Hey, dads! There’s a double-bull challenge waiting for you at Assiniboia Downs on Father’s Day. Are you up for it?
Double bull? Well, firstly, there’s the big $30,000 Winnipeg Free Press stakes race where two-time Horse of the Year Balooga Bull is likely to be seeking to make amends for his shocking loss, only the second in his career, two weeks ago. Will you side with him or against him? Can you nail the triactor? (Predicting the top three finishers in the right order.) Should be a thriller since "the Bull" is regarded as being one of the best horses ever to race at the Downs.
And the other bull? That’s a bull for you to tame —Tequila the Mechanical Bull.
Enter the contest to ride Tequila and, if you last longest, you pocket $250 cash. Now that should be memorable and give you a ton of bragging rights. The kids, who have their own play area —with free pony rides, petting farm and bouncy gym — should get a kick out of watching dad trying to conquer Tequila.
Look for coupons in the Free Press this week for program, tip sheet and merchandise discounts, too.
Speaking of which, this paper and the other community papers in the Canstar chain will be taking over the Downs on Canada Day, July 1 to feature: (1) the $30,000 Canstar Canada Day stakes to determine the best mare on the grounds, (2) the Great Mascot Race with all the goofy mascots in the city tripping over each other and (3) what is billed as a "track invasion".
That’s a day in which everyone gets to go out on the track, "race" from the starting gate and meet the jockeys and get their pictures autographed.
But something new has been added, too, to Canstar Day at the Races:
It’s a Gigantic Garage Sale.
You rent a spot for $50 and bring stuff you’ve been wanting to sell for years — to have a ready crowd of thousands inspecting your wares. There are a limited number of spots available so you’d better act quickly on this one. Call 204-885-3330 to reserve a spot.
While you’re on the phone, book the brunch for Canstar Day with everything from an omelette station to Belgian waffles to, my favourite, eggs benedict. Or, to back up a bit, there are also tickets available for a barbecue ribs meal deal on Father’s Day this Sunday — $15 including tax.
And, oh yes, one more thing: while the Red River Ex is in town, take the Saskatchewan Avenue backstretch entrance to the track, where parking is essentially free because you get a betting voucher worth the $5 parking fee. Access Saskatchewan from Sturgeon Road, Buchanan Boulevard, or Cavalier Street. See you Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday this week at 7:30 p.m. and, of course, grab the bull(s) by the horn Sunday at 1:30.