Recent Posts by TheBigHorse

Racehorses, Forever Homes & the Final Furlong

[caption id="attachment_7429" align="alignnone" width="780"] Monsoon Rain and Larry Carter.[/caption] by Bob Gates I'm back following a week's hiatus due to one of the ugliest bouts of, well, why don't we just call it a bad case of colic and leave it at that. I'm still on the mend and am writing this from what was…
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The Benjamins of Miles City, Montana, A Gem of a family

[caption id="attachment_7315" align="alignright" width="780"] Ruth Johnson and Jim Benjamin circa 1940.[/caption] by Bob Gates Montana's state motto is "Oro y Plata" (Spanish for gold and silver). The mountains of Montana have yielded fortunes in gold and silver since they were first discovered in the mid 1800s, but Big Sky Country's real riches are its people. …
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Milo, Munnie & Minne, the Out-of-Towners

by Bob Gates I've been writing this blog for going on six years and for the most part the stories have concentrated on local horsemen and their thoroughbreds. The Downs wouldn’t have survived all these years, however, if it were not for the "out-of-towners." For years horse people from other parts of Canada and south…
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The Rivalry. Northern Spike and Mr. Macho

[caption id="attachment_7208" align="alignnone" width="780"] Derby Trial stretch drive 1980. Northern Spike inside. Mr. Macho outside.[/caption] by Bob Gates Mr. Macho and Northern Spike's two-year rivalry at Assiniboia Downs was a classic. Why just 1979 and 80? Well, after 1980 "Spike" raced at the Downs until May 1984. "Macho" move to Woodbine and Fort Erie in…
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Harry “The Little Tiger” Jeffrey was the Heart and Soul of Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_7152" align="alignright" width="780"] Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey present R. J. Speers' trophy to Gary Danelson. Cosmic Tip. Speers Handicap 1966.[/caption]     by Bob Gates Winnipeg native, Harry Jeffrey was in a word "Special." He was fair, well-respected, and when called for, a no nonsense kind of guy. Jeffrey was also the first employee…
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Rupert “Chicago” Parker liked hats and a good cigar

by Bob Gates Some and perhaps most of you will consider this week's blog story choice a little obscure. Others will look at the title and wonder, Rupert who? Rupert Parker was a jockey who plied his trade at Assiniboia Downs from the mid 1960s to the mid to late 1970s. He wasn't the most…
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15 Minutes with Clayton Gray, The Man from Dominion City

[caption id="attachment_6951" align="alignnone" width="780"] Clayton Gray's first win as trainer. Tedders. July 25, 1964.[/caption] by Bob Gates What can I say?  Those of you who know Clayton Gray will see the humour in the title of this week's blog story. Let's face it; you are more likely to see pigs fly than have a 15…
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Already Dia, Alberta invader with talent to burn

by Bob Gates You hear glowing accolades about certain thoroughbreds all the time around the race track.  You know, the usual and arguably over-used descriptors like "the peoples' horse", "champion" and the like. I do it here in my blog stories all the time, but the truth is sometimes it can't be helped.  Every once…
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Season 60 is approaching fast at ASD! Special promotions here!

Here comes a big milestone at Assiniboia Downs: Season 60 of live racing! Which means the Downs will pull out all stops to make it special. One of those things will be a 60-second Betting Spree every live race day -- which will be lots of fun. But first things first! The 50-day season begins…
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