Raymond Stewart, The Pride of Gladstone — Reflections on a Life Well-Lived!

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by Bob It’s been more than 75 years since Ray Stewart scored his first win as a jockey on the old western prairie circuit. I recently had an opportunity to sit down with the 93-year-old Stewart and reminisce about his horse racing past at his home in Brandon where he lives with his son Melvin. […]

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Dude, Where’s My Car? At Assiniboia Downs!

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by Bob Ashton Kucher’s 2000 comedy film was set in the ’60s when he “lost” his car in the Downs’ parking lot? Uhm… No! But, in the early days of Assiniboia Downs there were always large crowds and that meant cars, hundreds of cars, and a parking lot that was busting at the seams. At […]

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Racing Through Time at Assiniboia Downs – The Display

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by Bob If you haven’t already noticed, Assiniboia Downs has gone to great lengths to make available to its patrons a historical display that commemorates more than a century of horse racing in Winnipeg. The display’s name “Racing Through Time.” Located just inside the front doors to the grandstand where the old turnstiles once stood […]

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ASD Opening Day 2015! How about a little history!

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by Bob Season #58 is upon us and our majestic four-legged friends go to post this Sunday, May 10th at 1:30. It’s Mother’s Day of course, and as has become a tradition, the Downs kicks off the 2015 race meet on the day we honour the woman who is at the core of the family […]

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Curtain drops on live “Season of Promise”

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by Bob The horse population wasn’t what we had hoped, and as a result we saw shorter fields, but the season still featured some fantastic highlights. On the female side of the ledger Go Go Lolo proved herself to be superior. And how about Balooga Bull! What can you say about the “Bull” that hasn’t already […]

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The man they call “Hank”

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by Bob No one has ridden more winners at Assiniboia Downs than the man they call “Hank”. Ken Hendricks sits atop the Downs’ leader board with 1,666 trips to the Winner’s Circle. A quick scan of those who follow shows that only two of the top 20 riders are still active (Rohan Singh and Jerry Pruitt), […]

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“Spud” Murphy and old Joe Geary, a man and his horse, the greatest and purest love

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by Bob It’s not likely many will remember the name Harold “Spud” Murphy.  Those who do will probably associate it with his horse Brother Leo, who won the Manitoba Derby in 1963, but this week’s trip back in time centers around the first horse Spud ever owned, Joe Geary. A stocky, popular Irishman, Spud was born […]

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Gone but not forgotten, two promising apprentices from 1967

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by Bob This week we remember two promising young apprentices who got their start at Assiniboia Downs in the 1960s, Bobbie Dimma and Vernon Sayler. Most of us are familiar with “Bobbie”. Yes, that’s how his name appeared on his birth certificate, Bobbie not Robert, Bobby or Bob! On July 2, 1965, Dimma got his first […]

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George Howell, son of a blacksmith, spent two decades training for the “House”

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by Bob “He was a real gentleman.” That’s how people who knew the man that trained horses and ran Jack Hardy’s JY Farm in St. Adolphe for the better part of 20 years, described George Victor Howell. The Howell family hailed from Saskatchewan, but made their home in Calgary in the 1920s when George was a […]

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Irwin Driedger, the Jock with the Golden Locks

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by Bob Clifford “Shorty” Gray hired 11-year-old Irwin Driedger as an exercise rider. The young blonde schoolboy from Russell, Manitoba tipped the scales at 78 pounds and got his first win on a race track at the Neepawa Fair Grounds on horse named Admiral Zenith. Who knew he would go on to win multiple riding titles […]

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