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