Opening Day 2014 for live horse racing at Assiniboia Downs is finally here! Post time for the first race today is 1:30 p.m.
There will be 60 live race days in 2014. The meet runs from May 4 to September 21 and includes 26 stakes races worth $895,000 highlighted by the $75,000 Manitoba Derby on August 4.
The St. Andrew's Pipe Band will be performing at 1:00 p.m. today prior to the singing of the national anthems by Natalina Rondinone. They will also perform after the first and second races. And Bugler Bob is here to play the live call to post for each race!
Friendly Frank will be signing up new players for HorsePlayerInteractive.com (HPI) and rewarding them with a free $20 deposit into their accounts plus 10,000 Player Reward Points, and today will certainly be a good day to play the horses, with $1,074 added into the Pick-4 pool!
Dining room patrons will receive a comment card with the chance to Pick to Win! If they pick a green ball from the bag they will have a chance to pick a cash card that could be worth up to $100. There will also be $5 Buy-In Poker after the races.
Make sure to check out the new free "Year of the Horse" $10/$10/$10 super-combo wager contest every race night. Look for the entry form in your program.
Two-time leading ASD jockey Paul Nolan has returned to complete the hat-trick. Can he do it? He does have a few legitimate challengers including:
- Chris "the Chin" Husbands - Flashed lots of talent last season with three hat-tricks in four days before being sidelined for a month with a fractured shoulder.
- Adolfo Morales - The Peruvian pistol, the only jockey to have won the Quadruple Crown in his homeland. Had fewer mounts than Nolan last season but was winning at a stellar 29% clip.
- Adrian B. Ramos - Owned Manitoba Derby Day last year, winning half the races including the Assiniboia Oaks and the Graduation. Is he on the cusp of greatness?
Will a newcomer rise to the top? Do you have a favourite? Let's see how the saddle skirmishes sort themselves out during May.
Live horse racing takes place primarily on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at Assiniboia Downs in 2014, with a post time of 7:00 p.m. There is also live afternoon racing on select Sundays and holidays including May 4, May 11, May 19, June 15, July 1, August 4, September 1 and September 21. Post time for afternoon racing is 1:30 p.m. Admission and parking are always free!
There's nothing better than watching live racing trackside on a sunny spring day or a warm summer night, but you can also watch from the Grandstand or air-conditioned Clubhouse if you prefer. And if you can't make it to the track, you can always take in the action at one of our many Off-Track Betting locations; on MTS TV Channels 179-180; or online at HorsePlayerInteractive.com (HPI).
We'll be honouring legendary Assiniboia Downs trainer Don Gray with The Don Gray Memorial Purse in the first race today. Always a nostalgic race to win, it marks the beginning of another great season of live horse racing at the Downs! Check out track historian Bob Gates' article on opening days of the past at Assiniboia Downs.
See you here!