ASSINIBOIA DOWNS
The Inside Track | Issue #62 | January 13, 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
  • New Value Added Chef's Specials
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance
  • Readers' Writes: Suzanne White
  • 2023 Shipping Incentives
  • 2023 Live Racing Dates/Purses/Stakes
  • ASD Condition Book #1 Download
  • Condolences: Laurie Elsom
  • Sovereign Award Voting Begins
  • Robertino Diodoro Wins 3,000th Race
  • Stallion Air Support Dies from Bee Attack
  • Snapshot in Time: Bert Blake & Danny Boy
  • Road to the Kentucky Derby
  • Carryover Watch
  • TravyFootball Wildcard Predictions
  • The Best of Bob: Stars of the Western Canada Handicap
  • 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 santizied between play. Click here for a full list of games available at ASD.

Special promotions in our Clubwest Gaming Lounge:

  • Every Thursday & Friday - Enter for your chance to spin the wheel for up to $100. Draws will be made every 30 minutes starting at noon.
2023 PLAYER'S CHOICE ONLINE HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENTS:

  • Saturday, January 21, 2023
  • Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • 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.
JANUARY CASH BACK SPECIALS

  • MONDAY MADNESS: Earn 3% cash back on all eligible wagers Mondays during the month of January (January 16, 23 & 30). Minimum wager $100. Maximum cash back $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
  • PEGASUS BONUS: Earn 2% cash back on all eligible wagers on Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 28. Minimum wager $100. Maximum cash back $25. ($2.10 payouts are not eligible.) All wagers must be placed on your HPI account.
Dining at Assiniboia Downs
HAPPY HOUR - Daily from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close
  • 6 oz. House Wine - $4.50
  • House Spirits - $4.50
  • Domestic Beer - $4.50
  • Fireball - $4.50
  • Downs Caesar - $5.50
  • Pint Longshot Lager - $5.50
  • Poutine - $8.00
  • Onion Rings - $8.00
  • Chicken Fingers - $9.00
  • Cheese Nachos - $9.00
  • All Day NFL Sunday Special - Regular Wings $10 (all day Sunday only)

All of the above specials are dine-in only.
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER & SNACKS
The Club West Dining Room and Lounge is open daily at 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages. 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.
NEW! VALUE ADDED CHEF'S SPECIALS!
Introducing our new value added Friday and Saturday specials. Friday's feature "Steak and Suds" which includes an 8 oz. top Sirloin steak plus a complimentary pint of ASD Lucky Lager and Saturday's feature "Prime and Wine" which includes an 8 oz. cut of Certified Angus Prime Rib plus a complimentary 6 oz. glass of house wine.

Served from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are not requred.
Enjoy our renowned Certified Angus Prime Rib buffet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. then dance until midnight at our Valentine's Dinner & Dance!

  • Certified Angus Prime Rib served with Yorkshire Pudding Au Jus
  • Chicken Parmesan
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Herb Roasted Baby Red Potatoes
  • Spinach Lasagna
  • Fresh Vegetables in Aromatic Butter
  • Rolls, Butter and Flatbread
  • Caesar Salad
  • Broccoli Mandarin Salad
  • Golden Beet Salad
  • Greek Vegetable Salad
  • Jumbo Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce
  • Smoked Salmon Pizza
  • Dills, Sweet Mix Pickles & Beets
  • Kolbassa and Cheddar Cheese
  • Cakes, Pies, Cookies and Dainties

$49.95 per person (plus taxes & gratuities). Call 204-885-3330
Purchase your tickets by January 31 and receive a complimentary 6 oz. glass of wine or bottle of house wine for reservations of four or more.

Call Samantha at 204-885-3330. Use promo code VALENTINE2023.
At The Post with G.S. Thompson
Readers' Writes
ASD Memories from the 1960s and '70s
Suzanne White leads jockey Jimmy Anderson and Merry's Hi Note into the winner's circle after their victory in the 1970 J. W. Sifton Memorial Handicap.
You just never know who the The Inside Track might reach!
 
Suzanne White, who was at Assiniboia Downs in the 1960s and ‘70s, recently sent us the following memories from her time at the Downs six decades ago.
 
“I was just reading my email of The Inside Track from December 30, 2022," wrote White. “A couple of memories came up for me. My ex-husband, Ken Murray, was the trainer for Merry's Hi Note when she won the John Sifton Memorial in 1970.
 
“After I send this message, I will send a couple of photos. One is of the winner’s circle with Merry's Hi Note. And another photo that was taken right after the race, of Merry's Hi Note, Jimmy Anderson and myself.”
Merry's Hi Note in the winner's circle after her victory in the 1970 J. W. Sifton Memorial Handicap.
Bred by Lorraine Jackson, Merry’s Hi Note was by Argentinian graded stakes competitor Ulpiano out of Hugh Jackson’s first mare Merry Glance. Merry’s Hi Note won the 1969 Buffalo Stakes and the 1970 J. W. Sifton Memorial Handicap and went on to become the dam of 1976 Manitoba Derby winner Merry’s Jay.
 
Trained by Clayton Gray for Hugh Jackson, Merry’s Jay was the first Manitoba-bred of the modern era to win the Manitoba Derby, 38 years after breeder R.J. Speers won it with the filly Gowerlace in 1938. Merry’s Hi Note was also the dam of multiple stakes winner Picatune, who in turn foaled stakes winners Major Pick, Picabit and Pick Sure.
 
“There were others to be sure, but these names give you a glimpse into the quality of some of Jackson's charges,” wrote track historian Bob Gates on the ASD blog here
ASD Program for the 1961 Powder Puff Derby. Suzanne (Mary) White rode #6, Little Umpa.
The story about Karen Chysyk winning the Powder Puff Derby in 1971 also stirred memories for White. “I wasn't close to winning,” she said. “But in 1961, I rode in the Powder Puff Derby. I will send a newspaper picture. There are a number of names you will likely recognize. 
 
“I am Mary White. My name is confusing, as I was Mary Murray when I was married to Ken Murray. When we divorced I went back to my maiden name and I now use my middle name, so now Suzanne White. I am now 80.”
1961 Powder Puff Derby jockeys. Suzanne (Mary) White third from right.
“I very much enjoy reading The Inside Track," continued White. "I left Winnipeg in 1980. Some of the stories and people are quite familiar to me, especially from my time at Assiniboia Downs. My first job was with Tommy Patton in 1960, walking hots. Later I also galloped a few for him. I then trained with my ex-husband Ken Murray for a few years.
 
“I appreciate my emails from Assiniboia Downs. Happy New Year to everyone.”  
 
Same to you Suzanne! And thanks so much for the memories!
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:

LAURIE ELSOM (1941-2022)

Condolences to the family and friends of longtime ASD trainer, Laurie Elsom, who passed away at the age of 81 on December 28, 2022. Laurie loved his horses, and had many friends in the Assiniboia Downs backstretch, where he trained horses from 1978 to 2007, winning 110 races. Read Laurie's full obituary here.
In The News
Voters across Canada will submit ballots by January 22 for the champions of Canadian racing for 2022. Ceremony on April 13.
The coveted Sovereign Award Trophy.
Voting for the 48th Annual Sovereign Awards begins Monday, January 9, 2023. Ballots and statistical information have been sent out by the Jockey Club of Canada to voters across Canada. The completed online ballots are due no later than 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, January 22, 2023. More from the Canadian Thoroughbred here.
Manitoba Derby record holder won his first race at Northlands Park in 1995 and is now the 37th North American trainer to hit the 3,000 win mark.
Robertino Diodoro celebrates his 3,000th career win as a trainer. (Coady Photography)
Trainer Robertino Diodoro became the 37th conditioner in North America to win 3,000 races when Arthurian won a $10,000 claiming race on last Saturday at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The 48-year-old Diodoro, who is from Calgary, Alberta, then won his 3,001st race when Lovely Ride won the Pippin Stakes. More from Jennifer Morrison at the CanadianThoroughbred here.
Air Support at Churchill Downs in 2010. (Anne M. Eberhardt photo)
U.S. graded stakes winner Air Support was one of two stallions who died in India last week after "thousands of bees" attacked them at India's Kunigal Stud Farm, the Times of India reported. Air Support was 15. More from Byron King at the BloodHorse here.
A Snapshot in Time
By Track Historian Bob Gates
This week’s "Snapshot in Time" is the first of a four-part series in which we remember Downs’ Patriarch Albert Edward Blake. Today’s memory features a young “Bert” Blake with his pony Danny Boy. The photo was taken at the Blake residence in Brandon. (Blake family photo)
Road to the Kentucky Derby

  • Jan. 21 - Lecomte (FG)
  • Jan. 28 - Southwest (OP)
  • Feb. 4 - Holy Bull (GP)
  • Feb. 4 - Withers (AQU)
  • Feb. 4 - Robert B. Lewis (SA)
  • Feb. 11 - Sam F. Davis (TAM)

See Kentucky Derby prep winners here.
Carryover Watch
  • Gulfstream (January 13) - Jackpot Pick 6 carryover - $140,781
  • Woodbine Harness (January 13) - Jackpot Hi-5 carryover - $111,270
  • Parx (January 16) - Jackpot Pick 5 carryover $71,966

See all carryovers here.
Top NFL Picks by TravyFootball: Week 19
49ers over Seahawks (Saturday afternoon): The Brock Purdy era of football will head into the playoffs with a full head of steam as they take on a familiar division foe in the Seattle Seahawks. I know teams tend to play harder when it comes to playoff time, but I personally don’t expect this game to be close. 

Will it be a 65-7 beatdown like Georgia gave TCU last Monday in the college football championship? No, but a double digit victory is very likely. I can’t say enough about Brock Purdy and how fast he ascended into one of the top QBs playing in the NFL right now. It helps when your team is loaded with offensive weapons like Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and the now resurgent George Kittle. This very well could have gone the opposite direction though. If you told me that San Fran would claim the #2 seed in the NFC with a 7th round QB playing, I would have said you were crazy. Seattle managed to sneak into the playoffs thanks to a little luck courtesy of the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers.  
 
Bills over Dolphins (Sunday noon): At the time of this writing, I don’t even know who will be playing QB for the Dolphins. I can’t imagine Tua Tagovailoa being cleared after suffering a third concussion a few weeks ago. Teddy Bridgewater is still dealing with a broken finger, which leaves only third stringer, Skylar Thompson, and he’s just…awful. At the end of the day though it really doesn’t matter who’s playing QB for them cause Buffalo just seems like the team destined to get to the big dance considering everything that happened. Notice how I said “get to” the big dance, not actually winning it (that honour will go to the 49ers!), but I do believe Buffalo beating Miami is a lock! 
 
Bucs over Cowboys (Monday night): Saving the best game of the first round for last, two of the most polarizing entities in football will collide when Tom Brady and the Bucs host America's greatest team to love (or hate), the Dallas Cowboys. Talk about a game that could go either way. There’s an argument to be made that either team could win this one. I’m going to stick with Brady here though, as he’s been playing much better as of late and the Cowboys have done just the opposite. There’s no excuse for losing to the Commanders last week, who started a rookie QB in Sam Howell. Even though they really didn’t have much to play for, they left their starters in the game for the majority of it and still only managed to score six points. That’s certainly not going to get it done against a motivated Tom Brady, who is chasing an unprecedented eighth Super Bowl ring. 
 
Last week (2-1)
Overall (40-14) 
The Best of Bob
by ASD Historian Bob Gates

Did you know that in the early days of Polo Park the richest race ever run in the west was the Western Canada Handicap. Only one horse won this race three times. Who was this champion? Hint: He was a Max Freed horse who raced at the Downs until he was 13. Only the sharpest of you trivia buffs will be able to shed some light on this early history of the turf. Click here for the answer. (From July 2019)
Upcoming events at ASD
  • Spin to Win in the Clubwest Gaming Lounge - Thursdays & Fridays - more info
  • 3% cash back Mondays in January (16, 23, 30) - more info
  • 2% cash back on Saturday, January 28 - more info
  • Annual Super Flea Market - Saturday, Feb. 4 & Sunday, Feb. 5 - more info
  • Valentine's Dinner & Dance - Tuesday, Feb. 14 - more info
  • Together Again - FROST: Loud Luxury + special guests - Feb. 24 - more info
Feedback
We would love to hear from you! Email your comments and/or suggestions to theinsidetrack@ASDowns.com.
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.