Assiniboia Downs is gearing up for an exciting 2023 live racing season starting on May 22nd with lots of new and fun-filled activities for the whole family.

The festivities will kick off with the annual press conference officially kicking off the racing season on Friday May 19. Then the Annual CTHS/HBPA Awards Banquet is on Saturday, May 20th, where the best of 2022 will be honoured.

Opening day’s festivities will start on Monday May 22 showcasing Indian Horse Relay Races starting at noon, adding to the excitement of the opening day. These events are full of action and demonstrate incredible horse-riding skills.

Live thoroughbred racing that night begins with free Family Fun activities from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., featuring bouncy castles, face painting, kid’s entertainment, balloon twisters, and glitter tattoos.

“We’re excited to bring another thrilling season of live racing to our fans and community,” said Darren Dunn, CEO of Assiniboia Downs. “We’re committed to making this season better than ever by offering free Family Fun activities on opening night and all Mondays beginning in July and running through to Labour Day evening. We invite everyone to come and enjoy the exciting races and all the fun-filled activities the Downs has to offer.”

The Downs is proud to host the $550,000 Western Canadian Triple Crown, bringing together the best horses and jockeys from across the region. The $125,000 Manitoba Derby will be the first leg of that program followed by the $200,000 G3 Canadian Derby at Century Mile and the $125,000 G3 BC Derby at Hastings Racecourse.

Leading jockey Jorge Carreno and trainer Jerry Gourneau will return to The Downs to defend their titles against a list of highly competitive contenders looking to claim the coveted crown for themselves.

The track will be introducing the Gmax Hybrid Timing system this year as well. This technology tracks the horses in real time throughout the race and shows an easy-to-follow graphical representation at the bottom of the live video. The information collected through this system will also provide a whole new level of statistical data for horseplayers and horse people around the globe.

This year, the racetrack is proud to offer an array of exciting new initiatives for its loyal horseplayers, including a reduction in take-outs, the introduction of the new $1 Super Hi-5 pool with 100% carryover, and the $550,000 Western Canadian Triple Crown. The takeout on the Win Pool has been reduced to 14.65%, one of the lowest in the industry. The Double, Exacta, Trifecta, Super, Pick 3, ASD Jackpot Pick 5, and the Super Hi 5 have been reduced by 1%, bringing them all to 21.95%. The track has had strong wagering success over the last few years and wants to continue to add value to the loyal horseplayers that have been a huge part of that success.

“We’re excited to offer our horseplayers the best possible value when betting on our races,” said Darren Dunn, CEO of Assiniboia Downs. “Reducing takeouts is just one way we’re saying thank you to our fans and ensuring that they continue to have the best possible experience at our racetrack.

“We’re always looking for ways to innovate and provide our fans with new and exciting betting opportunities,” he continued. “The $1 Super Hi-5 with 100% carryover is just one example of how we’re doing that.”

The Downs is also continuing to enhance the Player Portal, which is available to all fans here.  This online portal has all the information customers need in one place, including live video, past-performance programs, jockey/trainer stats, bios, and more – all available free to horseplayers.

Racing will begin on May 22nd and continue on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm throughout the season. Tune in at 6:45 p.m. each race night for ASD Live featuring the return of popular handicapping hosts Kirt Contois and “Stretch”.

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