Manitoba

Carl Norman Anderson. Old School Professional Horseman. 

Carl Norman Anderson. Old School Professional Horseman. 

by Bob Gates Carl Anderson was only 13 years old when Assiniboia Downs opened in 1958, but it didn't take him long to find his way to the Portage Avenue track. Right from the "get-go" young Carl had a fondness for horses and his boyhood home was just northeast of the...

A Racetracker’s Night Before Christmas

A Racetracker’s Night Before Christmas

by Bob Gates Once again, it's that time of year. Yuletide carols echo through the frosty air, while multi-coloured lights twinkle everywhere. Yes folks, its Christmas! For the past 10 years I have been honoured to act as your ambassador to racing's past. To show my...

Secretariat to race on Saturday — virtually speaking

Secretariat to race on Saturday — virtually speaking

Secretariat winning the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Photo courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com While most sports are quiet these days, there are major happenings in the horse racing world while it also observes coronavirus safety protocols. In what may be a first at any racetrack,...

Sifton Memorial Celebrates 50th Running

Sifton Memorial Celebrates 50th Running

by Bob Gates Where does the time go? June 10, 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of John Wright Sifton. The upcoming running of the J. W. Sifton Memorial on September 7 honours Mr. Sifton’s memory and it will be the 50th time that 3-year-old Manitoba breds...

The Early History of the R. J. Speers Stakes. 1926-1956

The Early History of the R. J. Speers Stakes. 1926-1956

by Bob Gates On Saturday, June 29 "The Speers" celebrates its 60th running, but what most don’t realize is that there is more than 90 years of history behind the race that honours Robert James Speers, the "Father of Thoroughbred Horse Racing" on the Canadian prairies....

Strawberry Shortcake, a Leather Coat and the Flying Filly

Strawberry Shortcake, a Leather Coat and the Flying Filly

by Bob Gates There is nothing sweeter than the memories evoked by one of God's majestic creations - the thoroughbred racehorse.  Almost 50 years have passed since the talented bay filly, Ruling Lark ruled the roost at Assiniboia Downs. I have wanted to do the story of...

Racehorses, Forever Homes & the Final Furlong

Racehorses, Forever Homes & the Final Furlong

by Bob Gates I'm back following a week's hiatus due to one of the ugliest bouts of, well, why don't we just call it a bad case of colic and leave it at that. I'm still on the mend and am writing this from what was a week ago, my death-bed. This week I have a story...