Tag Archives: Assiniboia Downs history

The History of the Manitoba Derby in Photos

[caption id="attachment_16501" align="alignright" width="1735"] Royal Frolic with Larry Bird up after winning the 45th running of the Manitoba Derby. August 2, 1993.[/caption] by Bob Gates A few weeks ago we tried something different. The traditional blog story was replaced by an array of photos complete with captions and it turns out, you liked it! With…
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Beginnings, Endings and Thank You

[caption id="attachment_16378" align="alignright" width="1000"] Bobby Stewart Tribute Gallery.[/caption] by Bob Gates Who's kidding who, you're being short-changed this time around. Our weekly history blog isn't about a historical horse racing figure or event. That's right, no person, horse or anything else was researched for today's tale. However, in an effort to pacify my editor I've…
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Light Dust: Champion of the Prairie Racing Circuit and Proudly a Manitoba-Bred

[caption id="attachment_16234" align="alignright" width="1000"] Light Dust becomes the only horse to win the Western Canada Handicap three times. Edmonton Journal. June 24, 1957.[/caption] by Bob Gates Last winter, during a covid-induced research binge, the name Light Dust jumped off the pages of the defunct Winnipeg Tribune. The headline read, "That's all for Light Dust." This…
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The Kid from Bellavista Crescent who Dared to Dream

[caption id="attachment_16078" align="alignright" width="1000"] May 28, 2010. Darren Dunn calls race #15,000 from the Winner's Circle.[/caption] by Bob Gates In a 1989 interview Darren Dunn told Paul Turney of the Daily Racing Form (DRF) that he was 11 years old when he heard his first race. "It was an exciting confrontation between Northern Diamond and…
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Remembering Dick Armstrong and His Family’s Home Away From Home

[caption id="attachment_15853" align="alignright" width="1000"] Fire N Desire wins 1969 Manitoba Derby. Dick Armstrong up.[/caption] by Bob Gates Let's celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, shall we? This year marks the 60th anniversary of jockey George Richard "Dickie" Armstrong's first leading-rider title (1962) at Assiniboia Downs. The Maple Creek, Saskatchewan native would go on to top the Downs…
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Assiniboia Downs: Eight Decades and Counting

by Bob Gates "And Now for Something Completely Different" was a catchphrase from the British television comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus, and it just happens to be perfect for this week's blog. This isn't your typical history story, at least it's not what you've grown accustomed to. What we have this week is an…
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M&M’s: Sweet Treats for the Soul

[caption id="attachment_15472" align="alignright" width="1000"] Coherence. August 29, 1959. Trainer Gary Danelson's first win.[/caption] by Bob Gates Well, now that we have a couple of days of racing under our belt, let's celebrate with some M&M's. Nope, not the multi-coloured, button-shaped chocolates which are the flagship product of Mars, Incorporated. We're talking about milestones and memories…
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A Salute to Assiniboia Downs

[caption id="attachment_14112" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] The 2021 season at ASD is nearing the finish line.[/caption] by Bob Gates "The time has come," the Walrus said,                       "To talk of many things:                       Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax -                       Of cabbages and kings -                       And why the sea is boiling hot -…
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Celebrating 64 Years of the Gold Cup

  [caption id="attachment_14051" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Pool to Market sets new track record in 1967 Gold Cup at Assiniboia Downs[/caption] by Bob Gates One of the many challenges facing Jack Hardy when he opened Assiniboia Downs in 1958 was to establish races that would grow into annual contests steeped in tradition. In the first year of…
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Tommy & Wayne Elias, the father and son team behind Question Mark Farm

[caption id="attachment_13988" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Never A Question wins at ASD on August 14, 1967.[/caption] by Bob Gates For those of us who go back far enough, few would debate that Question Mark Farm was one of the more iconic stable names to have ever graced a barn at Assiniboia Downs. Owner, trainer, breeder and Master…
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