Sep 222023

Canadian Thoroughbred – Jennifer Morrison – Assiniboia Wraps With Second-Highest Handle in Track History

2023 Live Horse Racing Season One of Best Ever at ASD

Better horses, impressive wagering, championship performances, highlight stellar year

2023 leading trainer Jerry Gourneau (left) with Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn and 2023 leading rider Antonio Whitehall. (Jason Halstead photo)
We knew it from the first time we walked through the backstretch this spring. The quality of the horses was better than ever, and the 2023 live horse racing season was going to be something special. It was.

The 2023 racing season will be remembered as one of the most extraordinary seasons in the track’s storied 65-year history. The season not only showcased remarkable wagering numbers but also saw outstanding performances by leading jockey Antonio Whitehall and leading trainer Jerry Gourneau, setting new records and solidifying their legacy at Assiniboia Downs.

Champion Burrow Down on her way to victory in the Manitoba Matron Stakes for trainer Murray Duncan and owner Gerald Babchishin. Stanley Chadee, Jr. up. (Jason Halstead photo)
The final race program of the season, held on Wednesday, witnessed an astounding total wagering amount of $2,233,624. One of the standout features of the closing race program was the ASD Jackpot Pick 5, which drew considerable attention. The Jackpot Pick 5 had a carryover of $142,232 entering the program, and horseplayers contributed an additional $978,069 to the pool on the day.

The 2023 racing season at Assiniboia Downs witnessed a phenomenal accomplishment, as fans wagered $60,962,674 over the course of the 50-day meet. The average wagering per race was $174,179 which is a 9.87% increase over last year. This remarkable wagering represents the second highest in the track’s history, reaffirming Assiniboia Downs’ incredible growth over the past few seasons.

Trainer Wendy Anderson after winning the 65th running of the Gold Cup with Magic Tiger for Bill Meikle and Wind Dancer Stable. (Jason Halstead photo)
“Assiniboia Downs extends its heartfelt gratitude to the fans, horsepeople, and all the stakeholders who have made this season a resounding success,” said Darren Dunn, CEO. “The incredible support on site, from our international wagering partners and the racing community at large has been truly inspiring. We are delighted to conclude the season on such a high note and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional racing experiences in the seasons to come.”
Trainer Mike Nault, jockey Chavion Chow, and owners A2 Thoroughbreds and True North Thoroughbreds in the winner’s circle after winning the Buffalo Stakes with Manitoba-bred Commandoslastdance. (Jason Halstead photo)
Antonio Whitehall emerged as the leading jockey of the 2023 season, securing his third riding title. Whitehall’s outstanding skills in the saddle and dedication to his craft have made him a fan favourite and a force to be reckoned with on the track.

In the training ranks, Jerry Gourneau demonstrated his expertise by capturing his fifth overall training title. Gourneau’s talent and commitment to excellence have not only earned him this remarkable achievement but also set a new track record with four consecutive training titles at ASD.

Shavon Belle was all smiles after winning the Winnipeg Futurity aboard Canyouhearmerunnin for trainer Devon Gittens and ownership partners Pink Cloud Racing and Ron Wiley. (Jason Halstead photo)
This dynamic jockey-trainer combination of Antonio Whitehall and Jerry Gourneau also claimed victory together with Mano Dura in the prestigious Manitoba Derby, the first leg of the newly established Western Canadian Triple Crown. Wagering records were also established for the race itself and Manitoba Derby night as a whole.

The 2023 racing season at Assiniboia Downs has left an indelible mark in its horse racing history, with its incredible wagering figures and the triumphs of Antonio Whitehall and Jerry Gourneau.

And you all made it happen.

Leading rider Antonio Whitehall wins the final race of the 2023 meeting aboard Warrior’s Map (#7) for trainer Jared Brown and ownership partner John Ganas. (Jason Halstead photo)

  One Response to “2023 Live Horse Racing Season One of Best Ever at Assiniboia Downs”

  1. ASD shows a professional review of 2023 race season, with all the positive aspects of a successfully run horse racing operation. $60 mil versus $28 mil?

    CENTURY MILE can’t even muster any effort to present a positive spin to the numerous accomplishments of the hard working thoroughbred industry participants.

    HRA can’t even confirm the purse structure and various distributions for 2024 racing season by putting out a industry statement to boast confidence for upcoming breeders sales.

    By the numbers 2021 had 37 sold average 11k, 2022 had 40 sold average 11k, the numerous n/s,rna and b/b, hopefully 10k+ is achieved for upcoming sale.

    HRA INCOMPENTENCY has 1 board expense shown for first 8 months with government policy being every 3 months versus 17 last year, they are independent and set their own rules, thus no ACCOUNTABILITY.

    GURU Paul R sighting is interesting, the former century GM, present? chuck wagons GM appears as a jock agent Times must be tough moonlighting!! Doesn’t anybody need any stalls mucked or hot walking help??

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