Yearly Archives: 2015

For the Love of Racing, Those Were the Days…

[caption id="attachment_4427" align="alignright" width="270"] On the tarmac at ASD after the races, in the "old" days.[/caption] by Bob With less than a handful of live racing dates left, the end of the 2015 season at Assiniboia Downs is almost upon us. It has been a challenging year, like others recently, but that seems to be…
Read more

Spring, Sprints and a Spike, with record-setting speed

[caption id="attachment_4478" align="alignright" width="390"] Phil Hayek and Northern Spike.[/caption] by Bob Those of us who go back to the early 1980s will know that "Spike" is none other than Northern Spike. He was owned and bred by the late Ivan Dowler in partnership with sons Graham, John and Dan - Graham and John have both…
Read more

Robert James Speers Stakes – The Tradition Continues!

[caption id="attachment_4368" align="alignright" width="270"] 1960 Speers Handicap presentation ceremony (L to R) E. Johanson, Scotty Kennedy, Gene Pederson. Scotty's daughter Joan in front.[/caption] by Bob Sixty years ago this past July 19, Robert James Speers, the "Father of Thoroughbred Horse Racing on the Canadian Prairies" died as a result of a massive heart attack at…
Read more

Honest Onyx and Exclusive Gold: The dead-heat twins that made history at Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_4349" align="alignright" width="270"] Exclusive Gold (left) and Honest Onyx, with trainers Les Simms and Jeff Schindler.[/caption] by Bob Today's flashback in history recalls the 1994 rivalry between Honest Onyx and Exclusive Gold. Robert Ripley, creator of Ripley's Believe It or Not, would have loved this one. Imagine two thoroughbreds so evenly matched that after…
Read more

The Magnificent Seven – Riders at ASD

by Bob The very title conjures up images of Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen and company! Cue the main theme and seven of the most successful riders in the history of Assiniboia Downs make their entrance on the stage that is our humble 6 1/2-furlong oval. This season marks our 58th year of operation…
Read more

Woodlands’ Wizard – Ed Pawluk

[caption id="attachment_4303" align="alignright" width="270"] Ed Pawluk's Tigger Bay was voted 2003 Alberta Champion 3-Year-Old Colt.[/caption] by Bob When he's not falling out of trees, Woodlands' Ed Pawluk can be found hard at work on his 40-acre farm with his partner-for-life, Joyce. Some 40 odd years ago, Ed and Joyce sold the trailer park they owned…
Read more

Paralyzed Canadian jockey Alyssa Selman faces long road to recovery but…

[caption id="attachment_4275" align="alignright" width="270"] Alyssa Selman at the Health Sciences Centre on Thursday.[/caption] by George Paralyzed Canadian jockey Alyssa Selman was told by doctors this week that she has only a five percent chance of ever walking again, but she bubbled with talk of a dream house and horses on Thursday night in the Rehabilitation…
Read more

Mike Smith. Good guy. Done too soon.

[caption id="attachment_4269" align="alignright" width="270"] Mike Smith, Leading Trainer 1981. Irwin Driedger, Leading Jockey. Adrienne Gobuty presenting.[/caption] by Bob If this was a tale about the old west, Michael Somerset Smith would have been one the guys wearing a white Stetson. You know -- the one the good guys wore in westerns. Simply put, Mike loved…
Read more