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…Read more
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…Read more
Judge George W. Schilling: His Word was the Law on the Canadian Prairies for Three Decades
[caption id="attachment_11900" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Judge George Schilling (right) with Scotty Kennedy[/caption] by Bob Gates George Schilling was a senior racing official in Mexico, the United States and Canada and among the most respected figures in the sport. Schilling had a keen mind, was scrupulously honest and stern but fair. He was born on January 17,…Read more
Yorkshire Lad CCR. $20 Wager Led to a Life-Long Career in Horse Racing.
[caption id="attachment_10218" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] L to R, Lou Davies, Jim Speers and Dr. Norm Anderson at 1st Horsemen's Ball, circa 1951.[/caption] by Bob Gates Following the death of one of the most popular and respected men in the history of thoroughbred racing in Western Canada in July 1977, Winnipeg Free Press sports editor Maurice Smith…Read more
Robert James Speers Stakes – The Tradition Continues!
[caption id="attachment_4368" align="alignright" width="270"] 1960 Speers Handicap presentation ceremony (L to R) E. Johanson, Scotty Kennedy, Gene Pederson. Scotty's daughter Joan in front.[/caption] by Bob Sixty years ago this past July 19, Robert James Speers, the "Father of Thoroughbred Horse Racing on the Canadian Prairies" died as a result of a massive heart attack at…Read more
Larry Carter’s Elite Mercedes and Monsoon Rain were rare Downs’ Triple Crown winners
[caption id="attachment_3624" align="alignright" width="270"] Elite Mercedes wins Gold Cup. September 24, 2006.[/caption] by Bob The success that owner Larry Carter enjoyed with Elite Mercedes was unprecedented, but two short years later he further established himself as a dominant and influential force in the Downs' stakes schedule with Monsoon "The Machine" Rain. While the Downs has…Read more
Robert James Speers – Father of Thoroughbred Horse Racing on the Canadian Prairies
[caption id="attachment_2054" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Mr and Mrs. Speers at Polo Park."][/caption] Famed racing icon died three years before Assiniboia Downs was built but laid foundation for the future by Bob It’s been 20 years now since the Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) took over Assiniboia Downs, and we owe a great deal to them for…Read more