The Inside Track | Issue #75 | April 14, 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 Continue
  • Remembering Going Commando
  • Call for Foal Photos
  • New Babies for Speculating
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • Tapit Trice Impressive in Blue Grass
  • Derby Rankings: April 10, 2023 – Week 12
  • Lord Miles Gives Derby Dreams
  • Snapshot in Time - Irwin Driedger
  • Carryover Watch
  • The Best of Bob: The Great Cull of '62
  • 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, April 15, 2023
  • 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.
April HPI Cash Back Specials

  • TREMENDOUS TUESDAYS: Earn 3% cash back every Tuesday in April on all tracks on all eligible wagers. Minimum wagered $100 (each Tuesday). Maximum cash back $25 (each Tuesday). ($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.

Friday & Saturday Value Added Specials
Friday Steak & Suds $24.95: 8 oz. Sirloin steak charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with fresh vegetables and 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 choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not required.
Did somebody say Mother's Day brunch?

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.

Mother's Day brunch sells out quickly every year so avoid disappointment and get your tickets today!
Reservations are now open for Live Racing 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
Remembering Going Commando
(Unbridled’s Song-Regal Miss Copelan by Copelan)
(Feb. 12, 2000 - Apr. 7, 2023)
Going Commando, the best sire in Manitoba history, at Cam and Sherisse Ziprick's farm in Russell, Manitoba. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
Going Commando, the best sire in the history of Manitoba racing, passed away on April 7, 2023. The gentle giant was 23.

“We were dealt a crushing blow today, beyond unprepared, and are so devastated to have had to say goodbye to a horse that has forever changed our lives,” wrote Sherisse Ziprick on the Ziprick Thoroughbreds Facebook page. “He was The King, The Old Man, THE horse of a lifetime.”
Going Commando sired 14 crops of racing age in Manitoba, 123 foals, 79 starters and 51 winners of 190 races. His progeny earned $3,021,811 and were led by the best horse ever bred in Manitoba, 2018 Canadian Champion Older Mare Escape Clause (20 wins in 35 starts, $866,100, La Canada S. (G3)). Escape Clause took on the best mare in the world in 2019, Midnight Bisou, in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) at Oaklawn Park and missed by a game and diminishing nose.
Escape Clause (inside) takes Eclipse Award winning mare Midnight Bisou to a nose decision in the 2019 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
Other Manitoba champions and stakes winners sired by Going Commando include Hidden Grace ($309,671, Manitoba Matron Stakes etc.), Melisandre ($126,179, Buffalo Stakes etc.) Why So Blue ($80,062, CTHS Sales Stakes etc.), She's Regal ($145,337, R.C. Anderson Stakes etc.), Danger Rules ($127,105, J.W. Sifton Stakes etc.), Tadaa ($116,429, Canada Day Stakes etc.), and Kommando Kate ($102,078, Gold Strike Mile Stakes etc.) among others.
“There are so many things we will miss about Commando,” wrote Sherisse. “His ‘deep-throat’ whinny every time you walked into the yard, his penchant for carrots (he tolerated mints or Krunch cubes), his Big Bluff attitude (he would act like he was going to bite, but never did), how he had to get a few bites of oats out of the yearling pail - even though his feeder was full of better stuff.
“His professional attitude when breeding: get the job done, how gentle he was with Derby (mini companion), how he loved head rubs and attention in general, how he would blow himself up when you attached a lead shank to his halter - but he never really pulled (and he could have!), and of course, how he stamped his foals with chrome, muscle, intelligence, and ability.
“More than anything, Going Commando changed our lives. He brought unexpected success to our breeding program and fulfilled dreams we didn’t even know we had. He was a blessing, the one horse everyone dreams of having. And as much as we “owned” him, he owned us too: our hearts and a piece of our horse-loving souls.”
Cuddles. Sherisse Ziprick with Going Commando. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
Cam Ziprick is going to miss his old friend, and there was a sadness in his voice as he spoke about him. 
“You go down to feed him twice a day and he'd always pretend he was a tough guy and he'd come at you and whinny,” said Cam. “You'd talk to him and he'd stop and his ears would perk up. All the money he made us as a stallion I think I spent on carrots. He loved his carrots.
“He was a good-hearted horse, a nice horse. You put the shank on him to take somewhere and he'd bow his neck, whinnying and prancing like a big man but he never even tightened the line. I could take him in the barn and brush him and do his feet. You could do anything with him. That was just him.”
“His back right hip was starting to bother him and all the muscle in his hip just kind of collapsed and I think he started putting all his weight on his good hip and it just started getting worse from there.”
Cam Ziprick and Going Commando having one of their many enjoyable conversations. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
Ziprick reminisced about all the good years Going Commando gave their farm and their family, and recalled how he first met him.
“We bought him when he was four. It was just luck. A friend of mine in Pennsylvania called me when I was at the sales in Kentucky. At the time, Going Commando’s full brother Rockport Harbor was on the Kentucky Derby trail. I told him if he could get him to Lexington in the next few days, I'd take him.

"Sure enough, he got him there the next day and we bought him for $12,000. (Going Commando was a $550,000 yearling purchase before being retired due to injury). He was five when his first foals hit the ground in Manitoba 18 years ago. He had a good life here.”
Going Commando looking back. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
“He was kind of like the new horse we got, Speculating. We just got a call out of the blue one day, they showed me the pedigree, we made an offer, and they sold him. Speculating is a really nice horse too. Going Commando has left him with some big shoes to fill, but his babies look unreal. We’ve got four or five on the ground already this year, all with pretty faces and lots of hip on them.”
Ziprick will have five Speculating yearlings for the Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale this year. And Danger Pay has a three-week old filly by Speculating that is a half sister to Escape Clause.
“If she's as good as she looks, we'll probably keep her and race her,” said Cam. “All our good mares are in foal to Speculating. Hidden Grace’s dam should foal in the next two weeks. He'll get a good chance here.”
Just as Going Commando did.

“To breeders who believed in Commando, the owners who took chances with his foals, the trainers who raced - and the grooms who loved - his progeny, to the riders who are showing an OTGC (Off Track Going Commando), to the Fouillard family for their care over the years, and to the people who have given forever homes to “a Commando” we thank you,” ended the touching Facebook Page tribute...

To a horse who became a member of the Ziprick family.
Cam Ziprick is going to miss his friend. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
Commando's Last Dance
Commando's Last Dance, the last foal by Going Commando (Hip #27, 2022 CTHS Manitoba Yearling Sale) on the lead Monday morning on the ASD training track. The strapping 2-year-old filly is owned by True North Thoroughbreds and A2 Thoroughbreds. Out of the mare Sweet Tizzy Lizzy by two-time Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Tiznow, Commando's Last Dance is a full sister to stakes-placed seven-time winner Sweet Design. (George Williams photo)
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.
More New Babies for Speculating!
Colt by Speculating out of Santa Anita Maiden Special Weight and allowance winner Seaside Glory by Speightstown. Born at Cam and Sherisse Ziprick's farm in Russell, Manitoba. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
Sneak Peak: Half Sister to Champion Escape Clause
New filly by Speculating out of Danger Pay by Circulating. Half sister to millionaire and 2018 Canadian Champion Older Mare Escape Clause. Born at Cam and Sherisse Ziprick's farm in Russell, Manitoba. (Ziprick Thoroughbreds photo)
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.
Can't make it to the track to wager?
Watch and wager at one of our off-track betting locations:

Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • April 15 - Lexington (Kee)
  • May 6 - Kentucky Derby (CD)

See Kentucky Derby prep winners here.

Kentucky Derby Future Wagers

Kentucky Oaks Future Wager
"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.

With Santa Anita not racing on Saturday the group will be focusing on the pick 6 at Tampa Bay and the pick 5 at Aqueduct. $20 gets you a share in the ticket. Can't make it to the track? Email Larry for a share.
In The News
Woodbine's leading jockey Kazushi Kimura and Mandarin Hero finish second by a nose in the Santa Anita Derby, could draw into Kentucky Derby
Tapit Trice, a $1.3 million yearling purchase and son of the great Tapit, edges past Verifying in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland last Saturday. (Keeneland photo)
In a span of less than one hour last Saturday, three major stakes races, acting as stepping stones to the 149th Kentucky Derby (G1), gave fans everything they could want in the form of more top 3-year-olds to cheer for in the world’s most famous race. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Japanese runner Derma Sotogake moves into third after Santa Anita Derby results
"Of the 15 horses ranked last week, seven were entered on Saturday, so you knew there likely would be a major shakeup, either eliminating horses or seeing a drastic change in the order. Now that all the preps are finished with the exception of Saturday’s Lexington Stakes we at least have an idea what the Derby field is going to look like. Right now, however, there are several horses waiting to get in who may be better and more qualified than those already in." ~ Steve Haskin. Rankings at here.
Good for the Soul longshot Wood Memorial winner scores at 59-1
Lord Miles (outside) wins the 2023 Wood Memorial (G2) by a nose at 59-1. (Coglianese Photos)
Peter Vegso and his wife Anne watched their homebred Lord Miles capture the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) last Saturday at odds of 59-1 in a nail-biting finish over 8-5 favourite Hit Show. The win catapulted the Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee onto the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 105 points. Peter Vegso, the pioneer of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and his son-in-law Christian Blonshine, took time on Easter Sunday to speak with the BloodHorse about the exciting Derby prospect. Read more.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
In this week’s Snapshot in Time we feature one of the best jockeys the Downs had to offer, Russell Manitoba native, Irwin Driedger. Irwin won four consecutive leading jockey titles at the Downs before moving on to the larger eastern tracks. In 1979 he won a Downs record 161 races. In 1980 he bettered that record with 180 wins and in 1981, Driedger rewrote the record books, winning 214 races. In 1981 Irwin won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding jockey and in 1998 was the recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award for his significant contributions to the sport. (Gerry Hart Photo)
Carryover Watch
  • Turf Paradise (April 15) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover $260,869

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

At the end of the 1962 season the Downs conducted a review of the performances of all horses who competed in the summer race meet. As a result of this review, in November 1962 the competitive spirit of 54 thoroughbreds was questioned. This week the history blog takes a closer look at the thoroughbreds who were told they would not be granted stall space for the 1963 season. Click here to learn more about the evictees as we pay our respects to the horses that time forgot. (From June 2021)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge - Monday to Friday - more info
  • Lucky Spins - Draws for $20 free VLT Spins - Friday to Sunday - more inf
  • 3% cash back Tuesdays in April (18 & 25) - more info
  • Mother's Day Brunch - Sunday, May 14 - more info
  • MICEC Monster Bingo - Saturday, May 20 - more info
  • ASD Live Racing starts - Monday, May 22 - 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.