A day at the races Hats and horses at the Manitoba Derby

The historic 70th running of the $75,000 Manitoba Derby on Monday highlighted the biggest horse racing weekend of the year at Assiniboia Downs, and a packed crowd of both horse- and people-watchers turned out.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/08/2018 (1516 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The historic 70th running of the $75,000 Manitoba Derby on Monday highlighted the biggest horse racing weekend of the year at Assiniboia Downs, and a packed crowd of both horse- and people-watchers turned out.

Sky Promise made a powerful move between horses into the final turn at Assiniboia Downs and swooped to a 7½-length victory under jockey Rico Walcott.  It was the first Manitoba Derby win for jockey Walcott and the second Manitoba Derby win for trainer Robertino Diodoro, who won the 2016 Manitoba Derby here with Inside Straight.

“Everywhere you go, you want win, but Assiniboia Downs is one of the best-run tracks there is. Very accommodating. Very nice people. If the Canadian dollar ever went to par, there’d be 500 more horses here,” Diodoro said.

A tall floral hat.

Free Press photographer John Woods checked out the headwear and the horses that make the derby a classic summertime event.

MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette wears a hat with an equine theme.
A tall floral hat.
Annika, 5, and Nora Hansen, 7, wearing fancy hats.
Funny, few appear to wear derby-style hats to the derby...
Ken Skaftfeld's definitely got eye care covered.
Stealth Thompson's race-themed hat.
Erika Wedlake's hat also had a floral theme. We presume racehorses are inspired by flowers.
Jamie Bremner wears a unicorn hat.
A closer look at Jamie Bremner's unicorn hat.
That unicorn wasn't even the most elaborate hat! Check out Anne Champion's.
Nikee Musey wears an elegant fascinator.
Studying up on the ponies.
Fans young and old check out the races.
Having a look at the ponies.
Right! There were also horses as well as hats. Here Chavion Chow on Eaglebine (right) leads into the first bend.
Rico Walcott (right) is congratulated after riding Sky Promise to a win in the 70th running of the Manitoba Derby. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

John Woods
Photojournalist

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