The Inside Track | Issue #33 | June 24, 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?
  • Race Night Dining
  • Strong Performances in Stakes
  • Canada Day Fireworks
  • Snapshot in Time - 880 Wins
  • Partner Locations
  • Photo of the Week - Smudge
  • Queen's Plate / Woodbine Oaks Update
  • $500,000 Ohio Derby
  • Carryover Watch
  • Bob: Tribute to Jockey Dick Armstrong
  • 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 racing on Tuesday, June 7, 14, 21 & 28. Minimum wagered $100 (per Tuesday). Maximum deposit $25 on eligible wagering each Tuesday. Wagers must be placed on account to qualify. ($2.10 payoffs not included). Promotion deposit will be made on Thursdays.
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 $1,000 jackpot. 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
ONLINE TOURNAMENT DATES: The first Las Vegas Challenge Tournament goes this Monday, June 27. The deadline to enter is Saturday, June 25 at 1 p.m. No late entries will be accepted. Entry form. Tournament rules.

PRIZES: 1st Place: Trip for two to Las Vegas *, 2nd Place: $500, 3rd Place: $250

QUALIFY DAILY: Qualify every live race day for a reduced entry fee by picking three winners on the ASD race card. Click here for a list of the current qualifiers as of June 22.

ENTRY FEE: $50 which you can reduce to zero by predicting three winners on the ASD race cards leading up to the tournament. 

For more information, tournament rules and qualifying days please email Sheri at

(* The winner of the tournament will be provided $3,500 to book their trip and accommodations to Las Vegas)
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
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Halfinthewrapper is led into the winner's circle by groom Erika Parris after her victory in the 38th running of the La Verendrye Stakes on Wednesday as trainer Mike Taphorn looks on. Neville Stephenson in the saddle. (Jason Halstead photo)
Strong Performances by Class Horses in Stakes
Jockey/Trainer Battles Continue To Be Too Close to Call
Halfinthewrapper proved her win in the Ruby’s Big Band Stakes On June 1 was no fluke with a wire-to-wire victory over hard charging Manitoba-bred champ Hidden Grace in the 38th running of the $35,000 La Verendrye Stakes on Wednesday evening for trainer Mike Taphorn, owner Lets Dance Stable, and groom Erika Parris.

The 5-year-old bay mare by King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) runner-up and Southwest Stakes winner Great Notion is the first stakes winner out of the mare Bear Slayer by Two Punch, who was unplaced in two starts. Claimed for $15,000 last fall at Woodbine after winning once at Assiniboia Downs, according to her previous owner Pete Gagne, Halfinthewrapper apparently had a foot problem last year and never quite got to where she is now.

Gagne was heartbroken to lose the horse he had originally claimed for $16,000 at Laurel in July 2020, but he also wished the very best for her new connections, and was even invited into the winner’s circle by Taphorn after her La Verendrye victory. Classy on all fronts.

Halfinthewrapper faced more pressure early in the La Verendrye and still managed to open up and hold on late under jockey Neville Stephenson. The going could get much tougher for the back-to-back stakes winner if she decides to stretch out in the $35,000 Canada Stakes on July 13 going 7 ½-furlongs. Hidden Grace looked like a hungry bear late in the La Verendrye, while making her first start of the year for trainer Lise Pruitt, and she does love a distance.

But isn’t it amazing what a winter off in the snow of Manitoba can do for a horse?
Real Grace wins the 62nd running of the Free Press Stakes on Tuesday for trainer Shelley Brown and ownership partner Jean McEwen. Renaldo Cumberbatch up. (Jason Halstead photo)
Former Canadian Derby (G3) winner Real Grace was a trip handicapper’s dream in the 62nd running of the $35,000 Free Press Stakes on Tuesday night, charging up the rail with gusto under Renaldo Cumberbatch to defeat a very game Market King for trainer Shelley Brown and her ownership partner Jean McEwen.

The 5-year-old gelding by multiple Grade 1 winner Mineshaft out of Barretts Debutante Stakes winner True Way of Grace by Yes It’s True had lost to Market King in his first start of the year in the Nifty Overnight Stakes after a wide trip from post 10. There was none of that on Tuesday breaking from post 3 and stalking a duel from the rail.

Kudos to trainer Shelley Brown for developing what at one time looked like a need-the-lead speed horse into a legitimately tough stakes horse that can win with any kind of trip. The four-time stakes winner has now earned over $120,00 US from a record of 6-4-2 in 19 starts.
Brody's Streak gets a well-deserved pat from groom Beth Penton after winning the 46th running of the Golden Boy Stakes for trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. on Monday. Neville Stephenson in the saddle. (Jason Halstead photo)
Former Oaklawn Park $25,000 claimer Brody’s Streak continues to roll towards the $100,000 Manitoba Derby on Monday, August 1, for trainer Tom Gardipy, Jr. and owner Larry Henry with a dream trip victory in the 46th running of the $35,000 Golden Boy Stakes on Monday.

The grey gelding by Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner Brody’s Cause is out of Part of the Charm, who is a full sister to Pocahontas Stakes (G2) winner Dancinginherdreams, by Tapit, and he should have ample enough pedigree to stretch out to the Derby distance of 1 1/8-miles.

Ridden by Ronald Ali and groomed by Beth Penton, Brody’s Streak stalked a three-horse duel in the six-furlong Golden Boy before taking over in late turn, and romped home by 4 ½-lengths. He’ll stretch out to a mile in the $35,000 Derby Trial on Monday, July 11, and will no doubt be hoping for another perfect trip. 

Trainers Jerry Gourneau and Mike Nault are now tied atop the standings with six wins each, with Shelley Brown, Jared Brown and Marvin Buffalo hot on their trail with five wins apiece.

Last year’s leading rider Jorge Carreno remains on top in the jockey standings with 11 wins, but Chavion Chow is only two behind with nine wins, followed by Renaldo Cumberbatch and Stanley Chadee, Jr. with eights wins each. Neville Stephenson rounds out the top 5 with seven victories.

As stated in an earlier Inside Track newsletter, the feeling is that the trainer and jockey battles will be much closer than usual this year. So far, that's proving to be true.

Capable talent abounds.
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
On May 26, 2001, trainer Gary Danelson won his 880th race at Assiniboia Downs. This win was special! With this victory he passed the late great trainer, Don Gray, who was the all-time winningest trainer at the Downs. Don Gray had amassed 879 wins until his untimely passing in 1993. Gary has always said that if Don hadn’t died, no one would have ever been able to take the title of Downs all-time leading trainer from him. Sharon Gulyas and Kirt Contois were on hand to make the presentation to Gary. (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
  • Nor-Villa Motor Hotel - 1763 Henderson Hwy
  • Wager 24/7 at

  • Club 3D - 3317 Portage Avenue
Photo of the Week
It's that time of year again, mosquito season. If you've been tromping around with horses long enough you'll surely know what this photo is -- a mosquito smudge! And horses know just what to do with it. Thanks to owner Mel Gimas for sending this photo in from Weekes, Saskatchewan!
Do you have an interesting photo you would like showcased in an upcoming newsletter? Email us at
In The News
The Minkster, Dancin in Da'Nile, Giant Teddy make noise on road to Queen's Plate
Interstatedaydream, winner of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, is currently a heavy favourite for the Woodbine Oaks. (Robert Yates / Oaklawn Park photo)
The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks and $1 million Queen’s Plate are coming up in late July and August, respectively. In fact, there are just 33 days until the Oaks for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies and 61 days until the Plate. Get the latest update on the possible contenders from Jennifer Morrison at the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Three Kentucky Derby runners looking for redemption in $500,000 Grade 3 Event
Ohio Derby morning-line favourite Tawny Port following his Lexington Stakes victory at Keeneland. (EquiSport / Paulick Report photo)
Grade 1 Florida Derby winner White Abarrio, Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby winner Classic Causeway and Grade 3 Lexington Stakes winner Tawny Port – all exiting off-the-board finishes behind Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby – head a line-up of eight 3-year-olds scheduled to go postward in Saturday's $500,000 Ohio Derby. More from the Paulick Report here.
Carryover Watch
  • Woodbine (June 23) - Super Hi-5 carryover - $236,964
  • Parx (June 25) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover - $147,493
  • Assiniboia Downs (June 27) - Jackpot Pick 5 - carryover $120,583
  • Prairie Meadows (June 24) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover - $107,88
  • See all carryovers here.

MANDATORY PAYOUT ALERT: Fraser Downs will have a mandatory payout of their Jackpot Pick 5 on Monday, June 27th. First race post time is 9:00 p.m. The carryover going into Monday's card is $32,273.
Bob's Blog
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

The Downs was Dick and Gloria Armstrong’s home away from home. Dick was one of the best jockeys to race here back in the 1960s. Sixty years ago, he won his first of four leading rider titles. Bob has gone through the record books to take a look at the career highlights of the jockey from Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Click here to read Bob’s tribute to Dick Armstrong and his Diamond Jubilee. 
Upcoming events at ASD

  • Live Racing every Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Las Vegas Challenge Handicapping Tournament - Monday, June 27 - more info
  • Canada Day Eve Block Party - Thursday, June 30 - more info
  • Canada Day Fireworks & Festival - Friday, July 1 - more info
  • Gulping Horse Ultimate Beverage Festival - Saturday, July 16 - more info
  • Manitoba Night Market & Festival - Sundays July 24 & August 28 - 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
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