Ponies, politicians and a princess — the day the Downs went dark

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by Bob Talk of ponies and a princess evokes thoughts of a fairytale. Insert politicians and it becomes a nightmare. Thirty-two years have passed since one fateful day in July 1982, but it’s a blemish on track history is difficult to forget. It was supposed to be an exciting time. Michael and Adrienne Gobuty had purchased […]

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Larry Carter’s Elite Mercedes and Monsoon Rain were rare Downs’ Triple Crown winners

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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 never really promoted the concept, it has in its stakes races for older […]

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Brian Bochinski lived his dream at the track, every day

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by Bob Brian Todd Bochinski’s riding career started long before his first mount at Assiniboia Downs in 1986. In a way it had been a work in progress for years. It was always his life-long dream to be a jockey and win races, lots of them. His father, Bill, owned horses, and his mother, Hazel was […]

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Women who rocked the Powder Puff Derby

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by Bob I’m guessing the name “Powder Puff” was created by a male of our species. Certainly there aren’t many women these days that would come up with such a sexist sounding name for a horse race featuring women-only riders or “jockettes” as they were often called, a term which you will not see used again […]

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The Winner’s Circle at Assiniboia Downs, a history of hallowed ground

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by Bob Arguably the most hallowed piece of real estate at any race track is the Winner’s Circle, also sometimes referred to as the winner’s enclosure and the charmed circle. Oddly enough, ours is not, and never has been, a circle! Mind you, not all race tracks even have a Winner’s Circle. Some tracks parade winners […]

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Naigo: A rare and special horse, he was

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by Bob Naigo had the kind of class that most other horses can only dream about. After all, he was a son of the great Northern Dancer, and his owner, Bud Willmot’s Kinghaven Farms, expected a lot from him. Most locals who remember this multiple stakes-placed gelding will probably recall the latter part of his career […]

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The Gang of Seven

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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 win a training title?  The reasons for this are many and varied, but in the end aren’t […]

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Tiny Broad Zone – Guts and Glory at 2 1/4-miles

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by Bob Most of you have probably never heard of Broad Zone, and for good reason. His story began back in June 1956 at old Polo Park race track and climaxed at the “new” Assiniboia Downs in August 1961. Overall his career wasn’t all that remarkable — with one exception — one very major exception. Broad […]

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June 6, 1976 – The day the mighty Thor ravaged the Downs

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by Bob In the world of Norse mythology, Thor is recognized as the God of Thunder, but he is also closely associated with lightning and storms. On Sunday, June 6, 1976 Assiniboia Downs was the victim of his wrath! The day started off like any other, with me and my buddy Al deciding to spend the […]

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Remembering Turn to Rule, the little blazed-faced chestnut, that could

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by Bob Turn to Rule’s Jockey Club registration papers described his distinctive blaze as “a large irregular star and connected stripe,” but what really differentiated the multiple stakes winner from so many of his rivals at Assiniboia Downs were his size and his nine-year career as a racehorse. Physically, Turn to Rule was a small, gorgeous […]

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