By Scott Taylor (@staylorsports)
The dining room at Assiniboia Downs couldn’t have re-opened at a better time.
Next week, racing fans will have the opportunity to watch live racing from the comfort of the Terrace Dining Room as ASD moves into Phase 2 of the provincial government’s plan to re-open the Manitoba economy.
Now, in order to watch live racing, you must watch it from the dining room and order off the menu (there will be no buffet — yet). The grandstand will remain closed as will other public spaces. From 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, punters can wager on simulcast races in the Club West Lounge. There are still no VLTs available. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the lounge will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and remain closed for live racing.
In order to watch racing live from the Terrace Dining Room, you must call for reservations at (204) 885-3330. There will be no walk-ups allowed.
Race fans might want to book a table for next Wednesday night (June 10). It might just be the night of the most competitive and important race of the 50-day meet.
Manitoba-bred four-year-old mare Hidden Grace will put her undefeated record on the line against the winner of the first Overnight Stakes Race of the 2020 campaign, Miss Imperial, in the $25,000 LaVerendrye Stakes.
Miss Imperial, owned and trained by 79-year-old racing veteran Murray Duncan, was claimed at Oaklawn for US $25,000 and has already raced four times this season. She easily won the Go Go Lolo Overnight Stakes (Go Go Lolo, the honoured horse, was also trained by Murray Duncan) on the opening night of this year’s meet and will likely go into the race as the favourite ahead of Hidden Grace.
Hidden Grace, owned by Barry Arnason, Charles Fouillard and breeder Cam Ziprick and trained by Michael Nault, has had nine career starts and has a record of nine wins, no seconds and no thirds with earnings of $133,000. Miss Imperial has gone to post 17 times and has seven wins, three seconds and three-thirds racing mostly in the United States. Miss Imperial has won $287,000.
For those looking for a decent payout in next week’s LaVerendrye, put a few dollars on Tim Rycroft’s Broadway Bonnie. She was the only mare to take a run at Miss Imperial in the Go Go Lolo Stakes and might just stalk the leaders next Wednesday.
This past week, the big $17,000 Shanghied Overnight Stakes winner was our first choice Dune d’Oro. Trained by Craig Smith and ridden by Kayla Pizarro, Dune d’Oro led wire-to-wire to pay $4.80.
After two weeks and six nights of racing, Rafael Zenteno Jr. leads the jockey standings with eight wins, seven seconds, one third and $66,962 in winnings. Antonio Whitehall is next with six wins, eight seconds, seven thirds and $61,273 in winnings. Kayla Pizarro is third with five wins, three seconds, four thirds and $53,873 in winnings.
Racing resumes at Assiniboia Downs on Monday night, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. Simulcast wagering is available in the Club West Lounge every day this weekend.