The Inside Track | Issue #47 | September 30, 2022
  • 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?
  • Chase the Ace Jackpot pays $13,015
  • Prime Rib Special back this Saturday
  • Another Strong Season at ASD
  • Pilot Wins Handicapping Contest
  • Partner Locations
  • Photo of the Week: Thumbs up!
  • Rich Strike Faces Grade 1 Trio Saturday
  • Breeders' Stakes Sunday
  • Move over Pegasus
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Week 4 Predictions
  • Snapshot in Time - Bobby Stewart
  • The Best of Bob
  • Upcoming Events
Do the Downs!
SPIN TO WIN THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS IN THE CLUB WEST GAMING LOUNGE - Enter at the VLT cage every Thursday and Friday for a chance to spin the wheel to win up to $100 cash! Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
CHASE THE ACE PAYS BIG! Chase the Ace came down to a mandatory payout on the last night of racing. The first five ticket holders drawn were unsuccessful at finding the Ace of Diamonds, but longtime ASD trainer Doug Mustard found it to win the $13,015 jackpot! Congratulations Doug!

Proceeds benefit Final Furlong, a Manitoba-based non-profit that helps find good homes for retired racehorses and pony horses. Visit them on Facebook here @FinalFurlongCanada.

  • Saturday, October 15
  • Saturday, November 12
  • Saturday, December 10

Entry fee: $25. Bankroll: $60. Place 10 ($2 WPS) wagers on any North American harness or thoroughbred race that takes place on the contest day. You must have a Manitoba HPI account to participate. Deadline to enter is the Friday prior to each of the tournament dates by 4 p.m. Click here for entry form. Read full rules here.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs
The Club West Dining Room is open daily at 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. Our menu includes favourites such as chicken wings, pizza, chipotle mozza burger (pictured), steak sandwich or bacon and eggs plus much more! See the full menu here.
FRIDAY STEAK SPECIAL - $24.95 - 8 oz top Sirloin charbroiled and seasoned with our smoky dry rub. Served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

PRIME RIB SATURDAY SPECIAL IS BACK! Saturday Prime Rib - $29.95 - Our signature Certified Angus Prime Rib (8 oz.) served with vegetables and choice of mashed potatoes or french fries, horseradish and Yorkshire pudding au jus. Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Reservations are not required.
Sunday, October 9 from 11:30 a.m to 8 p.m.
  • Roast Turkey Breast and Leg
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Apple and Sage Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Carrots, Rutabaga, Peppers and Asparagus in butter
  • $19.95 per person plus taxes
  • Add Pumpkin Pie for $3.95 or Apple Pie for $4.95
  • Reservations are required. Call 204-885-3330
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Near Record Wagering and High Attendance at ASD in 2022
Gourneau takes 4th training title, Carreno wins second straight jockey title
Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn (centre) presents leading trainer Jerry Gourneau and leading jockey Jorge Carreno with their 2022 championship trophies. Congratulations! (Jason Halstead photo)
Assiniboia Downs finished the 2022 live race meet with the second highest total wagering handle in the track's history thanks to our fiercely loyal fans. The track wagered $55,326,730 over the 50-day meet, which was second only to the wagering recorded in 2020.
The final card of the 2022 season finished with $2,448,634 in wagering on a night that included a mandatory payout of the ASD Jackpot Pick 5 pool, which began the night with a $535,091 carryover and reached over $2 million. Winning Pick 5 tickets returned $1,434 for each $1 share. 
Trainer Jerry Gourneau, who hails from Belcourt, North Dakota, continued his winning ways in the trainer ranks by scoring his fourth training title in the past five years with 40 wins, helping his major owner Henry S. Witt Jr. to his sixth straight leading owner title at the Downs with purse earnings of $378,429.
Veteran jockey Jorge Carreno of Cocula, Guerrero, Mexico took the lead early in the jockey standings and rode it all the way home to take his second straight jockey title with 65 wins, 17 more than Renaldo Cumberbatch, who also had a great year in the saddle here after a two-year absence.
And congratulations go out to trainer Robertino Diodoro, who won the $100,000 Manitoba Derby with Red Knobs, owned by Rob Nokes Jr., who worked in the jocks’ room here decades ago. Diodoro set two new records in this year’s Derby, becoming the first trainer to win Manitoba’s signature race four times, and the only trainer ever to run 1-2-3 in the race.
Red Knobs wins the 2022 Manitoba Derby for trainer Robertino Diodoro and owner Rob Nokes, Jr., setting two new Manitoba Derby records in the process. Jorge Carreno up. (Jason Halstead photo)
"To conclude this season with the positive results we achieved is a true testament to the team we have out here working for us, and the will and determination of the horsepeople involved at all levels,” said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn.
"It seemed challenge followed us throughout 2022. We lost our Board Chair, Harvey Warner, unexpectedly during spring training and then saw a long winter and late wet spring force our hand to adjust the racing calendar. Add a lightning storm and a track lighting outage that caused further cancelled races that had to be made up and it was a live race meet that will not soon be forgotten.
"We are also so appreciative of the strong fan support we received when we were finally able to open restriction free for the first time in years."
It was a special feeling to see fans back at the track in person throughout the season, and it’s only going to get better. The same could be said for our stellar crop of Manitoba-bred horses in 2022, and the high-quality grooms coming out of the Groom School.
More to follow on that in the next few weeks.
Manitoba-bred Impressive Sense (6) and Renaldo Cumberbatch hold off fellow Manitoba-bred Henrisincontrol (3) and Prayven Badrie in the 7th race on Tuesday. (Jason Halstead photo)
Helicopter Pilot / Business Owner wins Las Vegas Challenge
Builds bankroll to $115.80 to defeat over 80 tough handicappers
Las Vegas Challenge tournament winner, Derek Longley, pictured above with his childhood idol, Dale Hawerchuk, who became a dear friend.
Derek Longley had never entered a handicapping contest before Monday, but that didn’t stop the 52-year-old helicopter pilot and business owner from winning his first ever Las Vegas Challenge handicapping tournament on his first try.
“It was thrilling to win!” said Longley, who won $3,500, a trophy and bragging rights after defeating a strong field of over 80 local handicappers. “I’m really good friends with Dave Boehmer and he kept asking me to enter. So I thought I’d give it a try on Monday.”
Longley said that he'd been going to the track since he was old enough to make a bet, and that the Mother’s Day Brunch was always a tradition in his family until the pandemic came. He missed that, and decided he wanted to go for the Prime Rib dinner on Monday, but almost missed the contest deadline.
“I just made it,” said Longley. “I had to fax my entry in from the Windsor Park OTB and it got there just in time."

And it was on!
Longley built his bankroll to $115.80 to defeat runner-up Bonnie Simmonds ($109.50), who was followed by Barry Mymko ($97.70), Glen Gray ($97.30) and Cecelia Liebrecht ($95.80).
The unusually high bankroll came mainly courtesy of Double Time ($52.80), who looked like he was shot out of a cannon on the turn for home in Monday’s eighth race, surging to the lead and running away from his field to win by 7 ¼-lengths for trainer Steve Thompson.
Longley had him.
“We’re sitting there sipping our martinis and enjoying the Terrace Dining room just because it’s beautiful in there," said Longley. "And Dave says, ‘I think you’ve got a chance to win this.’ So we handicapped the last race and I had to go with the four.”
Longley downplayed his handicapping skills, but also had fourth race winner Prairie Drifter ($10.60) and fifth race winner Darpa ($2.50) in the contest.
“I’m not an expert at handicapping by any means,” said Longley. “But that night it appears I was. I mix up all the trends. Sometimes I use colours. Sometimes I take horse 7 in race 7. And I’ll look at some angles too. Beyer Speed Figures, horses dropping in class. Hey, if a horse looks great and it also fits on numbers…. it’s a combination of old wives' tales blended with some handicapping knowledge.”
Longley encouraged others who have been thinking about entering the local handicapping tournaments to just do it.
“Don’t be afraid to go in,” he said. “It’s fun, horse racing is exciting and this takes it to another level. And you’re only betting $2 win-place-show so it’s not hundreds of dollars. You get a little lucky here and there and you might be going to Vegas.”
Longley plans to enter more contests now, especially during the live racing season.
“I like being there and hearing the thundering of the horses’ hooves,” said Longley. “Old school I guess, but live racing is full of excitement for me. Let’s keep it here.”
Longley is celebrating his 20th year in business as the owner of Prairie Helicopters in Gimli and Hudson Bay Helicopters in Churchill. From Red River Exhibition helicopter tours to ferrying guests to remote lodges on the Hudson Bay coast for Churchill Wild, Longley has also flown some of the Winnipeg Jets on specialized tours. 
“I want to give a special shout out to Marty, who helped me get my entry in on time from Windsor Park,” said Longley. "And to Sheri, who manages the whole contest. She was awesome. And I have to thank Dave Boehmer for making sure I was in the contest.”
“Now I can teach him how to win it,” laughed Longley. “But I won’t.”

Kidding! Maybe.
Sincere Condolences
Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Brian Davies, who passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 25 at the Grace Hospital.

Brian began working in the backstretch in the early 1970s working with many trainers, exercising horses and spent several years working on the gate crew. Brian seldom missed a race day at the Downs, visiting the paddock and spending time with his many friends. Brian loved sharing his stories about the backstretch and his favourite horse, So Royal II.

Brian will be sadly missed by his wife Joanne, his son Shaun, his twin girls Kristianne and Melissa, and his large family of sisters, brother and many relatives and friends.

The family has asked that because of Brian’s love of horses, donations be made to the Barefoot Ranch: Manitoba Horse Rescue & Sanctuary
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
  • Nor-Villa Motor Hotel - 1763 Henderson Hwy
  • Club 3D - 3317 Portage Avenue
  • Wager 24/7 at
Photo of the Week
Trainer Lise Pruitt gives a thumbs up to jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch after winning the 7th race Tuesday night with Manitoba-bred Impressive Sense. (Jason Halstead photo)
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email us at
In The News
3-year-old out of Manitoba-bred mare meets Art Collector, Hot Rod Charlie and Happy Saver in Saturday's Lukas Classic (Grade 2) at Churchill Downs
Rich Strike at Belmont Park. (Susie Raisher / NYRA photo)
Top Grade 1-winning older horses Art Collector, Hot Rod Charlie and Happy Saver will clash with Kentucky Derby 148 hero Rich Strike in a stellar ninth renewal of the $500,000 Lukas Classic (Grade 2) on Saturday at Churchill Downs. More from the Paulick Report here.
Mark Casse-trained pair top contenders in the third jewel of Canada's Triple Crown
Hall of Dreams, by Lemon Drop Kid, is a favourite for the 132nd Breeders' Stakes, the final jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown. (Michael Burns photo)
The Canadian Triple Crown, sponsored by Ontario Lottery and Gaming, will wrap up this Sunday, October 2 at Woodbine with the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. The most challenging of the three races that compose the Crown, The Breeders’ Stakes is 132 years old in 2022. More from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Move Over Pegasus!
Look at that flying mane! Impressive Sense continuing his Pegasus impression for jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch after winning the 7th race on Tuesday night with one of the gamest performances of the year at ASD. (Jason Halstead photo)
"I Won Bigg" Betting Group
Join veteran handicappers Ivan Bigg and Larry Liebrecht this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse for group ticket discussions on Woodbine. Everyone is welcome. Can't make it out? Email Larry at
Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream (September 30) - Rainbow Pick 6 carryover $392,377
  • Woodbine (September 30) - Super Hi-5 Jackpot carryover $128,297

See all carryovers here.

MANDATORY PAYOUT ALERT: Gulfstream Park will have a mandatory payout of the Rainbow Pick 6 on Saturday, October 1. The carryover into Friday's card is $392,377. This mandatory payout date is subject to change due to weather (Hurricane Ian).
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 4
Cowboys over Commanders (Sunday noon): Hey, don’t look now, but the Cowboys are 2-0 without Dak Prescott. Maybe he’s not as important to the team as some people (Jerry Jones) think he is? Prescott is expected to miss at least one more week but he is eyeing a return in Week 5. Is there a quarterback controversy brewing? Not likely.

It does help that the Cowboys have faced two of the poorest offensive lines in the league (Bengals and Giants) the past two weeks, which explains why their defense has had 11 sacks. Cooper Rush hasn’t been spectacular, but he’s not turning the ball over, making very simple throws, and doing just enough to keep Cowboy fans excited. The Commanders will be travelling to Jerry’s World led by their human statue at QB, Carson Wentz. Boy oh boy, Wentz really needs to be benched at this point, it's just sad to watch him play these days. If the Cowboys' defense has less than six sacks in this game, I’ll be surprised. 
Packers over Patriots (Sunday afternoon):  It wasn’t pretty, actually it was quite boring, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got the win versus Tom Brady and what was left of the Bucs offense. Now Brady’s former team, the Patriots will travel to Lambeau field missing their starting QB, Mac Jones, who is out with the dreaded high ankle sprain (VERY painful). Jones was injured on the very last play of the game versus the Ravens last week. I’m not sure who will take the helm with Jones down and out, but the options are journeyman QB Brian Hoyer, who is listed as the backup on the depth chart, or 4th round rookie Bailey Zappe, who has seen absolutely zero game action so far. Whoever ends up getting the start is going to be in for a long day against the Packers' defense. 
Bills over Ravens (Sunday noon): It's difficult to stop Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson even when your defense is healthy, and he's been on a tear through the first three weeks of the season, logging 12 total touchdowns (10 passing, 2 rushing). But in order for the Bills to not suffer a two-game losing streak, they have to get back some of their injured players back. Last week they were missing four starters in their secondary and lost two more starters on the offensive line. Even Josh Allen was a little banged up. He had X-rays done on his hand after the game, but they came back negative. There were also a few players on the Bills side that were suffering from heat stroke and had to exit the game with cramps. Cramps don’t seem like a big deal, but they can be quite painful. Something tells me the weather won't be quite as hot in Baltimore though. 
Last week (1-2)
Overall (4-5) 
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
This is our fifth and final photo in the series remembering the top jocks in the early days of Assiniboia Downs. Of course it is none other than Bobby Stewart. All told Bob won six titles in 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972 (when he tied with Bobbie Dimma). In time Bob would surpass Dick Armstrong and become the Downs all-time leading jockey. It was a title that would stand for years, but eventually even Bob’s total would not stand the test of time. The photo here is of Bob on his best day ever. In 1969 he got a mount in "The Show" – the Kentucky Derby. Just look at that smile! The Cheshire Cat had nothing on Bobby that day! (Stewart family photo).
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

This week marks the return of "The Best of Bob." I have put together a collection of my favourite history blogs for your reading enjoyment. Here's one of my favourites about a special little mare with what was called "cheap speed," but she left a lasting memory on my heart. Click here to read all about Dashing Demon. (From June 2021)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Antique Show - Saturday, Oct. 8 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. - more info
  • Antique Show - Sunday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - more info
  • Thanksgiving Plated Dinner Special - Sunday, Oct. 9 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Oct. 15 - more info
  • Manitoba Art Expo - Friday, October 21 thru Sunday, Oct. 23 - more info
  • Wpg 19+ Adult Expo & Market - Friday, Oct. 28 & Saturday, Oct. 29 - more info
  • Breeders' Cup from Keeneland - Friday, Nov. 4 & Saturday, Nov. 5 - more info
  • Inspiration Craft Market - Friday Nov. 4 & Saturday, Nov. 5 - more info
  • Inspiration Craft Market - Friday, Nov. 11 & Saturday, Nov. 12 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Nov.12 - more info
  • Player's Choice Handicapping Tournament - Saturday, Dec. 10 - more info
Upcoming Editions

  • ASD groom awards
  • A look back at the top performances of 2022
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.