Tag Archives: Bert Blake

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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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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Remembering Pagan Star. All-Time Western Canadian Money Winner (circa 1951)

[caption id="attachment_12041" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Pagan Star "Turf King of the Prairies"[/caption] by Bob Gates Horses come and horses go, but have you ever noticed that the ones we think of most fondly are almost always from another era. Pagan Star is one such horse.  So, who was Pagan Star and why are we talking about…
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The Greatest Race That Never Was

[caption id="attachment_11846" align="alignnone" width="1080"] Man O' War. How good was he?[/caption] by Bob Gates For as long as most of us can remember, the first Saturday in May is reserved for the Kentucky Derby, but not this year. The "Run for the Roses" was rescheduled to the fall because of COVID-19. You just knew NBC…
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Manitoba Derby: Runs to Remember

[caption id="attachment_8859" align="alignright" width="1024"] Rough Catch wins 1989 Manitoba Derby! A winner's circle to remember for sure![/caption]   by Bob Gates Welcome to the second in our five-part series devoted to the 70th Running of the Manitoba Derby. Today we look at more than 40 years of Derby memories, starting with the most recent and…
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Pool to Market and Bobby Stewart, magic in the 1967 Gold Cup

[caption id="attachment_3814" align="alignright" width="270"] Pool to Market digs in to win the 1967 Gold Cup at Assiniboia Downs.[/caption] by Bob On August 5, 1967 the stars above Assiniboia Downs aligned perfectly for rider Robert Roy "Bobby" Stewart and his chestnut charge Pool to Market, and the pair put on a fabulous show for the 5,000-plus…
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The Gang of Seven

[caption id="attachment_3450" align="alignright" width="270"] Albert Edward Blake. One of the best trainers ever at Assiniboia Downs.[/caption] by Bob If you scan the list of the Downs' all-time leading trainers you'll find that seven of the top 20 never won a single-season training title. How is it that the best of the best were unable to…
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Joseph Nandor Selyem, A Man For All Horses

  [caption id="attachment_2618" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Joseph Selyem. First win! Kelsey Dancer, June 7, 1967. Assiniboia Downs."][/caption] Not a horse was born that he wouldn’t ride! by Bob Perhaps legendary Downs' trainer, the late Don Gray, described him best when he said: “He is outstanding on horses that are a little erratic or nervous. He’s always…
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Remembering John W. Sifton, Master of Stoneacres Farm

[caption id="attachment_1609" align="alignright" width="270" caption="John and June Sifton with L'Inconnue at ASD, June, 28, 1967. Chas Billingsley up."][/caption] by Bob The 43rd running of the $50,000 J. W. Sifton Memorial for Manitoba-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings takes place this Friday at Assiniboia Downs. The race is named in honour of a very special "Manitoba" horseman…
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Nifty Dominated the Wheat City Stakes at ASD

[caption id="attachment_929" align="alignright" width="252" caption="Nifty wins 1986 Wheat City Handicap"][/caption] by Bob Who knew? The Downs has honoured the City of Brandon with a race carrying the name “Wheat City” since it first opened in 1958. According to old media guides and newspaper accounts this year’s Wheat City Stakes should be the 42nd running, but…
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