The Inside Track | Issue #30 | June 3, 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.
NEW SCHEDULE! The Inside Track will now be published on Fridays during the live racing season.
In this edition . . .
  • What's happening at the Downs?
  • Race Night Dining
  • Record Breaking Opening for ASD
  • Food Truck Battles
  • 38th Annual HBPA/CTHS Awards Banquet
  • Snapshot in Time
  • Partner Locations
  • Photo of the Week - A Kiss!
  • NEW! ASD Making Memories
  • Rich Strike at Belmont
  • Lester Piggott Obituary
  • Carryover Watch
  • Bob's Sweet Treats for the Soul
  • Upcoming Events
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.
TREMENDOUS TUESDAYS - 4% cash back on all eligible wagering Tuesdays in June. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 (each Tuesday). Wagers must be placed on HPI account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included.)

NEW! ASD PLAYER PORTAL - All the important information you need for Assiniboia Downs live racing is now in one place! Watch the live feed and ASD Live handicapping show in HD. Plus free online ASD programs, free Brisnet pps, jockey bios, expert tips from ASD, Canadian Thoroughbred and Horse Racing Nation. Bookmark this page and check back daily as programs and picks will be added as they are available.

FAN EDUCATION CENTRE - If you’re new to racing make sure to stop by and see Shannon and Brad at the Fan Education Centre on the main level during live racing. They are available from 6 p.m. to the end of racing to answer all your questions. Learn how to make a wager, what the odds mean, how to read the racing program and more! And while you're there, they can help you open a free online account.
CHASE THE ACE - Play Chase the Ace every live race night. Ace of Diamonds wins the jackot which is now $1,572. Other prizes: Either Joker $100, Any other card $25. Tickets are $5 and available at Guest Services from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The draw will be made at 9:30 p.m. Proceeds in support of Final Furlong.

Final Furlong is a Manitoba-based charity that helps find good homes for retired racehorses and pony horses. Visit them on Facebook @FinalFurlongCanada or
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASD - Join us for our birthday celebration on Tuesday, June 7. Highlights include a special display curated by Track Historian Bob Gates, concession specials, draws for wagering vouchers plus one lucky draw winner will receive a Winnipeg Blue Bomber merchandise package. Racing starts at 7:30.
Race Night Dining
TERRACE DINING ROOM PRIME RIB BUFFET:  Back after a long awaited pandemic hiatus is ASD's delectable all-you-can eat Prime Rib buffet filled with lots of choices including signature classics and what are sure to be your new favourites!
  • 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
  • Complimentary programs and tip sheets
  • The table is yours for the entire evening of racing
  • Adults - $47.95, Seniors (65+) - $44.95, Kids 12 & under - $27.95, Kids 5 & under - $14.95
  • Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330.

PLAZA DINING: Looking for a more casual dining experience during racing? Tables on the plaza (with a view of the track) are available on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Choose from the Clubhouse a la carte Race Night Menu.
  • The table is yours for the entire evening of racing.
  • Minimum charge $20 per person
FATHER'S DAY BRUNCH: Treat Dad to brunch on his special day! Sunday, June 19 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.

Please note that there is no live racing on Father's Day as we race Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Halfinthewrapper returns with jockey Neville Stephenson after a sizzling front-end performance in Wednesday's Ruby's Big Band Overnight Stakes. (Jason Halstead photo)
Record Breaking Handle Kicks off 65th ASD Meeting
High-quality cards and excellent riding colony make for big bucks at windows
Strong competitive fields and smooth rides over an exceptionally kind surface resulted in a new opening day record handle on the opening day of the 65th live race meeting at Assiniboia Downs, as bettors from around the world and on-track pumped $1,151,223 through the wires and windows. Wow! What an opening night!
The $25,000 guaranteed Pick 4 pool had a whopping $109,686 in it on opening night and a $1 ticket paid $1,134.05 to a pile of happy punters. It was more of the same on Wednesday evening with a total handle of $1,123,118 and a Pick 4 pool of $74,121 that resulted in a $1 ticket paying $4,494.85.
If you liked a horse, you could basically bet as much as you wanted to win without changing the odds. And all but one of the 14 races appeared to run to handicapped form, which made many a handicapper’s dreams a reality.
Manitoba-bred first-time starter Miss Giving (Kentucky Bear-Bull Market Lady by Holy Bull) showcased trainer Devon Gittens' ample skills with young horses with a win in the first race of the year, the Don Gray Memorial, and it was onwards and upwards from there.
The highlight performance of the first two days was a scintillating score by Halfinthewrapper in the Ruby’s Big Band Overnight Stakes. Claimed for $15,000 last fall at Woodbine, the 5-year-old mare trained by Saskatchewan born and raised trainer Mike Taphorn rifled out of the gate and set fractions we haven’t seen here by a female since One More Lady in the mid-1980s.

Halfinthewrapper went 21.60 and 44.40 to open up 8 ½-lengths on the field by the eighth pole and coasted home under jockey Neville Stephenson to win by 4 ¾-lengths in a sizzling 57.60 for owners Lets Dance Stable, paying $11.50 to win. Kudos to Taphorn for having this mare ready to rock 'n roll at first asking.
Halfinthewrapper winning the Ruby's Big Band Overnight Stakes for trainer Mike Taphorn. Neville Stephenson in the saddle. (Jason Halstead photo)
Also impressive in the nicely paying stakes department was Market King, who faced pressure throughout in the Nifty Overnight Stakes on Tuesday night and called on his back class to hold off a determined Real Grace to win by neck. Claimed by trainer Jared Brown for $10,000 off a fourth-place finish in his last start at Turf Paradise, the one-time Triple Crown trail competitor was all heart under jockey Jorge Carreno and paid $14.40 to win.
Market King (#5) called on his class to hold off Real Grace and win the Nifty Overnight Stakes on Tuesday evening for trainer Jared Brown. Jorge Carreno up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Earlier on the Tuesday card, another former claimer, Kim’s Texas Bling, gave three-time training champ Jerry Gourneau his first stakes win of the season in the Electric Fever Overnight Stakes. Claimed for $15,000 out of her last start at Sam Houston Race Park, Kim quickly paid dividends for five-time leading ASD owner Henry S. Witt, Jr. with jockey Chavion Chow in the saddle, winning by 3 1/2-lengths.
Kim's Texas Bling rolls to victory in the Electric Fever Overnight Stakes on Tuesday evening for trainer Jerry Gourneau. Chavion Chow in the saddle. (George Williams photo)
Six-time leading trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. was also in a stakes-winning mood on Wednesday, saddling yet another former claimer to win the Lord Balcony Overnight Stakes. Brody’s Streak dueled outside even-money favourite Gold Special under jockey Ronald Ali and drew out through the stretch to win by 2 ¾-lengths for owner Larry S. Henry, paying $10.90.
Brody's Streak makes it three wins in a row with his victory in the Lord Balcony Overnight Stakes on Wednesday night for trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. Ronald Ali up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Three out of the four overnight stakes were won by “price” horses and the riding was smooth and pleasurable through both opening cards, especially that of Renaldo Cumberbatch, who won three races to lead all riders over the first two days. Jorge Carreno, Neville Stephenson, Chavion Chow, and newcomer Leonel Camacho-Flores each won two races to keep it close.

On the trainer front, Jared Brown, Wendy Anderson, and Marvin Buffalo each won two races and Buffalo’s win with wife Deb Buffalo’s Fair Challenge ($17.80) in the third race on Wednesday gets the nod for best late rally of the first two days over a track that played absolutely fair to all running styles.

In summary, the first two days of the 2022 race meeting probably couldn’t have been scripted any better!
Inaugural MB Food Truck Battles
38th Annual CTHS / HBPA Awards Banquet
Date: Saturday, June 4
Place: Assiniboia Downs
Cocktails: 6 p.m.
Buffet Dinner: 7 p.m.

Awards to follow dinner.

Tickets $45 per person and are available from the CTHS or HBPA.
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
On September 9, 1978 Harry Gumprich’s Baron Hudec set the track record here at the Downs for 1 1/2-miles. His time was 2:32. To put this in perspective, keep in mind that Secretariat’s record time in the Belmont Stakes was 2:24, and that time is still the record. They say that a fifth of a second is equivalent to one length. So the Baron would have trailed the mighty Big Red by no fewer than 40 lengths (as would have many others!) and probably a whole bunch more. But here at Assiniboia Downs, the Baron’s record of 2:32 is still the standing record. In the immortal words of Jack Paar, "I kid you not." (Gerry Hart photo)
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
Brody's Streak gets a well deserved kiss after winning Wednesday's Lord Balcony Overnight Stakes. (Jason Halstead photo)
NEW! ASD Making Memories!
Do you have a memorable winning bet, a favourite horse, a big contest win, a meal/brunch shared with loved ones and friends, something special that endears you to the Downs? If so we’d love to hear from you! Send us your favourite memory of Assiniboia Downs and you might be selected for the new ASD Making Memories section of the Inside Track! If you have a photo to go with it, send that too! We welcome all submissions!
Do you have an interesting photo or memory you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email us at
In The News
The Farther He Went The Better He Accepted The Pony
Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, daughter of Manitoba-bred Gold Strike, training at Belmont Park. (Adam Coglianese photo)
Rich Strike, the 80-1 upset winner of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby (and daughter of Manitoba-bred Gold Strike), arrived in New York at 1 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday to prepare for the 154th renewal of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday, June 11, at Belmont Park. More from the Paulick Report here.
9-time Epsom Derby winner a taciturn racing colossus with an iron will to win
Lester Piggott exercising Sir Ivor, one of his nine Epsom Derby winners (Sporting Life photo)
Lester Piggott was without doubt the finest jockey of his generation, and probably of any that has gone before or since. A master tactician with ice in his veins, he had a unique style – his backside high in the air throughout a race before getting down to ride a finish – that has never been matched. Story by Nick Robson at Sporting Life here.
Carryover Watch & Programs
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week Bob has some sweet treats for the soul and his trip down Memory Lane promises to be a dandy. Bob warns us to buckle-up because it’s going to be quite the ride. Click here for some M&M’s courtesy of our history guy.  
Upcoming events at ASD

  • Live racing - Monday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Live racing - Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. ASD Birthday Celebration.
  • Summer of Sound - Friday, June 10 - more info
  • Manitoba Night Markets - Sundays, June 12, July 24 & August 28 - more info
  • Canada Day Fireworks & Festival - Friday, July 1 - more info
  • Gulping Horse Ultimate Beverage Festival - Saturday, July 16 - more info
  • Holi Summer Fest - Saturday, August 6 - 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.