‘Trump’ expunged from name; horse wins


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/07/2021 (697 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As Assiniboia Downs readies for the first of the “baby wars” on Monday, race fans are all abuzz about a horse in California that had “Trump” expunged from his name and then won.

The horse, a six-year-old gelding, had finished last as Royal Trump but won his first start as Peaceful Transfer and at longshot odds of 13-1.

It was almost as if the racing gods gave thumbs up to the name change.

Photo by Ivan Bigg Steve Gaskin is training the most babies at Assiniboia Downs.

It happened this way: Royal Trump was purchased at Del Mar race track in southern California in the fall for $40,000 and ran three dismal races, finishing last in the third. In the meantime, the Jan. 6 insurrection occurred at the U.S. Capitol, which prompted the horse’s new co-owner, Steve McCanne, to petition The Jockey Club in Kentucky to get rid of the Trump name.

“Names and words matter,” he insisted.

The Jockey Club looks dimly upon changing a horse’s name once it’s been racing but the registrar accepted the owner’s argument and the name Peaceful Transfer was substituted in every race that Royal Trump had raced in. And, lo and behold, the horse with the new name wins. Just another head-spinner in the world of racing.

Now, what about the “baby wars”?

This refers, of course, to the races in which two-year-olds make their career debuts, battling other two-year-olds.

Horse breeders and owners have been waiting for these battles with high anticipation. They’re hoping, of course, that their baby is particularly talented and might share in the $210,000 in purse money available in six stakes for two-year-olds.

The penultimate baby race is the Winnipeg Futurity, the final stakes race on this year’s stakes calendar, where both fillies and colts will be vying to be named the top two-year-old. The most important race for Manitoba-breds is the Buffalo.

There is a special race, the CTHS Sales Stakes, for yearlings that were put on the auction block last August. Twenty-nine yearlings were offered for sale and the sales topper, at $11,100, was a gelding named Bojo Jammer, so this will certainly be a horse to watch for when the baby battles begin.

There are between 65 and 70 babies on the grounds. The trainer with the largest number is Steve Gaskin with nine; Devon Gittens has eight.

Will there be a true star among them? Will the performance of some of them blow us away?

That’s the fun of following the babies. The things to look for in betting them are the breeding, the workouts and the success of the trainers. Catch the first one on Monday.

Assiniboia Downs continues to be closed to spectators in the stands and on the tarmac because of COVID-19 restrictions but you can watch live racing while dining in the Clubhouse. Reservations are a must at 204-885-3330.

Ivan Bigg

Ivan Bigg
At the Races

Ivan Bigg is a railbird and handicapper at Assiniboia Downs.

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