Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Sep 4 2015, Page 36

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - September 4, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE C5 W HERE were you in 1958? More importantly, where will you be this weekend when the final three days of live horse racing in 2015 take place at Assiniboia Downs? And will you remember where you were 57 years from now? Jockey Ray Stewart remembers 1958. The now 93- year- old pride of Gladstone was at Assiniboia Downs in 1958, riding Dr. Pat to win the first ever running of the Assiniboia Downs Gold Cup at the newly minted showplace track. Stewart rode for seven seasons over a span of 20 years from 1939 to 1959, when the horses still travelled by train on a circuit that included Winnipeg’s Whittier Park and Polo Park, as well as tracks in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina and Saskatoon. The average income in 1958 was $ 4,650, a gallon of gas was 24 cents and a loaf of bread was only 19 cents. The Hula Hoop was a fad, drive- in movie theatres were at an all- time high, Elvis Presley was inducted into the U. S. Army and South Pacific was the top LP. Hit songs on the radio included Great Balls of Fire, Hard Headed Woman, La Bamba, At The Hop, Chantilly Lace and Fever . A romantic time to be alive. Stewart will no doubt bring a few memories of the above with him Sunday night when presents the trophy to the 58th winner of the Gold Cup. Track historian Bob Gates discovered this spring that Stewart was still alive and well and living in Gladstone and Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn invited the first Gold Cup- winning jockey to have dinner at the Downs on Gold Cup night and present the trophy to the winner. Classy move. Stewart’s memories from the past might even include the 1958 hit song Purple People Eater by Sheb Wooley, which was used to describe the “ Fearsome Foursome” defensive line of the Minnesota Vikings from the late 1960s to the late 1970s, and which would perfectly define the favourite for this year’s Gold Cup, Magic D’ Oro. We caught up with that big powerful monster and his groom, Ishaniel ( Chippy) Shaw, at trainer Tanya Lindsay’s barn Thursday morning and he was definitely on his game, glistening from hoof to mane, biting constantly at his groom, and looking like he could easily live up to the “ Fearsome Foursome” motto. “ Meet at the quarterback.” Or in this case, the Winner’s Circle. Magic D’ Oro isn’t the only star horse on a stakes- filled final weekend at the Downs, which besides the 58th running of the Gold Cup, also includes the 86th running of the Winnipeg Futurity and the 35th running of the Manitoba Matron on the special Sunday evening card of racing, as well as the Buffalo Stakes Monday afternoon, but he’s the horse you’ll definitely want to make an extra effort to see in the paddock before the Gold Cup. You’ll know why when you see him. Racing takes place Saturday and Sunday at 7 p. m. and Monday at 1: 30 p. m. during fan appreciation weekend, which includes 10 times the Player Rewards Points on all local and simulcast wagers, concession specials, gift shop discounts, a handicapping contest to win a trip to Vegas on Saturday night, and a special free live concert, the Manitoba Express Show, after the races Sunday night, featuring Ray St. Germain, DJ St. Germain, Kimberley Dawn and Sierra Noble, followed by a Family Fun Day Monday that includes pony rides, a petting farm and a bouncy gym for the kids. The backstory of the weekend is the battle for the leading rider and trainer titles. Twenty- eight- year- old Jamaican Chavion Chow leads all jockeys going into the final weekend with 57 wins, seven more than Chris Husbands and Rohan Singh, and should be able to hold on to win his first leading- rider title. The trainer battle is a different story, with Tom Gardipy Jr. and Tanya Lindsay tied at 29 wins apiece. Lindsay’s barn has been red- hot lately, while Gardipy’s horses have gotten over a mid- season virus to come out firing on all cylinders. Gardipy won the training title at Assiniboia Downs in 2009 and 2010 and is shooting for his third title. Tanya Lindsay, always a high- percentage trainer, is trying to win her first title. If successful, Lindsay would become only the second female trainer in Assiniboia Downs’ history to win the title. Something for everyone to cheer for as the 58th live racing season comes to a close at the Downs. We need a song for that. Something from 1958. Something romantic. By the Platters. Twilight Time . winnipegfreepress. com HORSE RACING WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 C 5 204.885.3330 ASDowns. com 140 VLTs all day every day 9 AM - 2 AM • Free tournaments! Sunday 7 PM, Monday 1: 30 PM FINAL FLING! Racing goes Saturdayy 7PM, Fanappreciation all weekend! Discounts on programs, food and gift shop merchandise Free collectible All- Star Manitoba Derby card TEN TIMES the usual Player Rewards points on your wagers at ALL tracks! Winnipeg Futurity Gold Cup Manitoba Matron Marathon race š š š š š š š SUNDAY after 7 PM races S Free country concert Holiday Monday features family fun and Buffalo Stakes for babies NEW YORK — Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will get another chance to race before being retired, with the goal the $ 5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next month. Owner Ahmed Zayat said Thursday racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner and first in 37 years remains in top form after his loss to Keen Ice in the Travers following eight straight victories. “ The champ deserves another chance!” Zayat tweeted. After the Travers, an emotional Zayat was leaning against running again. He said his “ gut feeling” was retirement. But after a four- hour meeting with trainer Bob Baffert, assistant Jimmy Barnes, jockey Victor Espinoza and his son and racing manager Justin Zayat, the owner decided to move forward. “ I have discussed all aspects of American Pharoah’s race last Saturday in the Travers — and his condition since the race — with our whole team,” Zayat said in a statement. He is now pointing to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. After the Travers, which drew a sellout crowd of 50,000 to Saratoga Race Course, plus 15,000 to watch a morning gallop, American Pharoah travelled back to his home base at Del Mar Racetrack in California. He is scheduled to be paraded for the fans at the track this weekend, and then move to Santa Anita to resume training. There’s also a chance he could travel to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., for training in the weeks leading to the Classic at nearby Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. There’s also a chance for a race before the Classic, but the call would be up to Baffert. American Pharoah’s breeding rights were sold to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud for an unknown fee, likely in the tens of millions of dollars. Since the horse is still racing, a stud fee has not been announced. American Pharoah has won eight of 10 races and earned nearly $ 6 million. The loss in the Travers was his first since Aug. 9, 2014 in his first career start. — The Associated Press Triple Crown champ will race again: Zayat By Richard Rosenblatt Ahmed Zayat Downs celebrating its history Jockey Stewart was there when it all began in 1958 By George Williams MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Groom Ishaniel ( Chippy) Shaw was tending to Gold Cup favourite Magic D’Oro on Thursday. The Gold Cup is slated for Sunday on the last weekend of racing for 2015. C_ 05_ Sep- 04- 15_ FP_ 01. indd C5 9/ 3/ 15 8: 49: 32 PM

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