Category Archives: ASD History

Cowboy Jack Kaenel. A Preakness Memory.

by Bob Gates With this year's Preakness in the books, Justify and jockey Mike Smith are busy preparing their bid for racing's Triple Crown. For reasons unknown to me the recent Preakness stirred-up a 36 year-old memory of the second leg of the Triple Crown. In 1982 a young Jack Kaenel and his mount Aloma's…
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Robert J. “Boo Boo” Watt – A Racetracker for Seven Decades

[caption id="attachment_8521" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Light Dust wins Tweeworth Plate on June 15, 1957. Trainer Bob Watt accepts trophy platter for his favourite horse.[/caption] by Bob Gates On the evening of Friday August 30, 1946, old Polo Park looked more like Satan's Hell than it did a racetrack. The scene was chaotic. Flames leveled "B" barn…
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Opening day 2018 beckons at ASD. A little history!

by Bob Gates Everyone's talking about the Kentucky Derby and Mothers' Day is just around the corner. You know what that means! Live racing is set to return to Assiniboia Downs! After a seven-month hiatus the Downs launches its 2018 season of thoroughbred horse racing this Mothers' Day, Sunday, May 13, and Darren Dunn and…
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A little Magic and a lot of Bull

[caption id="attachment_7804" align="alignnone" width="780"] Balooga Bull defeats archrival Magic D 'Oro in the 2014 Gold Cup at ASD.[/caption] by Bob Gates with George Williams photos The Downs' historic 60th Season of thoroughbred racing winds up this Sunday, September 10 and what a year! I've been doing these blog stories for the past six seasons of…
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My Game, the big grey gelding from North Dakota

[caption id="attachment_7727" align="alignnone" width="780"] My Game. Ray Correa up. August 2, 1972,[/caption] by Bob Gates This week we look back at the unlikely beginnings of one of the most consistent and capable platers to ever run at Assiniboia Downs - brothers, Elery and Marlow Scherbenske's grey gelding, My Game. What attributes make a horse, great?…
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Strawberry Shortcake, a Leather Coat and the Flying Filly

[caption id="attachment_7676" align="alignnone" width="780"] Ruling Lark breaks her maiden at ASD. Bobbie Dimma up. May 22, 1968.[/caption] by Bob Gates There is nothing sweeter than the memories evoked by one of God's majestic creations - the thoroughbred racehorse.  Almost 50 years have passed since the talented bay filly, Ruling Lark ruled the roost at Assiniboia…
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Horses made jockey Jimmy Anderson whole

[caption id="attachment_7623" align="alignnone" width="780"] Jimmy Anderson wins the River Park Handicap aboard Island Fling. Sept. 4, 1978.[/caption] by Bob Gates When Sir Winston Churchill said that "there's something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man" it was like he knew Jimmy Anderson. James E. Anderson was the son…
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Johnny, Eddie and Willie – Legends of the Turf at Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_7600" align="alignnone" width="780"] Assiniboia Downs jockey colony in 1962 with Eddie Arcaro.[/caption] by Bob Gates Over the years the Downs has played host to all sorts of dignitaries, from professional athletes to royalty, but some of the most popular guests have been heroes from the Sport of Kings. There have been many, but none…
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The Manitoba Derby, The Forgotten Years – 1930 to 1940

[caption id="attachment_7550" align="alignnone" width="780"] The first winner of the Manitoba Stakes-Derby. Jack Whittier. 1930.[/caption] by Bob Gates It's been 57 years since Jack Hardy resurrected our Manitoba Derby in 1960 and this year's Derby is the 69th running of what was once touted as the "Run for the Tartan." I've never been a math genius,…
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