Wow! Night market, yearling sale, Queen’s Plate!


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/08/2021 (655 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

There’s big news on the Manitoba-proud front. Manitoba’s greatest racehorse ever, Escape Clause, and her foal went on the auction block in Japan.

What did they fetch? See below.

Also take note that the popular Manitoba Night Market returns to the Downs this Sunday. More on that below, too.

Supplied photo Manitoba’s mighty Escape Clause and foal on the auction block in Japan.

First off, take note there are only 12 days of live racing remaining. After no chance of watching live racing last year because of COVID restrictions — and the lifting of restrictions only a couple weeks ago — you have only a limited time to welcome the rush of live racing back into your life: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Mask-wearing is optional throughout the facility but you’ll need proof of full immunization to watch the races on the outside tarmac (with a QR code on your phone or printed, or a provincial vaccination card).

The Downs is now back to full 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. action for VLTs, simulcast racing and dining. There’s a steak special Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. and a prime rib special during the same hours on Saturday.
OK, now for the night market and more – circle this Sunday for a return of ASD’s popular Manitoba Night Market from 1 to 11 p.m. ($7 admission, $5 parking) with food trucks, exhibitors and local artisans galore, live bands, beer garden and much more.

But Sunday is also big because the annual CTHS Manitoba yearling sale will be taking place on the Red River Ex grounds behind the grandstand at 2:30 p.m. Bidding is likely to be brisk, given the fact that siblings of stakes-winning ASD horses will be going on the block. You’re welcome to watch (and bid).

Sunday also features the greatest horse race in Canada — the Queen’s Plate from Woodbine racetrack in Toronto. That means you can watch the yearling sale, watch and wager on the Queen’s Plate in the ASD Race Book on the second level, and take in the night market, too. What a day.

Now, back to the big news about the local celebrity racehorse, Escape Clause.
After the Manitoba-bred mare won more than $1 million for her Manitoba owners in races throughout North America, she was put on the auction block in Kentucky two years ago, where a Japanese breeder bought her for $300,000 U.S. and shipped her to his farm in northern Japan, where she was bred to the winner of the Japanese Derby, Duramente. Her foal, a colt, was born in January.

Well, that owner decided to offer her and her foal for sale in Japan, and a Japanese businessman, Tetsuhide Kunimoto, bought the pair for $946,000 U.S.

So the adventures of a horse with modest beginnings in Russell, Man., continue.

Will Escape Clause’s new owner continue to breed her and to whom? And how talented is her first foal? Will we find out next year if he races as a two-year-old?

Lots of fun, lots of action, in the world of racing and beyond. Remember, there are only 12 days to share in live race excitement.

Ivan Bigg

Ivan Bigg
At the Races

Ivan Bigg is a railbird and handicapper at Assiniboia Downs.

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