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The Levesque Family – Friends of Assiniboia Downs

The Levesque Family – Friends of Assiniboia Downs

  by Bob Gates How do you pay tribute to the father/son duo of Jean-Louis and Pierre-Louis, who were important contributors to the history of Assiniboia Downs? It isn’t an easy task, but let’s give it a go. First, we should acknowledge the elephant in the room....

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The Room

The Room

by Bob Gates Deep within the confines of the north end of the Assiniboia Downs grandstand on the lower level is a restricted area where only jockeys, valets and officials are allowed. Of course, this is “The Room,” the place jockeys call home. Thoughts on the Room:...

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Assiniboia Downs – Concert City Extraordinaire

Assiniboia Downs – Concert City Extraordinaire

by Bob Gates In the late 1970s and ‘80s Assiniboia Downs developed quite the reputation for hosting concerts as part of the marketing of its horse racing. For the price of admission to the races, you got a pre-race concert thrown in at no extra charge. Bob Wright, son...

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Mr. and Mrs. Racing Had All the Wright Stuff!

Mr. and Mrs. Racing Had All the Wright Stuff!

by Bob Gates Jim and Hazel Wright are the ultimate example of one of those husband/wife partnerships in our Assiniboia Downs family. For the better part of 20 years they owned and operated the Downs. When the time came for them to step away, they did what they could...

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Derby Wrap-Up and a Historical Potpourri

Derby Wrap-Up and a Historical Potpourri

by Bob Gates Wasn’t that a Derby! A record-breaking $3,708,804 was wagered on Manitoba’s most prestigious race, making the historic 75th running of the Manitoba Derby the largest Derby Day handle, bettering last year’s mark of $3,523,260. Congratulations to winner...

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The Legend of Ten to Ace

The Legend of Ten to Ace

by Bob Gates As you know, the history blog has a soft spot for the early days of racing in the “Peg.”  The horses, people and events associated with River, Whittier and Polo Parks, along with memories from Assiniboia Downs in its formative years, provide an abundance...

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Memories of the 1973 “Run for the Tartan”

Memories of the 1973 “Run for the Tartan”

by Bob Gates In a little more than two weeks the Manitoba Jockey Club will present the historic 75th running of the $125,000 Manitoba Derby. Historic? Yes! There is something special about the phrase the “75th Running.” A possible topper to our upcoming milestone...

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The Manitoba Centennial Derby – July 15, 1970

The Manitoba Centennial Derby – July 15, 1970

  by Bob Gates Let’s take a short break from the usual fare you find on these pages and go with one of our photo blogs, shall we? This year’s 75th Running of the Manitoba Derby features $125,000 in purse money with an additional $100,000 bonus should a horse win...

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Mr. Amazing

Mr. Amazing

by Bob Gates Lawrence “Mr. Amazing” Anonychuk trained thoroughbred racehorses at Assiniboia Downs for more than 30 years. If we were to restrict ourselves to a discussion of that part of his life, we wouldn’t do his memory proud. He was so much more. We’ll get to his...

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