Category Archives: ASD History

August 20, 1976 – A Dashingly Special Memory!

[caption id="attachment_13528" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Dashing Demon draws away! August 20, 1976.[/caption] by Bob Gates This year marks the 10th season that the history blog has been recalling racing memories. Back in 2012, I was asked to write a weekly historical blog that would run during the Downs live thoroughbred race meet. Fast forward to the…
Read more

Karen Chysyk – The Powder Puff Queen with the Million Dollar Smile

[caption id="attachment_13474" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Karen Hendricks and Sir Double. March 17, 1981.[/caption] by Bob Gates Yet another fair lass from Saskatoon who called Assiniboia Downs home. Sound familiar? It should, as Karen Hendricks, nee Chysyk, started her journey with Joan Phipps, whose story was told here in August 2019. Karen grew up a stone's throw…
Read more

The Great Cull of ’62

[caption id="attachment_13427" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Royal Ghost. Three wins as a 10-year-old at the Downs in 1960. Double-digit payoffs every time. Bobby Stewart up.[/caption] by Bob Gates "Cull - to remove an inferior animal from a herd." The definition sounds sad, doesn't it? However, following Assiniboia Downs' 1962 race meet that is exactly what took place…
Read more

Fergie, the Jets and Assiniboia Downs – A Love Story

[caption id="attachment_13375" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] John Ferguson (centre) makes presentation to connections of 1981 Manitoba Derby winner Regimen. Dan Beckon far left. Trainer Mike Doyle (in hat) on left. Owner Barbara Rausch[/caption] by Bob Gates Ten years ago, Mark Chipman announced the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers, and the Winnipeg Jets 2.0 were born. What a…
Read more

The Golden Age of Horse Racing

[caption id="attachment_13328" align="alignleft" width="986"] 1971 Powder Puff Derby winner Karen (Chysyk) Hendricks (center). Runner-up Joan Phipps to the right of Jack Hardy.[/caption] by Bob Gates The 1970s were a special time for the Sport of Kings. The decade bragged of its three Triple Crown winners Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978). Secretariat's sweep…
Read more

“Wow! What a Ride!” Remembering Todd Kabel’s Years at Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_13289" align="aligncenter" width="604"] Todd Kabel, Manitoba Derby winner Rough Catch and Eddie Russell on the cover of the 1990 ASD Media Guide.[/caption] by Bob Gates On March 27, 2021 Todd Kenneth Kabel was more than a thousand miles away from his home track, Assiniboia Downs, when the "Big Boss of the Riders" gave him…
Read more

Manitoba Jockey Club Director nears half-century mark in horse business

[caption id="attachment_13211" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Dr. Ross and Brenda McKague. R. J. Speers trophy presentation.[/caption] by Bob Gates Dr. Ross Allen McKague hasn't quite reached the half century mark in horse racing, but 50 years ago he embarked on the most important partnership of his life. Yes, even more important than horses. Young Ross met Brenda…
Read more

Live Racing a Go for Second Year in a Row at ASD with No Fans in the Stands

[caption id="attachment_13154" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Readying for Opening Day 2021 at ASD. George Williams photo.[/caption] by Bob Gates The 2021 season gets underway on Monday, May 24. This will be the second year of the pandemic "No Fans in the Stands" season of racing. Sure, it's not what everyone wants, but it beats the blazes out…
Read more

A Racetracker’s Night Before Christmas

[caption id="attachment_12813" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] "Twas the night before Christmas..."[/caption] by Bob Gates Once again, it's that time of year. Yuletide carols echo through the frosty air, while multi-coloured lights twinkle everywhere. Yes folks, its Christmas! For the past 10 years I have been honoured to act as your ambassador to racing's past. To show my…
Read more

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…
Read more