Category Archives: ASD History

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…
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“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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Alberta Horsemen Contribute to Winnipeg Racing History

by Bob Gates Whittier Park, Polo Park and Assiniboia Downs owe a huge debt of gratitude to the horsemen who travelled near and far to race their four-legged athletes in Winnipeg. For the most part, these "out-of-towners" came from the central and mid-west United States, as well as from our neighboring provinces of Saskatchewan and…
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Stakes Honor Influential Builders at ASD

[caption id="attachment_12514" align="alignright" width="1000"] Buffy Twins & Hugh Jackson. 1981 Winnipeg Futurity.[/caption] by Bob Gates R. C. Anderson, Frank Arnason, Jack Hardy, Phil Kives, R. J. Speers, J. W. Sifton and Hazel Wright make up the collective of builders that are remembered through memorial stake races in 2020 at Assiniboia Downs. There have been others…
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An Old Man’s Memories of Yesteryear

[caption id="attachment_12481" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The old man on the bench at ASD. Have you seen him?[/caption] by Bob Gates Perhaps you've seen him before, the short heavy-set old man sitting on a bench in front of the grandstand. Certainly not recently because of the "no fans in the stands" directive, but in previous years the…
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The Richardsons of Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_12433" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The Richardson Family: Carren on the far left , Betty in the chair, L to R behind the chair, Allen, Debbie and Don.[/caption] by Bob Gates Manhattan was home to the Morgans and the Vanderbilts, Winnipeg the Aspers and Richardsons. Since the early days of Assiniboia Downs, the Richardson name was…
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