points for first, second and third place finishes and have the top three connections profit from it. We’re thrilled to be part of it.”

For further information please contact:
Mike Vanin
Executive Director HBPA of Alberta

For all other inquires:
Darren Dunn
Chief Executive Officer – Assiniboia Downs
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 is 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.
New Colt for Nonios!
Another new colt for Nonios! This one out of three-time winner Quantum Mechanics, who is by multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Einstein. Breeder Larry Falloon (shown here) is in charge of hugs. Well done Larry!
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.
39th Annual CTHS/HBPA Awards Banquet

  • Saturday, May 20, 2023
  • Assiniboia Downs
  • Cocktails at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
  • Price $45 per person

Awards will follow dinner. Table reservations are recommended. Tickets are available from Jill at the CTHS office (204) 832-1702 or Shannon at the HBPA office (204) 832-4949.
Antonio Whitehall practicing going to post with Joanie Hamilton-Johnson. He's ready now! (George Williams photo)
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

Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht as they lead discussions for the "I Won Bigg" betting group every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse.

This week the group will be playing Woodbine and Santa Anita. $20 gets you a share in the ticket. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
In The News
American horse with Venezuelan connections gives Castellano first Derby win
Mage wins the 149th Kentucky Derby with Javier Castellano up. (Anne M. Eberhardt photo)
The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1) featured an international field with two Japanese-trained horses, Derma Sotogake and Mandarin Hero, but the American classic would belong to an American horse with some Venezuelan-born connections. More from the Blood Horse here.
Sharing snippets from his daily life as a jockey, Declan Carroll's videos offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the profession
Declan Carroll. (Woodbine photo)
Declan Carroll is taking racing fans along for the ride. The idea, one where he would provide viewers with a unique, inside track-type look at the life of a jockey, first came to Carroll last fall. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Reed splits with Dawson, Derby Winner Rich Strike to move to new trainer
Trainer Eric Reed (red suit coat) watches as owner Rick Dawson of RED-TR Racing hoists the Kentucky Derby trophy following Rich Strike’s stunning victory at Churchill Downs. (Churchill Downs / Coady Photography)
In a Facebook post Thursday morning, owner Rick Dawson announced that Eric Reed has quit as his trainer, necessitating the move of 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (out of the Manitoba-bred mare Gold Strike) to a new barn. More from the Paulick Report here.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
Emile Corbel (left) trained horses at the Downs for more than 30 years and won the leading trainer title in 1995 and 1996. With more than 800 career wins at ASD, the graded stakes-placed trainer ranks 4th on the Downs all-time leading trainer board. Among his many accomplishments, Corbel won the 1996 Manitoba Derby with Northernprospector, owned by Phil Kives' (right) K5 Stable. Frank Licata (centre) was up for the win. (Gerry Hart Photo)
Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream (May 12) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $389,927
  • Santa Anita (May 12) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $58,386
  • Hawthorne (May 14) - Super High Five Jackpot carryover $53,975
  • Woodbine (May 12) - Super High Five Jackpot carryover $42,967

See all carryovers here.
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Bob sat down with Dr. Norm Elder and chatted about his career at the Downs, which dates back to the mid-1960s. At one time Elder owned and trained racehorses, then he got into the breeding end of the sport. Three and a half hours later, Bob realized they had only scratched the surface of Elder's amazing career. Click here to learn everything you wanted to know about ‘Doc’ Elder, but were afraid to ask. (From September 2022)

NOTE: This is the final installment in the "Best of Bob" series for this year. Be sure to watch for Bob's first post post of the 2023 live season in The Inside Track next week, just in time for opening day on Victoria Day, Monday, May 22! 
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
  • 4% cash back Mondays in May (15, 22 & 29) - more info
  • Mother's Day Brunch (SOLD OUT) - Sunday, May 14 - more info
  • MICEC Monster Bingo - Saturday, May 20 - more info
  • Indian Horse Relay Races - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • ASD Live Racing starts - Monday, May 22 - more info
  • MB Food Truck Battles - Saturday, May 27 & Sunday, May 28 - 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.