The Inside Track | Issue #88 | July 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?
  • Live Racing Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
  • ASD Player Portal
  • Chase the Ace at ASD
  • Las Vegas Challenge Tournament
  • Dining at ASD
  • Chef's Specials
  • Spitten Kitten Romps, Bargain Yearlings Win
  • Murray Chaban wins July Las Vegas Challenge
  • Manitoba Night Market & Festival
  • RCMP Musical Ride
  • Snapshot in Time - Jack Whittier
  • Beginner's Guide to Saratoga
  • Carryover Watch
  • Dark Horse Bets Download
  • Bob's Blog - Manitoba Centennial Derby
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
Live Racing this Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $392,123 (last five races)
  • Classic Hi-5 carryover $9,783 (race 6)
  • $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 #9 Tickets on Sale Now!

Tickets for Chase the Ace Week #9 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 - 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 [email protected] 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
Winnipeg Goldeyes Night at ASD

  • This Monday, July 17 starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • Player photos & autographs starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • Enter to win a Goldeyes jersey.
  • Giveaways & activities plus meet Goldie the mascot!
  • Free family fun activities including bouncy castles, face painting & live entertainment!
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 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
Spitten Kitten Romps, Bargain Manitoba-Bred Yearlings Win
$2,500 yearling tops $100K mark, $1,000 Manitoba-bred yearlings break $50K
Deb and Marvin Buffalo with their Jack Hardy Stakes winner and $100,000 earner Spitten Kitten. (George Williams photo)
Spitten Kitten romped to her third straight stakes victory on Monday and bargain Manitoba-breds delivered impressive performances in restricted stakes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Spitten Kitten faced her toughest local field yet in the 30th running of the $50,000 Jack Hardy Stakes on Monday and was sent off as a slight favourite over Alberta shipper Super Caro. It wasn’t close.

Spitten Kitten was stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first tine in her eight-race career in the 7 1/2-furlong Jack Hardy, and on paper it looked like she might have some pressure up front. Jockey Sven Balroop made sure there would be none of that when he rocketed out of the gate on the “Kitten” and never looked back.
Spitten Kitten romps in the Jack Hardy Stakes on Monday night for traner Marvin Buffalo and his wife Deb. Sven Balroop up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Spitten Kitten opened an instant two-length lead, turned back an outside bid from Where’s the Pumps after a half mile, took a short lead into the final turn and exploded in the stretch to win by 10 ½-lengths in fast time. Super Caro and Reasonably Lovely rallied for second and third in the cakewalk, and Spitten Kitten’s future brightened yet another notch since being purchased for only $2,500 by trainer Marvin Buffalo and his wife Deb as a yearling.

The 3-year-old chestnut filly by Air Force Blue-Zahrah by Kitten’s Joy has some pedigree to work with and who knows how good she might get. Spitten Kitten won $30,600 for her victory on Monday and broke through the $100,000 barrier in earnings from a career record of 5-0-0 in eight starts. She has now won four in a row and it’s going to take a good horse to beat her.

Great development job by Marvin and Deb Buffalo!
Mechanic Susie (inside) wins the head bob over Russian Pearl in the Hazel Wright Sire Stakes on Tuesday. (Jason Halstead photo)
On Tuesday night fans were treated to a great stretch duel between two quality Manitoba-bred 3-year-old fillies in the 15th running of the $40,000 Hazel Wright Sire Stakes. Mechanic Susie got the best of Russian Pearl by a head at the wire, but there were no losers in this one.

Trained by Elton Dickey and ridden by leading rider Antonio Whitehall for Dickey and his ownership partners Tom Payne and breeder Larry Falloon, Mechanic Susie was winning for the second time in her six-start career, but it certainly hasn’t been for lack of trying.

Purchased for just $1,000 in the 2021 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale by Dickey, the bay 3-year-old filly by Nonios-Quantum Mechanics by Einstein has now earned $54,930.
Jockey Antonio Whitehall gives trainer Elton Dickey a high-5 after winning the Hazel Wright Sire Stakes for Dickey and his ownership partners Tom Payne and breeder Larry Falloon. (Jason Halstead photo)
Runner-up Russian Pearl was not only also sired by Nonios, but was also originally purchased for $1,000 at the local sale by Elton Dickey. Bred by Falloon and Denis Huberdeau, Russian Pearl later went to trainer Devon Gittens with current owners Larry Falloon and Ron Wiley. She earned $8,160 on Tuesday night and upped her career earnings to $51,395.

And we’re not done with the bargain yearlings yet!
Manitoba-bred Private Frank wins the Frank Arnason Sire Stakes on Wednesday evening for trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. and owner-breeders Jerry Lambert and Lynn Mathews. Ronald Ali up. (Jason Halstead photo)
On Wednesday night, Manitoba-bred Private Frank made quick work of his field in the 35th running of the $40,000 Frank Arnason Sire Stakes, and the heavy favourite was never in doubt under jockey Ronald Ali, winning by 2 ¾-lengths over I Love My Life.

Trained by Tom Gardipy, Jr. for owner-breeders Jerry Lambert and Lynn Mathews, the big 3-year-old chestnut gelding by Going Commando-Inspeightofsuccess by Speightstown was bid up to only $1,000 at the 2021 Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale and was bought back by his owner-breeders.

Private Frank has shown both heart and talent in his short four-race career, winning from off the pace and on the lead, and has now won three in a row. He added $24,000 to his coffers on Wednesday, increasing his lifetime earnings to $50,524.

Bargain shopping continues at the Manitoba CTHS Yearling Sale on Sunday, August 20, 2023.
Exercise rider/groom Douglas Badaloo with his "Big Red" charge Private Frank in Tom Gardipy, Jr.'s barn. (George Williams photo)
Murray Chaban wins July Las Vegas Challenge
July Las Vegas Challenge winner Murray Chaban in front of the starting gate on Wednesday evening at ASD. (George Williams photo)
Murray Chaban won the Las Vegas Challenge handicapping tournament on Monday for the umpteenth time, but his margin of victory was summer slim.
The margin of victory is always smaller during the summer tournaments, and Chaban built his bankroll to $64.70, which was just enough to win the July tourney by $1.20 over Myron Fedoruk ($63.50), who was followed home by Keith MacLennan ($59.00), Rob Solmundson ($57.50), Gerald Houle ($55.00) and Trevor Phelps ($55.00).

Chaban won $3,500 cash and a trophy for his victory, thanks to “Plan B.”

“The first part of the contest went according to plan,” said Chaban. “But in the fifth race, I took Highriseinthepeg. He had a morning line of 25-1 and I was confident in him based on his previous race, but unfortunately he was carried out and finished third at 10-1. Had he won I would have taken Ride Em in the sixth race and Spitten Kitten in the seventh, but I went to Plan B after he lost.”

Plan B in the sixth race was Club Champ, who had a morning line of 25-1 and ended up going off at 8-1. Club Champ had a new trainer off the claim (Jared Brown), and was getting a jockey switch to Jorge Carreno. Club Champ won and paid $18.80, which also probably won Chaban the contest, although all of his picks hit the board. More importantly, Monday was his birthday!

The retired post office worker has been playing the races since the early seventies and has won both the Las Vegas Challenge and Player’s Choice tourneys more than once.

 “It’s a challenge,” said Chaban. “An educated form of gambling. It makes you think. And I love the camaraderie with other handicappers. It’s fun.

“When I first came out here in the ‘seventies, I looked at the horses like everyone else did in the sixties, but I met a fella who taught me how to read the Daily Racing Form. His name was Dan Black. I still see him here today. We actually went to Vegas together, after he won a contest here. I finished ninth and he finished fifth overall. At the time, a fifth-place finish was worth over $20,000.”

Chaban continued to learn from practical experience but also read a number of handicapping books. “Anything I could get a hold of,” said Chaban.

“I have to make sure I don’t play horses I don’t think can win. The horses I use have to show something, I’m not just going to throw a dart. There’s some luck involved, but basically, if it’s your day, and your type of horses are coming in, you can win.”

They were. And he did! 
  • Sunday, July 23 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • 15+ food trucks
  • 100+ local artisans and vendors
  • Tattoo pop-up
  • Live entertainment
  • Kid's activities from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tickets are $7 (5 & under free). Available at Showpass or at the door.
  • Event parking $5
RCMP Musical Ride
Tickets on sale now!
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 30 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.
  • 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 are available online using the link below or in person at Assiniboia Downs (VLT cage, General Office & Guest Services during live racing).
  • Get your tickets today!!

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.
  • 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 are available online using the link below or in person at Assiniboia Downs (VLT cage, General Office & Guest Services during live racing).
  • Get your tickets today!!
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.
  • DEL MAR OPENING DAY SPECIAL: Earn 4% cash back on all eligible wagers on Del Mar, Friday, July 21. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible). Minimum $100 wagered. Maximum payout $25. 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 17) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $392,123
  • Parx (July 17) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $237,015

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 [email protected] for more information.
A Snapshot in Time
by Track Historian Bob Gates
Jack Whittier won the first ever Manitoba "Derby" in 1930, which at the time was held at Polo Park Racetrack. The first Derby was run in 1930, but from 1930 to 1933 it was known as the Manitoba Stakes. In 1934 the name of the race was officially changed to the Manitoba Derby. Jim Speers established the race for horsemen in an effort to showcase thoroughbreds that were foaled in Western Canada. In 1936 the Derby was opened to all horses bred in Canada. The race was run annually at old Polo Park in all years except 1937, when it was run at Whittier Park in St. Boniface. In 1941 the Canadian Derby was born out of our own Manitoba Derby. (Winnipeg Free Press Photo)
In The News
Fans enjoy a day at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., has long been a summer playground for sports fans: the upstate New York town is home to Saratoga Race Course, one of the most storied racetracks in the world, and it’s been mecca for horse racing fans for hundreds of years. If you’re planning a trip to the Spa this summer (and don’t worry, we’ll explain why it’s called the Spa!) you’re in the right place for a quick guide on everything the town and track have to offer. More from America's Best Racing here.
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates
With the 75th running of the Manitoba Derby less than a month away, our history guy has a treat for us. He’s brought back the blog story picture book idea to revive the memories of a very special Derby from more than 50 years ago. Click here to travel back in time to revisit the day the Queen came to Assiniboia Downs – July 15, 1970. 
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 every Monday in July & August - more info
  • Manitoba Night Market & Festival - Sunday, July 23 - 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
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.