Yearly Archives: 2020

Smoky Cinder, Pawluks’ Pride – A Tribute

[caption id="attachment_12620" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Smoky Cinder wins the 1997 Canadian Derby.[/caption] by Bob Gates The last time I saw Smoky… he was an image in my rearview mirror. In September 2019, I had gone to the Pawluk farm for what I expected would be my final visit with Smoky Cinder. I had travelled to Woodlands…
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Alberta Horsemen Contribute to Winnipeg Racing History

by Bob Gates Whittier Park, Polo Park and Assiniboia Downs owe a huge debt of gratitude to the horsemen who travelled near and far to race their four-legged athletes in Winnipeg. For the most part, these "out-of-towners" came from the central and mid-west United States, as well as from our neighboring provinces of Saskatchewan and…
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Stakes Honor Influential Builders at ASD

[caption id="attachment_12514" align="alignright" width="1000"] Buffy Twins & Hugh Jackson. 1981 Winnipeg Futurity.[/caption] by Bob Gates R. C. Anderson, Frank Arnason, Jack Hardy, Phil Kives, R. J. Speers, J. W. Sifton and Hazel Wright make up the collective of builders that are remembered through memorial stake races in 2020 at Assiniboia Downs. There have been others…
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An Old Man’s Memories of Yesteryear

[caption id="attachment_12481" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The old man on the bench at ASD. Have you seen him?[/caption] by Bob Gates Perhaps you've seen him before, the short heavy-set old man sitting on a bench in front of the grandstand. Certainly not recently because of the "no fans in the stands" directive, but in previous years the…
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The Richardsons of Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_12433" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Richardson Family: Carren on the far left , Betty in the chair, L to R behind the chair, Allen, Debbie and Don.[/caption] by Bob Gates Manhattan was home to the Morgans and the Vanderbilts, Winnipeg the Aspers and Richardsons. Since the early days of Assiniboia Downs, the Richardson name was…
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Special Sovereign Award well-deserved by MJC President Harvey Warner

[caption id="attachment_12361" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Manitoba Jockey Club President Harvey Warner. Special Sovereign Award recipient, 2020.[/caption] by Bob Gates Let's be truthful, do any of us know how long Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) President Harvey Warner has been involved in horse racing? This past January 23, The Jockey Club of Canada announced that Harvey was to…
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The 1970 Manitoba Centennial Derby and “The Trib”: 2020 Milestones

[caption id="attachment_12309" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Fanfreluche, the only filly, was a dilly[/caption] by Bob Gates The Manitoba Centennial Derby celebrates its golden anniversary (1970-2020) this year. Go figure. It doesn’t seem like it, but 50 years have passed since the historic Centennial Derby was run at Assiniboia Downs as "The Queen of all Britons" and her…
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Alfred G. Tarn: Rosser Pig Farmer turned World Class Horseman

[caption id="attachment_12233" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Alfred Gilbert "Alf" Tarn. A world-class horseman from Manitoba.[/caption] by Bob Gates Father Time has been cruel to the memory of Alfred Gilbert "Alf" Tarn. Who? That’s the point of this week's time tunnel flashback. There was a time when it was inconceivable that the name Alf Tarn would fade into…
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I Dreamed of a Racetrack Heaven

[caption id="attachment_12182" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Don't Cry for the Horses[/caption] by Bob Gates In the early 1950s Eddie Dean wrote a song that he said was inspired by a dream. Dean recorded "Hillbilly Heaven" in 1954 but it never really caught on. In 1961 Tex Ritter, father of the late TV actor John Ritter, released his…
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The Derby Trial Returns to Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_12105" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Fire N Desire wins the St. James-Assiniboia Handicap. July 11, 1969.[/caption] by Bob Gates Following an 11-year absence (2009 -2019) the Downs 2020 stakes race calendar features the return of the Derby Trial. Jack Hardy resurrected the Manitoba Derby in 1960 and since that time 60 Derbies have been run at…
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