Category Archives: ASD History

Remembering Pagan Star. All-Time Western Canadian Money Winner (circa 1951)

[caption id="attachment_12041" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Pagan Star "Turf King of the Prairies"[/caption] by Bob Gates Horses come and horses go, but have you ever noticed that the ones we think of most fondly are almost always from another era. Pagan Star is one such horse.  So, who was Pagan Star and why are we talking about…
Read more

It all began with a “Fling” – Island Fling that is…

[caption id="attachment_11973" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Island Fling wins 1979 Labatt's Gold Cup at Assiniboia Downs.[/caption] by Bob Gates More than 40 years ago, the late Philip Kives built his K5 racing empire on the back of Island Fling. Phil couldn't recall how he met up with Don Gray, but Gray was the man he approached about…
Read more

The Greatest Race That Never Was

[caption id="attachment_11846" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Man O' War. How good was he?[/caption] by Bob Gates For as long as most of us can remember, the first Saturday in May is reserved for the Kentucky Derby, but not this year. The "Run for the Roses" was rescheduled to the fall because of COVID-19. You just knew NBC…
Read more

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