Category Archives: ASD History

That was Then. This is Now.

[caption id="attachment_11811" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Love the animal first and the sport second.[/caption] by Bob Gates There are times when the past begs to be remembered. To hear her story, you must listen carefully, because sometimes it comes to you in unusual ways. The most recent case of nostalgia-like-symptoms came courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press.…
Read more

Assiniboia Downs Kicks Off Season #63 of Live Racing

Milestones & Memories Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the 1970 Manitoba Centennial Derby by Bob Gates Welcome to the new "normal" as the Downs makes the final preparations to open for its inaugural "No Fans In The Stands" 2020 race meet. We have all lived the events of this spring and heaven knows they…
Read more

Secretariat to race on Saturday — virtually speaking

Secretariat winning the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Photo courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com While most sports are quiet these days, there are major happenings in the horse racing world while it also observes coronavirus safety protocols. In what may be a first at any racetrack, Assiniboia Downs -- which is closed to the public-- is broadcasting morning workouts…
Read more

Sifton Memorial Celebrates 50th Running

[caption id="attachment_10715" align="alignright" width="1024"] Patricia Too wins John W Sifton Memorial Stakes. July 20, 1975.[/caption] by Bob Gates Where does the time go? June 10, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of John Wright Sifton. The upcoming running of the J. W. Sifton Memorial on September 7 honours Mr. Sifton’s memory and it will…
Read more

Jockey Joan Phipps: Saskatoon Sweetheart and Downs Darling

[caption id="attachment_10656" align="alignright" width="1000"] Joan Phipps. First win at Assiniboia Downs. Thistle Dawn. July 7, 1972[/caption] by Bob Gates Life in Saskatoon grew to be a bore and at times even a nightmare for young Joan Phipps. School work couldn’t hold a candle to competing in the Saskatoon-Regina-Prince Albert light horse show circuit where she…
Read more

“Wacing’s” Weird & Wacky

by Bob Gates Not even Looney Tunes with its wascally wabbit has anything on thoroughbred horse racing when it comes to the zany and unusual. From the annals of Winnipeg turf lore, few stories rival the wondrous happenings at Assiniboia Downs or at Jimmy Speers' old haunt, Polo Park racetrack. Polo Park was the scene…
Read more

The Clare’s family horse operation was built on passion

[caption id="attachment_10563" align="alignright" width="1000"] Marge and Vic Clare with one of their many winners together, Cognitive Unit.[/caption] by Bob Gates Marge and Victor Clare ran one of those typical "Mom & Pop" stables.  Their story is a good one, except for the part that it took me seven years to get it done. Marge and…
Read more

Manitoba Derby Trophy makes 50th Curtain Call

[caption id="attachment_10525" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The Queen's Cup.[/caption] by Bob Gates On Monday, August 5, 2019, the Queen's Cup trophy will make her way to the Assiniboia Downs winner's circle to be presented to the Derby champion.  Don’t worry she knows the way, it's a trip she's made many times, but this one's special. This is…
Read more