Category Archives: ASD History

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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Duke Campbell, one of the greatest horsemen to ever walk the prairies

[caption id="attachment_7095" align="alignnone" width="780"] The 37-cent horse, Omar's Gift at Polo Park. "Duke" Campbell on the far left.[/caption] by Bob Gates Donald H. "Duke" Campbell's bio on the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website says that his chief claim to fame was that he discovered and developed Sandy Hawley into a world class jockey.…
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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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That’s a wrap! Season #59 at ASD draws to a close

[caption id="attachment_6304" align="alignright" width="780"] Mustard family celebrates a win on the latest date for the Downs ever to race on November 11, 1991.[/caption] by Bob Gates This week we put the finishing touches on Season #59 at Assiniboia Downs with a weekend featuring five stake races. The Winnipeg Futurity and Matron kick things off on…
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Good-bye Garylle Stewart. April 21, 1940 – August 1, 2016

by Bob Gates The August 1, 2016 Manitoba Derby will be one I never forget, and forever remember, as bittersweet. The inclement weather created a dream track if you were a mudder, but it was a less than ideal day for the Manitoba Jockey Club, which was hoping to draw a record crowd. In the…
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